Last Updated April 1, 2001
To see a larger version
of any artwork on these pages, click on the picture
he Savage Earth
was Don Newton's first published comic strip. Don had been doing illustrations for Gordon
Love's RBCC (Rocket's Blast & ComicCollector) for a while when G.B.
presented the story idea for The Savage Earth to Don. According to G.B., "The story
idea was mine, but Don wrote and drew it." Over a period stretching from 1968 to 1970
the 11-chapter, 18-page, original science fiction strip, "The Savage Earth,"
appeared in issues 60-70 of the RBCC and was reprinted in The
Fandom Annual #2. Issue #65 of the RBCC sported a Newton Savage Earth
painting, shown to my immediate right.
The things I find most interesting about The Savage
Earth are how good it is and how unlike anything else it is. Sure, I see the influences in
the work, Adams, Wood, Williamson, but Don had already forged his own unique style out of
these influences. I mean, there is no doubt that this is the work of Don Newton. How many
artists' "first strips" can that be said about?
Most Don Newton fans have never seen The
Savage Earth. Unless you were a comic fan in the late 60's or early 70's, you've never
seen it either, until now. G.B. Love has graciously granted permission for us to reprint
on this website The Savage Earth, in its entirety. Click on the links below to view the
strip which will appear a page at a time. For each page there is an overview from which you can see Don's layouts and pacing. Every
panel has a much larger illustration which you can view to see the detail in the art and
to read the strip.
So thrill to the exploits of Dr. Dexter
Argon, his son Paul, his lab assistant Kirk, and Sky Ranger Alan Freeze as they brave the
terrors of the Savage Earth!
According to Don's interview in The
Collector #17 he asked G.B. Love if he could do a strip and G.B., being the
smart man that he was, quickly agreed. Don began working on his
ideas for the strip and sent Love a number of small illustrations to let G.B.
know what he had in mind. A couple of these have surfaces recently, most of
which I was able to purchase for my own collection and all of which are
displayed here now.
While some of these ideas did
not make it into the final strip, Don said on a couple of occasions that he had
written a second Savage Earth strip, one that unfortunately, was never
completed, and perhaps some of these "unused" ides would have made it
into that strip.
The Art of Don Newton
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