The first new adventure of longtime Daily Mirror hero Garth, which has already been published on the British newspaper’s web site, have now been collected and are available in an online format from British e-publisher myebook.com.
As noted in an interview with artist Huw-J, Garth returned after a long retirement in August 2008 – albeit only on the Mirror‘s web site.
The return of Garth, a newspaper strip adventure hero first created in 1943 by Stephen Dowling for what was then The Daily Mirror, is the work of Hayena Studios, and in particular, the determined efforts of artist Huw-J.
The new Garth project revamps the often time and space travelling hero for a modern audience in several different formats. The first strip, now on myebook, The Gold of Ragnarock, finds Garth summoned to the Arctic for a mission of dangerous exploration.
Speaking to downthetubes last year, Huw-J describes the story as “more of an online graphic novel, possibly the first of its kind in an official way as it’s full page colour toned, and will run for 65 pages.
“It was originally conceived as a strip,” he revealed, “but the guys at the Mirror’s syndication department looked at it and really liked the way it read but felt it lacked something ‘extra’ for the re-launch, so it was decided to vamp it up and ramp it up to the format you see online at the moment.”
Reaction to the new interpretation of Garth has been mixed – no surprise considering the original featured the work of artists such as Frank Bellamy and Martin Asbury, and some scripts by Modesty Blaise creator Peter O’Donnell.
Some longtime fans have openly stated their preference for the original, while younger readers have welcome Huw-J’s distinctive take on the square-jawed hero.
“We have tried hard to create something for old and new readers alike,” notes Huw-J in response to comments about the strip posted on myebook, “but we know we cannot please everyone.”
Also available on myebook is The Art of Garth, offering some behind the scenes designs and an insight into the remaking of the character.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.