Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Original Art: Thunderbirds X 2 on eBay

I've been contacted by the seller to let me know these two consecutive pieces are for auction on eBay. They realise they are very faded but nevertheless are the original boards that Frank Bellamy produced for TV21 #177 Thunderbirds strip "The 2068 Olympics". They have been put on at £700 for the pair which is a fair price in my opinion, but let's see what happens!

Thunderbirds from TV21 #177 p.10

Thunderbirds from TV21 #177 p.11
The seller describes the two artworks:
Frank Bellamy Thunderbirds TV21 Artwork
Original Frank Bellamy artwork from the 177 editor [sic] of TV21 in 1968. 
Still with its printing marks. 
Artwork faded over time, but still colour in places, please see pics.
This is a double page spread of 2 artworks. Drawn on CS10 board, and signed by his son on the back on purchase.
Size of each artwork 380mm wide 480mm high
As the seller knows they are faded let me show the pages as scanned from TV21, but bear in mind even here the colour is not as true as the day they were drawn. Remember to keep all your orignal artwork out of the sun!

WHERE: eBay 
SELLER: sjcmac 
STARTING BID:£700 for two pieces
ENDING PRICE: £1332.00
END DATE: 14 January 2019

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Frank Bellamy and Lyons Maid ice lollies

What do Frank Bellamy and the Beatles' Yellow Submarine have in common?

Lyons Maid Ice Cream lollies c.1976 showing Dinosaurs and Space 1999

In the 1970s  Frank Bellamy was set free from his weekly comic strip deadline but tied to a schedule of a single daily strip - Garth in the Daily Mirror. This gave him the time (and, I guess, the need to earn more money) and saw him branch out. His last 6 years of life were very active and varied.

Until today I knew that Lyons Maid had produced a lolly called "Dinosaurs" but always thought the artwork on the wrapper didn't look much like Bellamy so forgot all about it except I have evidence that Trickfilm Studios Limited hired him in relation to this product. Of course, as with the later example (see below) it was payment for art which was used in a TV animation not the lolly wrapper itself or the cards inside (that were often given away - mostly sodden from de-frosting, as I recall!). When first researching this I couldn't find anything.  But as time has gone by the Internet turns up so many treasures. My discovery, that someone had uploaded the advert for Dinosaurs, led to this article.

Charlie and Ingrid Jenkins were the Directors of Trickfilm Studios and the BFI has a tiny piece worth looking at, if interested in the animator/company and an Animation Weekly article on The Creators of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine: Where Are They Now? tells us more about his illustrious career. How he came to choose Bellamy, I don't know but imagine he saw his comic work as a boy.


Lyons Maid Dinosaurs wrapper c.1976
Courtesy of Jim Moon (http://hypnogoria.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-orrible-ouse-of-terrible-old-tat_11.html)

On January 23 1976 Bellamy received the commision to produce two pieces of art. He delivered the first artwork to Trickfilm Studios on 27 January. The order stated: "One background for the above film as briefed by Charlie Jenkins at a fee of £200". The film? Lyons Maid Dinosaurs. I'm very grateful to Advertarchive for uploading this.

If you look closely you'll see Bellamy's tradmark tree branches  which I've screenshotted below. I think it unlikely anything else is his and the wrapper certainly doesn't look like his artwork.

Bellamy's receding tree branches
The second piece of artwork ordered by Charlie Jenkins is more complicated

The order from Trickfilm Studios, signed by Charlie Jenkins, stated he wanted:

"The style should be up-dated Dan Dare but not to resemble specifically elements from the Space 1999 series (for legal reasons).

Could you draw up in line only frames 1 and 2. - No:2 being the explosion of the rocket crashing into a satellite. On frames 3 and 4 could you give me a few trajectory drawings of the space man falling only and the close-up as in frame 4.

Frame 6 cannot be drawn until I have the lolly wrapper so could you design the Background in frame 5 in such a way that it can be animated into a frame similar to 6."
Martin Willey's site The Catacombs, is an exhaustive coverage of all things Space 1999 and I've linked to the Lyons Maid section deliberately as he has captured shots from the video available online


I think you'll agree there's a lot of Bellamy to be seen - even if the repro here is not too sharp. Bellamy scribbled a note for his records "5 separate pieces = £500". I've tried to work out which shots Bellamy included but make it 7 pieces in total so I presume he was ok with supplying these at the price of 5.  His list states:
  1. Rocket and Asteroid
  2. Rocket crashes
  3. Trajectory drawings (X3)
  4. Space man
  5. Space man head

He did receive a cheque for £756 on 19th June 1976 so it appears Charlie Jenkins did pay him for the extras (the three 'trajectory' drawings, presumably)

