Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Frank Bellamy and the Kettering Leader and Guardian


 MERRY CHRISTMAS - here's my gift to the world!
Kettering Leader and Guardian 26 December 1947 p.6

According to the Newspaper Directory (1946-1947, p. 127) the Kettering Leader and Guardian newspaper was established in 1882 and "is characterised by its original articles, the fullness and accuracy of its reports, and the excellence of its illustrations" [emboldening mine]

The reason I'm looking at the KLG is because of a cutting I found among some papers that Nancy Bellamy loaned to me and because of the kindness of Tony Smith, who interviewed Frank Bellamy several times [CORRECTION: "for the record, I only interviewed Frank the one time, not several, but I have the honour of being the last journalist to do so before he died in 1976"]. The cutting has been pinned down and appeared in 1955 (you can see below) and Tony set me on a search which saw a LOT of Bellamy material never seen before - well, other than by the people who read KLG in the 1940s!

Kettering Leader & Guardian 11 November 1955, p.3
It says "Swift", "Girl" and "Lilliput" -
to my knowledge Bellamy did not have any work in "Girl"

Bellamy produced many cartoons for the Pink 'Un, the sport extra - which was published by the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph for whom he also did illustrations.  I've browsed microfilm of the 1947 Kettering Leader and Guardian (and Northamptonshire Advertiser - to give it its full name) a weekly newspaper that appeared on Fridays and contained many local stories including issues made up of local opinions and anecdotes. The picture at the top of this article and the following come from a double page called "In peace or in war these are the Christmases remembered best of all" in which locals submit stories. This would be the first Christmas at home for many returning to Kettering after the war.

Kettering Leader and Guardian 26 December 1947 p.7

But there was a regular feature that Bellamy illustrated which began 14 March 1947 through the whole of 1947 missing only a few weeks: gardening tips! Here's the one for Boxing Day 1947 from the same issue as the images above.
Kettering Leader and Guardian 26 December 1947 p.9
Why Bellamy shows a pawnbroker polishing his three balls, I don't know
[UPDATE: If you'd like to see the visual jokes Bellamy created to accompany the column, written by 'Riston', I've added them to the blog]. Bellamy uses phrases from the script and makes a joke or pun around them.

Kettering Leader and Guardian 6 June 1947 p.12

I asked Tony about the name Riston (or "Ristone" as he becomes from 30 May 1947 most of the time!) and he replied:
No idea who Riston was - probably code for the real writer’s name, which they tended to do that in those days (usually when the column was not written by a bona-fide journalist). Even in my day, one of the Evening Telegraph’s compositors, Bill Crabb, wrote the racing column giving tips for the day under the byline Billet - (Bill ET, get it?).
If anyone knows, please get in contact.

Tony shared this with me.

Kettering Leader and Guardian 27 June 1947 p.1
This appeared on the front page taking up most of the cover. Unfortunately I couldn't read the story of the old cabbie as the microfilm was unfortunately not at all clear, the story appearing in the newspaper gutter. Well that's 1947 done, now to travel backwards and forwards! Happy New Year to you all!








Saturday, 21 December 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Garth on ebay - TheWreckers (G305.5!)


If you read this:
G292 of The Wreckers
Then read this:

G293 of The Wreckers
Then this:
G294 of The Wreckers
Do you think the story is missing something? How did Garth get into the chair? The caption "Interrogation" doesn't really make sense.

But what if between G293 and G294, the guards and Garth had a fight and our hero knocked them out? Then Tallion, the villain who would interrogate Garth, might have been watching and threatened Garth. Then we might have Garth submitting and following new guards to the interrogation chamber. THEN we could see G294.

OR ALTERNATIVELY

G304-G305

G306-G307
What if between these two banks of strips Tallion challenges Garth and we see the two guards on the floor? Why do I say that?

G293.5(!) or G305.5(???)
Where did I find what I'm calling G305.5 until I know any better? On eBay!

