Monday, 4 October 2021

Fans of Frank: Owen Claxton (Part Two) - Frank's highlighting

"Thunderbirds" in TV21 219
White scraped off surface

Frank’s Highlights

Last time Owen Claxton told us about what inspired him in Frank Bellamy's artwork. This time he focuses on one aspect of Frank's technique. I've peppered the article with other examples where I know that Bellamy did NOT use any process white as the original art still exists

OWEN CLAXTON: Being an artist myself I’m always interested in how other artists approach their work and any quirky little tricks or tools they may employ to get certain effects. One aspect of FB’s technique that has intrigued me is how he did highlights without ever resorting to using process white, which is a simple, fast and effective way that many time-pressed illustrators would use. So I thought I would take a closer look. Disclaimer, I don’t have access to any Bellamy originals so this is based purely on viewing printed reproductions. [But lucky for you Norman does!]

"Fraser of Africa" Eagle 27 May 1961 (Vol.12:21)
An example of using ink over white board for highlights

It’s pretty clear that Frank never used process white for painting in highlights, in the Skinn/ Gibbons interview he clearly states that he didn’t like using it. In the same interview he also says the only masking technique he used was a piece of tape for giving a straight edge, no mention of any masking fluid.

In Timeview David Bellamy says his father would begin with a loose sketch in soft pencil without any preparatory work. A loose sketch rather than a tight one suggests to me that the final position of highlights was not decided at this stage. David goes on that Frank would start to ink with a dip pen on top of this loose sketch, building up the picture. 

This stage is where skill comes into play most of all, each pen mark carefully tightening up the initial sketch and providing the structure of the piece. Once this inking stage is over the position of the highlights would be suggested by the ink drawing. I doubt Frank would note their position in pencil as it’s most likely that all pencil would be rubbed out before adding the colour for fear of it showing through the translucent washes. So it must be as the colour inks go on that the final position of highlights is decided. Most of the time an artist can just carefully paint around the highlight with very light washes but there are occasions when this is not always possible. 

Look and Learn #452

If we look at the illustration of French soldiers (page 122 of The Art of Frank Bellamy and above) we can see that the background of fire, explosions and smoke is very loosely painted. However the bits of exploding shell on the left clearly cross over the loose splodges of red and brown ink. If Frank didn’t paint these curving marks over the top with a paler body colour then how did he do it? I can only think of two ways. 

"Montgomery of Alamein" Eagle 14 April 1962 (Vol.13:15)

Firstly while the ink was wet he used a damp cloth or even cotton wool to lift the colour off the board, he would have to work fast to do this to get the ink off before it dried. David Bellamy does state that his father worked at ‘fantastic speed’ and this may well be an approach that Frank used but it’s near impossible to get back to white doing it this way. [see "Montgomery" above ~Norman]

Which brings me to the second way, Frank let the inks dry and then scratched out the highlights with a razor. Now I’ve never used CS10 board but someone who has is Steve McGarry who writes: ‘The china clay surface accepts ink beautifully and mistakes can be scratched out with a razor blade without any feathering, so the art always looks pristine.’ My gut feeling, because I haven’t seen the original artwork, is that Frank used a combination of lifting and scraping to achieve these highlights. If anyone else has any further information or thoughts then I’d be interested to hear them. 


I gave this to David Jackson to have a look and he made some comments:

Some of the early romance - and that era - illustrations [c.1950-1952 ~Norman] have some indications of opaque paint but all later Bellamy art (where it isn't pencil/chalk type) is transparent colour washes of waterproof inks. As Owen has rightly deduced (some of this can be seen in the art) when the washes have completely dried on CS10 board it can be scraped away to the white surface. FB's scraped-back and rubbed-out effects were developed experimentally in black and white line and wash monochrome while still working on Swift. [King Arthur and Robin Hood ~Norman]. 

