- Blond, square-jawed, musclebound, time-travelling COMIC-strip character created for the London Daily Mirror by artist Steve Dowling (1904-1986) and BBC producer Gordon Boshell as the UK's answer to FLASH GORDON. Scripted by Don Freeman, G first appeared, floating ashore on a raft, on24 July 1943, and soon became a kind of fantasy troubleshooter. In The Seven Ages of Garth (Sep 1944-Jan 1946) Freeman introduced G's Doctor-Zarkov equivalent, Professor Lumiere, whose magic word "karma" allowed G to jump bodies (and episodes) at the point of death.The finest scripts were written 1953-66 by Peter O'Donnell (1920-), who introduced G's eternal lover Astra in The Last Goddess (1965). Jim Edgar providedmoderately imaginative scripts throughout the next two decades on three basic themes: TIME TRAVEL, journeys to distant planets, and earthbound adventures that usually had sf elements. Angus Allan provided a few scripts in the late 1980s.Steve Dowling retired in 1969 and his assistant, John Allard, took over as artist. In 1971 the Daily Mirror secured theservices of Frank Bellamy (1919-1976), one of the finest strip illustrators of his day, whose beautifully rendered drawings made G the most attractive-looking UK newspaper strip then published. On Bellamy's sudden death the art chores were taken on by Martin Asbury; for some years Asbury's art was polished, enthusiastic and inventive, but it suddenlydeteriorated in the mid-1980s and today seems hurried and shoddy. Tim Quinn has recently started to do the scripting.The Daily Mirror publishedseveral collections, including The Last Goddess (graph coll 1966), The "Daily Mirror" Book of Garth 1975 (graph coll 1975) and 1976 (graph coll1976). Other early books were Garth - Man of Mystery (graph 1946) and Garth (1958 graph dos). Single-story collections were published by John Dakin/The Newspaper Strip Society: Bride of Jenghiz Khan (graph 1979), The Spanish Lady (graph 1980), Sapphire (graph 1980), Night of the Knives (graph 1980), The Doomsmen (graph 1981) and Mr Rubio Calls (graph 1981). 2 collections of Bellamy stories were published by Titan: The Cloud of Balthus (graph coll 1985) and The Women of Galba (graph coll 1985).RT/SW
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.