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


Tony Smith said...

I can vouch for the quality of the Monkhouse Garth collection. As a journalist, I covered the official opening of a Garth exhibition in Frank's home town of Kettering in 1978 and got there early to interview Bob. All the strips in the exhibition were on sale for £30 each, so before the public were allowed in, I attempted to purchase a number of striking examples of Frank's Garth, but every time I went up to the desk, I was told Bob Monkhouse had already beaten me to it. I must have picked out at least six strips I would like to own and every single one had been snapped up by Monkhouse! I ended up with just one strip the comedian had not bought, not a bad example from Angels of Hells Gap, but I couldn't help regretting the ones that got away!

Norman Boyd said...

Always good to hear from you Tony!

Kid said...

It's a shame to see someone's collection broken up like this, but I suppose there's not much option, as few people could afford to buy the complete contents.

Norman Boyd said...

Sorry not to have replied sooner Kid, but I didn't get the usual alert and you know how Blogger glitches! Anyway, yes, I agree, there is merit in a collector's vision and why they chose what they chose. If only we had a Heritage Lottery Fund!