Monday 23 April 2012

Original Art: Garth on eBay - Freak out to Fear

H218 Freak out to fear

The latest piece of art by Frank Bellamy to be made available for sale on eBay shows Garth throwing two thugs around which wakes the host and hostess. This comes from the story "Freak out to fear" which starts with one of my favourite panels of a boutique in swinging London named "The Scene" on King's Road! I would love to know whether the word "dangerous" in the last panel is cut in the board and replaced, as did so often happen with John Allard's lettering. He would also be quite clumsy in my opinion with 'white-out' or Tipp-ex as we called it when I was a boy and that would be the only time you'd see any on Bellamy artwork.

Being a great detective on your behalf I asked the seller whose first name is Bob about how he came by the piece. I spent an enjoyable 45 minutes on the phone with a great guy. He told me some amazing stories  - his life as a Police Officer/Detective that touch on murder plots with Bob Monkhouse and a crowd of 500 as witnesses; his helping Paul Neary with his early artwork around the time of Heroes Unlimited and the Hunter strip in Warren magazines and many other things.

But regarding Frank, he told me about how he rescued a man from a car that was in a head on collision and kept in contact with him for many years and the obviously grateful survivor asked if there was anything he'd like as a present. Bob remembering his childhood rides by bike with his dad  to the local newsagents to pick up the Eagle, thought of Bellamy's Churchill strip and how Frank was at that time illustrating Garth in the Daily Mirror. He asked for Frank Bellamy's signature! The man, whose name is forgotten, managed one better and got hold of a copy of the original art - yes, you've guessed it, the above! Bob, at a later date, spent a delightful day with the charming Nancy, who by that time was widowed and Bob was shown her favourite etchings done by Frank of her as the 'life study'!

Many thanks to Bob for sharing such interesting anecdotes

The opening bid for this art is £200 and the auction ends 28 April having previously been unsold at the same price. I always wonder if a low start price helps get to the price a seller wants and will watch this again with interest and let you know what it goes for.

UPDATE: The seller told me. he had tried three times at the same price on ebay and eventually sold it "near to the asking price", (June 2012)

I have scanned below a clearer copy of the strip for you to see more detail - click to enlarge!

Enlarge to view © Daily Mirror

No comments: