Tuesday 24 May 2011

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Beautiful People

Another eBay sale for you to have a look at. This is a really lovely example of Bellamy's work. Click on the seller's name below for the eBay description

© Daily Mirror

To quote phUKone, the seller:

From the story 'The Beautiful People' from 1976. Code K23.

Artwork is absolutely pristine and is drawn much larger than the printed size. Artwork panels measure 135mm x 520mm. Signed with his distinctive signature and drawn on heavyweight CS10 board. The blacks are very dense, having been inked over many times - sometimes as many as eight - to give the density of black that he required. Hopefully the photos give some idea but obviously can't compare to the original.

UPDATE: Sold for £110.00 (May 2011) with 1 bids

Saturday 21 May 2011

Happy Birthday Frank - More life studies

Life study (Thanks to Paul Vyse)

If you click on this previous post's link, you'll see a few life studies. I have been fortunate to receive a few photos by kind people of their copies of life studies, so thought I'd add to the blog for all to see. And especially as today would have been Frank's 94th birthday and I have a suspicion he enjoyed this part of his work! My thoughts are with Nancy his widow (who will be 89 herself this August) as I'm sure she'll remember today. She's been unwell recently, and a few fans have been visiting and reporting back  We wish you well Nancy.

Life study (Thanks to Paul Vyse)

The two studies were sent to me by Paul Vyse who also owns a Radio Times piece - very beautiful - coming up in a later blog entry. If you're following the reprints of Garth in the Daily Mirror you'll be seeing how Bellamy used his experience of life studies! I must say again that I am enjoying following the newly coloured adventures day by day. The reproduction of Martin Baines' colouring, has certainly got better! Although John Ridgway's colouring is printed on superior paper in Spaceship Away, I also enjoy having newsprint in my hands

The following studies were sent to me after I contacted  Peter Labrow (Author of The Well), as he mentioned on Twitter that he owned a couple of pieces. Peter has an interesting Kindle production on Amazon UK  or Amazon US and can be contacted via his website

Interestingly the first one below (the model holding a chair back),  has a name on the reverse "The model's name is on the back of this one - Angela Mansi - as is the date 22/2/65" which is useful as this confirms that Bellamy was participating in life classes at the Studio Club in Piccadilly at that time.

Thanks to Peter Labrow

Many thanks again top Paul and Peter

Sunday 15 May 2011

Original Art on Comic Book Auctions: Thunderbirds x2

Comic Book Auctions Ltd has launched it Summer 2011 catalogue with bidding closing on Tuesday 7 June 2011 at 8 PM UK Time.

The piece that will be of particular interest to Bellamy fans is Thunderbirds original artwork (1968) from TV Century 21 No 137 - Lot number 216

Lot #216 Original art

Printed version

Thunderbirds original double page artwork drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 137 Sept 21 1967

The survey ship 'Palmerston' ploughs through icy seas that inexplicably start heating to boiling point. The Thunderbirds space station alerts to their S.O.S. and John Tracy launches Thunderbirds 2 and Gordon takes Thunderbirds 4 to the water. Then suddenly, 'Virgil The Sun - that light! It's - aaagh!'
The green and blue has faded from this piece, the red remains strong. Pelikan inks on board. 18 x 25 ins

Yes, the piece is faded - don't blame the seller, we all have things displayed in our houses, that we like and the sun just keeps on shining - and therefore fading the inks. Those people who are smart (I have faded art so guess which I am!) get a laser copy and mount that and then store the piece away. When I first saw an original that had been stored properly I was absolutely shocked how vibrant the colour gradations were that Bellamy did.

UPDATE: Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £1,815(June 2011) 

There's also Lot # 217

Thunderbirds original artwork by Frank Bellamy from TV Century 21 No 168 1968
The Hood targets the final destruction of Tracy Island but brainwashed Brains is found alive - now he has to be electronically debriefed in the lab - but will he be rescued from the borders of insanity?
The green and blue has faded from this piece. Pelikan inks on board. 16 x 13 ins
TV21 #168 Original art

TV21 #168 published version

UPDATE: Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: ££968(June 2011)

But the thing that regularly hits me about FB is that he didn't do things easily. He knew the header would be added to his artwork and left space for it, but that didn't mean leaving the space blank. Some examples are more shocking than others, but look at the one above - enlarged below - 

The header is not left blank!

