Monday 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas from Frank Bellamy (World's Press News Part Three)

Part One
Part Two
World's Press News 14 December 1951
Here's your Christmas present from me! The final part of the Frank Bellamy illustrations he did advertising the Daily Telegraph in World's Press News and Advertiser's Review

The beautiful piece above appeared in Dez Skinn and Dave Gibbon's interview in Fantasy Advertiser which led to many people thinking Bellamy illustrated for the Telegraph. On the left Bellamy shows the Daily Telegraph Building, still a landmark on Fleet Street. He also illustrates all the tools of the letterpress trade as well as Christmas decorations. The swirl under the greeting appears in the original in red ink.
World's Press News 12 December 1952

For “Features that pull No. 12" we get “Father Christmas and the New Year” signed with Bellamy's early signature "FAB". Notice the crown placed on the 1953 signpost showing how the country was gearing up for the forthcoming coronation (following the death of Princess Elizabeth's father on 6 February 1952). We see the previously illustrated features pulling against Father Christmas, including a microphone, a television aerial and an artist's palette on one strand; a kite with a crossword(!) on another strand;  the car, rugby player (with tennis racket!), the woman (from the Woman's Page), Peterborough is facing away from us in anonymity, the actor, the doorman and the City gent. We also see two books (not the book-buying customer!), a little boy (not the cowboy but maybe from the hobbies page?) and finally a spade with a face! I particluarly love how Bellamy has sneaked in the name of the studio he worked for!

Blown up for your inconvenience!

And finally, I spotted this advert in Home Notes (6 July 1951, page 36) which looked so like Bellamy's in execution that I wondered if it was his. It's certainly the time when he worked on the above World's Press drawings! What do you think?

Home Notes 6 July 1951, p.36

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Original Art: Story of World War One

Frank Bellamy artwork for Look and Learn #437 (30 May 1970)

Look and Learn was an educational weekly comic/magazine, that was thought to be bought by grandparents and parents for children, rather than children themselves buying it! It contained fascinating articles, lots of illustrations and also comic strips. From issues 437 - 462 (30 May 1970 - 21 November 1970), Frank Bellamy illustrated a series of text articles on "The Story of World War One"

The original art for the first episode has appeared on eBay and looks to be well preserved - not faded.  It's curling but that can easily be rectified. It's a lovely example of how Bellamy had left the space for the text to be dropped in - such confidence by typesetters and the editor (Jack Parker)! The text was written by Mike Butterworth (and in the first episode had a page prior to this by Bellamy) and in most issues had accompanying photographs

I have written quite a bit about this series as well as the introduction to the brilliant reprint published by Book Palace - in fact, my profile image shows me at the book signing (yes me, signing a book!) where the real worker was Steve Holland who put the thing together!

I have added all the images the seller has put on the auction in order to capture them before the piece disappears into someone's private collection.

Centenary video
Overview with links
Additional unpublished image

Buy the book:

WHERE?: eBay - wishingonarainbow
END DATE: Wednesday 21 November 2018

Sunday 11 November 2018

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds and Garth from Bob Monkhouse Estate

Cover of TV21 #90 Monster built by Roger Dicken

The November catalogue at Comic Book Auctions Limited run by Malcolm Phillips has some amazing materials up for auction. Follow that link for his catalogue and illustrations and bid via The Saleroom here. He has been entrusted by Bob Monkhouse's Estate to sell some of this collector's extensive artwork and comics. As he says (without hyperbole in my opinion)

We are delighted to draw your attention to some magnificent artwork boards consigned to us from the Bob Monkhouse Archive. They comprise pieces from 1900–1974 and include Ally Sloper by W F Thomas, Film Fun’s Terry Thomas by Terry Wakefield, Erik The Viking, The Trigan Empire, both by Don Lawrence with Garth and Thunderbirds pieces by Frank Bellamy. The Thunderbirds double-page illustration is magnificent and one of his best boards ever to come up for auction.
Tom Derbyshire at Antiques Trade Gazette has written a piece on the auction, which in itself is going to raise some outside interest, in my opinion.

