Saturday 16 February 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds and Garth from Bob Monkhouse Estate

Original art from the Bob Monkhouse collection
Thunderbirds from TV21 #131

I woke this morning to the announcement of three pieces of artwork produced by Frank Bellamy, in the latest (March 2019) Comic Book Auctions Limited  and from the estate of the late Bob Monkhouse. You might recall that the previous lots appeared in November last year. If you follow the link (or jump to my page where I keep sales records) you'll see they raised a fair amount of money. Will these go for more? "No-Predictions Norman", they call me!

Let's start with the headliner: From TV21 #131, this is the second episode from the story which ran in TV21 #130 - 136 (15 July 67 - 26 August 67) called the "Voyage of the President". It is described as:

Lot # 102:
Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1967) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 131, 1967
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
Fearing a rebel attack on the President super-ship Thunderbirds 1 keeps station but a rogue tanker is on collision course…
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins

I wouldn't call it a "rogue tanker" as Casta and Golan are deliberately aiming at the 'President'. Here's the page from TV21 so you can see how this page has retained the colour - remember children, do not hang your art on the wall! The sun is a killer as we've seen many times over the years. Bear in mind this is a scan of a printed page and nowhere as clear as the original art above!!

Thunderbirds from TV21 #131
The next lot I found interesting is Lot #92 which is a rare page from the serial "Brett Million" and this story was the only one illustrated by Bellamy, called "Ghost World". I've written about this before (and it's worth highlighting Steve Holland's brilliant index again). It appeared in Boy's World, a photogravure comic which ran the story from Volume 1:46 - 1:49 and continued into 2:1 - 2:17. (7 December 1963 -28 December 1963, 4 January 1964 -  25 April 1964). The lot is described:

Lot # 92:
Boy's World/Brett Million and the Ghost World original artwork (1963) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
From Boy's World Vol. 2: No 9. To save the ship Brett undergoes the life threatening risk of neural amplication [sic] - invisibility!
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 20 x 15 ins
Original art from Bob Monkhouse collection
Boy's World 29 Feb 1964 Vol.2:9
This, the 13th episode of the story, shows how Bellamy was using different colours for this strip, for some reason. The artwork may be a bit faded but the comparison below with the printed version shows similar colouring. Bellamy had a knack of making ships look very futuristic and alien! Here's a photo of my copy of the comic to compare.
Photo of the comic Boy's World 29 Feb 1964 Vol.2:9
The idea of accelerated time = invisibility appeared on my radar in Star Trek: The Original Series (as they call it now!) in the episode "Wink of an eye". This was aired first on 29 November 1968, so did Lee Coon the author of the story read British comics? I doubt it, but who knows?

Then we have the third offer which is of three consecutive Garth strips from the Daily Mirror.  "The Wreckers" story ran from 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974 and these three strips certainly show how Bellamy had a very good command of such a small space.

Garth: The Wreckers Episodes G304-306
One episode of the story of "The Wreckers" is held by the Cartoon Museum which will soon be open in its new location in London.

The lot is described thus:
Lot # 104:
Garth: 3 original consecutive artworks (1973) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 22-27 December 1973
From the Bob Monkhouse Archive
Garth is trapped with Andromeda in Tallion's torture chamber…
Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (x3)
I'll update the spreadsheet with the sale prices as soon as they are published - thank you Malcolm!


Thunderbirds - TV21 #131
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
ENDING PRICE: £4750.00

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Garth: The Wreckers
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1320.00
END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT

Brett Million & The Ghost World
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1580.00

END DATE: Sunday 3 March 2019 14:00 GMT


Tony Smith said...

Aha, three of the Garth strips Monkhouse beat me to before the start of the Garth exhibition at Kettering Art Gallery in 1978. They were purchased for £30 each, so if they make £600 to £800, that's not a bad profit. Bob snapped up many more Garth strips that day, which no doubt will come up for auction later!

Shaqui said...

The idea of accelerated time = invisibility predates this strip in two episodes of 'Space Patrol'... Time Stands Still (1963) and Sands of Death (1964), both written by Roberta Leigh. This series aired a number of times (as 'Planet Patrol') on the east and west coast of the USA between 1964 and 1970.

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks for the comments Tony and Shaqui.

SHAQUI: You've sent me looking for earlier instances in literature now! I am not sure I have ever seen a full episode of Space Patrol so am grateful for the detail

TONY: I always wonder whether, considering how long you enjoy them and have to store them carefully, whether the difference in price is that much at all! But I love the four I own!