Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grant Morrison's Captain Clyde

Tim Callaghan, author of Grant Morrison: The Early Years, posted a comment following my recent mention of his book. I mentioned Morrison's early strip, 'Captain Clyde', and wondered out loud whether it would be in the book. But, to quote Tim, "I had to start with Zenith because that was the earliest complete work I could get my hands on over here in the U.S."

I don't imagine anybody would have a complete run of 'Captain Clyde'. But here are a couple of episodes (sorry about the quality).

If you've never heard of 'Captain Clyde', he was a Scottish superhero written and drawn by Morrison for a number of local weekly newspapers in 1979-82. The strip ran for some 150 episodes during which time Grant began writing (and drawing) for Starblazer. In fact, 'Captain Clyde' wasn't his first published comics work as he'd already contributed three strips to Near Myths in 1978-79. Now I'm showing my age...


  1. Nice one, Steve!

  2. Thanks, Steve. I would love to see more of this stuff (and the folks at Barbelith could use your help--they're trying to see if a complete run of Captain Clyde even exists ANYWHERE!).

    I think Zenith is certainly Grant's first major work, but this earlier stuff is its own brand of genius.

  3. The place to check would be The Mitchell Library (North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN) as I believe they may have runs of various newspapers including the Govan Press which ran Captain Clyde. They have an e-mail contact address which you can find here...

    ... in the 'Contact Us' details. Not sure how you would proceed from there if they do have copies but knowing they exist might be a step in the right direction.

    Digging around to find the above I noticed one site that mentions that the Govan Press "collapsed in 1983" not long after Grant's strip ended. That'll teach 'em to dump Captain Clyde!

  4. The Mitchell does have the Goven Press issues but they are a swine to get a hold off. I've been in a number of times over the years to get copies/read the run and while I've read the run a few times, it really depends on the member of staff - some are able to find it and some aren't.

    Also, a lot of it is in a really bad way and would need heavily touched up (as was suggested when there were plans to put it online a few years ago).

    The other problem is cost. A lot of it is on really old paper or microfiche and it's pricey to get that stuff converted.

    Grant has a huge chunk - if not all - of the run in storage IIRC but apart from that, the Mitchell is the only place with it.

  5. Thanks, Craig. I think that's about as definitive an answer as anyone could give regards the Mitchell Library holdings. Your experience of the quality of library staff reminds me of my own experiences at various libraries over the years. Good librarians are worth their weight in gold.



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