Today I’d like to share some of the content from the 1983 UK annual Eagle in particular the series Personalities With A Plus! featuring sports and music stars from the eighties.
Once you get over the shock of seeing former England cricketer David Gower in his spangly trunks, the collection of Personalities with a plus! that appear in the 1983 Eagle annual serve as an excellent reminder of how stars from the eighties slotted easily into celebdom; whether they were international stars (Freddie Mercury and Olivia Newton-John), pioneers of electro (Gary Numan), or from the world of sport – footballer Kevin Keegan, snooker player Terry Griffiths, and our near-naked left-hander Mr Gower.
Not forgetting popular wrestler Big Daddy, a family-favourite on the TV… especially when he was sharing the ring with his rival Giant Haysticks.
It seems odd seeing snooker player Terry Griffiths in here. But back in the eighties snooker was an extremely popular sport in the UK, Terry being one of the game’s established greats. Terry even sang on the single and appeared in the video for the Matchroom Mob and Chas and Dave hit Snooker Loopy that reached number six in the UK charts.
Dan Dare, the Mekon, and dodgy photo stories!
The 1983 Eagle annual also featured some nice comic art in the form of established favourites Dan Dare and the Mekon characters. Alongside these comic strip stories were the relatively new ‘photo stories’. These utilised photographs to tell the story rather than traditional drawings. Some of the results – though I’m sure not intentional – are quite comical…
I’m not a big fan of photo stories, although I can see their value and interest for the time. But there are too many photo stories when compared to traditionally-drawn stories inside this annual. When you add all the puzzle and jokes pages to this there seems a distinct lack of comic art in the book. That said, it does make for an interesting and varied read. The Personalities With A Plus! sections are a definite winner for me and lend the annual a ‘pop’ feel similar to other publications of the time like Look-In.