Here's another example from Thunderbirds

The printed header TV21 #164

The original art header

The recent Chris Bentley reprints showed this very clearly wherever the original art was shown without the lettering stuck on. (see Amazon link for details) Next time you look at Thunderbirds take a look behind the header, you'll be surprised what artwork you missed!

Monday 9 May 2011

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Beast of Ultor

 H93 from The Beast of Ultor

UPDATE: Sold for £137.45 (May 2011) with 5 bids

To quote phUKone, the seller:

This is from his tenth story 'The Beast of Ultor' from 1974. Code H93.

Artwork is absolutely pristine and is drawn much larger than the printed size. Artwork panels measure 135mm x 520mm. Signed with his distinctive signature and drawn on heavyweight CS10 board. The blacks are very dense, having been inked over many times - sometimes as many as eight - to give the density of black that he required.

As usual I'll update this page at the end of the auction

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Frank Bellamy and the Army

Horse Artillery c.1940

The recently BookPalace reprint Frank Bellamy's the Story of World War One
showed Bellamy's later prowess at drawing military subjects. In all the oft-repeated biographies on Frank Bellamy, they mention his service in the Army. We know that during the time he spent in the Royal Artillery, he continued to hone his craft and quite a few very early pieces still exist in the hands of collectors. Most of these from his war service  show aspects of military life and one wonders why they were not taken for the National Archives with 'secrecy' orders applied to them. But the one above is not of a contemporary subject so escapes that restriction thankfully.

David Bellamy, Frank’s son, mentions (in Time View: Complete "Doctor Who" Illustrations of Frank Bellamy) that Bellamy was always frustrated that he could not be posted to Africa, which he had longed to see since childhood (instead he met his wife Nancy, a local girl!) In 1939 that Bellamy was called up as a Gunner an soon became Lance Bombardier Bellamy, (the Royal Artillery equivalent of Lance Corporal, the lowest Non-Commissioned Officer grade i.e. one above a Gunner (Private)). Over the course of the 6 years he was in the Army, he went from Corporal to Sergeant. His posting to Deerbolt Camp (now a Young Offenders Institution) was recorded in the famous Dez Skinn/Dave Gibbons interview, where he spent six months painting the walls and ceiling of an “aircraft recognition room with every aircraft in use - RAF, USAF and Luftwaffe […] from every angle imaginable.”

“Rudiments of aircraft recognition” by Eric Wilton published in 1944, contains “sixty common types of aircraft […] selected as the minimum number capable of giving the novice a really solid groundwork [and] is broken down into small categories for easy study according to systems of classification: first the aircraft are considered in relation to the work they have to do; and in the second classification they are arranged in groups based on those details of outward appearance that are conspicuous to a ground observer and give a clue to identity”.

Unfortunately all attempts to track down any photos have to date been unsuccessful. I communicated with Frank T. Smith, the author of an article on Deerbolt, back a few years ago, but as with so many contacts, this one dried up. I made contact as result of reading the article in After The Battle #113 (still available for purchase from their website)

David Britton (one of the guys who set up the touring Eagle Exhibitions - to which I contributed in a vague way, just the once) emailed me a copy of a picture he bought "at an auction of Eagle memorabilia in Gloucester (1995?). On the back was (and it still has a Post-it note with the name Gilliam Hall (former wife of Christopher Hall) and printed name-plate of Frank with his address & telephone number in Morden Surrey. It was lot 185"

I queried with him why it had Nancy's signature on it. "Yes that is Nancy's signature. I showed it to her when she was our guest at the Eagle Dinner at Launde Abbey (1998) and I asked if she could confirm it was Frank's work. She did and kindly signed the mount as additional proof."

Now one of difficulties I have found, despite having had a Dad in the forces, is learning military vocabulary, let alone identifying pictures of such subjects. Luckily David provided this "It is meant to be the Horse Artillery (my father was a member before WWII, as he was able to ride a horse) in WW I drawing a carriage containing an officer through battle-scarred countryside. It is signed Gnr (I assume "Gunner")FRANK A BELLAMY." Absolutely right David and many thanks for sharing this

I have amended the entry in the Unpublished works by Bellamy listing (from 'Lance Bombardier' to 'Horse Artillery sketch'  and added a scan under the note