Original art - sans balloons - Thunderbirds from TV21 #90

The Thunderbirds strip comes from TV21 #90, from the story where TB3 crashes on Venus, after blasting some solar matter to pieces. The photo doesn't do this piece credit as I think the colours look very bright and preserved correctly.  What's interesting here is the lack of balloons and captions. This is very unusual to see and I'd love to know how Bob Monkhouse managed to get this like this. Alan Davis' collection of Polaroids and other photos show how Thunderbirds would have been delivered by Bellamy to the publisher, but the artwork I've normally seen for sale has balloons stuck on (or falling off!) so this is a wonderful sale.

Malcolm describes the artwork like this:

Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1966) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 90 1966. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. The front cover of the comic screamed, "Nightmare Splashdown for Crippled Ship - Monster Attacks Thunderbird 3!" And here is Bellamy's brilliant double-page artwork to prove it! The 'Thunderbirds' logo is an unattached laser colour copy, as are the word balloons with the original comic, all included in the lot. Bright, fresh Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins. 

Auctioneer's estimate
1,800 GBP - 2,300 GBP (opening bid 1,620 GBP)

The original with the word balloons and captions attached looked like this - bearing in mind it's a scan that's joined together, but you can still see how vibrant the original is.

The three Garth strips  that are being offered form the Bob Monkhouse Estate are from "The Wreckers" story that ran in from 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974. These three (H26, H27 and H29) show a lovely action sequence in the water - not quite consecutively - and demonstrate how very clear Bellamy's art was for the Garth strip in the Daily Mirror.

Garth: 3 original consecutive [sic] artworks drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror Jan/Feb 1974. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Garth saves Andromeda from Tallion's clutches … Indian ink on board. 20 x 8 ins (x3)

Auctioneer's estimate
350 GBP - 400 GBP - (opening bid 320 GBP)

H26, H27 and H29 "The Wreckers" Frank Bellamy
As part of the wonderful public service I offer, here's the missing H28 that would have made these consecutive. BUT you are still getting 2 consecutive strips plus one more from the same story from the same source!

H28 of The Wreckers story
I shall record the details as usual here and on my spreadsheet, when the auction ends


Thunderbirds - TV21 #90
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
ENDING PRICE: £4550 +16% VAT/Sales tax
END DATE: Sunday 25 Nov 2018 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1200 +16% VAT/Sales tax
END DATE: Sunday 25 Nov 2018 14:00 GMT

Tuesday 6 November 2018

ORIGINAL ART: Sunday Times: Inside Racing

Original artwork for "Inside Racing"
published in Sunday Times Colour Magazine 25 April 1971

I found out about this auction too late to highlight it here for people to visit, but thought it worth adding here so you can see some lovely artwork

Previously I highlighted the article as it appeared in the Sunday Times Colour Magazine together with Tim Barnes' copies of the draft work "Devious ways to win" - the original unpublished title.

Roseberys auction house is based in London SE27 and they described the work as:
Lot 268 of 495:Frank A Bellamy, FSIA SGA FRSA, British 1917-1976- Racing strip for the Sunday Times Magazine; ink and watercolour on CS 10 line board, 46.3x70.5cm, (unframed) (ARR)

They had an estimate of £60-100 + fees (30% inc VAT) so I'd guess they were pleasantly suprised that it reached £880 which I'd say was a great bargain for such a unique piece.

WHERE?: Roseberys
LOT #: 268
END DATE: 3 November 2018

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Bubble Man (J239)

J239 episode of  "Garth: The Bubble Man" Drawn by Frank Bellamy
There's another Garth strip on eBay - from the "Bubble Man" story (#J239) - many thanks to Chris Power for alerting me to it.  "sweet4action" is the seller who describes the item like this:
You are bidding on an original signed Daily Mirror 'Garth' Cartoon strip from 1975 by the late Frank Bellamy. Drawn in pen and ink on artboard the piece features many of the artistic flourishes Bellamy was famed for.

DIMENSIONS: Approximately 54.5cm x 15.5cm.