Thanks David. Paul Holder kindly sent me some of these images in better resolution than produced in the published versions. Looking at the character of Much the Miller in the tree, one can see scraped back elements in the branch, where it forks. 

In the image below that (of the Sheriff of Nottingham) we can see that emphasis has been placed on the gap between the front Norman rider and the one behind, by scraping or sanding the surface of the board. 


"Robin Hood" Swift, 23 June 1956 Panel #4

"Robin Hood" Swift, 23 June 1956Panel #3

And lastly in the two Thunderbirds images below,we see in the Thunderbird 3 image (from TV21 #217) not only white space left blank, but also scraping back to white (to emphasise the circular highlight on the body of TB3) and also the dabbing with cotton wool effect in the spray on the water. But as Paul mentioned, also look at the 'arm' and you'll see a yellow - orange colour in which Bellamy leaves some white for highlight - so confirming what Owen observed.  And in the Jovian Eye (TV21 #152) we can clearly see 'sanding' on the pupil.

"Thunderbirds" TV21 #217

"Thunderbirds" TV21 #152

I've always said I'm not an artist and shy from this sort of article which I know is of interest to many following the blog. So I'm very grateful to the above for so much help - Owen for being kind enough to write down the process he deduced; David for further help and thoughts as usual and Paul for most of the images and thoughts. This can not be done without you guys.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Frank Bellamy in Action comic

Eagle 21 April 1962

This is a quick blog article which shows one "Montgomery of Alamein" from Eagle Vol. 13 No. 16 - dated 21 April 1962 as reprinted in Action, an infamous comic published in the UK beginning 14 February 1976 (until 12 November 1977, with annuals continuing until Action Annual 1985!). It was Richard Sheaf and Paul Trimble who alerted me to this, for which I thank them. As Richard stated "you'll see that the images has been 'squashed' slightly for the Action cover. The tank wheels in both images are identical and the explosion is very much in the Bellamy style. In fact it was the explosion style tipped me off that this was Bellamy more than the tank wheels! Once I knew it was Bellamy that helped me narrow it down".

If you want to see all the (idetified so far) reprinted Bellamy artwork in Action and its later incarnation Battle Action, read my previous article

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Fans of Frank: Owen Claxton (Part One)

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times (3 July 1976 - 9 July 1976)
Doctor Who - The Planet of Evil

I received the following email recently from Owen Claxton -[before you search, much of his work is NSFW - links below]:

Firstly, I would like to thank and congratulate you on your work for the The Art of Frank Bellamy book. I’ve been a Bellamy fan ever since I bought the Timeview book as a young Doctor Who fan in the mid 80’s, I found that book so inspiring that I took up pen and ink drawing as a hobby. I persevered at drawing, went to art college and am now an artist myself. The recent book has given me much more info about the man, his methods, times he worked in as well as introducing me to more of his marvellous drawings, for which I’m very grateful!
He then went on to ask me about Bellamy's technique - I responded with part of the Skinn/Gibbons interview and, with hope in my heart, asked him if he'd like to write a piece for the blog on how Bellamy inspired him! So I present (in two parts) another in the series "Fans of Frank": Owen Claxton.

OWEN CLAXTON: When I started school it was quickly discovered that I was mildly dyslexic and I found learning to read and write a frustrating chore. Consequently I tended to cast aside books for comics where I could follow the story by ‘reading’ the pictures and picking up the odd word or phrase that I understood from the captions. I found it much easier to learn to read from these bite sized captions with a pictorial context than from the dense pages of text in books. Eventually I managed to progress onto the books from my favourite TV show of the time 'Doctor Who'. I also loved to draw, maybe when I grew up I could draw comics and book covers too.

Like all young Doctor Who fans of the late 70’s and early 80’s I avidly scoured bookshops for the Target "Doctor Who" novels, on the lookout for another missing title to add to my ever growing collection. The appeal of these books wasn’t just the fantastic adventures within but the sumptuous artwork on the covers. The often brooding portraits of The Doctors surrounded by monstrous alien creatures always stood out amongst the Enid Blyton’s, CS Lewis, Black Beauty and other seemingly more wholesome fare of the children’s section.


