Friday 25 December 2020

Frank Bellamy and Swift Annual


The Swift Annual cover - needless to say NOT by FB!

As I have just finished reading "Damascus" by Christos Tsiolkas, given to me by my daughter and it mentions a runaway slave and it's nearly Christmas, the time when we received annuals as kids, that reminded me to look up Frank Bellamy's version of the tale. 

The Swift Annual #2 was published in Autumn 1955 for the Christmas market and here are the authors and artists for those who want to know:

Writers and artists in Swift Annual #2

We'll leave Raymond Sheppard for my other blog, but let's start with "Running Buffalo" - no, nothing to do with the slave I mentioned! 

The story of young Grey Eagle and how he was in the right place and the right time to save Dark Hawk, his brother when the buffalo run. Bellamy's three black and white washes are not reproduced with any clarity (and scanning them loses more!) but one can see compositions with action and tension. His signature can be seen on 2 of the 3 images. Unfortunately due to the alphabetical order of writers and artists shown above, I don't know who wrote this tale.

"Running Buffalo" in Swift Annual #2, p.8

"Running Buffalo" in Swift Annual #2, p.9

"Running Buffalo" in Swift Annual #2, p.10

 The second story drawn by Bellamy is in the usual comic strip format. It's interesting to note that at this time (c. Spring 1955, allowing for production times) Bellamy was on his second strip for Swift, "The Swiss Family Robinson" which was first published between 9 October 1954 and ended in the 16 July 1955 issue. He also took over "Paul English" before moving onto "King Arthur and his Knights". In other work he drew some illustrations for Swift but had been a regular for Lilliput and Boy's Own Paper so he was known for both his comic work and his illustration work too.  

Now to the runaway slave whose name was Onesimus.  He had run away from his master Philemon who it is generally assumed to have lived in Colossae. His reason for leaving has been deduced from verse 18 of Paul's letter. "If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me". Paul, at the time he wrote the letter to Philemon was a prisoner to the Romans (although not easy to date it is widely assumed to have been 61AD). Paul plays with the Greek name Onesimus in verse 11 "Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." - Onesimus means 'useful'. He sends the slave with his letter back to his master, his brother in Christ. 

And here is the two page adaptation and imagining of the incident by Chad Varah, the founder of The Samaritans and author of another Bellamy illustrated strip in Eagle, "The Travels of Marco Polo" :

"Runaway Slave" Swift Annual #2 p100

"Runaway Slave" Swift Annual #2 p101

 Interesting to see the mention of the theft of money "caused" by his master's beating! No excuse but interestingly interpreted.

Of course this wasn't the only Bible story that Bellamy illustrated - David The Shepherd King was another.

 I'll close by wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


Monday 16 November 2020

Frank Bellamy Gerry Anderson annual covers

I wanted to add these three covers in one place and see if we can get any clarification even at this late stage as to the certainty of which are by Bellamy and which not.

If you don't know already comic annuals in the UK arrived in shops during the late summer of the year preceding the published title date. So Beano Book 1967 (which even as kids we knew was an annual!) would have been on sale late summer 1966 and I remember seeing them just in time for my birthday at the start of October.


The first Thunderbirds title here is copyright 1966 and if the date had been included in the title it would be Thunderbirds Annual 1967. I don't think there is any doubt this is completely Frank Bellamy - besides the logo, of course. I wish there was a signature but there isn't!

Thunderbirds Annual [1967]


Bellamy's last strip for the newly launched  TV21 & Joe 90 was #4 (18 October 1969) so it's interesting if Bellamy came to do this Thunderbirds Annual 1971 which was published in 1970. 

As David Jackson said to me about this cover: The 1971 copy of Frank Bellamy is a very good copy seen on its own terms, (the goodness is all originally Frank's) but compared with Frank's original there is the 'Chinese whispers' degrading with each iteration, and the opaque paint medium rules out it being Frank Bellamy himself.

