Monday 18 August 2014

Original art for sale: Comic Book Auctions - Thunderbirds

Original art TV21 #213 Page 1
 Comic Book Auctions Limited have an original Frank Bellamy for sale. Their description:

Thunderbirds original artwork (1969) by Frank Bellamy from TV 21 No 213
Leaving Scott for dead in the cavern Professor Beresford peels the face mask away to reveal the Tracys' arch enemy, The Hood ..!
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 18 x 15 ins £800-1000

For the first time you can bid via which means you have a better idea of live bidding and the amount collectors are bidding. CBA's blurb:

Welcome to our September catalogue. The catalogue is open for bidding. We are teaming up with to provide you with real time bidding details, viewable online, as bids are placed by our customers who have registered their details. To register to bid, just click on the link to and you will see how to register.

Click here to visit

For those of you who send us postal bids you may, of course, continue to do so and you might consider sending us your highest bids which will be entered online by us and not be viewable unless they are bettered - just like eBay. You will no longer need to telephone or email us to raise your bids as all the latest bids will be viewable online in real time at To include their commission of 3%+VAT our new buyer’s premium will be 14%.

The closing date is 7th September so good luck.

I remember this later run of Thunderbirds in TV21 and how the quality of the art appeared to me to become 'washed out' and comparing the beautifully preserved inks in the original to the page below I think you'll see what I mean - especially in the red background behind The Hood. Well done to the owner for preserving this piece so well

Here are the two TV21 pages of the story from #213 - the story appeared originally inTV21 #209 - 217 (18 Jan 2069 - 15 Mar 2069) and was called The Zoo Ship. It has been reprinted in 

TV21 #213 Page 10

TV21 #213 Page 11

  • WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Limited
  • SELLER:  [Lot # 115]
  • STARTING BID:£800-£1,000
  • ART: TV21 #213: Thunderbirds
  • ENDING PRICE: £821 (including 14% buyer's premium)
  • No of bids: 

Thursday 14 August 2014

Frank Bellamy and the first parachute jump!

So someone is talking to you about Leonardo da Vinci's parachute design and we agree we don't know whether anyone has tried it out, and then get to wondering, but who was the first person to jump with a parachute? Imagine you are the first! That big open space and a piece of cloth on your back. Who did it first?
Eagle Annual #5 p.37

Frank Bellamy knew the answer - he illustrated a story in the fifth Eagle Annual (published in late 1955 for the Christmas market) - "Pull the ring, and you're a caterpillar!"

So who was it?

A snippet from a longer Wikipedia article:

Leslie Leroy Irvin (10 September 1895 – 9 October 1966) made the first premeditated free-fall parachute jump in 1919. Irvin was born in Los Angeles. He became a stunt-man for the fledgling Californian film industry, for which he had to perform acrobatics on trapezes from balloons and then make descents using a parachute. Irvin made his first jump when aged fourteen. For a film called Sky High, he first jumped from an aircraft from 1,000 feet in 1914. He developed his own static line parachute as a life-saving device in 1918 and jumped with it several times.

Eagle Annual #5 p.38
"The crowd thrilled with excitement as the parachutist floated earthwards."

Eagle Annual #5 p.39
"All the experience that Irvin had gained
with balloons at fairs, death dives and stunt jumps,
was put into the design for the new parachute."

Eagle Annual #5 p.40
"A body came away from the plane and hurtled earthwards."

Looking up Reginald Taylor, the author of this article, was difficult (with such a common name), but it seems fairly likely he is the same one who wrote the "Andy and..." series for Hamish Hamilton's Antelope imprint and by association I'm guessing these other Hamish Hamilton books.

Andy and his Last Parade. Illustrated by B. Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1965.
Andy and the Display Team Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1959.
Andy and the Mascots Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1957.
Andy and the Miniature War Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1962.
Andy and the Royal Review  Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1963.
Andy and the Secret Papers  Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1961.
Andy and the Sharpshooters . Illustrated by Biro. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1959.
Andy and the Water Crossing, London : Hamish Hamilton, 1961.

The Boy from Hackston, N.E. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1962.
Circus Triumphant Illustrated by Tony Weare. London : Bodley Head, 1955.
A First look at Sailing. A beginner's manual Illustrated by John Robinson. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1964.
The Mad Martins Illustrated by Gilbert Dunlop. [A tale for children.] London ; Glasgow : Blackie & Son, [1953]
My Friend, my Enemy. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1965.
Wild Frontier. Illustrated by H. Bishop. London : Bodley Head, 1957.
Wings over Tewkesley ... Illustrated by Tony Weare. London : Bodley Head, 1954.

As the Andy series is about experiences in a military setting I wonder if the following references in the British Library catalogue might a) be him too and b) tell us his fuller name

Phantom was there. [A history of the G.H.Q. Liaison Regiment, 1939-1945. With maps.] Great Britain. Army. G.H.Q. Liaison Regiment. London : Edward Arnold & Co., 1951.

Something About a Soldier. [An account of the traditions of the British Army.] R. J. T. Hills, (Reginald John Taylor) London : Lovat Dickson, 1934.

As many of the illustrators listed above worked in comics or comic strips it might also be that this Reginald John Taylor Hills was also the editor of Boyfriend in the sixties, as stated on Steve Holland's Bear Alley

Lastly the first Express Annual was edited by a Reginald Taylor so could it be our Taylor too?

Interested in seeing more about Eagle Annuals? - see Ian and Sharon's fascinating Eagle Annual website