Andrew Skilleter cover

Jeff Cummins cover

I quickly began to recognise the styles of the various artists responsible for these alluring images, occasionally the artist would get a credit so I could put a name to a style. Jeff Cummins and Andrew Skilleter, were two that stuck in my memory, but my early favourite was Chris Achilléos. Achilléos employed a dot stipple black ink technique that fascinated me, as a typical child with no patience I couldn’t begin to imagine how long it would take to build up all those individual dots to make such accurate images. In short it seemed like magic. Reading in Doctor Who Monthly I discovered that Chris Achilléos had been asked to draw in a similar style of another artist, Frank Bellamy, I was intrigued- Frank who?

Radio Times 13-19 May 1972

In those pre-internet days there was no easy way to discover information about anything remotely ‘niche’, so I resigned myself to never hearing anymore about this mystery artist or ever seeing any of his work. Then again in DWM I read that the aforementioned Andrew Skilleter had set up a company called Who Dares to promote his striking airbrush work, also he planned to publish two art books of work by his own illustration heroes, Frank Bellamy and Frank Hampson. I was excited by this prospect, not only would I get to see Bellamy’s work but there was another mysterious Frank out there to discover too!

Frank Bellamy's son David wrote Timeview in 1985

I was 12 when Who Dares published Timeview- The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations of Frank Bellamy in 1985, I pestered my mum to order me a copy as soon as it came out. It did not disappoint. I was blown away by the artwork and pored over every one trying to work out what it was that made them so compelling. I discarded my pencils for a dip pen and tried to copy many of them. I scoured the excellent text by Frank’s son David for any clue as to how his father approached his work. There wasn’t much for a young learner to grab onto- ‘never used process white’, ‘never did meticulous tracings’, ‘liked to get the essence of a photograph’ but I took them to heart and decided that’s what I must do to improve my own drawings. I have Frank to thank for getting into good habits early on!

Chris Achilléos cover

The two major works in the book are of course the 'Day of the Daleks' Radio Times cover and the colour illustration for 'Terror of the Zygons'. Frank’s depiction of the Skarasen Loch Ness Monster on the latter is just fabulous. Although it is extremely unfair to compare it with Achilléos’ version for the Target cover of the same story, I find it unavoidable. Achilléos does wonders breathing life into what was a very clumsy and unconvincing TV model but it doesn’t look as if it could give you more than nasty bite on the leg. In contrast Frank’s Skarasen twists and rears ready to lunge down and tear its prey apart with huge razor sharp claws that break out from the background frame. In the original story this fearsome cyborg was supposed to be able to sink oil rigs, here that terrifying potential seems credible. Again it’s wrong to compare two artists, Frank has obviously been given a much freer hand by RT than Achilléos has by Target books, the latter has been told to stay as true to the images from the TV programme as possible and has discussed before his frustrations that such constraints caused him. I don’t remember the creature on TV having claws but their addition by Frank is a masterstroke. Gratitude must go to the RT art director [David Driver ~Norman] for allowing Frank a free hand. 

Radio Times (30 August 1975 - 5 September 75)
Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons

The beast is upon us, there seems no way of getting out of its way, with bloodlust in its eye and drool swishing from its mouth as it looms out of the darkness, The Doctor looks genuinely alarmed! Frank is a master of composition, here you have the Zygon spaceship blasting off upwards, the monster pushing forwards and to the right while in top right Tom Baker fixes us with his wide eyes, yet the whole drawing hangs together. The two rectangles of the background give stability but the way their edges are broken or sometimes left out stops them having a dulling effect and the jagged lightning border, the abstract shapes to Tom’s right and the zig-zagging wave of sea foam help to move the eye around the drawing and keep the two halves in harmony. 

