Frank Bellamy - THE DAILY MIRROR BOOK OF GARTH 1975 Fleetway Annuals.
Garth is one of the great neglected media superheroes, who’s serialized exciting adventures ran for forty years or more in the Daily Mirror. The 1975 annual was one of the last of its kind. Garth was a James Bond style adventurer, who was as strong as Hercules, and virtually never smiled. His adventures could take him into outer space, the distant past (he often retro-incarnated in the bodies of heroes of former ages), and sometimes he would just chase crooks and spies in his own time period. Garth had two semi-regular allies, Professor Lumiere, and the Goddess Astra. The latter would often intervene to drag Garth out of some danger he couldn’t escape from himself, and spend some time making love to him. She was frequently drawn naked. The origins of Garth are unknown. Nor do we ever find out his surname. He was found as an infant washed up on the shores of the Shetland Isles. (There was an early spectacular gaffe in one story in which he was apparently found on the coast of Tibet, which is of course a landlocked nation). The neatly drawn three panel strips in the 1975 season see Garth pitted against a werewolf, transported back in time to the age of the Borgias, and to a wild west town, as well as meeting Custer at Little Big Horn. . He brings feminism to the oppressed women of the planet Galba, The pencil drawings are often detailed and beautiful to look at, and the pace of the stories is often exciting. The Annual format means not having to wait a whole day for the next thrilling instalment of course. Here is a typical run of true newspaper comic strip art, before the papers gave in to just having football story cartoon strips. While dated in some respects, it is still exciting stuff, and it is a shame that Garth was ever cancelled.
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