ITEM DETAILS: The strip carries the date 10-10-75 in pen, in the top right corner, and the number J239 denotes that it is from 'The Bubble Man' series from that year (1975). Considering that the strip is over 43 years old it is in extremely good condition, being bright and clean with no staining, yellowing and only minimal wear to board corners (see photos). The pen-work is crisp and clear with only the odd pencil outline visible. It has the Daily Mirror copyright stamp on the back (see photos).
This auction is due to end  on 12 November 2018 and the bidding starts at £225.

The seller put up these images too which show the lovely detail

The last episode from this story that sold went for only £255 in March this year. I suy 'only' because I'm surprised that it didn't go for more!

The Bubble Man story has been reprinted in the following places:
  • Garth: The Bubble Man All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28 [No date]
  • Garth: The Bubble Man Spaceship Away Issue 19, October 2009, to Issue 23 March 2011 Coloured by John Ridgway
  • Daily Mirror Wednesday 9 November 2011 to Friday 30 December 2011 - Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: sweet4action
LOT #: 223215051163STARTING BID:£225
END DATE: 12 November 2018

Monday 8 October 2018

World's Press News and Advertiser's Review and Frank Bellamy - PART TWO

Part One
World's Press News 11 July 1952, p2
Continuing my brief overview of an obscure corner of Bellamy's work, the next World's Press News advert for the Daily Telegraph concentrates on the crossword puzzle. Bellamy draws a scene I'm sure he would have seen, living in Morden and having to get into central London to deliver artwork or attend editorial meetings. At this stage he was working for the Norfolk Studios, 24, Bride lane, just off Fleet Street.  This signed (F.A.B.) contains a red spot colour (not shown on B&W copy above!). I love the gentleman on the left squinting to read the gent in the middle's crossword. Is the gent in the middle spying on the lady hiding her crossword? Notice the nice touch by the Telegraph at the bottom: "can putt at your sphere (anag.)" - but it's not the usual "is the paper people trust" as there are not enough 'p's. I look forward to your answers!

World's Press News 22 August 1952
"The City", the financial centre of London (and by association, England) is the next feature drawn by Bellamy. Interestingly, beginning in this issue, the eighth in the series, the line "Features that pull" has been added. "Francis Whitmore's City Notes" are mentioned for the types who are "something in the City and Bellamy shows a man in a 'pinny' at the washing-up and the garden fork, spade and lawnmower are nearby. I don't quite understand what this is saying. Is the overbearing wife making sure her 'City' gent is working at home too? What does she do all day? Is it the juxtaposition between his position in the City and his non-position at home?

World's Press News 19 September 1952
This next one shows the 19 September 1952 issue “Features that pull No. 9: Films" and is signed FAB. This one shows how Bellamy, even this early had experience of representative portraits and cartoon characters. At the top left we see an usherette's hand flashing a torch to show people to their seats. At the top right the post-War "spiv" with his girlfriend cuddling on the back row, while a serious older man sits in front of them. There's an older woman crying and a young boy dressed as a cowboy who doesn't want anything to do with such emotional displays! The film stock runs down vertically with a highlighted frame of two Hollywood lovers. Later Radio Times work shows Bellamy doing brilliant representations of actors. Finally at the bottom is the doorman in his uniform looking bored, but I love the film border turning into his steps! Campbell Dixon film reviewer gets a mention in the text. Below and just for a bit of fun, David Jackson has added a grey tint to the above to show how Bellamy might have added value to the drawing.
Imagine what it would look like with shading!
The next "Features that pull" (#10) shows my least favourite of the series. A customer in hat and coat has the Daily Telegraph to hand and picks a book from the display whilst another man looks on (reading his paper?). John Betjeman and Guy Ramsay amongst others do the book reviews choosing from "14,000 new titles appearing in a year"! In tiny print at the bottom of the book display you can just see Bellamy's signature "FAB".
World's Press News 17 October 1952
And here's the last one I'm going to show you until later in the year!

