Saturday 21 December 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Garth on ebay - TheWreckers (G305.5!)

If you read this:
G292 of The Wreckers
Then read this:

G293 of The Wreckers
Then this:
G294 of The Wreckers
Do you think the story is missing something? How did Garth get into the chair? The caption "Interrogation" doesn't really make sense.

But what if between G293 and G294, the guards and Garth had a fight and our hero knocked them out? Then Tallion, the villain who would interrogate Garth, might have been watching and threatened Garth. Then we might have Garth submitting and following new guards to the interrogation chamber. THEN we could see G294.



What if between these two banks of strips Tallion challenges Garth and we see the two guards on the floor? Why do I say that?

G293.5(!) or G305.5(???)
Where did I find what I'm calling G305.5 until I know any better? On eBay!

An episode of "The Wreckers" DR.CH.73 - Daily Record

The seller (rhfl41) has been in touch and tells me that
The Garth strip belonged to my father, the late Ewen Bain, who was a cartoonist. His own cartoon strip, Angus Og, ran in the Daily Record for 30 years [UPDATE DECEMBER 2020: Rhona has created a website now]
She describes the Garth strip like this:
Original Frank Bellamy Garth cartoon strip. From the Wreckers numbered DR.CH.73. Printers' instructions in pencil written on front including 'Daily Record 26-12-73'.
Drawn in black on CS10 Line Board.
Measures 20 x 53 cms, outer area, 13 x 52 dimensions of drawing.
(The Daily Record is a Scottish newspaper).
Why would this have gone unnoticed all these years - since 1973? We have seen reprints of the strip in Garth: The Wreckers published by the now-defunct All Devon Comic Collectors Club. The Americans saw the strip (oddly missing  G301-G306 inclusive) in the wonderful Menomonee Falls Gazette (#184 - #202) and lastly in the Daily Mirror from Wednesday 13 April 2011 - Tuesday 7 June 2011 where it was coloured by Martin Baines. But NONE of them have this strip that is on offer!

Just to confuse me the edition of the Daily Mirror for 6 November 1973 states "Here's a double ration of your favourite strips" - no explanation why, but presumably industrial action again - there were loads around that time! However the paper appears to have been published the day before and on 6 November a reprint of the 5 November strip appeared! So our numbering sequence is fine.

If they presented the numbered sequences as above with no 'other' strip needing inserting then what is the one presented here? I think the Mirror numbered the Bellamy strips (not Bellamy) so there was a continuous sequence but I wonder if this strip was NOT published in the Daily Mirror.

If anyone reading this has cuttings from or access to the Daily Record for that period I'd love to know.
This has consequences as we may have other printed strips never before seen in England - and further afield, as well as original art that is unique! And I shall have to correct a note on the website that says the BBC article on FB states he did work for the Daily Record, where I thought he didn't!

I then checked all that I did know and agree that 96 episodes of this story are in the reprinted versions I have between Friday 26 October 1973 and Monday 18 February 1974. BUT that is based on the usual lack of Sunday versions of the Daily Mirror and also no Christmas Day, and Boxing Day editions - times were different back then! However usually there would be a New Year's Day edition BUT the Newspaper Archive says not for 1974! So 96 only works if these conditions are true, i.e. the Archive didn't miss one!

Now to the Daily Record reprinting the strip. The Internet and I know nothing! HELP! I shall do the research when next in the British Library and let you know but we now have to conclude:
  1. This is an original Bellamy never before printed except in Scotland - and my guess would be c. 26 December 1973 (for G305.5 to work) - dependent on Scotland printing on Boxing Day - as the writing says on the original
  2. There may be others in Scotland that England have not seen
  3. Ewen Bain asked Bellamy to create a Garth - and Bellamy jumped off using the story as inspiration - and John Allard lettered as usual - VERY UNLIKELY!
  4. This is a fake - which I don't believe! We have some provenance - which can be checked

The last thought I have on the matter is - did the Daily Record receive a clean version of the board - free from the usual 'double-day' information and also the sequential number inserted? More on that another day, but the Scots version is clean of the London markings. Draw your own conclusions!


GARTH: The Wreckers
WHERE?: eBay
END DATE: Friday 27 December 2019


Mike Nicoll said...

Okay...I have to start this off by saying that a lot of this relies on my never-too-reliable memory up here in Scotland when I was collecting the Daily Record version of Garth. The way I recall it was that England took 2 days off at Xmas and 1 day off at New Year whereas we had 1 day at Xmas but both Jan 1 and 2 off as New Year. Scottish newspapers generally came out on Boxing Day but we never got any English papers on that day - possibly because of limited print runs or travel logistics due to the holiday, so I'm guessing that the Mirror maybe didnt print or printed a skeleton copy on Boxing Day but the Record printed as normal so would have needed the Garth strip for that day and it might have been simpler to just ship the original to Glasgow for that purpose after which it may have simply been overlooked. Or - maybe Ewan Bain realised this was an original instead of the stats they normally were provided with and - as seemed to happen a lot back then - just held on to it?Just a theory but I'll check out other Garth strips around Xmas time to see if there are any other anomolies.

Norman Boyd said...

Hi Mike
I wondered whether I'd hear from you! I didn't want to burden you so near Christmas but yes please! if you find the answers about 26 December 1971 and 1972 I'd be over the Moon!
Happy New Year to you Mike