This post tells you how to get copies of the Jeff Hawke graphic stories that were originally published in the UK’s Daily Express newspaper.
The Jeff Hawke graphic stories were published in the Daily Express between February 1955 and April 1974. There were a total of 69 stories, with an average of 94 daily strips in each story. This Wikipedia article has more information and a list of all the stories.
Jeff Hawke started out as a Dan Dare type character but that changed. Hawke became more and more focused on reasoning, diplomacy and moral virtues instead of brute force and ripping yarns type bravery. He is often an ambassador of mankind to alien species. He is a leader, but often conciliatory rather than confrontational. He is often an observer rather than a central character.
Aliens were usually the main characters in Jeff Hawke. They were portrayed as more technologically advanced and often wiser than humans. Some stories linked aliens and human archaeological mysteries and myths. For example, the story Wondrous Lamp gives an alternative explanation for Aladdin’s Lamp.
Jeff Hawke, in the words of the Wikipedia article, is often regarded as one of the most important science fiction comics ever released. It is beautifully drawn and has excellent stories. It is a comic for grown ups, rather than the pimply adolescents catered to by Marvel Comics. The stories contain some sophisticated concepts, remarkably so for the period when the were first published.
I read Jeff Hawke years ago. It faded in my memory and my search to rediscover it is covered in this post.
I started by buying the two Titan Books ‘collectors’ editions. If you are new to Jeff Hawke I would suggest you also start with the Titan Books.
Overlord (collects “Overlord”, “Survival”, “Wondrous Lamp” and “Counsel for the Defence”, 128 pages, February 2008, ISBN 1845765974)
The Ambassadors (collects “The Ambassadors”, “Pastmaster”, “The Immortal Toys”, “The Gamesman” and “A Test Case”, 128 pages, July 2008, ISBN 1845765982)
Both are available from Amazon and people selling through the Amazon site.
The books only contained nine stories. All the other stories can be obtained from The Jeff Hawke Club
The Jeff Hawke Club
It would have been easy for this tremendous body of work to have been lost. Fortunately, someone has put a lot of work into saving and publishing it. The Jeff Hawke Club has all the 69 stories and has published them under the name of ‘Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos’.
The club’s new official website is here. There is an older website here. Don’t be put of by the older website. I was for quite a while. The website makes the club looks amateurish and it is hard to work out what they are actually doing.
What they are doing is selling bound volumes of the Jeff Hawke strips. Each volume consists of three books and each book contains two to four stories, plus very interesting commentaries on the stories and other material. They have published seven volumes. The books are A4 size and professionally printed and bound. Volume 7, Number 1 has 116 pages and Volume 7, Number 2 has 96 pages. The third book has 148 pages.
In addition to the seven general volumes there is a book of stories with a lunar theme, one with stories with a Martian theme and a book of notes.
I was half expecting something crudely done when I placed my order but the quality is excellent and well worth the money.
You pay a club subscription of £22 but what you are actually buying is the current volume. If you joined now  it would be volume 7. Earlier volumes are available at £22 each, but some books in some of the earlier volumes are out of print.
Apparently all the stories have been published in Italy and the website rather gives the impression that what is available is the Italian language strips. That is not so. What you get is the English language strips as published in the Daily Express.
The image above shows two pages from Volume 7, Number 2. The story is ‘Counsel for the defence’.
So far I have been pleased with my dealings with the club. Correspondence has been answered quickly and orders delivered promptly. Their product is excellent. Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos is edited, produced and distributed by William Rudling. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the Daily Express stopped publishing Jeff Hawke the artist moved to the Scottish Daily Record and a similar strip was published from May 1976 to April 1988. Initially the main characters name was Lance McLane but I understand he later morphed into Jeff Hawke. The Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos club is to begin publishing these graphic stories in 2013. The annual subscription for this eighth volume will be £26.