Garth – Story 01 – Garth

The very first episode of Garth © Daily Mirror
The very first episode of Garth © Daily Mirror

Garth
Writer: Don Freeman & Stephen Dowling
Artist: Stephen Dowling & John Allard
Published: 24th July January 1943 – 11th March 1944 (B175 – C61)
Number of Episodes: 197

The opening Garth adventure was set in a mythical “Lost Horizon” type of world. Creator Steve Dowling was an admirer of Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates, and its mysterious Far Eastern setting.

Lashed to a raft, after days adrift, delirious and suffering from partial amnesia, Garth is washed up on a strange shore. Here he is found by an attractive native girl, Gala, who administer the kiss of life.

An original private  sketch of the character Ola by Stephen Dowling, who appeared in the very first Garth story. The sketch has never previously been  published.
An original private sketch of the character Ola by Stephen Dowling, who appeared in the very first Garth story. The sketch has never previously been published.

Gala is a member of an underground opposed to the tyrannical rule of a High Priest, who plans to invade a neighbour country. Garth agrees to help her cause by pretending to act as a figurehead ruler under the High Priest.

Using his great strength and cunning, Garth defeats the tyrant and his murderous High Priestess Ola – and helps Gala’s father find his long-lost daughter. Garth then travels on by balloon, hoping to reach western civilisation and restore his memory.

Lew Stringer has some pages of “Garth the Strong” from the 1946 Daily Mirror reprint Garth – Man of Mystery on his Blimey Blog here

• Next: Children of the Dawn

Synopsis by Philip Harbottle

• Garth: An Introduction

• Garth – Strip Checklist – Part One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight (Garth Reprints)

A Tribute to Garth Artist and Editor John Allard by Philip Harbottle

In a feature encompassing the entire history of the much-loved strip, Garth writer Philip Harbottle pays tribute to artist and editor John Allard, who worked at the Mirror for over 50 years, outlining his huge contribution to Garth‘s enduring success

Strip dates given are those of their original appearance in the British newspaper the Daily Mirror, first compiled by Geoffrey Wren and Ann Holmes and updated by Ant Jones and Philip Harbottle

Garth © REACH/ Daily Mirror

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