Thunderbirds Annual 1971

I hunted and it didn't take long to find where this 'Bellamy' shot came from: TV21 #56

TV21 #56 with the final frame used on the Annual

 So getting my friend Paul Holder to lay the raw Thunderbird 2 at an angle, we get.....

A raw Bellamy frame added on top

Then Paul tidied it up and we see this....

If Bellamy HAD done the cover but note fin!


The picture frame seems to fit almost perfectly of shape onto the annual, except you’ll notice the fin which would go off the annual cover if they had used the exact original frame. The ‘Thunderbird 2’ lettering on the side is slightly bigger on the annual - the 2 is larger in proportion and the whole text takes up a longer space on the side. The no 2 underneath is much fatter on the annual. The "squiggly shadows" on the side windows are very similar - same style - but not same as the comic frame.
I would say that it was traced and amended slightly. The vapour trail is not pure white but looks as if white paint done on top of blue sky so not opaque. Bellamy would have not done it this way, Therefore this is not a Bellamy illustration but a copy/homage.
Also, I think it would be technically easier at that time to illustrate anew, rather than get new films made (if the artwork was available) to the size proportions required.

And David said:

What doesn't come across digitally but is obvious in print and in your hands is that this cover version Thunderbird 2 is literally that - although it's taken from FB's early T2 'look' in style and design, it looks to be rendered in opaque watercolour / gouache / poster paints.
Which is to say the whitish opaque drybrush overpaint engines jetstreams; the orange-down-to-yellow intake nacelle; the lightened greenish overpaint of the black underside around the area of the right edge red circle retro...  I don't need to go on...

Paul then pointed out to me that actually the image AND design were 'borrowed' from Bellamy


TV21 #63 with that circle + red background!

UPDATE: 5 Dec 2020:

Thunderbirds Television Story Book Title Page, © 1966

 I found this image from the Thunderbirds Television Story Book (copyright 1966) which looks to me to be another borrowing from Bellamy as TV21 #63 was published on 2 April 1966 and this was for the Christmas market 1966.

Our joint conclusion: a very clever editorial decision to use the Frank Bellamy frames from early TV21, four years after Bellamy drew it. Then use paint to amend the image slightly.


The colour cover with Fireball XL5 (awful representation!), Thunderbird 2, Stingray and a coloured left hand margin.The dispute exists as to whether Bellamy did any or some of the colour images on this cover (The left-hand marginal drawings are definitely by Rab Hamilton, who illustrated "Agent 21" strip in TV21 and "Marina" in Lady Penelope)

If I had to bet on this I'd say the Thunderbirds image is Bellamy's and maybe the Stingray. His method of doing skies (as described by his son, David, in Timeview:

Inks are a very difficult medium to work with particularly on CS10 line board which is not at all sympathetic as the inks tend to dry unevenly, yet he could wash in skies or flat areas of colour and give an almost air brushed effect. This was done so quickly with brushes, blotting paper, cotton wool and various other little tricks, it was like watching a magician, the quickness of the hand deceiving the eye. 

TV Century 21 Annual [1967]

My hesitation is around the Fireball XL5, which I can't believe he did as it's so ...bad! But David Jackson felt:

Is Fireball XL5 so much of a problem?  The title (non-Frank Bellamy) graphics are not helping by crushing rendering of the vehicles.  The original art continues left and around the spine and tucks over and around overlapping the top and bottom and right-hand edges but the title graphics leave no space (ho ho) for Fireball XL5.  It is possible that the original art may have been same size and this could also have been a factor working against a bigger finish.