An episode of "The Wreckers" DR.CH.73 - Daily Record

The seller (rhfl41) has been in touch and tells me that
The Garth strip belonged to my father, the late Ewen Bain, who was a cartoonist. His own cartoon strip, Angus Og, ran in the Daily Record for 30 years
She describes the Garth strip like this:
Original Frank Bellamy Garth cartoon strip. From the Wreckers numbered DR.CH.73. Printers' instructions in pencil written on front including 'Daily Record 26-12-73'.
Drawn in black on CS10 Line Board.
Measures 20 x 53 cms, outer area, 13 x 52 dimensions of drawing.
(The Daily Record is a Scottish newspaper).
Why would this have gone unnoticed all these years - since 1973? We have seen reprints of the strip in Garth: The Wreckers published by the now-defunct All Devon Comic Collectors Club. The Americans saw the strip (oddly missing  G301-G306 inclusive) in the wonderful Menomonee Falls Gazette (#184 - #202) and lastly in the Daily Mirror from Wednesday 13 April 2011 - Tuesday 7 June 2011 where it was coloured by Martin Baines. But NONE of them have this strip that is on offer!

Just to confuse me the edition of the Daily Mirror for 6 November 1973 states "Here's a double ration of your favourite strips" - no explanation why, but presumably industrial action again - there were loads around that time! However the paper appears to have been published the day before and on 6 November a reprint of the 5 November strip appeared! So our numbering sequence is fine.

If they presented the numbered sequences as above with no 'other' strip needing inserting then what is the one presented here? I think the Mirror numbered the Bellamy strips (not Bellamy) so there was a continuous sequence but I wonder if this strip was NOT published in the Daily Mirror.

If anyone reading this has cuttings from or access to the Daily Record for that period I'd love to know.
This has consequences as we may have other printed strips never before seen in England - and further afield, as well as original art that is unique! And I shall have to correct a note on the website that says the BBC article on FB states he did work for the Daily Record, where I thought he didn't!

I then checked all that I did know and agree that 96 episodes of this story are in the reprinted versions I have between Friday 26 October 1973 and Monday 18 February 1974. BUT that is based on the usual lack of Sunday versions of the Daily Mirror and also no Christmas Day, and Boxing Day editions - times were different back then! However usually there would be a New Year's Day edition BUT the Newspaper Archive says not for 1974! So 96 only works if these conditions are true, i.e. the Archive didn't miss one!

Now to the Daily Record reprinting the strip. The Internet and I know nothing! HELP! I shall do the research when next in the British Library and let you know but we now have to conclude:
  1. This is an original Bellamy never before printed except in Scotland - and my guess would be c. 26 December 1973 (for G305.5 to work) - dependent on Scotland printing on Boxing Day - as the writing says on the original
  2. There may be others in Scotland that England have not seen
  3. Ewen Bain asked Bellamy to create a Garth - and Bellamy jumped off using the story as inspiration - and John Allard lettered as usual - VERY UNLIKELY!
  4. This is a fake - which I don't believe! We have some provenance - which can be checked

The last thought I have on the matter is - did the Daily Record receive a clean version of the board - free from the usual 'double-day' information and also the sequential number inserted? More on that another day, but the Scots version is clean of the London markings. Draw your own conclusions!


AUCTION SUMMARY

GARTH: The Wreckers
WHERE?: eBay
STARTING BID: £280
ENDING PRICE: £460
No OF BIDS: 7
END DATE: Friday 27 December 2019

Sunday, 17 November 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Garth x 3

Garth: Bride of Jenghiz Khan (H279-H281)
I was just closing down my computer and saw this auction pop up. Unusually the seller (staylor133) is based in Bertrange, Luxembourg and has appeared on this blog before a couple of times. We have here three consecutive Garths from the story which first appeared in the Daily Mirror from 28 September 1974 - 14 January 1975 (#H228-J11), The Bride of Jenghiz Khan.

The opening bid is £1,000, which these days is reasonable for three strips by Bellamy, let alone consecutive, and the seller describes his photos and Garth strips thus:
Here we have THREE consecutive daily strips by Frank BELLAMY from the Daily Mirror. These are from the story "The Bride of Jenghis Khan" published on 27th, 28th and 29th of November 1974; strip numbers H279, H280, and H281.

The photos were taken at night under artificial light and are in fact white and not the yellow it seems to be.

Each page measures 21.5 x 7 inches. Free postage is offered with this item.

Please review the photographs.