Radio Times (1-7 January 1972)
Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

On the 'Day of the Daleks' cover he brilliantly uses negative space on the left to break up the square format, the strong diagonal of the speech bubble along with the foreground sucker arm breaking the right border adds dynamism and the circle, which is not drawn but painted in by colour alone, provides focus. The composition is so perfect you don’t notice that Jon Pertwee doesn’t appear to have any ears. [He had a lot of hair covering them -~Norman] Also, note the Dalek eye at the centre of the circle, a lesser artist such as myself would be tempted to add more detail to that which would be the wrong thing to do as it would pull focus and send The Doctor into the background. One of the hardest things for an artist to learn is economy- when to make a mark or to leave it out- it’s something that can only really come from experience and a lot of drawing. Beauty comes from simplicity. The more simply something can be drawn, the more beautiful it will be. There are never any unnecessary lines or marks in Frank’s work, if something like a Dalek eye can be convincingly suggested by just a black oval and a bit of flat cream colour then why add anything more? Something you see a lot of in his work is a half defined face, the other half being lost in shadow or bleached out by bright light or even cropped off entirely. This is economy, you only need half a face to read the expression and if you’ve got tight deadlines you don’t have time to render everything so you must decide what’s the simplest way to get the story across dramatically and effectively. Less is more, it allows the viewer to fill in the gaps with his or her own imagination.

With Frank as inspiration and the guidance of very supportive art teachers at school I managed to get myself into Edinburgh College of Art in 1991. By the early 90’s, 'Doctor Who' had finished, Target books were running out of stories to publish and no one at art school knew who Frank Bellamy was. Having come to the painful conclusion that no one, particularly girls, was impressed by my extensive knowledge of creaky old TV shows and now long dead illustrators, I decided to put such childish interests behind me and try to become a cultured and sophisticated grown up. At art college I immersed myself in the work of the old masters and various 'Art-isms' and I swapped drawing Daleks for nude models. There are many smug artists that will tell you the hardest thing to draw is the human figure, that’s because they’ve never tried drawing a Dalek! I was lucky enough to win a Scottish Education Trust Visual Arts award as a student (the Trust set up by the late Sir Sean Connery with the money he made from Bond) and since graduating I have worked as a freelance artist and occasional illustrator. I have never forgotten my debt to Frank Bellamy and Chris Achilléos for inspiring a young lad to start taking drawing pictures seriously.

Thanks so much Owen - good to know Frank is still inspiring people! 
Owen kindly sent me two images which are pertinent as they depict Doctor Who subjects:
Dalek Life Drawing Class - Owen Claxton

David Tennant as Doctor Who
by Owen Claxton
And I love his clock face Doctor Who but obviously 12 might limit the imagination! An alternative to Lee Sullivan's ever expanding "Usual Suspects"!
Twelve Doctors by Owen Claxton


[Part Two to follow shortly]

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Home Notes revisited


Home Notes 8 February 1953

Home Notes was a magazine for which Frank Bellamy produced 'head shots', i.e. a man and a woman engaged in conversation or giving each other the cold shoulder. In an interview he stated that after getting connected with International Artists - the agency who represented him - he got "two love story illustrations for Home Notes, a woman's magazine," as well as commissions for other magazines such as Boy's Own Paper, Lilliput and Men Only.

I thought I'd found all Bellamy's art in this magazine but as usual, one can never close down a search! Shaqui, a fellow researcher, recently tripped over another Home Notes illustration and took a quick picture for me. I'll upload a better one should I ever own one, but until then....

I've added the details to the Checklist:

HOME NOTES (8 February 1952)
"Night of Terror" by Mary James

  • p.27 B&W page illustration "'Shivering with fright, I knew someone was behind me. I screamed...'". - see Article
    Home Notes 8 February 1953


Sunday, 22 August 2021


Life Study - side view seated

Which would you rather have? A fur coat or three Bellamy original artworks? 

