Saturday 13 August 2011

Original art for sale - Thunderbirds, Look-in and Garth

The title of today's blog post is a bit like the chant from the Wizard of Oz! "Thunderbirds, Look-in, and Garth, oh my!" And it certainly is a magical day for Frank Bellamy fans.

The latest Comic Book Auctions Limited catalogue is out and bidding closes on Tuesday 6 September at 8pm UK time.

I have copied the details below as it turns out this blog is one way some buyers keep a track of sales! Or so I was told by a gentleman recently! I'll update this entry with the sale prices as soon as they are known UPDATED 10 Sept 2011 - see below 

TV21 #133
Lot # 187 is described as
Thunderbirds original double page artwork drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 133 Aug 5 1967. Bright Pelikan inks on board. 19 x 27 inches £2,000-2,500
UPDATED 10 Sept 2011 Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £3,025 
TV21 #206
Lot # 188 is described as
Thunderbirds original artwork (1968) by Frank Bellamy from TV 21 No 206 Dec 28 1968. Bright Pelikan inks on board. 18 x 15 inches
UPDATED 10 Sept 2011 Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £550 

Lot # 221 is described as

Southerner original double page artwork painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for Look-in #23 June 12 1971 with original magazine.
On the night of Friday October 3 1970 the 42,000 ton Liberian oil tanker, Pacific Glory was transformed into a blazing inferno after a collision with another tanker off the Isle of Wight. Southern Television's film news were the first TV units to reach the scene as Southerner, the world's first outside broadcast vessel sped to the area. The newsmen and technicians later carried off six major news film awards. The true story of the Pacific Glory Disaster was dramatised and painted by Frank Bellamy for the centre pages of Look-in eight months later
Pelikan inks on board, some fading to the blues. 24 x 18 inches (Removable laser colour copy text boxes added to complete the story) £550-650
 UPDATED 10 Sept 2011 Winning bid : U/S (Unsold?)

Lot # 223 is described as
Garth original artwork (1971) by Frank Bellamy for The Daily Mirror 14 July 1971. Entitled Sundance, this was Bellamy's third board
Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 inches
UPDATED 10 Sept 2011 Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £203

Now what do I think of all this? Well funnily enough I am excited by this episode of Garth (don't forget it's being reprinted in the Daily Mirror right now!). This is the 15th episode of the story 'Sundance' (Jim Allard preceded Bellamy's fondly remembered run). It's only Bellamy's 3rd episode of the story.  What's interesting, and you can't really see it here, is that Bellamy did not use zip-a-tone, or letraset/letratone but it does appear here on the fallen soldier's trousers. And worse there is white-out / Tippex! FB was proud of never having used the stuff, so who did it? The answer: John Allard, who was kept on to do various things on the strip.

Below is a photo I took when I had access to the owner's original artwork. Hopefully you can see this interesting fact. It certainly doesn't mar the original delicate linework of Bellamy.

E164 - Note the zip-a-tone - click to enlarge
I suspect the estimate on this particular board is low.

And secondly the very rare Look-In piece. The description mentions faded blues, but I think even with that fact this should fetch a good price as it's the only piece that Bellamy did for his former editor on TV21 (Alan Fennell) in this comic. Having the work on Garth as well as many other individual commissions, Bellamy didn't have time, even if he wanted to go back to weekly comic strips! Having the "Removable laser colour copy text boxes" makes this a very interesting piece. One wonders why the text was not on the original board, but if you look at the scan below you'll see that it's not hand lettering but type

Look-in 12 June 1971
That leaves just the Thunderbirds to comment on.....They look brilliant and the colours vibrant.

One curiosity - I notice that the colour in the comic shows a pink sky in places - but a natural blue in the original. Anyone know anything about this? I have discovered other adjustments (certainly not improvements!) to Bellamy's artwork in the Thunderbirds strips. I expect he wouldn't have seen the published art - David, his son, was born 8 December 1944 so was a bit old for TV21 at that time (that's rich from the guy who still owns a complete set!) and I have no knowledge that he received a gratis copy

Here are the two compared:

Anyway, I still owe money on my house so I'll leave you all to bid!

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