Wednesday 18 July 2012

Original Art: Three classics pieces on eBay

I was shocked when I spotted these three pieces coming onto the open market. If these pieces were by mainstream artists they would be handled by exclusive and big name auctioneers, such as Bonhams, or Christies

I have actually seen the Thunderbirds episode from TV21 #125 up close and I tell you you will be stunned by what becomes visible when you see well preserved original art. The colour is richer and the fine lines show up. the seller says " It exhibits all the hallmarks of his classic style, explosions, movement and breaking the fourth wall." And even a crude comparison between the original and the scan shows how different Bellamy's artwork is in the original
TV21 #125 original art

TV21 #125 Click to enlarge

 Starting bid £4250

Then we also have the very first episode of Thunderbirds drawn by Frank Bellamy from TV21 #52. This is the double page spread (in the comic there was also a single black and white wash). the seller states
"A great spread which also has the original 'Thunderbirds' logo, this was done on a separate sheet and pasted on. Did Bellamy do this? It is actually executed in gouache which would have been unusual? Discuss. Sadly at some point this piece must have been out on display and unprotected and has inevitably faded a bit, but it still has enough going for it considering its iconic status as the very first spread. Fading aside it certainly has some lovely composition and an intro of some TB craft, main characters and the workings of Tracey island. I feel he was just holding back here... little did they realise the explosive nature of spreads to come"

Original art from TV21 #52

I suspect the lettering will have been done by an office artists as it will have been used again and again, and gouache was unusual but not unknown in FB's work. I agree that FB was 'holding back' This was his first attempt at these puppet characters portrayals and he hated doing them. But his professionalism shines through.

Starting bid £3500

And lastly if two originals like this are not enough, the best of the lot is included here An original Heros the Spartan spread. The seller states:
Here is a beautiful double page spread from the pages of Eagle. Over 40 years old but the colour on this is amazing. Such atmosphere. It has the iconic wolf image often cited by fellow comic book professionals (in fact I'm sure Estaban Moroto for one was thinking of this when doing some of his wolves in his great barbarian strips) It firmly exhibits the mastery of style and composition he showed in all his future work, but this character in particular. We believe some of his finest work was on the Heros.. arguably :)

Original art from the Eagle comic of Heros the Spartan

This episode (number 12 from the "Eagle of the Fifth" story by Tom Tully) comes from Eagle 25 May 1963 (Volume 16:11) and below is a scan for your comparison. I have compared both close up and found this was the piece that convinced me that Bellamy's originals were never reproduced anything like as accurately as we could do them now.

Eagle 25 May 1963 Vol 16:11 Click to enlarge
Starting bid £5250

So let me plead again...if you do have originals of Heros PLEASE get in touch so I can let Peter Richardson and Geoff West know so they can include original art as much as possible in the upcoming Heros reprint - read all about it following these links. You will be given a copy of the reprint on publication (and knowing Geoff he might get me to ruin it by signing the foreword that I wrote!)

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