And just for your enjoyment here are a few episodes around and including the above (badly photographed by me!) from the sadly missed ADCCC reprint of the story

Garth: Bride of Jenghiz Khan H278-H282


AUCTION SUMMARY

GARTH: Bride of Jenghiz Khan 3 episodes
WHERE?: eBay (Seller: staylor133)
STARTING BID: £1,000
ENDING PRICE: £1,000
BIDS: 2
END DATE: Tuesday 26 November 2019

Saturday, 16 November 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Heros, 3 Garth Sundance and 3 sketches

Eagle 24 August 1963 Vol 14:34

The second auction this month to feature multiple Frank Bellamy originals is from Compalcomics. As usual Malcolm Philips offers a listing at both his Compalcomics and TheSaleroom

HEROS THE SPARTAN: Eagle 24 August 1963 (Vol. 14:34)

The image at the top of this article shows the 25th episode of the story "The Eagle of the Fifth". There is a slight error in the listing, if you're trying to match this to the comic. It should say 1963 not 1962. This is the first time I've seen this original art and it looks pretty good - especially as Heros is so scarce! The auctioneer's estimate is £4,000- £4,500 and the last one sold at auction went for over £7000.

It is described as:
Heros The Spartan double-page original artwork (1962) [sic 1963] painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from The Eagle Vol. 14, No 34, 1962. [sic 1963]The Men of the Jackal's screaming warriors attack Heros, Berbrix and their small band as the traitor, Guthrac, strikes… Bright Pelikan inks on board. 27 x 18 ins
GARTH: Sundance - 3 episodes

Garth: Sundance Episodes E180, E182 and E191
These three strips are all from the first that Bellamy drew in the Daily Mirror newspaper. Bellamy took over from John Allard on 12 July 1971 (#E162) and this first story ran to 11 October 1971 (#E226). Episodes from this story are certainly rarer than most and are one of my favourite in the Garth run.

The auction is estimated to reach £700-£900 but that is way under what I think will happen - especially as at the time of writing it's reached £1,120! Malcolm described them like this:

Garth: 3 original artworks (1971) by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 2nd/4th/14th August 1971. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. General George Armstrong Custer leads the U.S. Seventh Cavalry with Garth as his Chief Scout in search of Sitting Bull. Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (x 3)

BELLAMY SKETCH: To be or not to be

"To be or not to be"
This sketch, thankfully, has provenance as it comes from the Bob Monkhouse collection. The auction is described thus:

Frank Bellamy original signed sketch (1940s) 'To Be or Not To Be'. The Catering Corps Sergeant in a dilemma over the troops tinned rations menu. (Probably hung in the Sgt's Mess!). From the Bob Monkhouse archive. Indian ink and wash on card. 14 x 10 ins

The Sergeant has written "Menu for tomorrow" and "How to cut up margarine into portions to look like butter"  and I love some of the descriptions on the cans - "Kippers - Depth-Charge Brand" or "Salmon - Fresh from Hong Kong". We know Bellamy ran drawing classes before the war and we also know he is seen in some photos drawing whilst in his uniform, but where or if this ever appeared in print, I have no idea! I don't think the title is very clear "To be or not to be" or it's his best cartoon work - which were very good when he drew for the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph. The auctioneer's estimate is £60-£80 with an opening bid of £55 but so far no-one has bid

BELLAMY SKETCH: 2 Portraits

2 charcoal portraits
 Finally this interesting early work, I say early because the lips on the woman are very crude and nothing like the Bellamy we see in the 1930s newspaper work or later. This might possibly be his earliest work that still exists!

They are described as:
Frank Bellamy (1940s). Two original charcoal pencil sketches, both signed in capitals 'Frank A. Bellamy', probably of his parents. 9 x 13 ins, 10 x 14 ins (2)

 I think Malcolm is being ambitious with his estimate of £250-£350 but I've been wrong before! And whether they might be Bellamy's parents I have no idea. I've forward the idea to Tess Bellamy to see if she could comment, but the image of the man looks to be of someone in uniform.  As Horace Bellamy was born in 1885 he would have been 45 years of age in 1930, for example, so I wonder. But let's see what turns up


AUCTION SUMMARY

HEROS THE SPARTAN
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £3600
ENDING PRICE: £5,700
END DATE: Sunday 24 November 2019

GARTH: Sundance 3 episodes
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £640
ENDING PRICE: £1,180
END DATE: Sunday 24 November 2019

BELLAMY SKETCH: To be or not to be
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £55
ENDING PRICE: £125
END DATE: Sunday 24 November 2019

BELLAMY SKETCHES 2 Portraits
WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £230
ENDING PRICE: "Passed"
END DATE: Sunday 24 November 2019

Thursday, 7 November 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Heros, Thunderbirds and 3 Garth at Excalibur, oh my!

