Friday 28 August 2009

Garth and the Bubble Man

Used with permission

In the national newspaper, the Daily Mirror, from the 16th August 1975 through to 28th November 1975, Frank Bellamy illustrated the 15th story in his 5 year run on Garth. Episode numbers J192-J281 - that's 90 daily strips, tell the story of how the Bubble Man is sent by the Warlord of the Universe to retrieve his daughter who had run away with her lover. Garth is taken aboard the spaceship (shown below) and encounters the Bubble Man. The story has all those quirks that you expect in a daily episodic newspaper strip. A highlight is that Garth meets again with Astra his immortal girlfriend whom he meets when time travelling.

Used with permission

The Bubble Man's companions are beautifully drawn and this story contains a lot of the famous Bellamy 'swirls' to shade space, in lieu of the more time consuming stippling which was a trademark. The only three other times, that I know of, when Garth appeared in colour were the two annuals, The Daily Mirror Book of Garth, with original Bellamy covers and the cover of the Disc newspaper If you click on the above picture you'll agree with me, I think, that John Ridgway has done a brilliant job on what could be seen as a controversial move. I find the projected cover somewhat busy but what do I know!

In these Internet days it's great that Rod Barzilay is still able to publish such a gorgeously glossy magazine. I recently moved my stack of the magazines and realised they must be the weightiest tomes I own - and I don't mean content. To order Spaceship Away click here, and here for the list of what's appeared in previous issues and finally here for summaries of stories.

Here for your enjoyment are 2 of the orginal non-coloured strips:

Episode: J272
Garth © 2009 The Daily Mirror

Episode: J273
Garth © 2009 The Daily Mirror

I read this was due to occur, but thank John Freeman and Lew Stringer for highlighting the new coloured strips and look forward to seeing some of this glossy version

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