Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Thunderbirds unpublished art for TV21 & Joe90

Shaqui has pointed out to me that I have omitted a piece of work that Jeff Haythorpe showed him. I'm ashamed to admit I did know about this already and had indeed left it out of my listing. This allows me the opportunity to tell you about it.

Frank Bellamy drew Thunderbirds in assorted formats for the comic TV21. He started by creating a double page spread in colour with an additional page in black and white halftones for the first 14 episodes. He then dropped the black and white page and completed a weekly colour centrespread for 76 episodes. Reproduction of these centrespreads was difficult in the international market and from issue 141 he created two separate colour pages. This method carried on for 102 more episodes until TV21 merged with Joe90 after which Bellamy drew, for issue 1 one page in colour, for issue 2, 2 pages of colour and finally for issues 3 and 4 he drew his first Thunderbird pages in black and white (x2)

At this point in 1969, Alan Fennell the editor of TV21 could see the writing on the wall and encouraged Bellamy, who quite frankly must have been really fed up with Century 21 Ltd to jump the sinking ship. Fennell let him know that Century 21 would no longer be publishing TV21 from 2nd of June 1969. The editorial packages would be passed to City Magazines Ltd who nominated Mart Press to fill the pages. Bellamy, who must have been very frustrated with the changes in formats during 4 weeks, went on to lucrative work with the Sunday Times, Look and Learn, Radio Times and then moved to the prestigious work on Garth, the daily strip at the Daily Mirror

However, the story does not end there. Bellamy seems to have produced one more black and white page of Thunderbirds. Jeff Haythorpe, one of the many kind souls to display their collection of original art on ComicArtFans.com, has in his collection a copy of the Thunderbirds shown below.

Shaqui tells me that the story Bellamy started to illustrate here appears so similar to that of TV21 & Joe90's issue 35 that the script must have been put on the shelf for a later date after Bellamy had left the comic.

Does anyone want to add anything to this?


I have added this to the Unpublished Bellamy listing

***ADDITION****
I have just been tidying up and found I actually have TV21 & Joe 90 New Series No. 35
So here is the awful version of the same story for you to compare with the Bellamy. John Tracy appears over the page, but I couldn't be bothered to scan that too!

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