Friday 1 March 2013

Frank Bellamy and The Sunday Times

Sunday Times17 August 1975

Richard Sheaf pointed out to me a comment by Terry Bave on Frank Bellamy. He saw it in the new book by Terry, which is published on Who's Terry Bave you might ask? Well like many of the artists who worked for D.C. Thompson and Fleetway in my youth, their artwork was very familiar across many comics and characters, but their name was never known to me - one reason I liked Frank Bellamy, he signed his work and got away with it! Thank God for enthusiasts who uncover this stuff!

Lew Stringer wrote about Terry's exaggerated demise (he's still with us...check out his blog which hopefully will grow with many examples of his art!) and shows off some examples of Terry's gorgeous artwork. [Update: Unfortunately Terry passed away on 6th December 2018 aged 87, his blog is stiill there ~2022] Any search on the Web will garner enough examples too. (Try and type in "Terry Bave"). George Shiers has reviewed the book here

"In August 1975 I was invited by The Sunday Times newspaper to assist with the preparation, followed by the final judging, of a super comic strip competition for children. The competition was divided into three age groups between five and fifteen years, with each group invited to complete a short comic The first frame had already been completed by a professional cartoonist. In the five to seven age group the first frame was drawn by John Ryan (of Captain Pugwash fame), in the eight to eleven age group I drew the first frame, for the twelve to fifteen age Frank Bellamy (who sadly died in July 1976), drew the first frame. At the outcome I had warned the organizers that there could be an enormous response from their young readers, would they be prepared? The weekend that the competition appeared thousands of children filled in the blank frames and sent them in, the editor's office was inundated"

Fortunately I have a photocopy of the item in question (see the top picture) from the Sunday Times (p.27 in the Weekly Review section) "Who will win our comic strip competition?"

The brief biography of Bellamy in this cutting has so many errors I shan't comment, but one would hope that the quotation is not incorrect. David Bellamy tells us in his book Time View: Complete "Doctor Who" Illustrations of Frank Bellamy that he used to sit with his father sometimes at night when he worked.

The single panel Bellamy drew shows "Captain Min headed for galactic planet Tosca when electric storms force him to dock on a worn out satellite" with Captain Min thinking "I get a creepy feeling we're not alone…" The monster looks very similar to others Bellamy drew in TV21 and for Doctor Who in the Radio Times

This frame was also reprinted in Fantasy Advertiser #57 (October 1975) as an advert for the New Cartoon Review

Fantasy Advertiser #57 p. 27

Thanks to Richard for prompting my blogging once again and David Jackson for reminding me about the reprint.


burumaville said...

I recall Bellamy (who originally lived across the road from my Uncle in Bath Rd, Kettering) drawing a strip in the ST supplement in the 1960s, showing a budding commercial artist leaving his home town for London by train - semi-autobiographical. Does anyone have this piece, please? Dave Robinson, PE3 6LG

Norman Boyd said...

Hi Dave
Thanks for writing, I certainly own a copy of THE SUNDAY TIMES (COLOUR) MAGAZINE (5th October 1969) which had the article "A young artist dreams of success. But will he make it?" By Robert Lacey - Cover and p.7, 62-64
I'll try and get a copy scanned for all to see. Bear with me!