Monday 30 August 2010

Dez Skinn, Dave Gibbons and Frank Bellamy

Used with permission of Dez Skinn

You may not know but Dez Skinn has started a website in which he recounts the early days of UK fanzines and his early publishing ventures. He is one of few people who interviewed Frank Bellamy, taking as he explains, his backup, Dave Gibbons:

Dave Gibbons and I did the interview, going up to Frank and his wife Nancy’s semi-detached three bedroom house in Kettering, Northamptonshire one Saturday morning. There were two of us so Dave could cover any “tricky” art questions which may come up.

Frank was, as ever, a genial and self-effacing host, seemingly oblivious to his standing as one of the all-time greats of British comics. As we spoke, his enthusiasm was apparent, undiminished by time, he was still able to be excited over the smallest of things. One example he scurried away to proudly show us was a letter from America. An editor at DC Comics had written, asking if Frank would consider working for them. While most historians and fans would consider this a retrograde step in his career, Frank was thrilled at the thought.

Both Archie Goodwin and Marv Wolfman corresponded with Bellamy back in the early 70s and as the Daily Mirror reported Bellamy won the Foreign Comics Award of the American' Academy of Comic Books Arts, of which Goodwin was President in June 1972.
Daily Mirror (16 June 1972), p.11
"The Victor" by Anthony Delano

"FRANK BELLAMY, who draws the Daily Mirror's Garth strip, has been given the He was the only Briton to be nominated (he lives at Malden,[sic] Surrey ), and came ahead of all other, as seen from America, foreigners.
The award covers his work over the years, including the Dan Dare strip for the boys' magazine Eagle. It also-gave a nod to one cartoon he drew in the Eagle series, Heros the Spartan. The Academy displayed it at an exhibition in New York. It shows a massive battle scene with a cast of 200" 
Dez tells the story of how he auctioned some original Bellamy pieces at the 1971 comic convention (one of which is shown in an old photo), how Bellamy drew an original as a birthday present for Dez and how Bellamy dealt with lettering problems and the restrictions in drawing Garth

Head over there and read some fascinating original material about Bellamy from Dez

Friday 20 August 2010

Original Frank Bellamy art for sale: Thunderbirds

Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £3,726. This must be the most expensive Bellamy piece to date!

TV21 was going to finish in its first incarnation at number 242, but in issue 220 Bellamy was still producing lovely artwork. This story ran from TV 21 and TV TORNADO issues 218-226 (22/03/69 - 17/05/69). And as we have seen from the Reynolds and Hearn reprints, (the publisher's website seems to be down now!) the artwork delivered was extremely vibrant compared to the printed versions of the 60s even if in photogravure.

Front Cover TV21 220

Bellamy's 2 single pages (rather than the earlier double page spreads) are still full of action and great perspective.

Page 10 TV21 220

The second page of this story is now on the Comic Book Auctions site for previewing purposes. The auction will be opening soon - sign up for an email reminder

The scan on their site looks like this

Lot # 158:
Thunderbirds original artwork (1969) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV 21 No. 220
Thunderbird 2 lands near Project City and the giant Mole is deployed to bore through the concrete walls with Virgil and Brains at the controls.
But the walls are live - they’re being electrocuted...
Pelikan inks on board 18 x 14 ins


Glad to see Malcolm has realised Bellamy drew all his comic work (to my knowledge) in coloured ink! 

And finally here's the published version to compare (well, as best you can online!)

Page 11 TV21 220

As usual I will update this page when the piece is sold and price fetched announced

Happy Bidding - and tell Malcolm I sent you...he may send me a free catalogue, as I certainly can't afford to bid!