In the second decade of the 20th Century Sidney Smith created a formula of melodrama, adventure, mystery, and comedy that made The Gumps one of the country’s most popular comics and himself perhaps its richest cartoonist. So devoted were his readers that they regularly wrote in to offer advice for his characters’ love lives and business decisions and generally treated the characters as friends and family members.
In 1928-29, with the launching of what would be his most famous story, “The Saga of Mary Gold,” Smith’s relationship to his readers would be tested as never before. Its heartbreaking conclusion would change comics forever. Here for the first time since the story made headlines across America in the spring of 1929 we reprint the saga that Hogan’s Alley magazine called “One of the Ten Biggest Events in Comics History”—a tale that has lost none of its power to captivate readers in the 21st Century.
“What holds The Saga of Mary Gold together more than anything is the inevitable march toward the end. As the reader begins to realize where Mr. Smith is taking us the anticipation builds to the point where you almost want to cry “NO!” out loud….A volume of touching sincerity that reinforces the best of what it meant to be an American in times of turmoil. The reproduction of the art is flawless.…” —New York Journal of Books
“Readers will be astonished how well this engaging and tragic tale still holds up after nearly 85 years.”—Michael Taube, The Washington Times