Sunday, 16 January 2011

Recent references to Bellamy



This time's blog is about Bellamy's appearances in the media this Christmas - yes I know that's impossible but it's my way of highlighting that Bellamy, although no longer with us, is still being mentioned by lots of people in one way or another

MIKE TRIM: Designer of many Gerry Anderson vehicles

In 1964, young Mike Trim answered a newspaper advertisement seeking modelmakers for a film production crew and began an odyssey that would last for more than 40 years. Beginning in the final days of Stingray, Trim would work as a modelmaker and designer for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's television series Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, The Secret Service, and UFO, as well as their feature films Thunderbirds are Go, Thunderbird 6, and Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (a.k.a. Doppleganger).
Starting out in the model shop, Mike eventually became Special Effects director Derek Meddings' assistant in designing the fabulous futuristic vehicles, buildings, and look of the Andersons' imaginitive series. Eventually, he would take on the bulk of design work for the series as Meddings became more involved in feature films.
Contributing a single (unused) vehicle design and model to Space: 1999, Trim then moved into freelance illustration, creating an iconic cover painting for one of the best selling albums of all time; Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds, in 1978. Today, Mike is a freelance illustrator and conceptual designer for film and television. He lives in the south of England.
Taken from his website http://www.miketrimart.com/index.html

The website is well worth exploring. But let me point you to YouTube where "ACthelegend" has uploaded many of his films from last year's Fanderson convention. He says about Trim "he's a really nice guy" and gave me permission to link to his video. The video is worth watching (as are the others listed) but the reference to Frank Bellamy starts at 3 minutes 35 seconds. I've transcribed it below (so if I ever need it I can search for it on my PC).

INTERVIEWER:"You're a big fan of Frank Bellamy's artwork..."
MIKE: "Yes indeed"
INTERVIEWER: "What was it like reading the Thunderbird stories in TV21 and Captain Scarlet - especially with your designs in there?"MIKE: "Again that's quite weird, seeing someone else doing your designs. For me [one of my great regrets was that] Frank Bellamy did come into the studio with the original first spreads of Thunderbirds and I did meet Frank very briefly and I would have so loved to have sat down and had a chat with him. Having sat as a lad looking at his comic strips, it wasn't just the Dan Dare strip, which he also did [reference to earlier part of the interview on Hampson's creation] but he did strips before that which were absolutely brilliantly drawn, he just had this dynamic style that was superb, but I never got the opportunity but he carried that on through and the thing that struck me was none of the strips that he'd done before really ever called Frank to venture into the realms of science fiction"

JOHN COOPER: Fellow TV21 artist

The second piece was published by Terry Hooper in his interview with John Cooper (a fellow TV21 artist) on the interesting ComicBitsOnline

TERRY: I just realised there is a question I should have asked you earlier - has anyone influenced you great –art-wise- in comics and why?
JOHN: I always admired Frank Bellamy in comics. The man was a genius.

Unfortunately he says no more on the matter, but again shows Bellamy is far from forgotten.


EAGLE: THE SPACE AGE WEEKLY

Thirdly, many mailing lists and blogs mentioned the rather excellent programme over Christmas Eagle: The Space Age Weekly which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 23rd December 2010. I managed to capture the comment on Bellamy within the predominantly Hampson programme (fair enough!) where Tim Curry says:

"Frank Bellamy, who inherited Dan Dare after Frank Hampson left, drew the gripping 'Heros the Spartan' about a Roman warrior. With his attention to fine detail Bellamy was as great a perfectionist as Frank [Hamspon]"

The programme was written by Roger Dobson and is produced by Stephen Garner and featured among others David Britton who produced the wonderful Eagle Exhibitions for the Eagle Society a few years back, one of which, in Northampton, featured a talk on Frank Bellamy by Paul Holder. This review by Steve Winders sums up my opinion of the programme nicely

THE SECRET LIFE OF BOB MONKHOUSE
Lastly for now in this catchup on Bellamy's appearances I hope you all saw the wonderful bio/documentary on Bob Monkhouse, a well known Bellamy collector. BBC Four broadcast this 90 minute documentary "The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse" on Monday 3 January 2011. A nice review can be found at Suite101: Television Review: The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse  The interesting thing for me was the fact that in one dolly shot through a corridor we see original art (which was not, to my recollection, mentioned at all) and clearly visible are three framed Garths by Bellamy from the first Sundance story. He also had to my knowldge a wealth of Thunderbirds and other Bellamy art.

Perhaps we'll see this hit the market one day - but better still wouldn't it be great to see his work hanging in a public area for all to enjoy.


2 comments:

Unknown said...

Re the Bob Monkhouse documentary, Bob was a huge fan of Frank Bellamy and was asked by his widow Nancy to officially open a Garth exhibition in Frank's home town of Kettering a few years after his death. I was the local journalist who covered this event and being a fan myself, I attempted to buy some of the artwork myself prior to the opening, only to discover that all the best pieces had already been snapped up by Monkhouse!

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks for taking the time to write again Tony. Yes, money talked back then as it does now.