Thursday 17 January 2013

Frank Bellamy appeared in Lion

Steve Holland's new comics index

Not many people realise that Frank Bellamy's work appeared in the Lion comic, which ran in the UK from 23 February 1952 to 18 May 1974.

I discovered this fact solely because someone mentioned it in their eBay listing years ago and I won the comic - ironically shipped from the USA!

The art in question isn't worth spending money on! I bet you never thought I'd say that about Frank Bellamy's art!

The Lion Holiday Special (undated but published in 1977) pp36-48 reprints the gloriously coloured Fraser of Africa in a horrible blurred black and white!!! And to add insult to injury, the panels were cut up and rearranged for the different sized page. It's a good thing Frank didn't see this travesty!

Lion Holiday Special [1977]

The original ran from 27 May 1961-12 August 1961 (Vol. 12:21 - 12:32) of the Eagle comic and looked like this

Eagle 27 May 1961

Why do I mention this now?

Because when a book is published (see the image at the top) that contains data on the run of Lion comics (and Annuals, Specials etc.) the librarian in me needs to check its validity. And once again I couldn't fault Steve Holland's dedication to his profession as National (Comics) Treasure!

If you pop along to Steve's Bear Alley Books website, you see his description and details of how to purchase it.

If you think £25.99 sounds expensive, it isn't. This work is not likely to ever be published again and especially in such detail with accompanying articles and pictures. It's a great read in itself and has sent me back to the Lion comic to re-read some of my childhood favourites.  The pictures are reproduced crystal clearly and even this old man can read the original art

262 pages is not stressed enough on the site. That's more pages than Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (and Lion: King of Picture Story Papers is eminently more readable IMHO). It's a gorgeous book and if we are snow-bound as the media has been saying for weeks, I have plenty to keep me amused this chilly January weekend!

Go and buy it and support this great work. I get no commission, I just love an excuse to praise and highlight brilliant comic scholarship and especially British comic scholarship...but it must connect to Frank Bellamy in some way as this did!

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