The Daily Mirror‘s Garth strip celebrates its 70th birthday this year (the strip launched in July 1943 and is now being reprinted in the newspaper). In ongoing celebrations, fans of the the story of the time-spanning adventurer are working on various tributes.
The team behind the strip’s Facebook page are putting together a collection of tributes to the character from fans of the strip, which ran in the Daily Mirror from 24th July 1943, to 22nd March 1997. The strip belonged to the action-adventure genre and recounted the exploits of the title character, an immensely strong hero who battled various villains throughout the world and many different chronological eras.
Garth was widely syndicated throughout English-speaking countries during its long run and remains hugely popular in India.
In August 2008, after a long gestation period, a new Garth briefly returned to The Mirror, the work of artist Huw-J (read our interview), who had bold plans for the character, but somewhere, things went awry and it was only a brief return. The story was re-branded as Freeman of the Armed Services and released in print as a collection by Markosia, Incorporating the story arcs “Gold of Ragnarock” and “King of New York”.
While several companies have also tried to secure rights to create new adventures in recent years, including Print Media and Pete Nash’s Striker 3D company (Pete was approached to re-envision the character as creator of The Sun‘s hugely successful Striker strip), currently the only Garth being published are reprints of the original strip in the Mirror itself, coloured by Martin Baines and full stories in the Dan Dare-inspired title Spaceship Away.
Next week, in honour of Garth’s 70th birthday Huw-J will be releasing a limited run of 25 poster prints of an unused page from his version of Garth at the London Film and Comic Con. “First come, first served!” he encourages.
But wouldn’t it be great to see more new adventures – or a tie-in film or TV show? A time-spanning adventurer? Surely that would work?
• Read Garth on The Mirror site: www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/cartoons/garth
• Lee Davis of Mondo pays tribute to 70 years of Garth (Facebook link)