Showing posts with label Daily Record. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daily Record. Show all posts

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Frank Bellamy and Garth in the Daily Record (December, 1971-1973)

Back before Christmas I discovered a mystery - as far I was concerned: a Garth strip was offered that I'd never seen before. It soon came to light that it was from the Daily Record (in Scotland). So before lockdown I had the opportunity to review the Daily Record - God bless the British Library! - and am now writing this up with images to make a bit more sense.


"G305.5" from Daily Record
  • This Garth strip featured characters from "The Wreckers" story which ran in the Daily Mirror 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974 (G255-H41)
  • The seller noted the strip was numbered "DR.CH.73" and the printers' instructions in pencil written on front state "Daily Record 26-12-73"
  • With a bit of research I discovered that Scotland and England published different papers on different days over the Christmas/New Year period, so I knew we might have extra Garth strips by Bellamy that I'd not seen in England before.
As Bellamy started on the Garth strip in July 1971 and died in July 1976 I thought there might be at least one strip for each Christmas / New Year holiday period. Once I found that the Daily Record published on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (where the English counterpart did not) I wanted to see how this looked in the paper.

I then found I needn't worry about Boxing Day in Scotland AFTER 1973 because:
  • 1973 - 2 January was created an additional bank holiday in Scotland by the 1971 Act. However, the provision did not come into effect until 1973.
  • 1974 - New Year's Day became an additional bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Boxing Day became an additional bank holiday in Scotland. ~ Taken from the archived Government page
I then went through every published Daily Record in December 1971, 1972 and 1973 and noted when it was published and which Garths appeared

Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1971

The notes above show the DAY on which the paper was published, its DATE, together with the NUMBERING for "Garth" and "Angus Og" (as that appeared together with "Garth" on the same page in the paper). Lastly the "Garth" notation in the Daily Mirror.

It appears that when an Angus Og story finished its numbering changed (as opposed to "Garth" which changed the letter prefix every calendar year, i.e. 1971 = E, 1972 = F, etc.).
Interestingly my first discovery  was that everything matched until the Christmas Day issue of the Daily Record. There is an additional strip that didn't appear in the Daily Mirror and it fits between E300 and E301, so I'm calling it "E300.5" - apologies for the poor photo

Garth E300

Garth "E300.5"

Garth E301

I'm going to take a guess and say this is an additional strip drawn by John Allard himself as his lettering looks the same and the art looks like his too. The Perishers strip  was labelled "DR.25.12.71" so I'm guessing this didn't appear in England either - oh and by the way, the weekend Perishers strip tended to be coloured! - and as I'm a fan, here that 'missing' one

Perishers Daily Record DR.25.12.71


Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1972
1972 got even more scary for me. I'm glad I captured all of December while there! Everything was fine until we get to the Daily Record dated 16 December 1972 where panels get repeated and skipped. I've labelled each panel A, B, and C and compared the Record to the Mirror's numbering

Daily Record 15 - 19 December 1972

F299 A + B panels were not published in Scotland

Garth F299
Why this occurred at this point, I have no idea. Every day was published (no strikes) and we are not yet at 25th December yet.

Garth F303
Talking of which, F303 is the end of the "People of the Abyss" story in England but in Scotland there is another episode rounding it off.

For the first time I present "F303.5"

Garth "F303.5"


Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1973

The Christmas day edition of the Daily Record was not published and a note in the Christmas Eve edition says "We'll be back Wednesday" which is Boxing Day 26 December 1973 and here is where this hunt started with Rhona Flin offering this Garth for sale last year.

Garth "G305.5" or "DR CH 73"

So the Daily Record had some different Garth strips from the Daily Mirror, the paper that hired Frank Bellamy. It appears in these three Decembers that Bellamy produced 2 episodes and Allard one. Unfortunately both John and Frank are no longer with us to ask about this. John Allard will certainly have known about this different publishing schedule as he produced one episode in the time period I examined, during the Bellamy run - which stands out a mile due to the difference in style.

Looking at the history and outline of Public Holidays in Scotland, I feel it will be a long time before I look at the rest of the Garth publishing in the Daily Record but I'm happy to give others credit if they share the information!
[UPDATE DECEMBER 2020: A website for Angus Og now exists:]

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