"Features that pull: #11: Special Features" gives us Television, Music, Radio, Bridge, Art, Gardening and childrens' hobbies. But what is the connecting device supposed to represent? Some of the wonderful writers' names the Telegraph had were "Marsland  Gander on Radio and TV, Richard Capell and Martin Cooper on Music, T.W. Earp on Art, A.J. Smith (with a problem) on Bridge, H.H. Thomas on Gardening". Names like that rarely appear nowadays! You will hardly make out the signature at the bottom left, but it states - unusually- "FAB Norfolk", which, of course does not refer to where he lived but the Norfolk Studios, where he worked.

World's Press News 14 November 1952

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Original Art: Garth on Heritage - The Man-Hunt (K240)

K240 episode of  "Garth: The Man-Hunt" Drawn by Frank Bellamy

Heriatge Auctions have another Garth strip by Frank Bellamy for auction and I suspect, as in many of Bellamy's women, the main figure might be based on his wife Nancy. This strip comes from the Garth story "The Man-Hunt", which was the last story illustrated by Bellamy before his death in 1976. The opening strip (K239) was published on 7 October 1976 and K254 (25 October 1976) was his last signed strip after which Martin Asbury took over this story (ending it 15 January 1977) and the Garth series until its demise in March 1997.

Heritage describe the piece:
Frank Bellamy Garth Daily Comic Strip #K240 Original Art dated 8-10-76 (Daily Mirror of London, 1976). This is one of the last few Garth episodes Frank Bellamy illustrated, as he died suddenly in July of 1976. As a result, this installment appeared in print posthumously. In this episode, the science-fiction/superman feature takes a turn into the provocative concept of "synthesisation of organic matter" -- an ahead-of-its time idea, typical of classic SF. The title hero, Garth, receives a summons to meet with the scientist responsible, and is astonished to learn that she is organic, not synthetic. Bellamy lays down some finely detailed inking over graphite on illustration board with an image area of 20.5" x 5.25", it is in Excellent condition.
This auction is on Sunday August 19 2018

The Man-Hunt story has been reprinted just twice in the following places:
  • Mirror Classic Cartoon Collection, Mike Higgs, London: Hawk 1998
  • Daily Mirror Tuesday 4 November 2014 to Wednesday 12 November 2014 (K254). This was the coloured version (with printed credits for Martin Baines and Bellamy (but not Jim Edgar the author!). The story drawn by Martin Asbury continued until 22 December 2014
Here's the first page from Mike Higgs' Mirror Classic Cartoon book with an introduction
The Man-Hunt drawn by Frank Bellamy

WHERE?: Heritage
ENDING PRICE: $432 (includes Buyer's Premium) = £334.34
END DATE: Sunday 19 August 2018

Sunday 1 July 2018

World's Press News and Advertiser's Review and Frank Bellamy - PART ONE

Part Two

World's Press News 18 January 1952

Boy, have I got something for you...Frank Bellamy artwork hardly seen in 60 years!

I've said it before and I'll keep it saying it, we are indebted for the best interview with Frank Bellamy, to Dave Gibbons and Dez Skinn. In the illustrated interview there is an image of Father Christmas reading a paper that has just come rolling off the presses (I'll show that one later in the year!) with best wishes for Christmas from the Daily Telegraph to its advertisers! I've spoken to several people who wondered about Bellamy's illustrations for the Daily Telegraph but to my knowledge he never did any in the newspaper but did do them for the newspaper. 

The World's Press News and Advertisers' Review had covers showing the Daily Telegraph being advertised on them between Jan 1951 and June 1951 before Bellamy's run which is the subject of this and the next article on this blog. Bellamy's full page black and white (with splash single colour) adverts all appeared inside on page 2 opposite the Contents Page. Page 2 took advertising from Woman, Home Chat and other magazines in between the Daily Telegraph appearances, thus the gaps in dates in the following listing. After the Bellamy run, the Daily Telegraph continued advertising but their adverts are not illustrated much after this. Bellamy's adverts were a highlight in my opinion, and I love his design work.

I've checked with the experts (thanks Tony) and World's Press News and Advertisers' Review  ran from 7 March 1929 to 6 September 1968.  It's strapline was The national weekly for press and advertising and a little bit of trivia I found, apparently Anne Robinson (of the Weakest Link fame) started her career at WPN, as it was known.

