In 1975 he was declared 'Prestigioso Maestro' - the best comic artist since the Second World War - at the Comic Art Convention in Lucca, and awarded the Yellow Kid Award. He is still regarded by many as one of the finest comic artists of the 20th century.
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When I was nine, having a large green spaceship parked in my back garden seemed perfectly normal. But then, my father, Frank Hampson, was the creator of Dan Dare, one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The space ship in question - a Treen interceptor - had flown across the roof of Hulton's Boys and Girls Exhibition at Olympia before landing in leafy Surrey.

A superb draughtsman as well as a story teller (the first stories were written by him) my father drew the strip in a completely new 'filmic' style with vertiginous perspectives and close-ups. Most importantly, it offered a future that was adventurous, exciting and optimistic. Unsurprising then, that the comic was an instant success.
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Dan Dare is still rightly regarded as the ultimate space hero. The quality of the artwork, intelligence and sheer hard work which went into every episode still shines through, and the phenomenal detail of his futuristic world is as fascinating today as it was when it was first created. In its heyday, Dan Dare's adventures were followed by over a million boys each week and now, more than half a century later, he still battles on in a totally credible universe.
My Father and His Work
My father stopped drawing Dan Dare in 1959 and his final work for Eagle was the story of Christ, The Road of Courage, which appeared in 1960 and 1961. He travelled to the Holy Land to research this strip and the artwork he produced was some of his very finest.
Studio reference sheet of Dan's Profile
In 2008, Dan Dare and the Birth of High-Tech Britain an exhibition at the Science Museum, made use of his creation to showcase the scientific developments of the 1950's.
My father with some young fans
Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie
Dan Dare and the Birth of High Tech Britain at the Science Museum
We hope to show a wide range of the art work created by my father during his life. The boards offered for sale will be primarily from the first Dan Dare story, which was produced in 1950 when the Eagle was launched, and from Ladybird books. New illustrations will be added from time to time. A longer article about my father's life and work can be found by following this link: The Birth of Dan Dare and Eagle

Detail from Road of Courage
He died in 1985, and in 2001 his achievements were commemorated by the erection of plaques both at Audenshaw, his place of birth, and the Epsom studio from which he worked.
Spaceship in the garden of Bayford Lodge
Photo © Alex McGregor and licensed for reuse under this
Creative Commons Licence.
Blue plaque at 488 Audenshaw Road
White plaque on Bayford Lodge in Epsom
The Yellow Kid Award
When he left Eagle he returned to working as a freelance commercial artist, and in 1964 was commissioned by Ladybird Books to produce illustrations for The Stories of Our Christmas Customs. Over the next six years he worked on a further nine titles, including three books of Nursery Rhymes and two of the Kings and Queens of England.

He remained a stickler for accuracy and his historical illustrations were always meticulously researched. The love of detail that he brought to Dan Dare is also very apparent in the Ladybird illustrations.
This Pathe News clip gives a fascinating glimpse inside my father's studio at Bayford Lodge, Epsom, in it's heyday.
My father's artwork is much sought after and has been displayed in many exhibitions and galleries, including The Cartoon Museum in London which features his work in their permanent display.
Pathe News Clip 1956
Bayford Lodge
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THE ARTWORK OF FRANK HAMPSON
It would be difficult to overestimate the impact of Eagle and Dan Dare on the schoolboys of post-war Britain. England of the early 1950's was a dreary place; bombsites still littered many cities, most publications were in black and white and the atomic bomb and the cold war were uppermost in people's consciousness, bringing an atmosphere of technological pessimism. Into this world Dan Dare exploded in bright colour. The world he occupied was different from the present but clearly derived from it, and rendered with such care and detail as to be completely believable. Aware that boys would love to pore over the drawings and see the minutiae of the technology he knew that it was essential to get this right and insisted on rigorous research and attention to detail from all the artists in his studio.
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