Tuesday 1 January 2019

Frank Bellamy and Lyons Maid ice lollies

What do Frank Bellamy and the Beatles' Yellow Submarine have in common?

Lyons Maid Ice Cream lollies c.1976 showing Dinosaurs and Space 1999

In the 1970s  Frank Bellamy was set free from his weekly comic strip deadline but tied to a schedule of a single daily strip - Garth in the Daily Mirror. This gave him the time (and, I guess, the need to earn more money) and saw him branch out. His last 6 years of life were very active and varied.

Until today I knew that Lyons Maid had produced a lolly called "Dinosaurs" but always thought the artwork on the wrapper didn't look much like Bellamy so forgot all about it except I have evidence that Trickfilm Studios Limited hired him in relation to this product. Of course, as with the later example (see below) it was payment for art which was used in a TV animation not the lolly wrapper itself or the cards inside (that were often given away - mostly sodden from de-frosting, as I recall!). When first researching this I couldn't find anything.  But as time has gone by the Internet turns up so many treasures. My discovery, that someone had uploaded the advert for Dinosaurs, led to this article.

Charlie and Ingrid Jenkins were the Directors of Trickfilm Studios (based at 13 Charlotte Mews, London W1) and the BFI has a tiny piece worth looking at, if interested in the animator/company and an Animation Weekly article on The Creators of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine: Where Are They Now? tells us more about his illustrious career. How he came to choose Bellamy, I don't know but imagine he saw his comic work as a boy.


Lyons Maid Dinosaurs wrapper c.1976
Courtesy of Jim Moon (http://hypnogoria.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-orrible-ouse-of-terrible-old-tat_11.html)

On January 23 1976 Bellamy received the commision to produce two pieces of art. He delivered the first artwork to Trickfilm Studios on 27 January. The order stated: "One background for the above film as briefed by Charlie Jenkins at a fee of £200". The film? Lyons Maid Dinosaurs. I'm very grateful to Advertarchive for uploading this.

If you look closely you'll see Bellamy's tradmark tree branches  which I've screenshotted below. I think it unlikely anything else is his and the wrapper certainly doesn't look like his artwork.

Bellamy's receding tree branches
The second piece of artwork ordered by Charlie Jenkins is more complicated

The order from Trickfilm Studios, signed by Charlie Jenkins, stated he wanted:

"The style should be up-dated Dan Dare but not to resemble specifically elements from the Space 1999 series (for legal reasons).

Could you draw up in line only frames 1 and 2. - No:2 being the explosion of the rocket crashing into a satellite. On frames 3 and 4 could you give me a few trajectory drawings of the space man falling only and the close-up as in frame 4.

Frame 6 cannot be drawn until I have the lolly wrapper so could you design the Background in frame 5 in such a way that it can be animated into a frame similar to 6."
Martin Willey's site The Catacombs, is an exhaustive coverage of all things Space 1999 and I've linked to the Lyons Maid section deliberately as he has captured shots from the video available online


I think you'll agree there's a lot of Bellamy to be seen - even if the repro here is not too sharp. Bellamy scribbled a note for his records "5 separate pieces = £500". I've tried to work out which shots Bellamy included but make it 7 pieces in total so I presume he was ok with supplying these at the price of 5.  His list states:
  1. Rocket and Asteroid
  2. Rocket crashes
  3. Trajectory drawings (X3)
  4. Space man
  5. Space man head

He did receive a cheque for £756 on 19th June 1976 so it appears Charlie Jenkins did pay him for the extras (the three 'trajectory' drawings, presumably)

I've borrowed some of Martin's screenshots (with thanks) and reproduced them here so you can see what Bellamy did

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