Unbelievably, just when I move house and while offline, two auction houses have Bellamy artwork for sale. So let me catch up quickly - these auctions are tomorrow (8 November-9 November). I'll do a second blog article on the Compal Auction (24 November)

Excalibur are "Collectables and Memorabilia Specialist Auctioneers" and were established in February 2016.

HEROS THE SPARTAN: Eagle 1 Dec 1962 (Vol. 13:48)


HEROS THE SPARTAN: Eagle 1 Dec 1962 (Vol. 13:48)
 It's lovely to see the colours preserved. Click on the image above (and below) and just gaze at those colours - all done in ink over a double page spread - despite Exclaibur thinking it was watercolour and ink!






You also get a copy of the comic!
Estimate: £5,000-£7,000 - the last time this sold was in March 2017 when it went for £4,332.01

Described as:
HEROS THE SPARTAN (1962) - ORIGINAL SIGNED FRANK BELLAMY ARTWORK from EAGLE Comic - FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - Eagle Comic (Volume 13) Issue #48 - "Heros the Spartan" Episode 6 - SIGNED BY FRANK BELLAMY IN PANEL 13 - A fantastic colourful two-page spread (centrefold feature in the comic, page numbers 12 & 13) Painted in water colours [sic - Norman] & pelikan inks on CS10 Colyer & Southey line board - 26.25" x 18.25" - (66.5 x 46.5 cm) Image area 25" x 15.25" (63.5 x 38.5 cm) - Flat/Unfolded - Very Fine (Full Colour) In addition the buyer will receive a copy of the Eagle Comic issue number 48 (Volume3) from 1962 the artwork appeared in.

THUNDERBIRDS: TV21 #178 (Page 10)




You also get the comic (with a great Mike Noble cover!)

Estimate: £1000-£1500
Described as:
THUNDERBIRDS (1969) - ORIGINAL FRANK BELLAMY ARTWORK from TV21 Comic- FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - TV21: Issue #178 - Part 6 Page 10 (of story) - "Scott and Virgil - Trapped in the Tunnel of Fire !" - A marvellous colourful piece with bright Pelikan colours & inks on board - 19.25" x 15" - (49 x 38 cm) Image area 15.5" x 12" (39.5 x 30.5 cm) - Flat/Unfolded - Very Fine (Full Colour) In addition the buyer will receive a copy of the original TV21 Comic issue number 178 (1968) the artwork appeared in.

GARTH: Bride of Jenghiz Khan (J1)

Garth: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan #J1

Interestingly we can see that J1 was pasted over the number underneath. Did John Allard lose track whilst lettering this piece?


Estimate: £200-£300 - last time this sold was in 2015 when it went for a paltry(!) £181
Described as:
GARTH (1975) - ORIGINAL SIGNED FRANK BELLAMY ARTWORK from Daily Mirror - FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - Chapter J1 - SIGNED BY FRANK BELLAMY ON FIRST PANEL (Bellamy's signature is almost a piece of art in its own right) - GARTH is the long running syndicated strip featuring the adventures of the cult time-travelling hero. This is the original art used for chapter J1 and published in The Daily Mirror newspaper on 2nd January 1975 - Fantastic clean detailed pen and ink work by this hugely popular and very collectable British artist - Pen & Ink on CS10 Colyer & Southey line board - 7" x 21.5" (18 x 54.5 cm) - Flat - Very Fine

GARTH: The Spanish Lady (K77)



Garth: The Spanish Lady #K77


 In this lovely close-up we can see 'white-out' or correction fluid, which Bellamy always claimed he did not use. But it's obvious here that Allard, the letterer chose to change to the position of the balloon 'tail'. Did Bellamy get it wrong?

