Saturday 22 October 2016

Frank Bellamy, inflation and crocodiles

During an email exchange with David Jackson last year, we were writing about Bellamy's other work in the Daily Mirror, illustrations for articles, and David said:

Your mention of the "inflation" crocodile rang some faint bell and I had to go and check... And having looked at both the Speakeasy and the Daily Mirror I can confirm that the printed Mirror version I have, isn't reprinted in Speakeasy - which is in fact a completely different drawing of the "inflation crocodile. Speakeasy's is, as you say, facing to the left, but isn't a 'flipped' 'mirror' (heh) 'reversal' of the Daily Mirror image - both versions are signed Frank Bellamy, and 'signwritten' "INFLATION" along each reptile's flank.

And here to prove what David has quite rightly pointed out are both images

The Daily Mirror (15 June 1972) picture accompanies an article called "What is the cause?…The Mirror verdict" by Robert Head appearing on pp.16-17

Daily Mirror 15 June 1972, pp16-17 © mirrorpix
According to his obituary (February 19 2009 in the Times), Robert Head was "the youngest City editor on a national newspaper when he was appointed in his early thirties by the Daily Mirror’s bulky, hard-drinking but shrewd and authoritative Editor Lee Howard as the first in that post on a tabloid paper. Thirty years on he was the longest serving when he finally retired from the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, both of which he had served for seven days a week."

 The second picture David and I were talking about appeared in the "Unseen Frank Bellamy" exhibition to which I have dedicated a page on the Checklist website. The catalogue was published to coincide with the exhibition, in Acme Press' Speakeasy magazine #100 (July 1989). The long-running (10 years or so) comics fanzine-turned-professional publication folded in the early 90s. Speakeasy was founded by Richard Ashford, whom Alan Davis (the comic book artist) took to visit Frank Bellamy's widow, Nancy Bellamy. The meeting set in motion the events that resulted in the Acme Press/Speakeasy art show The event itself took place at The Basement Gallery 391 Coldharbour Lane Brixton, London SW9 8LQ between the 15th of July and 3rd of September 1989.

The Unseen Frank Bellamy catalogue
 So there you go. Never having actually compared the two I had always assumed they were the same!!! The Archivist of the Year award goes to David Jackson!