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The Savage Earth
Last Updated April 1, 2001

To see a larger version of any artwork on these pages, click on the picture

The Savage EarthT he Savage Earth was Don Newton's first published comic strip. Don had been doing illustrations for Gordon (G.B.) 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.

freeze_small.jpg (10588 bytes)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.

searth_idea1.jpg (39224 bytes) searth_idea2.jpg (39073 bytes) searth_idea3.jpg (24509 bytes) searth_idea4.jpg (11981 bytes)

This one is an interesting color marker piece showing Freeze and Argon lost in a jungle.

Here Don toys with ideas for Dr. Argon, the Cosmic Bomb blast and a possible mutation. 

Here Don writes about using a Prince Valiant narrative style for the strip and give us another look at Argon. This final picture is of an alien that never appeared in the strip. 

 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.

 

Copyright 1998-2015 The Art of Don Newton
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