Saturday, 31 August 2013

Frank Bellamy and Doctor Janet Brown

This is going to be a very short know as much as I do about this.....I promised a new discovery of a piece from Bellamy, and here it is.

Doctor Janet Brown
Jeff Haythorpe, who has kindly shared so much artwork over the 13 years that I've been doing this research on Bellamy, just popped this into my inbox with no more clue than I had.

The word balloons say "So at last - Doctor Janet Brown - aren't you pleased?" with two name plaques - one with Dr. D. A. Brown and one with Doctor Janet Brown. Is this a husband and wife practice? An article on conquering sexism? A story of a country General Practice?

The three portraits look as if they might have been 'spotted' throughout an article/story, but the panel looks so like a comic panel that I half think it is too unusual for a romance magazine....but I have no idea really. I have no records to match anything here. The style looks very like the Monty Carstairs era, i.e. 1953.

I asked David Slinn (who worked in UK comics during the 50s and 60s) what he thought, and he replied:

"As I’m sure you’ve come across in researching magazines and newspapers of the early 1950s, small line portraits of the main characters were dotted about the text (even repeated during the run of a serial), either with or without a main illustration; or little vignettes of “typical professions” appeared in advertisements."

So there you go. Does anyone know anything about this? Let me know.

And for no other reason than I mentioned the Monty Carstairs strip from Mickey Mouse Weekly, here's an arbitrary page from 21 November 1953 just because it looks so good!

Monty Carstairs from Mickey Mouse Weekly 21 November 1953

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Frank Bellamy and "Cover Story: Radio Times at 90"

Cover Story: Radio Times at 90
at the Museum of London

I spent a delightful day with my wife and 24 year old son walking the streets of London as we headed to the Radio Times at 90 exhibition which is on until 3 November 2013 and is free to visit. Where? The wonderful Museum of London.

The Museum's exhibition page (from which the above picture is taken) states:

From iconic covers and Doctor Who, to historic broadcasts and never-before-seen BBC archives; the Museum of London is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Radio Times. The exhibition charts the history of the British weekly TV and radio listings publication and its close association with the history of broadcasting in Britain. Highlights include original Radio Times covers, a 1920s Marconi valve radio and a 50th anniversary display for Doctor Who, which has been a regular in the Radio Times since 1964.

What's the connection with Bellamy? Well, I was contacted with a query a few months ago, about whether I knew anyone who owned an original Bellamy Radio Times illustration. I don't know how the organizers decided who to talk to or which artwork of those I know I suggested they might use, but one collector's piece ended up in the exhibition.

The covers on the top row, you can just about see here, are reproductions and Doctor Who, unsuprisingly in this the 50th anniversary year, gets a space of his own. I don't want to spoil all your fun by showing you all the pictures I took with my Samsung Galaxy Ace but the big drawing in the middle is bound to get die-hard Dalek fans excited. But for me, I was there for Bellamy art. The two pieces at the bottom right hand corner are both by Bellamy.  Here are two more photos taken in far from perfect lighting conditions.

Radio Times (16/12/1972 - 29/12/1972)
Doctor Who and the Sea Devils [Omnibus edition], p.82

Radio Times (30/08/1975 - 05/09/75)
Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons, p.17

There's not much original art in the exhibition, but those by Mark Thomas (the "Singing Detective" and the very recent "Call the midwife") are gorgeous as well as the laughing cat cover for the 'Humor' edition of 1936 by John Gilroy (who also did famous Guiness adverts) and a Nevinson original too. But I loved the Reinganum art too. I have always suspected that Bellamy was inspired by him. Their work appeared in similar places, such as Lilliput, and of course the Radio Times and both had a graphic design approach in my opinion. Unfortunately there's not a lot about him on the Net, thus ensuring I have another artist for my little retirement projects!

Here are his Daleks:
Reinganum's Daleks from Radio Times (9 June 1969)

If none of this has persuaded you to visit the Museum how about you can take your photo with a Dalek

And I haven't said a word about how really interactive the exhibitions are and how easy to walk from Liverpool Street the Museum is.

Other articles on the exhibition