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Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future
Comic. 1950-1967. Frank Hampson and others
A strong-jawed and British military officer saves the universe.
Dan Dare was a comic explicitly designed to be good for children. Dan Dare, and The Eagle comics magazine where it appeared, were designed not only to sell, but to be improve their readers.
An adult in 2020 reading Dan Dare is reading about a vision of the future. It’s a vision of how caring should work, and what a virtuous life should be like. It’s alien and weird and naive, but arresting.
One of my favorite things about those old comics is the charts and diagrams dropped in when they author wants to explain complex ideas. It isn’t quite teaching (the diagrams are typically nonsense) but it isn’t not teaching, either.