Tuesday 27 March 2012

Original Art: Garth on eBay - Bubble Man & Manhunt

J197 The Bubble Man
'Tweedacademy' is selling a copy of one of the Bubble Man strips as well as one from the last Garth story Bellamy illustrated Manhunt 

Again they look beautifully preserved as the piece that has just finished on eBay, fetching a nice £168 does too.

The seller says of the Manhunt strip:

This is from 'The Bubble Man' (J197) published in The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1975 and being re-run currently in said paper. Here we have a vibrant action piece with Garth about to be kidnapped by the eponymous Bubble Man's henchbugs. 'Space Bugs!' cries our hero. I'd be a tad more salty if I were in his position! Bellamy again makes a virtue of the outlandishness of the creatures and their scale shows that even Garth would be hard pressed to take on two at a time, even with crow bar (they don't fight fair anyway). He'll get the better of them before the story is done I'll wager :)
Good example of Bellamy techniques in one panel!

UPDATE: £181 with 17 bids (March 2012) 

Tweedacademy obviously read too many Stan's Soapbox columns in the sixties Marvel Comics - where hyperbole was always under done! But looking at the close up of the last panel, it does show those famous 'Bellamy swirls', and his lovely lettering in the balloon - where usually Jim Allard lettered the other speech balloons.

K247 Manhunt

The second piece is from Manhunt. This is the last story that Bellamy illustrated and  the seller says:

I believe this is one of the last strips Bellamy did (strip number K247) before his untimely death, from the story 'Manhunt' published in The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1976. This particular work is, in essence, a complete panel with all the narrative complete in the transition from the aircraft in cloudscape through to the amazing work on the eyes as our protagonist (plus, of course, charming companion) dissolve to another dimension in mid flight. Remarkable stuff. A true 'Bellamy' effect and very poignant in retrospect as we know what was to come.
This is indeed a beautiful example of Bellamy's Garth work. Tweedacademy is right in saying it was "one of the last" but in fact Bellamy's last signed strip is K254 (25 Oct 1976), however the credit above the strip as printed in the paper is Martin Asbury who stepped wonderfully into Bellamy's shoes. The crude copy below is taken from the Mirror's online database, but it shows the credit above the strip.
UPDATE: £315 with 39 bids (March 2012) - a phenomenal amount for a Garth!

Bellamy's last Garth strip # K254
And lastly a clearer idea of how the art changed from Bellamy to Asbury can be seen in this only reprint of Manhunt, taken from Mike Higgs' compilation Mirror Classic Cartoon Collection, London: Hawk 1998. Visit Martin's site to see his work since Garth as well as the opportunity to buy original art including, yes you guessed it, Garth strips

The last 2 Garth strips by Frank Bellamy & the first 3 by Martin Asbury

No comments: