Towards the end of the first Dan Dare story, the exhausted Hampson fell ill and took a break in northern France to recuperate. In the Hulton offices, Marcus Morris was hunting for ideas for the next DD story, worried that once the
Venus Story ended readers would fall away. They had to lock a million
schoolboys into Dan’s next adventure.

They decided to advertise, but not having a story to promote, what could the advertising be about? Hampson came up with this illustration, which appeared in Picture Post on 29th September 1951. (It ran on page three, probably the best space in the magazine, but because the space was free, not because it would reach the schoolboys). You see how Hampson could handle a whole page; strong, free figure-drawing, full of dynamism and the promise of action to come.

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