On this day, 10 October 1981: Dreamer
I’ve seen it suggested that one of the reasons Eagle stopped running photo-strips, and was moved from its higher-grade paper and binding (printed at Chapel River Press, alongside Girl, Roy of the Rovers and Tiger) to stapled newsprint (printed at Southernprint), was to make resources available for the launch of a quality girls’ comic, Princess, in September 1983. This leads me to wonder whether Eagle (which launched in March 1982) had itself been granted some sort of special-status budget, and a position on the grid at Chapel River Press, in place of an earlier, short-lived girls’ title, Dreamer.
Dreamer ran from September 1981 to May 1982, and a read through this, its fourth issue, is reminiscent of the better-remembered Eagle which would follow a few months later. I wonder whether Dreamer may have acted as something of a blueprint for the Eagle style and layout. The stories are different, obviously - Dreamer’s schoolgirl-oriented tales are similar to those one might have found in Tammy at the time - but the feature pages have a similar look to those of the early Eagles, and it has a similar mix of photographed and hand-drawn stories. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see My Strange Sister turn out to be Doomlord in disguise, or for Sgt Streetwise to join the hunt for Cheryl’s sister’s doll in the crime classic Who Stole Samantha?
Thank you Mistyfan from the Resource on Jinty website, for identifying the artists on the drawn strips. You can read her review of next week’s issue here: https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/dreamer-17-october-1981/
Update: Thanks Jon Carpenter on FB for pointing me to his blog post on issue one of Girl, which had many of the design similarities to Dreamer and Eagle, only it launched even earlier, in February 1981: http://starlogged.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/1981-girl-issue-1-ipc.html