SPACE CAPTAIN JIM STALWART:
by Jeremy Briggs
Surprisingly, for a little known British comic strip in a short run children’s newspaper, Space Captain Jim Stalwart was sold abroad and was printed in at least three other countries - Portugal, France and Spain.
Jim Stalwart was published in Portugal in the weekly comic Titã which ran for 42 issues between 12 October 1954 and 10 August 1955. Edited by José da Costa Pessoa and published by P&B, Titã translated and reprinted many well known comic strips including Eagle's Dan Dare and Jeff Arnold, Tintin comic's Blake and Mortimer and the American newspaper strip Terry and the Pirates.
The comic only published the first Jim Stalwart story, The Fantastic Adventures Of The Missing S.200, which ran for 25 weeks from issue 7, 23 November 1954, to issue 31, 25 May 1955, under the title "O Satélite S 200". The British publication of the first story was still ongoing when Titã began publishing it at the same rate as the UK, one page per week, almost three months after their British publication. For Titã the landscape layout of the newspaper strip was changed to a portrait layout to better fit the more traditional shape of the comic.
France began publication of the strip after the Junior Mirror had been cancelled in the UK. Jim Stalwart, Captain De L’Espace was published in the French monthly magazine Pierrot. Both Stalwart adventures that had been completed in the United Kingdom, The Fantastic Adventures Of The Missing S.200 and The Green Star, were published over six issues – numbers 5 to 10, December 1956 to May 1957, and the two stories were printed under close translations of their British titles, “La Disparition Du Satellite S-200” and “L’Etoile Verte”. This second run of Pierrot magazine, “Nouvelle Serie”, itself lasted only 17 issues from August 1956 to December 1957.
Meanwhile, also in 1957, Stalwart was also published in the Spanish science fiction bi-monthly comic Futuro. The first two issues of Futuro in 1957 ran colour covers featuring Stalwart with the first issue featuring the Beta 1 spaceship approaching the S-200 space station for their version of the story “La Desaparicion Del Satellite S-200”.
(At the time that this article was first published, in Eagle Times v23 #2 in Summer 2010, there was next to nothing on the internet about the Space Captain Jim Stalwart strip. Since that time the National Library of Australia has digitised a selection of newspapers on its Trove website and these include the Melbourne Argus which reprinted Jim Stalwart in its children’s section The Junior Argus. The Argus began publishing the first Stalwart story, The Fantastic Adventures Of The Missing S.200, on 15 October 1954 some six weeks after it began in the UK but does not appear to have completed it.)