Thursday 13 November 2014

Frank Bellamy and Egmont Thunderbirds reprints

Collage from Volume 5

I have finally got copies of the books which Egmont list as being published in September and Egmont themselves haven't caught up yet by adding them to their Classic Comics website. I've grabbed the covers and details from the publicity available in their main catalogue. However note that the cover for Volume 2 changed on publication - which often happens. The correct cover appears below.

Interestingly Amazon has some strange ways of cataloguing this data (Thunderbirds Comic: Volume V has a Roman numeral and not a Latin numeral). Volume 1 has the sub-title of Garen Ewing's excellent Rainbow Orchid comic (see Footnote) Volume 2 has the correct published cover which is a cropped image of the comic cover - for obvious reasons they want to highlight only TB2!
Art by Graham Bleathman

I have listed all these in the reprint list on the website.Graham Bleathman drew 4 out of 5 of these covers back in the early 1990s for the Thunderbirds comic edited by Alan Fennell
  • Volume 1 came from Thunderbirds the comic #13
  • Volume 2 came from Thunderbirds the comic #2
  • Volume 3 came from Thunderbirds the comic #8
  • Volume 4 came from Thunderbirds the comic #11
  • Volume 5 came from Thunderbirds the comic #22 (Cover by Steve Kyte)
Interestingly, and it seems appropriate to mention it here, Graham's excellent cutaway drawings are published now as well. The book (shown below) Inside the World of Gerry Anderson retails at £17.99 and Graham has written a foreword - and being a fan of TV21 and a collector himself he notes the differences between the cutaways published here and those that haven't been, the history of how got into this work and how Alan Fennel hired him. A nice little history and a lovely hardback and when I asked Graham about it earlier in the year, he said "There is no direct Bellamy connection, except for the fact that a couple of cutaways are of ships or locations that Bellamy designed (notably ‘The President’ liner)."
Thanks Graham!

Graham Bleathman's "Inside the worlds of Gerry Anderson"
Anyway back to Frank Bellamy, who is yet to appear in this article! All 5 volumes contain the materials mentioned in the previous article on "Thunderbirds the comic collection but with some differences in packaging

Firstly the back covers with nice silhouettes of the craft - and matching colours....

Then each title page has a piece of art and a silhouette.....

 And then each contents page has artwork selections......

Volume One

Volume Two

Volume Three

Volume Four
Volume Five

Although Egmont credit John Cooper (on the story pages) correctly with having done two out of the three stories in Volume 5, they make the same mistake on the contents page as they did on the hardback Collection. So the stories "The Big Bang" and "The Mini Moon" are not illustrated by Bellamy.

Lastly I should say the presentations are really nice and the feel of the covers (matt) is very pleasant. Also to make up the page count someone used some imagination and created a collage of Bellamy and Cooper art - nice touch - see picture at top of this article!

So stop ignoring your Christmas shopping and get these books for friends who have never heard of Frank Bellamy. A nice series.

FOOTNOTE: Trust me! The Complete Rainbow Orchid (The Rainbow Orchid) by Garen Ewing is great fun to read and is better than Herge's Tin-Tin, in my opinion! Egmont will love me for mentioning this!

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