Tony (whose site Magforum is phenomenal in scope and fascinating in content) sent me the following information and I've added links to his site which is worth a day or three browsing!
One link that might be worth making is that Haymarket was run by Michael Heseltine (and is to this day). The company was originally called Cornmarket. It nearly went bust in about 1962 publishing Topic, a news weekly, and Town - which had been Man AboutTown with that first issue cover by Bellamy. The printers, Hazell Watson & Viney, saved it and it became Haymarket. WPN became Campaign which was their great success as a weekly trade title for the advertising industry. Michael Potter was the publishing manager and he went on to found Redwood in 1984 with ex-Daily Express editor Christopher Ward. I worked for them and we were taken over by the BBC - that was the start of Good Food, Gardeners' World, etc.

Thanks again Tony.

The first page that Bellamy illustrated was in WPN on 14 December 1951 and I've titled it "Christmas greetings". Unfortunately I don't own a single one of these magazines so have black and white photocopies to share here with my added notes on the colour splashes! But it's summer so let's skip the two (or maybe three Christmas images for now). So we start this series with ...

Hopefully you'll agree with my shorthand titles of these pieces. I suspect someone forgot to tell the WPN that this feature is called "Features that pull" - as you'll see later.

"Spacebuyer" is at the top of this blog article where we're looking at a gentleman who dreams of the ideal place to set his advertisement, and of course that's the Daily Telegraph. Why? Because they have 'discriminating readers' and each of the sections, the DT has, show the variety which will help advertisers attract the right people. Please note the list which Bellamy has lettered because these titles are the things Bellamy goes on to illustrate in this series.

This second advert (remember we are skipping Christmas for now) was published 5 weeks after the Christmas one (on 18 January 1952) and is signed FAB (for Frank Alfred Bellamy). In this we see the classic Bellamy devices in his question marks leading the reader to the -very wordy - message, and the shading on the buyer himself. This 'black' grabs the attention and the rest of the buyer's desk is outlined as our the objects. Maybe I ought to explain that the 'rocking-horse'-type object which is a blotter for drying fountain pen ink. I found the 'boundary half-circle' drawn on the right an interesting addition as it helps keep the reader on that page by spotlighting the feature.

World's Press News 22 February 1952

The next piece, "The Woman’s Page" appeared on 22 February 1952. We see knitting yarn and sewing thread connect the various elements of topics for women, ranging from the housewife's needs, at the top, to the debutante's at the bottom-left. The text states "100,000 letters received" which isn't too unbelievable in the time of the rise of the 'housewife' in the 1950s. The sexist portrayal of her man sitting smoking his pipe and reading the paper (the Telegraph no doubt!) is further embedded by his back being turned to all her interests and concerns! Bellamy uses a single line to outline this. The stippling on the debutante's gown adds some weight or closure to the piece.

The next illustration appears on the 14 March 1952 edition and features “Motoring” and is signed FAB again.

World's Press News 14 March 1952
I have no idea when it comes to cars (my VW Polo gets me from A to B) but a little research suggests Bellamy has shown a simplified version of perhaps a 12 horse-power Panhard from c.1902 with an outlined car behind (any suggestions gratefully received!). The registration plate seems so deliberate I wondered if it was a phone number. The Internet confirmed what I thought, that CEN could be "CENtral" London.But sometimes the best approach is to directly ask....

Further to your enquiry our Library has confirmed that Central4242 was indeed the Telegraph's official phone number from March 1930 to July 18 1955, when it changed to Fleet Street 4242.

Kind regards
Julie Marsh

Julie Marsh
Reader Relations
I am so grateful to the Daily Telegraph for their help! I did wonder why Bellamy drew the zebra crossing with the spanner, fan belt(?) oil can and footsteps, beyond just making that connecting device again. The gentleman at the bottom, leaning on his car has his binoculars and is smoking and his car has some lovely stippling.

