Tuesday, 26 February 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds on eBay -TV21 #72 double page

Original artwork: Thunderbirds from TV21 #72

Reduced to £5000 (19 March 2019)
Reduced to £5850 (9 March 2019)
Reduced by £250 - now £6250 (5 March 2019)

There's another "Thunderbirds" episode by Frank Bellamy on eBay this time with a "Buy it now" price of £6,500 (or make an offer!)
The seller (d.g100) describes the piece like this:

TV Century 21 Issue 72 June 1966 Thunderbirds
Frank Bellamy Original Art
Very sad to let this one go
Includes great images or Thunderbirds 1 2 and 4
Signed by Bellamy
Colours still good and has all the original writing.  Please note the Thunderbirds title is a copy
Approx 65cm X 41cm
Available with conservation framing inc. Museum glass for collection
Post sent unframed
He or she appears to live in the Loughborough area for anyone that fancies picking it up with the "conservation framing". However I have to disagree that the colours are "still good", they're not bad but are somewhat faded. Compare the colours here to the other piece being currently auctioned and you'll see the difference, and here's the comic (with the usual proviso that comparing a scan of a comic with the original isn't exact) to make a comparison.

Scan of the comic as published TV21 #72
 But having said all that I was shocked how much was paid for artwork that appeared to me to be more faded than this example and it is one of the rarer double-page spreads!

Here are the other photos the seller has provided just for the record.


Thunderbirds - TV21 #72
WHERE?: eBay
Reduced to £6250 
Reduced to £5850
Reduced to £5000

Saturday, 16 February 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds and Garth from Bob Monkhouse Estate

Original art from the Bob Monkhouse collection
Thunderbirds from TV21 #131

I woke this morning to the announcement of three pieces of artwork produced by Frank Bellamy, in the latest (March 2019) Comic Book Auctions Limited  and from the estate of the late Bob Monkhouse. You might recall that the previous lots appeared in November last year. If you follow the link (or jump to my page where I keep sales records) you'll see they raised a fair amount of money. Will these go for more? "No-Predictions Norman", they call me!

Let's start with the headliner: From TV21 #131, this is the second episode from the story which ran in TV21 #130 - 136 (15 July 67 - 26 August 67) called the "Voyage of the President". It is described as:

Lot # 102:
Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1967) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 131, 1967
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
Fearing a rebel attack on the President super-ship Thunderbirds 1 keeps station but a rogue tanker is on collision course…
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins

I wouldn't call it a "rogue tanker" as Casta and Golan are deliberately aiming at the 'President'. Here's the page from TV21 so you can see how this page has retained the colour - remember children, do not hang your art on the wall! The sun is a killer as we've seen many times over the years. Bear in mind this is a scan of a printed page and nowhere as clear as the original art above!!

Thunderbirds from TV21 #131
The next lot I found interesting is Lot #92 which is a rare page from the serial "Brett Million" and this story was the only one illustrated by Bellamy, called "Ghost World". I've written about this before (and it's worth highlighting Steve Holland's brilliant index again). It appeared in Boy's World, a photogravure comic which ran the story from Volume 1:46 - 1:49 and continued into 2:1 - 2:17. (7 December 1963 -28 December 1963, 4 January 1964 -  25 April 1964). The lot is described:

Lot # 92:
Boy's World/Brett Million and the Ghost World original artwork (1963) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
From Boy's World Vol. 2: No 9. To save the ship Brett undergoes the life threatening risk of neural amplication [sic] - invisibility!
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 20 x 15 ins
Original art from Bob Monkhouse collection
Boy's World 29 Feb 1964 Vol.2:9
This, the 13th episode of the story, shows how Bellamy was using different colours for this strip, for some reason. The artwork may be a bit faded but the comparison below with the printed version shows similar colouring. Bellamy had a knack of making ships look very futuristic and alien! Here's a photo of my copy of the comic to compare.
Photo of the comic Boy's World 29 Feb 1964 Vol.2:9
The idea of accelerated time = invisibility appeared on my radar in Star Trek: The Original Series (as they call it now!) in the episode "Wink of an eye". This was aired first on 29 November 1968, so did Lee Coon the author of the story read British comics? I doubt it, but who knows?

Then we have the third offer which is of three consecutive Garth strips from the Daily Mirror.  "The Wreckers" story ran from 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974 and these three strips certainly show how Bellamy had a very good command of such a small space.

Garth: The Wreckers Episodes G304-306
One episode of the story of "The Wreckers" is held by the Cartoon Museum which will soon be open in its new location in London.

The lot is described thus:
Lot # 104:
Garth: 3 original consecutive artworks (1973) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 22-27 December 1973
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
Garth is trapped with Andromeda in Tallion's torture chamber…
Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (x3)
I'll update the spreadsheet with the sale prices as soon as they are published - thank you Malcolm!


Thunderbirds - TV21 #131
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
ENDING PRICE: £4750.00

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1320.00
END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Brett Million & The Ghost World
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1580.00

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Friday, 8 February 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Montgomery of Alamein on CAF and Battle Action

Original Art from Eagle 19 May 1962
(Thanks for Terry for permission to use this)

In a previous article I mentioned I think my favourite Bellamy strip is "Montgomery of Alamein" which appeared in Eagle from Volume 13:10 - 13:27 (10 March 1962 -7 July 1962).If you would all like to donate to my "Buy Norman a lovely bit of Bellamy" fund, Terry Doyle is selling a piece I would love.
Terry has an extensive gallery on ComicArtFans and the reason for writing about this to 1) make sure you're aware of CAF (where you can also see all the Bellamys that people have uploaded) and also 2) that Terry is selling one of his prize collection for £7,000. This also gave me an excuse to write about something I recently discovered. This would make this piece the most expensive Bellamy artwork sold to date (to my knowledge!) and before you react like a modern social media troll, this is a prime example kept in great condition and unfaded. To contact Terry, login to CAF and click on this link to his sale.

Battle Picture Weekly had a long history of changes, being a UK comic that existed in the time when UK comics' sales on newsstands were declining and mergers were all the rage. You can read more about it on Wikipedia. Why do I mention it? I found that some of the war stories Bellamy illustrated were 'borrowed' for this comic.

10 February 1979

Eagle Volume 13:14 7 April 1962

Look at the grey coloured panel on the left and compare it to the bottom image on Battle Action! The image of Rommel above the headline "Kill Rommel!" is a famous photograph of the German. And before we leave the above Eagle image, the soldier and the clock-face in the Eagle comic are about to make an appearance!
Battle Action 5 May 1979

The next one shows the outline of the word WAR. Bellamy used this in the first episode of "Montgomery"as you can see below. The artist on Battle Action seems to have taken inspiration from Bellamy even if the font and images inside it are not the same.
Battle Action 28 October 1978
There are several other covers scattered through the run that appear to be taken from photographic reference but that's all I could find that directly related to Bellamy. If you think you know better, please share with us!

Lastly as we are on the subject of the comic that brought us "Charley's War" and "Johnny Red" amongst others, the annual from 1976 contained a shot taken from Look and Learn - and yes! it's Bellamy again!

And here's the Look and Learn pages - crudely scanned and joined by me!
Look and Learn #452 15 September 1970

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