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

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT
Brett Million & The Ghost World
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.

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