Tuesday, 21 May 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Bob Monkhouse Estate: Thunderbirds, Garth and Dan Dare

Original art from the Bob Monkhouse collection
Thunderbirds from TV21 #105

I apologise for the quiet that has descended on this blog. Various life events occurred, the latest of which was my stupidity in lifting railway sleepers (used as raised beds in our garden) by myself and thus damaging my back! I'm recovering and doing my gentle exercises, but can I remind you all, be careful of your back... seriously!

Anyway better things. It's Frank Bellamy's birthday. The more I look at his artwork, the more I am amazed at how this self-taught man moved from a provincial advertising studio in Kettering to another in London before going on to a long career in comics and illustration week in, week out. His use of space in constricted newspaper strips was incredible - even to look at today and his full colour double page spreads still leave me wanting more!

In the latest (May/June 2019) Comic Book Auctions Limited  we have again some artwork released from the estate of the late Bob Monkhouse. By the way, watch him on YouTube in his final performance and remind yourselves what a great comic he was!)

Let's start chronologically with Dan Dare

Eagle 9 April 1960 (Vol.11 No 15)
The printed version
I wrote about how Wally Wood used some of this page (in an article on Al Williamson) and here it is up for auction! Monkhouse looks to have stored his stuff very well and this very unique piece is likely to have started fading before he got it, in my opinion. The printed version above is too saturated in blue and therefore is not a great comparison but I thought might be of interest!


This piece is described as:
Dan Dare original artwork painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for The Eagle Vol. 11, No 15 page 2 (9 April 1960)
Dan and Pierre blast off in Nimbus Two in search of the wreck of her sister ship
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
Pelikan inks on board. 17 x 13 ins
£1,200-1,500
It appeared in the third, and last Dan Dare story Bellamy part illustrated in Eagle, "Project Nimbus" - appearing in Vol. 11:12 - 11:28 (19 March 1960 - 9 July 1960) and it's amazing to see this piece become available.   

The second item up for auction in chronological order was produced by Bellamy in  1967 (see the top of this article)

Comic Book Auctions Limited describes this:
Thunderbirds original double page artwork (1967) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 105, 1967
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
Carrying a priceless shipment, Deathprobe 1's controls are jammed and the pilot is refused permission to abort ... Thunderbirds 2 and 3 are go ...
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins
£2,500-3,500
In the photos Nancy Bellamy shared with us, there was a photo of the cover of a magazine called Photography (May 1966). The same image was used on the Hotspur Annual of 1967 (dated 1968). Did Bellamy use it for reference for this Thunderbirds strip?
 
The Hotspur Annual 1968
Lastly we have also got three Garth strips from the story "The Mask of Atacama"  which ran originally in the Daily Mirror from 13 July 1973 - 25 October 1973 (#G165-G254). These are beautiful and show exactly what I meant by his use of such restricted space. Why Malcolm photographed them in the wrong order I don't know, but three consecutive numbers are up for grabs!

Garth #G238, G239, G240

Garth: 3 original consecutive artworks (1973) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 6-9 October 1973
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
High priestess, Tiahuaca, sets a fiery trap for Garth and Atacama …
Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (3)
£700-900
I suspect these will go further than the estimate (as will the ones above!), and I'll update the spreadsheet with the sale prices as soon as they are published - thank you Malcolm!

And because we are celebrating Frank Bellamy's birthday here's an added bonus from the brilliant Menomonee Falls Gazette (#181), some episodes before the ones above and including them too!




AUCTION SUMMARY

Dan Dare
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
STARTING BID:£1080.00
ENDING PRICE: £

END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 14:54 BST

Thunderbirds - TV21 #105
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
STARTING BID:£2250.00
ENDING PRICE: £
END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 15:26 BST
Garth: The Mask of Atacama
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
STARTING BID:£640.00
ENDING PRICE: £
END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 15:27 BST

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

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

Original artwork: Thunderbirds from TV21 #72

UPDATE: 
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.





AUCTION SUMMARY

Thunderbirds - TV21 #72
WHERE?: eBay
BUY IT NOW:
£6,500.00 
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
£1,800-2,300

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
£1,200-1,500
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)
£600-800
I'll update the spreadsheet with the sale prices as soon as they are published - thank you Malcolm!


AUCTION SUMMARY

Thunderbirds - TV21 #131
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
STARTING BID:£1620.00
ENDING PRICE: £4750.00

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
STARTING BID:£540.00
ENDING PRICE: £1320.00
END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Brett Million & The Ghost World
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
STARTING BID:£1080.00
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!




AUCTION SUMMARY
WHERE: eBay 
SELLER: sjcmac 
STARTING BID:£700 for two pieces
ENDING PRICE: £1332.00
NO. OF BIDS: 8
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

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


LYONS MAID SPACE 1999 



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