Someone contacted me recently having discovered the blog (let's call her "jen_jen33", for reasons you'll soon discover). She let me know she owned three artworks by Frank Bellamy. But what was fascinating was the story of how she came by them. Like a lot of us, we've seen our parents' homes sold for care costs. She inherited the pictures on this page and let me know how her mother received them back in the late 70s. 

"jen_jen33" said: "I have just inherited these from my Mum who was given them by Frank's wife in exchange for a fur coat in the 70s.  They both lived in Geddington, Northants". She went on to tell me, "My mother was an art (and fashion) teacher in Kettering, but lived in Geddington where Nancy did.  And yes, I think you must be right, the fur coat/picture exchange probably happened in the late 70s.

"jen_jen33"has decided to part with the life study shown here but to keep the two Garth strips which she has kindly shared with me/us! The life study is now on ebay. It has already has a bid for £100. It's described as:

Frank Bellamy original signed life drawing from 1970s. In perfect condition. Frank Bellamy 1970s life drawing.  Excellent condition and framed properly.   Was a gift from artist's wife.

The two Garth strips - which I repeat are NOT for sale - are from two stories:

Garth: Freak out to Fear" - H202

H202 is from "Freak Out to Fear" story which ran which ran in the Daily Mirror (6 June 1974 - 27 September 1974 #H132-H227)

Garth: "The Bride of Jenghiz Khan" H240

H240 is from "Bride of Jenghiz Khan" which ran in the Daily Mirror (28 September 1974 - 14 January 1975 #H228-J11)

Thanks again to jen_jen33 for being so kind to allow me to share this fascinating story.


WHERE?: eBay
WHO?: jen_jen33
END DATE: Sunday 29 August 2021

Thursday, 12 August 2021

ORIGINAL ART: Various garth strips from Comic Book Auctions Limited

Garth: The Wreckers G287 + G296

This time's auction from Compalcomics features multiple Frank Bellamy originals from the Daily Mirror strip "Garth". The listings are at both Compalcomics and TheSaleroom

GARTH: The Wreckers: G287 and G296

Lot 106 is described as:

Garth: 'The Wreckers' two signed original artworks (1973) by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 3/13 December 1973. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins (2)
This story is the one that sent me down a rabbit hole of discovery of the differences between the Daily Record in Scotland and the Daily Mirror in England (and presumably wales and Northern Ireland?). These are two nice examples of bellamy's composition and how he'd use the space he felt was needed - borders and no borders; shadow backgrounds etc.

GARTH: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan: H261

Garth: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan H261
 Lot 108 is described as 

Garth: 'Bride of Jenghiz Khan' original signed artwork (1974) by Frank Bellamy for the D Mirror 6 November 1974. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins

I love the foreground vultures in this strip, "The Tower of the Vultures" Jim Edgar, the writer of these strips certainly had imagination and probably heard of the Tibetan practice of sky burials - but Garth and his bride are not yet dead! 

GARTH: The Angels of Hell's Gap: J58 + J59

Garth: The Angels of Hell's Gap: J58 + J59

 Lot 112 - I love this story but won't be bidding for these consecutive episodes.  I always felt this story (and Ghost Town) had a freedom and joy about the drawing - and westerns were one of Bellamy's favourite topics to handle.  

Garth: 'The Angels of Hell's Gap' two original consecutive artworks (1975) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the D Mirror 12/13 March 1975. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins (x2)
I suspect there are others who love this story so it will be interesting to see how much this goes for. 

GARTH: The Beautiful People: K35

Garth: The Beautiful People: K35
This is a nice piece for those who like scuba diving ...or just looking at how Bellamy handles waves and water!

