If you’re a fan of newspaper strips, then Comics Revue is a magazine that really should be on your radar – especially so this month, as the latest double issue (#421-44, June 2021) features an the conclusion to a reprint of another early “Garth” adventure from the Daily Mirror, written by Modesty Blaise creator Peter O’Donnell, with art by Steve Dowling and John Allard.
America’s longest-running magazine of classic comics now offers twice as many pages of strips as the earlier version, is published on better paper, and also includes a number of full-color comic strips.
The latest issue of Comics Revue, June 2021, available on subscription direct from publisher Manuscript Press or through your local comic shop from 30th June, features full colour Sunday comic strips including “The Phantom”, Russ Manning’s “Tarzan”, “Mandrake the Magician”, “Flash Gordon”, “Casey Ruggles”, “Gaosline Alley,” and “Steve Canyon” by Milton Caniff.
Daily strips include “Alley Oop”, “Sir Bagby”, “Krazy Kat”, “Buz Sawyer”, “Rick O’Shay”, and, perhaps most importantly for many downthetubes readers, it features he conclusion to a reprint of “Garth – The 13th Man” by Peter O’Donnell, drawn by Steve Dowling and John Allard, and first published in the Daily Mirror between 5th December 1954 and 2nd July 1955.
Comics Revue began running “Garth” stories in #381/382 (February 2018), with “Warriors of Krull“, the first story written by Peter O’Donnell. which you should be able to find as a back issue online, along with subsequent issues.
It’s always great to see such an early story to get an airing, since most collected reprints of the “Garth” (not that there have been many!) have usually focused on later adventures drawn by Frank Bellamy and Martin Asbury. The earlier stories were incredibly inventive and wide-raging in content, characters and themes, and deserve greater attention.
In “The 13th Man”, Lumiere and Garth are playing chess in a London Club, unaware of being observed and discussed by two men: Colonel Starke, and Tallon. The next day, a meeting chaired by Starke is held behind closed doors. The twelve men present agree that Garth is a suitable candidate for some unstated purpose – undoubtedly sinister, as they go on to discuss killing someone…
Garth was the brainchild of strip cartoonist and writer Steve Dowling and BBC producer Gordon Boshell. Both were working on the British national newspaper the Daily Mirror and were asked to create a new strip by its editor.
The pair came up with the concept of a “strong man” strip, and the first daily strip appeared in the Mirror on Saturday 24th July 1943.
Written and edited by Rick Norwood, Comics Revue also features reviews and checklists of comic strip reprints as well as episode guides to many strips.
• Comics Revue #421-422 is available here on subscription from Manuscript Press – and from your local comic shop from 30th June 2021
Back issues of Comics Revue are available. Note that all the recent issues are double size, double numbers. Back issues sent to a US address are $59 for 12 numbers (six issues). Sent overseas they are $89 for 12 numbers. You can order back issues, or subscribe, at www.comicsrevue.com, or US readers can mail a check to Rick Norwood, PO Box 336, Mountain Home TN 37684
Garth by Peter O’Donnell reprints feature in Comics Revue #381-382 – (February 2018) with Warriors if Krull and the strip has featured in some, but not all subsequent issues, reprinting, so far, Garth in Hollywood, The Return of Malveno, The Golden Sphere and, most recently, The 13th Man