I've borrowed some of Martin's screenshots (with thanks) and reproduced them here so you can see what Bellamy did

Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas from Frank Bellamy (World's Press News Part Three)

Part One
Part Two
World's Press News 14 December 1951
Here's your Christmas present from me! The final part of the Frank Bellamy illustrations he did advertising the Daily Telegraph in World's Press News and Advertiser's Review

The beautiful piece above appeared in Dez Skinn and Dave Gibbon's interview in Fantasy Advertiser which led to many people thinking Bellamy illustrated for the Telegraph. On the left Bellamy shows the Daily Telegraph Building, still a landmark on Fleet Street. He also illustrates all the tools of the letterpress trade as well as Christmas decorations. The swirl under the greeting appears in the original in red ink.
World's Press News 12 December 1952

For “Features that pull No. 12" we get “Father Christmas and the New Year” signed with Bellamy's early signature "FAB". Notice the crown placed on the 1953 signpost showing how the country was gearing up for the forthcoming coronation (following the death of Princess Elizabeth's father on 6 February 1952). We see the previously illustrated features pulling against Father Christmas, including a microphone, a television aerial and an artist's palette on one strand; a kite with a crossword(!) on another strand;  the car, rugby player (with tennis racket!), the woman (from the Woman's Page), Peterborough is facing away from us in anonymity, the actor, the doorman and the City gent. We also see two books (not the book-buying customer!), a little boy (not the cowboy but maybe from the hobbies page?) and finally a spade with a face! I particluarly love how Bellamy has sneaked in the name of the studio he worked for!

Blown up for your inconvenience!

And finally, I spotted this advert in Home Notes (6 July 1951, page 36) which looked so like Bellamy's in execution that I wondered if it was his. It's certainly the time when he worked on the above World's Press drawings! What do you think?

Home Notes 6 July 1951, p.36

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Original Art: Story of World War One

Frank Bellamy artwork for Look and Learn #437 (30 May 1970)

Look and Learn was an educational weekly comic/magazine, that was thought to be bought by grandparents and parents for children, rather than children themselves buying it! It contained fascinating articles, lots of illustrations and also comic strips. From issues 437 - 462 (30 May 1970 - 21 November 1970), Frank Bellamy illustrated a series of text articles on "The Story of World War One"

The original art for the first episode has appeared on eBay and looks to be well preserved - not faded.  It's curling but that can easily be rectified. It's a lovely example of how Bellamy had left the space for the text to be dropped in - such confidence by typesetters and the editor (Jack Parker)! The text was written by Mike Butterworth (and in the first episode had a page prior to this by Bellamy) and in most issues had accompanying photographs

I have written quite a bit about this series as well as the introduction to the brilliant reprint published by Book Palace - in fact, my profile image shows me at the book signing (yes me, signing a book!) where the real worker was Steve Holland who put the thing together!

I have added all the images the seller has put on the auction in order to capture them before the piece disappears into someone's private collection.

Centenary video
Overview with links
Additional unpublished image

Buy the book: http://bookpalace.com/acatalog/Frank_Bellamy_Graphic_Novels.html

WHERE?: eBay - wishingonarainbow
END DATE: Wednesday 21 November 2018

Sunday, 11 November 2018

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds and Garth from Bob Monkhouse Estate

Cover of TV21 #90 Monster built by Roger Dicken

The November catalogue at Comic Book Auctions Limited run by Malcolm Phillips has some amazing materials up for auction. Follow that link for his catalogue and illustrations and bid via The Saleroom here. He has been entrusted by Bob Monkhouse's Estate to sell some of this collector's extensive artwork and comics. As he says (without hyperbole in my opinion)

We are delighted to draw your attention to some magnificent artwork boards consigned to us from the Bob Monkhouse Archive. They comprise pieces from 1900–1974 and include Ally Sloper by W F Thomas, Film Fun’s Terry Thomas by Terry Wakefield, Erik The Viking, The Trigan Empire, both by Don Lawrence with Garth and Thunderbirds pieces by Frank Bellamy. The Thunderbirds double-page illustration is magnificent and one of his best boards ever to come up for auction.
Tom Derbyshire at Antiques Trade Gazette has written a piece on the auction, which in itself is going to raise some outside interest, in my opinion.

Original art - sans balloons - Thunderbirds from TV21 #90

The Thunderbirds strip comes from TV21 #90, from the story where TB3 crashes on Venus, after blasting some solar matter to pieces. The photo doesn't do this piece credit as I think the colours look very bright and preserved correctly.  What's interesting here is the lack of balloons and captions. This is very unusual to see and I'd love to know how Bob Monkhouse managed to get this like this. Alan Davis' collection of Polaroids and other photos show how Thunderbirds would have been delivered by Bellamy to the publisher, but the artwork I've normally seen for sale has balloons stuck on (or falling off!) so this is a wonderful sale.