Garth: 'The Beautiful People' signed original artwork (1976) by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 11 February 1976. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins
As usual I'll add these to the spreadsheet and below when the results come in. I'm curious to see whether the highlight of "The Art of Frank Bellamy" illustrators Special makes a difference and reminds people who this great artist was. [end of book plug]


GARTH: The Wreckers: G287 and G296
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 29 August 2021

GARTH: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan: H261
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 29 August 2021

GARTH: The Angels of Hell's Gap: J58 and J59
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 29 August 2021

GARTH: The Beautiful People: K35
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 29 August 2021

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

The Art of Frank Bellamy: Illustrators Special #11 IT'S PUBLISHED!!!!

"A unique British trailblazer"

The Art of Frank Bellamy (Illustrators Special #11) Front Cover

In March 2020, I got a phone call while walking in my local town. I ducked down an alleyway to be able to hear Geoff West of Book Palace, (I'm not as young as I used to be and that background noise of traffic is hard work!). He asked me if I fancied writing an Illustrators Special on ......Frank Bellamy! Some of you may know I've been part of the Illustrators team in a minor way since about issue 3. Now issue 34 of this quarterly 'bookazine' has just been published as well as, along the way, eleven Special issues focussing on a topic or artist! (you can see a full listing here). 

But the focus today is on the Frank Bellamy Special

"Robin Hood" from Swift Vol. 3:25 (23 June 1956)

The work includes a page introduction by Oliver Frey, who I have quoted at the head of this article, who also explains how Bellamy was truly British, with no influence from America or Europe (which I liked and suspect Bellamy would too!). 

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #115

Then you get an overview of Bellamy's life and career from the start to the end, written from scratch by yours truly. I decided this would be a great opportunity to discipline myself into focussing on essential information only - not everyone cares that Frank and Nancy were great lovers of all things Spanish and took a trip there in May 1959, taking in the southern region of Andalucía! I double-checked all my facts - as this is likely to be the longest biography of Frank Bellamy for a while, depending on who takes up the baton! Experience taught me that many errors slip into narratives about the artist over time, so I was extra careful!

"The Winged Avenger" from "The Avengers" TV series

We managed to get a load of scans of original artwork - and here I have to say a HUGE thank you to Paul Holder and many others too numerous to repeat here, but who are listed in the book. If they hadn't come forward, the work would be full of work scanned by me from my collection of books and magazines, tears, thumbed pages and all! I've sampled some work here, but the print versions are at a higher resolution which you can't appreciate until you see it! You will see loads of things not seen before- even on this blog - which illustrate how Bellamy was so talented, flexible, imaginative and inspirational.

"The Doomsmen" - Garth J161

Lastly I re-wrote this website's listing of Frank's work so you can have a bibliography of his works which fits legibly on three pages due to the brilliant designer who put this all together, Diego Cordoba - thanks Diego for being so amenable to design suggestions. 

Portakabin (4 sided 2 page colour advertising brochure)
I got my copy this morning and thought, although "un-boxing" is fashionable, I'd just do a flick through in my back garden, thus the birds, kids and car noises! Book Palace have one on the Art of Frank Bellamy page which gives a great overview, click on Take a Peek

And finally here's the back cover. Any other variants you've seen only exist electronically as early drafts! Yes, including the one with my name in a speech bubble!

Here's the true back cover:

The Art of Frank Bellamy (Illustrators Special #11) Back Cover

August 2021: Page 3: Oliver Frey says: 
"My first exposure to this exciting world of adventure was in late 1956 when, as a boy of eight, just arrived from Switzerland and with no grasp of English, I leafed through a copy of Eagle. It was a turning point in my life, and Frank Bellamy’s work proved seminal to my own career in illustration".