World's Press News 18 April 1952

"Theatre" appears next, on 18 April 1952, and again is signed (bottom-left hand corner) and we have a line which weaves across the image creating footlights, and tragic and comic masks. The stippling on the thespian's feet and cloak are lovely as a contrast and the 'Ginger Rogers' dancer is nice. I'm no Shakespeare scholar but I know Hamlet and therefore discovered Wikipedia tells me that "The earliest printed image of Hamlet holding Yorick's skull is a 1773 engraving by John Hall after a design by Edward Edwards in Bell's edition of Shakespeare's plays"

World's Press News 2 May 1952
“Who is Peterborough?" The column's title came from Peterborough Court, whose inscription can still be seen over a door at 135 - 141 Fleet Street where the Daily Telegraph building still stands (although currently occupied by Goldman Sachs). The British Listed Buildings site conveniently shows us just that. The nom de plume 'Peterborough' hid the writer's identity. Many well known British writers were Peterborough including Sebastian Faulks, Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore, Petronella Wyatt, W. F. Deedes and Quentin Letts. The column, which began in 1929 changed its name in 2003 to "London Spy", not quite as enigmatic, in my opinion!
I love this image for its quirky long diagonal. Interestingly Bellamy shows a man whose work environment reminds me of Dicken's "Christmas Carol", the quill pen and desk speak of "old fashioned-ness", one of the reasons for the 2003 change! Notice how Bellamy letters the sheets of paper. I did consider looking through 'Peterborough's' articles to see if these headers appeared but decided my life is too short and I was being a bit obsessive!

The 16 May 1952 issue of World's Press News reprinted the "Peterborough" image above from 2 May.

World's Press News 27 June 1952
The next one in the series is 27 June 1952 “Here’s the sport" - again signed subtlety in the left hand corner by the bicycle handlebars! My favourite bit of this is the domesticated scene, a knitted tea cosy, Mum wears her apron and Dad has his briefcase and umbrella ready for his commute to the city! But I wonder who or what young 'Johnny' is doing reading the back page! The caricatures are lovely too.

Many thanks to David Jackson for helping me by cleaning up my rough photocopies
PART TWO to follow

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Original art on Heritage - 2 Life Studies

Life study #1

Life Study #2

The above images are up for auction on Heritage as one lot. This link may require you to log in due to, what I see as, Heritage's peculiar Adult Verification policy. Some of their other stuff doesn't get this restriction, and in this same auction, where the nudity is gratuitous ("Treasured Chests", anyone?) - strange!

Bellamy's life drawings were all in single drawing books as you'd expect, but have been sold far and wide as single pieces.

I've shown a few others (here and here) collected from various places  as well as the ones I personally own

Heritage describe this piece:
Frank Bellamy - Nude Female Illustrations Original Art Group of 2 (undated).
Fantastic images as you would well expect from this talented artist. Known for, among many other things, his outstanding work on many different British weekly publications, including his Thunderbirds work in TV Comic [sic] These are created in rust-colored pencil on manila toned art paper. The image areas measure approximately 9" x 12" each. One is signed. In Excellent condition.
Yes, before anyone tells me that he drew Thunderbirds for TV 21, I have let Heritage know that!

If you're searching the rest of the auction, you'll find some lovely Don Harley "Dan Dare" and Ron Embleton art as well.

WHERE?: Heritage Sunday Internet Comics Auction #121826
LOT #11014
ENDING PRICE:$384 (incl. Buyer's Premium) = £301.86
END DATE: 1 July 2018

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Original Art: Garth on Comic Link - The Spanish Lady (K103)

K103 episode of  "Garth: The Spanish Lady" Drawn by Frank Bellamy
This episode comes from the Garth story "The Spanish Lady", which was the penultimate story illustrated by Bellamy before his early death.   It's up for auction in the USA on Comic Link (their full Original Comic Art auction is here)

Comic Link describes this piece very briefly and I notice they have "1-15" in the title, which I think they've taken from the pencil saying "Fri - Sat 1-5-76" - (a topic I have yet to tackle and try to explain) :
Primary Artist Name: FRANK BELLAMY
Secondary Artist Name:
Year: 1976
Dimensions: The art has an approximate image area of 20.5" X 5".
Auction Start Date: 6/7/2018 8:00:00 PM [7th June]
This auction starts on Thursday 7 June 2018 and the bidding starts at $1, but don't believe you'll get it for that. Recent performance tells me, it will be around 200 times that amount, if not more.

