Saturday 20 April 2013

Frank Bellamy and an unknown romance illustration - original art

Romance illustration by Frank Bellamy
UPDATE: Winning bid with 2 bids: £200 (April 2012) 

Thanks to Richard Farrell for pointing out the latest sale on eBay of a Frank Bellamy I've never met before. The seller (susita66) has listed it at the starting price of £200 and the auction ends on 25 April 2013. The piece measures 11.5" x 9" (approximately 27.94cm X 22.86cm) and is in colour. The medium used is unclear but decide for yourself. I've copied all the pictures provided on ebay and hope that the buyer will share a better scan of the piece.

The seller's description: 
"Graphics are of a dark haired man and blonde woman, with a circular feature of a house and trees in the background. The background is painted a luscious deep burgundy. Also has another small circle to the left of the picture of the same house. Board cuts are visible. Actual Artwork is on heavy paper."

Detail of a house with a light on

Bellamy's signature from pre-1950

Lines suggesting where cropping could be done

Now where did it come from? If I hear back I'll let you know what the seller says. I've checked the listing for the exhibition "Unseen Bellamy" but the size doesn't match anything there nor the descriptions. It looks to match another piece (provided by Tim Barnes - see below)  which I have yet to track down in any publication. The style matches his Home Notes work and the romance books "Dark Inheritance" and My True Love" 

To see a larger version visit website

Thursday 11 April 2013


NEW GARTH STORY - The Beast of Ultor...and a mystery!

Thursday 11 April 2013 © Daily Mirror
"Garth is exploring a deep pothole in Derbyshire with a girl friend four hundred feet below ground. 'Garth the water's rising!' 'Must be a heavy rainstorm above ground Liz! Let's get out of here before we're trapped!'"

Jim Edgar knew how to start a story with tension, and Frank Bellamy certainly knew how to attract the male readership straight away! They discover a colony of strange eggs and that thrusts Garth into another exciting adventure!

The original story ran in the Daily Mirror from 19 February 1974 - 5 June 1974 (H42-H131), 90 episodes.The story was reprinted in The Daily Mirror Book of Garth London: IPC Limited, 1976 and also Menomonee Falls Gazette #202 (27 October 1975) - #218 (16 February 1976)- but that's not quite true....

Can you see what's missing from the page illustrated below from the 1976 reprint book?

Interestingly Martin spotted it and told me. The reprint book from 1976 does not contain all the story. And by my calculations, the Menomonee Falls Gazette will have contained all of them, so that means the story has never been reprinted in the UK! 

Using the page numbers from the 1976 reprint, the missing episodes are H61, H62 (page 53), H65 (page 54), H77, H78, H79 (page70), H116 (page 77/78). Unfortunately I don't have access to the MFG volumes in question to see what I missed. But I do have a couple of these in the ones I cut out crudely in 1974!

Missing strips H78-H79

And Paul Holder has come to my rescue with the others which I present in no particular order. And yes, the ladies are comfortable in their skins, so to speak (and avoid web-blockers!). I'd love to hear explanations as to why you think these strips were left out - beyond the fact this would have added 8 pages to the book's length!

UPDATE (20/04/2013)

I have gone through the whole book now and found the answer is indeed in multiples of four! The following are 

Mask of Atacama has the following missing:
G170, G173, G230, G231, G237, G246
People of the abyss:
F243, F259, F264, F272, F273, F299





Now children, you can print out this page and insert them in your copy of the 1976 reprint! But get an adult to supervise the cutting out and remember Bill Gates' tip in Microsoft Word from many years ago...DON'T run with scissors!

Thanks go again to Martin for sending me this first episode and also unearthing a bit of Bellamy background we hadn't found before! And to Paul for his kindness. I love the Internet for building community!

Sunday 7 April 2013

Frank Bellamy - various bits and pieces again

I get quite a few emails regarding Bellamy's work and there are a few enthusiasts who know that no detail is too small, and Bill Storie gave me several things to do this week when I was wondering what to share with you!

Firstly he alerted me to this sale on eBay of a single that has some familiar artwork on it!
Frank Bellamy's artwork

The artwork is taken from TV21 Thunderbirds story "The Bereznik Zoo Rescue" from TV21 issue 110. I've asked the seller for more information and will update this on receipt

TV21 110

Bill made me realise that as a "Southerner" I hadn't realised that the Daily Record was the Daily Mirror's name in Scotland when Bellamy was around. Why did he mention this?

I have noted one of the times Bellamy was interviewed on TV. I have a transcript and recording and to be honest it's not much use as an interview. In my view Barry Askew held the opinion that comics were ephemeral and hardly worth mentioning and the usual BAM, POW, CRASH were mentioned - a good indicator that someone's view of comics is stuck in the 60s Batman show. The programme, Edition, went out as the last programme of the evening (yes, TV used to be less than 24 hours a day!) and states "Frank Bellamy, the artist who draws 'Garth' in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Record [...]"

Radio Times (24/11/1973 - 30/11/1973) Page 51

As Bill says:

The Radio Times "Modest Strip Artist" reference mentions that (erroneously) FB drew for the Daily Record - this is technically accurate inasmuch as he was never (as far as I know) commissioned to do art for that paper but his work did appear there quite often in the form of Garth and various other spot illustrations such as the moon landing piece. Back in those days the Daily Record was basically the Scottish version of the Daily Mirror (the Mirror did not have a large Scottish readership and much of the Mirror's daily output was simply re-jigged into the Daily Record).
It's amazing to me how I can seen this piece for 40 years and not have noticed the Daily Record reference. I've added the version from the copy of the Radio Times that I cut out and stuck in a lined notebook all those years ago. Needless to say I didn't stay up that late to watch it as I didn't even notice it was on till too late - and videos were as likely to be in my possession as a full size replica of Thunderbird 1!

Radio Times (24/11/1973 - 30/11/1973) Page 4 as it appeared
Lastly Bill also pointed out to me a piece that I knew about was glad to be reminded so I could show it to you. I've placed it under the Unpublished section of Bellamy's work.

Lion and lioness in profile with dead zebra

And for good measure here we see Bellamy's rather abstract image of a Lion and zebra

Lioness and zebra - abstract
Two lions and a zebra

 Many thanks to Bill, a fellow Mike Noble fan, for his prompting me to look at these points.