Saturday 18 July 2009

Frank Bellamy and Apollo 11 Moon landing

I personally have been extremely pleased to see all the programmes on the Apollo 11 Moon landing as I watched the whole thing as much as I could at the time - live. Admittedly it's great to see the crystal clear photos now compared to the grainy quality of the film we watched, but nevertheless, a wonderful positive uplifting achievement. All kids of that era wanted to be astronauts (including girls - way before their time!) and all have a story about watching the moon missions. Mine is simple and dedicated to Mr. Furnell, a wonderful Primary School headteacher who was a visionary. He said in the assembly of the morning of July 20th 1969 we could all appear in the morning tired or even not attend school, as we might want to watch the whole thing as it was a once in a lifetime thing! Imagine how powerful that was at the age of 11! He was also the guy who read BB's books and Tolkien to the class.

Anyway you're here for Bellamy not me! What did Bellamy have to do with this - simple! In the Daily Mirror dated 11 July 1969, Bellamy illustrated it! Mirrorscope was the name of the centre pages of the Daily Mirror which covered a single topic. On this occasion it was the future (10 days in the future) moon landing. He had been illustrating the space adventures of Thunderbird 3 and 5 for TV21, but this was something else. I remember turning the page in my Daily Mirror and seeing a great small picture in the middle of the page - there was Bellamy, fantastic!

But then, I turned the page again!

Pages 14-15, the middle pages, had the whole tabloid centrespread taken up with Bellamy art. (please forgive my crude copy - one day I'll master Photoshop and get these scans to join properly and look better).

Alan Davis has a copy of a rough sketch of the Lunar Module by Bellamy on his interesting website. He also has a cleaned up copy of the above picture. The excitement of following Armstrong's first walk and Aldrin's photos and thinking about the loneliness of Mike Collins in orbit were stirring stuff. Seeing Frank Bellamy illustrate the event...from down here, was stunning!

As a footnote to this, the same Daily Mirror actually mentions Bellamy on page 11:
Space craft

Readers of today's Mirrorscope who feel they have seen the drawings for the 'Footsteps On The Moon' feature somewhere else a long time ago are in good company. They gave the artist the same I've been here before feeling.

Frank Bellamy first blasted of into Space ten years ago when he did a stint, of drawing for that excellent comic strip Dan Dare, which was created by Frank Hampson. Bellamy did only about a year on Colonel Dare's staff but has been in orbit With various science-fiction strips almost ever since.

The Mirrorscope drawings are the first Bellamy has done from fact (as opposed to imagination). He is rather pleased to find that over the years he has guessed so close to the scientists. " In fact." he says. " I found myself tempted to put in speech balloons for Mirrorscope."

A nice way to end a blog entry!

No comments: