During the next week and a half downthetubes will be taking you through the entire Apollo 11 mission as it was presented to children in comics, magazines, storybooks and through toys, from launch on 16th July to splashdown on the 24th July.
Today, as a taster, we present two predictions for the actual landing date. One from the Daily Express' Jeff Hawke strip and an eerily accurate prediction from Dennis The Menace in The Beano.
The Jeff Hawke panels come from the 1959 story Time Out Of Mind, set on the moon, and both written and illustrated by Sydney Jordan a year and a half before the Soviet Union put Yuri Gagarin into orbit. This story was reprinted in the Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos album Lunar 10, in which Jordan reveals, “my stab at the date for the first real landing was informed by the growing body of data coming out of the American and Russian programmes that would eventually put Man into space.”
The Dennis The Menace panel would appear to come from an early appearance in The Beano, before Dennis got his familiar red and black striped jumper and is remarkably accurate in its date. However, as if to prove that it is not just American superheroes that can be ret-conned, in 2000 for publicity purposes DC Thomson produced a one page strip that told the story of how Dennis got his now familiar jumper and included this "prediction". The full Dennis story can be read on page 289 of Morris Heggie's excellent book The History Of The Beano.
Tomorrow - Launch
• Coinciding with Jeremy's countdown to the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing, downthetubes is publishing "Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration" - a gallery of illustrations and comic art inspired by space exploration.
Contributions are very welcome: if you don't want to join our forum and upload art but would like to join in with the celebrations, simply send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure images are no larger than 2MB in size and include a brief bio and web link so we can give you deserved credit.