Tuesday 21 May 2019

ORIGINAL ART: Bob Monkhouse Estate: Thunderbirds, Garth and Dan Dare

Original art from the Bob Monkhouse collection
Thunderbirds from TV21 #105
UPDATED PRICES BELOW - Frank Bellamy record price for Thunderbirds!

I apologise for the quiet that has descended on this blog. Various life events occurred, the latest of which was my stupidity in lifting railway sleepers (used as raised beds in our garden) by myself and thus damaging my back! I'm recovering and doing my gentle exercises, but can I remind you all, be careful of your back... seriously!

Anyway better things. It's Frank Bellamy's birthday. The more I look at his artwork, the more I am amazed at how this self-taught man moved from a provincial advertising studio in Kettering to another in London before going on to a long career in comics and illustration week in, week out. His use of space in constricted newspaper strips was incredible - even to look at today and his full colour double page spreads still leave me wanting more!

In the latest (May/June 2019) Comic Book Auctions Limited  we have again some artwork released from the estate of the late Bob Monkhouse. By the way, watch him on YouTube in his final performance and remind yourselves what a great comic he was!)

Let's start chronologically with Dan Dare

Eagle 9 April 1960 (Vol.11 No 15)
The printed version
I wrote about how Wally Wood used some of this page (in an article on Al Williamson) and here it is up for auction! Monkhouse looks to have stored his stuff very well and this very unique piece is likely to have started fading before he got it, in my opinion. The printed version above is too saturated in blue and therefore is not a great comparison but I thought might be of interest!

This piece is described as:
Dan Dare original artwork painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for The Eagle Vol. 11, No 15 page 2 (9 April 1960)
Dan and Pierre blast off in Nimbus Two in search of the wreck of her sister ship
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
Pelikan inks on board. 17 x 13 ins
It appeared in the third, and last Dan Dare story Bellamy part illustrated in Eagle, "Project Nimbus" - appearing in Vol. 11:12 - 11:28 (19 March 1960 - 9 July 1960) and it's amazing to see this piece become available.   

The second item up for auction in chronological order was produced by Bellamy in  1967 (see the top of this article)

Comic Book Auctions Limited describes this:
Thunderbirds original double page artwork (1967) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 105, 1967
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
Carrying a priceless shipment, Deathprobe 1's controls are jammed and the pilot is refused permission to abort ... Thunderbirds 2 and 3 are go ...
Bright Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins
In the photos Nancy Bellamy shared with us, there was a photo of the cover of a magazine called Photography (May 1966). The same image was used on the Hotspur Annual of 1967 (dated 1968). Did Bellamy use it for reference for this Thunderbirds strip?
The Hotspur Annual 1968
Lastly we have also got three Garth strips from the story "The Mask of Atacama"  which ran originally in the Daily Mirror from 13 July 1973 - 25 October 1973 (#G165-G254). These are beautiful and show exactly what I meant by his use of such restricted space. Why Malcolm photographed them in the wrong order I don't know, but three consecutive numbers are up for grabs!

Garth #G238, G239, G240

Garth: 3 original consecutive artworks (1973) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy from the Daily Mirror 6-9 October 1973
From the Bob Monkhouse archive
High priestess, Tiahuaca, sets a fiery trap for Garth and Atacama …
Indian ink on board. 20 x 18 ins (3)
I suspect these will go further than the estimate (as will the ones above!), and I'll update the spreadsheet with the sale prices as soon as they are published - thank you Malcolm!

And because we are celebrating Frank Bellamy's birthday here's an added bonus from the brilliant Menomonee Falls Gazette (#181), some episodes before the ones above and including them too!


Dan Dare
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £2050.00 hammer price

END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 14:54 BST

Thunderbirds - TV21 #105
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd
ENDING PRICE: £8300.00 hammer price
END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 15:26 BST

Garth: The Mask of Atacama
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions Ltd.
ENDING PRICE: £1120.00 hammer price
END DATE: Sunday 2 June 2019 15:27 BST