The Spanish Lady story has been reprinted in the following places:
  • Garth: The Spanish Lady (Daily strips, Garth No. 3). London: John Dakin, Nov 1979 A4 size reprint 20 pages Reprints Garth strips K65-K160 from the Daily Mirror, March 17 - July 7, 1976.
  • Garth: The Spanish Lady All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.3 [No date] - Information from Garth: the index (Pub: ADCCC)
  • Daily Mirror Wednesday 08 June 2011 - Tuesday 2 August 2011 Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines
I'll update the sale price here and on my spreadsheet

And for the person who buys the piece, here's the two episodes on either side of K103

WHERE?: Comic Link
ENDING PRICE: $242 = £190.23
END DATE: 7 June 2018 28 June 2018

Sunday 20 May 2018

Frank Bellamy and The Avengers Part Two

The Winger Avenger logo
First of all let me steer you away from this article if you're looking for the Marvel Superheroes. This is about the 1960s-1970s British TV programme with John Steed and Emma Peel characters.
Secondly a public health warning: You are about to be sucked into a time vortex, losing many hours of your life!


Six years ago I took screenshots of all the Bellamy drawings I could find in one episode of The Avengers, called "The Winged Avenger". YouTube has a version here if you have never seen it, but be warned, these copyright materials can disappear as quickly as they are put up.

As a result of my blog article in 2012, Rodney Walker emailed me in 2016, having found at least one of the comics that I mentioned in my article. That's not a sign of how long it takes me to deal with email, just the time to add something a bit more substantial to the blog!

What comic am I talking about? Blackhawk, a DC Comic series (originally published by Quality Comics) and ran from January 1957 - November 1984. The issue that concerns us issue number 223, cover dated August 1966 (on sale in the USA June 1966), pencilled by Dick Dillin and inked by his regular compadre, Charles Cuidera.

Winged Avenger (31 minutes 51 secs)
The Winged Avenger (31 minutes 51 seconds)
 Thanks to Rodney, here's the cover of the comic we know the production team used!

And in the third story "Chuck's Pet Monster" we see this panel:
Blackhawk #223
Blackhawk #223

I rushed out and bought one myself and hunted eagerly for the other picture but as Rodney said to me about the second picture used in the programme:

The other one I can't identify.  But from the the Blu-ray, here's the content of the word balloons: "I must do as the masked one commands!"  And, "Quickly!  Quickly!  You have made too much noise!  Conceal yourself and leave...quickly!"
The bottom right page number in the white square is "5.".
Good luck with that one.
So there's the gauntlet thrown down. Being the stubborn determined person I am, I picked it up and discovered the other comics from DC that were for sale during the same month - thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics. I might have followed this line and taken guesses, written on comic forums asking fans of DC but then it struck me. Rodney gave me another clue I hadn't tried, which to be frank seemed far-fetched!

The as-yet unidentified comic panel
The other, now, identified comic panel!

However, proving, that we should never overlook the obvious, a simple search of the text provided by Rodney led me to finding the image!

Tales to Astonish #84 panel
It was on the Comic Book Resources Marvel Forum - (thanks to "Reviresco"). Sub-Mariner is commanded to smash and bash and 'crrash!' in Tales to Astonish #84 whose cover appears here:

Tales to Astonish #84

BACK COVERS SEEN in "The Winged Avenger"

So the only mystery, if anyone is still awake out there, is the back covers shown on The Avengers. I asked Rodney about whether they appeared on Blackhawk and he replied:
You mean the Aurora slot cars?  I noticed something in the Blu-Ray Disc counterpart of that still.  It appears to be a thick enough comic that it had the title on the spine.  But they covered it up with white material which allows you to know there's writing underneath but without the clarity to make it out.  So it was probably an 80-page Giant issue of some DC title.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to the back cover of Blackhawk #223.  However, Action #340 came out the same month and it had the Mattel tanks on the back as presumably all DC Comics cover dated August, 1966, did.  That would lend support to the conjecture that the other comic they had in Steed's flat was the Blackhawk issue as it has the Mattel tanks ad on back
So I'd bought Blackhawk #223 and lo and behold, on the back cover.....

