Thursday 18 June 2009

Fans of Frank Bellamy: Mike Collins

Here's a new feature that I hope to add to occasionally

Mike Collins is a British artist who has successfully worked for DC, Marvel, Eclipse (I loved them!) and many more, as well as the famous UK comic 2000AD. He recently made a brilliantly visual comment about Frank Bellamy's art in the Garth strip:

"Frank Bellamy's art boiled my brain with its unbelievably dynamic energized art"

Taken from a (now-defunct and not archived in 2020) Alan Moore Senhor do Caos blog - which even if you don't know Portuguese, I'm sure you can translate

I plucked up the courage and emailed Mike a request to say more, and got this by return:

"I was stunned as a kid to see that artwork... it was odd things, like the way he'd draw an E Type Jag roaring down a country lane and make it look just the most dramatic thing you'd ever seen, or how he'd compose a battle scene which had you convinced you were seeing the whole of Little Big Horn or some Conquistadors getting the sharp end of his sword from horseback, or breathtaking alien or sea environments, all in these frankly tiny squares of art—and sometimes not even squares... Bellamy's brilliant design sense (which I loved on the Gerry Anderson stuff but was probably too young to realise it was the same guy) gave us panels which more resembled crazy paving images that only enhanced the kinetic drive of the work. Oh and, god, could he draw sexy women! He managed like no artist before or since to make that thin strip of art into cinescope in your head. I've worked on newspaper strips -notably Judge Dredd for three years-- and know just how hard it is to utilize that space into something eye catching and spectacular. Frank Bellamy did it with artistic verve that I can't get near for trying."

I am honoured to present this, and know that if he had said this to Bellamy himself, Frank would have replied in the same humble way about Mike's art, as he did with fans of his such as Sir William Russell Flint.

The pictures, in order, are taken from :
  • The Beautiful People K25 and K26 (one of the never reprinted stories)
  • The Beast of Ultor H50 and H51
Copyright Mirror Group Newspapers Limited

Thanks Mike for giving me an excuse to browse my Garths and fulfilling your desire to see one aspect of Garth, although you mentioned several!