The reference to "1956" implies that FB was seen in Eagle when he actually started in October 1957. Prior to that, he was drawing in Swift [DJ]

August 2021: Page 28 Caption: 

"This is early Bellamy, before he started using stippling, but was still the work of an accomplished artist"

In fact he used stippling in the first frame of the first episode of "Monty Carstairs" and further developing practically in weekly episodes from then on. [DJ]

August 2021: Page 96:

Other opportunities were presenting themselves and one such commission enabled Bellamy to contribute an unusual villain to the TV series The Avengers. The episode in question was titled, ‘The Masked Avenger’ and revolved around Emma Peel and John Steed investigating a series of ruthless murders of businessmen who, unusually, are killed by a comic character come to life—the Winged Avenger

Of course this should read 'was titled 'The Winged Avenger' [DJ]

August 2021: Page 142: Bibliography:

The Thunderbirds listing starts part way through, not from the series beginning [DJ]. It should read:

‘Heros the Spartan: The Slave Army’ Eagle (27 February 1965- 24 July 1965)

  1. ‘Thunderbirds: Forest Inferno’ TV Century 21 (15 January 1966 - 26 February 1966)
  2. ‘Thunderbirds: White Rhino Rescue’ TV Century 21 (5 March 1966 - 16 April 1966)
  3. ‘Thunderbirds: Shoot Down the TC193’ TV Century 21 (23 April 1966 - 4 June 1966)

‘Thunderbirds: The Atlantic Tunnel’ TV Century 21 (11 June 1966 - 13 August 1966)

My wife gave me wonderful feedback on the Special and mentioned these typos:

  • p. 10 "as he was soon hard at work producing paintings"
  • p.19 "The very first place he saw was Bride Lane and on his list was Norfolk Studio, Bride Lane"
  • p.82 "When he picked up the phone to enquire whether or not Bellamy would be available to illustrate Stingray, it was with the certain knowledge"
  • p.94 "‘The Atlantic Tunnel’ allowed Bellamy to make full use of the visual acreage afforded by the double-page spread format"
  • p.104 "Bellamy’s usual attention ensured the art was always underpinned with the correct historical detail."
  • p.106 - Two occurrences of Radio Times not being completely italicised
  • p.114 "as the train rattled back to on its journey west."
  • p.114 "Eventually the logistics proved too much"
  • p.114 "Asked about what the responsibilities"

Thanks darling!




Frank Bellamy is an artist whose work reflects much of the century that he inhabited. Born a year before the end of the First World War, his art documented an age of conflict, exploration, technological advancement, social change and an age which could envisage worlds as yet undiscovered as well as worlds long departed deep beneath the sands of time.

His story follows the course of many of his contemporaries, a driven determination to secure a living as a illustrator, bolstered by sporadic exposure to art tuition, stints in a provincial studio “learning on the job”, and the “pilgrimage to London” and more specifically Fleet Street, which in the 1950s was a veritable Mecca for aspiring illustrators.

What makes Bellamy's story so particular is his development into a pre-eminent graphic artist. (Robin Hood, King Arthur, Heros the Spartan, Montgomery, Churchill, Fraser of Africa, Thunderbirds and Garth.)

From a relatively staid and unremarkable (yet highly competent) artist to a ground-breaking master of the comic strip, his rise to fame presents not just a fascinating tale about his life and work but also the story of UK comics from what was a golden age through to the influencing of the next generation of comic artists—and creatives in other fields—who would succeed him.

Typical of those who fell under Bellamy's spell is Oliver Frey who graces this edition with his introduction to the work of Frank Bellamy.

More like a book than a magazine, illustrators is the art quarterly devoted to the finest illustration art ever published. It guides you through the stories behind the artists and their art, with features written by some of the leading authorities on this important art form.

As well as building into an indispensable reference library, illustrators gives readers an insight into the creative process, from idea to sketch to painting, and from painting to the image seen by millions.

Truly fabulous artwork abounds in every issue, much of the art taken from scans of the original work.

This illustrators Special Edition limited to just 1000 copies worldwide. A Book Palace Books publication.

Authors: Norman Boyd, Oliver Frey (intro)
Artist: Frank Bellamy
Publisher: Book Palace Books, July 2021
Number of pages: 144
Format: Soft Cover; Full Colour illustrations
Size: 9" x 11" (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9781913548087

Buy here: The Art of Frank Bellamy (UK) (USA)