The back cover of Blackhawk #223
So that leaves us with the Aurora slot cars. I checked Jimmy Olsen #95, the only 80-Page Giant that appeared in June 1966 and that had the same cover as the above, "Switch n go battle set". But as this advert appeared all over the place at that time, here's one from Adventure #341 published February 1966. As Rodney says it's likely to be a Giant but because of the spotty nature of distribution I'm not trying to pin it down exactly.

So how did Rodney find it was Blackhawk in the first place?
I saw the image saying "Here come the Blackhawks" and set about seeing if I could find the original image.  In searching, I found your blog entry.  Next, I found this information on page 203 of Michael Richardson's "Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to the Avengers":
"Artist Frank Bellamy, who had made his name drawing the adventures of Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future in the Eagle comic and who was at the time the regular illustrator on the Thunderbirds strip in TV Century 21, was hired to provide several pieces of artwork for 'The Winged Avenger'.  These were copied from 35mm frames, and toward the conclusion of events, some clever editing sees the picture on the screen fade into the artwork and vice-versa.  Bellamy also provided the artwork for the front of The Winged Avenger comic featured in the episode, which was actually an issue of a DC Comics comic book with a new cover attached.  Besides providing artwork, Bellamy also designed both the Winged Avenger costume and the Winged Avenger Enterprises studio set.  In order to concentrate on his contributions to the production, Bellamy took a temporary break from the Thunderbirds strip in TV Century 21; the edition published on Saturday 22 October [actually 29 October] saw him temporarily bow out, part-way through the story 'Solar Danger'.  He returned several weeks later with a new Thunderbirds strip called 'The Big Freeze'.
"Also seen in the episode are large scans taken of panels from a copy of the DC Comics comic book Blackhawk No. 223, dated August 1966, with newly-drawn giant Winged Avenger images added.  However, the style of art indicates that these were not Bellamy's work."
So that's the story of how we finally identified those comic panels and sort of identified the rears of the comic books used)

Whilst on the subject of the Winged Avenger, in the post from 2012 I linked to the website where I stored all the Bellamy artwork from the episode including this logo.

Look above the artist and you'll see the logo
shown at the head of this article
Recently Alan Davis gave me access to the photos he rescued from Frank Bellamy's studio and amongst several interesting pieces were some of this episode including the "Pow", "Splat" and "Bam" artwork which proves these were produced by Bellamy (but the "PING" does not look like his and is missing from the photos - although this is 'arguing from silence'). But more interestingly a close up of the logo seen above as well as this lovely colour image from the programme

The Winged Avenger - Photo courtesy of Alan Davis
Seen at 31 minutes 38 seconds in the episode

David Jackson wrote to David Bellamy in 1977 and Bellamy's son explained:
We were supplied with a transparency and we put this in a projector and blew that up to about imperial size on a piece of board, and traced that off roughly and then he drew the illustration then. Then it was put the other way around in the film. 
Thanks for that David (and David!)


Mopping up a few loose ends, I'd recommend "Bully" and his articles on this episode, start here

On the excellent comics annotations site  Enjolrasworld we see a mention to the character of the artist in "The Winged Avenger" episode which appears in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen "Black Dossier"

The cartoon on the lower left is done in the style of New Yorker cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s. The cartoon’s artist, “Arnie Packer,” is a reference to the “Winged Avenger” episode of the British TV series The Avengers. In “The Winged Avenger” an evil cartoonist named “Arnie Packer” is responsible for a series of murders.

And Ian wrote to me showing me these fan recreations which I thought brilliant, showing the influence of Frank Bellamy still goes on!

And lastly I discovered a tiny replica of the "The Winged Avenger" appeard in the Product Enterprise set in 2002. Anyone got one and tell us that it is literally the cover on a 'book'? "Scoop" answered this on the wonderful Moonbase Central blog - it's a solid object with just the FB artwork on the front!

Product Enterprises Avengers set