Malcolm describes the artwork like this:

Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1966) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 90 1966. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. The front cover of the comic screamed, "Nightmare Splashdown for Crippled Ship - Monster Attacks Thunderbird 3!" And here is Bellamy's brilliant double-page artwork to prove it! The 'Thunderbirds' logo is an unattached laser colour copy, as are the word balloons with the original comic, all included in the lot. Bright, fresh Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins. 

Auctioneer's estimate
1,800 GBP - 2,300 GBP (opening bid 1,620 GBP)

The original with the word balloons and captions attached looked like this - bearing in mind it's a scan that's joined together, but you can still see how vibrant the original is.

The three Garth strips  that are being offered form the Bob Monkhouse Estate are from "The Wreckers" story that ran in from 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974. These three (H26, H27 and H29) show a lovely action sequence in the water - not quite consecutively - and demonstrate how very clear Bellamy's art was for the Garth strip in the Daily Mirror.

Garth: 3 original consecutive [sic] artworks drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror Jan/Feb 1974. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Garth saves Andromeda from Tallion's clutches … Indian ink on board. 20 x 8 ins (x3)

Auctioneer's estimate
350 GBP - 400 GBP - (opening bid 320 GBP)

H26, H27 and H29 "The Wreckers" Frank Bellamy
As part of the wonderful public service I offer, here's the missing H28 that would have made these consecutive. BUT you are still getting 2 consecutive strips plus one more from the same story from the same source!

H28 of The Wreckers story
I shall record the details as usual here and on my spreadsheet, when the auction ends


Thunderbirds - TV21 #90
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
ENDING PRICE: £4550 +16% VAT/Sales tax
END DATE: Sunday 25 Nov 2018 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1200 +16% VAT/Sales tax
END DATE: Sunday 25 Nov 2018 14:00 GMT

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

ORIGINAL ART: Sunday Times: Inside Racing

Original artwork for "Inside Racing"
published in Sunday Times Colour Magazine 25 April 1971

I found out about this auction too late to highlight it here for people to visit, but thought it worth adding here so you can see some lovely artwork

Previously I highlighted the article as it appeared in the Sunday Times Colour Magazine together with Tim Barnes' copies of the draft work "Devious ways to win" - the original unpublished title.

Roseberys auction house is based in London SE27 and they described the work as:
Lot 268 of 495:Frank A Bellamy, FSIA SGA FRSA, British 1917-1976- Racing strip for the Sunday Times Magazine; ink and watercolour on CS 10 line board, 46.3x70.5cm, (unframed) (ARR)

They had an estimate of £60-100 + fees (30% inc VAT) so I'd guess they were pleasantly suprised that it reached £880 which I'd say was a great bargain for such a unique piece.

WHERE?: Roseberys
LOT #: 268
END DATE: 3 November 2018

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Bubble Man (J239)

J239 episode of  "Garth: The Bubble Man" Drawn by Frank Bellamy
There's another Garth strip on eBay - from the "Bubble Man" story (#J239) - many thanks to Chris Power for alerting me to it.  "sweet4action" is the seller who describes the item like this:
You are bidding on an original signed Daily Mirror 'Garth' Cartoon strip from 1975 by the late Frank Bellamy. Drawn in pen and ink on artboard the piece features many of the artistic flourishes Bellamy was famed for.

DIMENSIONS: Approximately 54.5cm x 15.5cm.

ITEM DETAILS: The strip carries the date 10-10-75 in pen, in the top right corner, and the number J239 denotes that it is from 'The Bubble Man' series from that year (1975). Considering that the strip is over 43 years old it is in extremely good condition, being bright and clean with no staining, yellowing and only minimal wear to board corners (see photos). The pen-work is crisp and clear with only the odd pencil outline visible. It has the Daily Mirror copyright stamp on the back (see photos).
This auction is due to end  on 12 November 2018 and the bidding starts at £225.

The seller put up these images too which show the lovely detail

The last episode from this story that sold went for only £255 in March this year. I suy 'only' because I'm surprised that it didn't go for more!

The Bubble Man story has been reprinted in the following places:
  • Garth: The Bubble Man All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28 [No date]
  • Garth: The Bubble Man Spaceship Away Issue 19, October 2009, to Issue 23 March 2011 Coloured by John Ridgway
  • Daily Mirror Wednesday 9 November 2011 to Friday 30 December 2011 - Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: sweet4action
LOT #: 223215051163STARTING BID:£225
END DATE: 12 November 2018