Estimate: £200-£300
Described as:

GARTH (1976) - ORIGINAL SIGNED FRANK BELLAMY ARTWORK from Daily Mirror - FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - Chapter K77 "The Spanish Lady" - SIGNED BY FRANK BELLAMY ON SECOND PANEL (Bellamy's signature is almost a piece of art in its own right) - GARTH is the long running syndicated strip featuring the adventures of the cult time-travelling hero. This is the original art used for "The Spanish Lady" Chapter K77 and published in The Daily Mirror newspaper on 31st March 1976 - Fantastic clean detailed pen and ink work by this hugely popular and very collectable British artist - Pen & Ink on CS10 Colyer & Southey line board - 7" x 21.5" (18 x 54.5 cm) - Flat - Very Fine

GARTH: The Spanish Lady (K88)

Garth: The Spanish Lady #K88



Estimate: £200-£300

Described as:

GARTH (1976) - ORIGINAL SIGNED FRANK BELLAMY ARTWORK from Daily Mirror - FRANK BELLAMY (Artist) - Chapter K88 "The Spanish Lady" - SIGNED BY FRANK BELLAMY ON SECOND/THIRD PANEL (Bellamy's signature is almost a piece of art in its own right) - GARTH is the long running syndicated strip featuring the adventures of the cult time-travelling hero. This is the original art used for "The Spanish Lady" Chapter K88 and published in The Daily Mirror newspaper on 13th April 1976 - Fantastic clean detailed pen and ink work by this hugely popular and very collectable British artist - Pen & Ink on CS10 Colyer & Southey line board - 7" x 21.5" (18 x 54.5 cm) - Flat - Very Fine

AUCTION SUMMARY 
HEROS THE SPARTAN: Eagle 1 Dec 1962 (Vol. 13:48)
WHERE?: Excalibur
STARTING BID:
ENDING PRICE:£5,000
NO. OF BIDS:
END DATE: Friday8 November 2019

THUNDERBIRDS: TV21 #178 (Page 10)
WHERE?: Excalibur
STARTING BID:
ENDING PRICE:£1,500
NO. OF BIDS:
END DATE: Friday8 November 2019

GARTH: Bride of Jenghiz Khan (J1)
WHERE?: Excalibur
STARTING BID:
ENDING PRICE:£320
NO. OF BIDS:
END DATE: Friday8 November 2019

GARTH: The Spanish Lady (K77)
WHERE?: Excalibur
STARTING BID:
ENDING PRICE:£250
NO. OF BIDS:
END DATE: Friday8 November 2019

GARTH: The Spanish Lady (K88)
WHERE?: Excalibur
STARTING BID:
ENDING PRICE:£350
NO. OF BIDS:
END DATE: Friday8 November 2019

Friday, 1 November 2019

Frank Bellamy and the Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse


I was looking for a copy of the Bob Monkhouse 'wall' of art and realised I have never blogged about it beyond mentioning it in passing back in 2011. So let me correct that straight away.

A screenshot from "Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse" BBC4

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse was first broadcast on 3 January 2011  and ran for 90 minutes. The blurb for the show was:
The extraordinary story of comedian Bob Monkhouse's life and career, told through the vast private archive of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.
The anonymous writer who contributed to IMDB said it better:
When Bob Monkhouse's widow died and his house was being prepared for market, the amazing extent of his private collection of video and audio recordings was realized. Among them were many treasures which had previously been believed to be lost to the nation. This films delves into just some of the highlights of that trove, and reveals the multi-layered man behind the glossy TV persona.

It's not currently available on the BBC iPlayer or on YouTube (there are many Monkhouse videos on YouTube) but is repeated from time to time.

So what's the significance to Frank Bellamy? You'll know, if you follow this blog, that many Bellamy originals have now come on the market from Bob Monkhouse's extensive collection.

A quick tour of one corridor in Bob Monkhouse's art collection
 As the camera pans down the corridor we can clearly see some Bellamy - the three Garth "Sundance" strips (see below) plus what looks like "Heros the Spartan" below them and the fantasy piece you've previously seen here. 3 Garth "Sundance" story strips (E206, E212 and E223) came to auction previously from Bob Monkhouse's archive so we are yet to see these three and of course, the family may decide to keep them.

Garth: Sundance E180

Garth: Sundance E182
Garth: Sundance E191

I think Alan Burrows saved me a lot of work when he showed us some of the Heros strips that Bob Monkhouse owned. Episode #21 of the Heros story "The Slave Army" (published in Eagle Vol 16:29  17 July 1965)
Eagle Vol 16:29  17 July 1965
and also from correspondence with Bob, Alan showed us this 'fantasy illustration'.
Fantasy illustration
I know for a fact that this is not all Bob owned (especially as some have come up for auction in the last few years) but several fans remember this documentary and the fact so many Bellamy pieces were identifiable. There! I've now blogged about that too!