Interestingly the lightning flashes appear a later addition as Bellamy would do these differently and am I right in thinking the water appears above the flash? Comments received point out that the lettering for Fireball, Thunderbird 2 and Stingray look to be added on. [As Shaqui and Jeff Haythorpe point out Bellamy drew the lettering on TB2 in black (having checked,  he did, but also just left it off completely sometimes!]. Paul Green says:

The artist responsible for the cover of Thunderbirds Annual 1971 has used Bellamy's artwork as reference material and adapted it using gouache paint. During my time working on annuals adapting another artist's work or being told to copy their style was common practice. As for the TV Century 21 art - the first cover is definitely Bellamy's original art. The later cover feels like someone copying different styles as they aren't consistent. An artist probably adapted Embleton's Stingray art and Bellamy's Thunderbirds art. The Fireball XL5 may be a crude adaptation of Mike Noble's art. This isn't Bellamy's original art. Once again the medium is gouache paint.

The last thing I thought of after publishing this was that the Thunderbirds Annual [1967] - which I have no doubt is Bellamy's work - and the TV Century 21 Annual [1967] are different sizes. Is this significant in any way? 

David Jackson added:

The central frame of TB2 rolling out the pod vehicle could not have been created by anyone other than FB himself.  This of itself makes the cover in all probability a whole piece, but could possibly have been supplied as three separate images. The Stingray couldn't be by anyone else.  It is FB technique without key line and black at its most sophisticated. The area directly above the red gutter flash separating the TB2 and Stingray is the colour of the TB2 ground and although approximately a similar tone to the undersea effect in the Stingray frame, on closer comparison is nothing at all like it in colour or variation. If the Fireball XL5 had been seen in isolation it is doubtful it  would be attributed to FB, but is it not sufficiently unlike him not to be... The blue-grey space and stars effect are not unlike his usual method, in the absence of black ink. FB tended not to use 'route one' direct copying from sources even when they were available. And a decision must have been taken not to use black or ink outline and render the whole cover in watercolour wash technique.

The observations made about the craft lettering are enough to justify a suspicion that FB didn't letter them.  He would not have used process white over-paint, and XL5 tail fin is not that sophisticated and the other XL5 is in black, as is the Stingray so maybe 'too black'; the Thunderbird 2 looks like white opaque over-paint and it does not curve around the body in perspective. However, the under-wing TB2 is something only FB did. The model craft itself, and on only one wing, actually read T2.
Derek Meddings said to an outsourced sub-contractor of a Thunderbird 2 model that not only wasn't it the same shape it wasn't even the same colour! This TB2 model was eventually written off in a spectacular crash scene...

and then

The way the red zigzags are done, and the other cut and paste-up (literally back then) are not the way FB would do them. The Kid [see comments] makes perceptive observations that FB would be unfamiliar with the brief very early on, particularly in view of his method of assimilating as opposed to directly drawing from a source. 

DAVID further commented (January 2021):

One thing I've noticed and commented on in the 'printing' context it is that transparency and opacity of the original materials (ink, paint etc) 'prints through' in print.  On first consideration it might not seem likely or even possible but it does - you can see it.  Or I think I can see it - the difference between opaque and transparent in printed works.
The blue skies in both THUNDERBIRD 2 covers (the TV21 pod vehicle and the THUNDERBIRDS 1, 2 and 4) are unmistakably FB transparent wash skies. As is the rock foreground.  All the flat and shadowed foreground in front of the red vehicle pod immediately above the red zigzag and THUNDERBIRD 2 design is reliably early Bellamy in style.  The STINGRAY 'undersea b/g' looks like an FB scraped-back effect.
Any other artist would have to have been some sort of miracle worker to be this, similar to  early FB this early on in T'Birds without copying something FB had himself previously originated.
The lettering on the craft  is an issue, including the 'THUNDERBIRD 2' on the THUNDERBIRDS ANNUAL craft also.  I think this was overlooked hitherto.And the scans are not of a scale to compete informatively with the printed volumes. Lettering at any time by anyone is always a technical test to get 'right'.  And only more so when drawn in perspective.  Art gallery painters can 'get away' with brush mark indications of signage when readable proper lettering could dominate such a framed painting.  But graphic artworks can demand more accurate, meticulous, literal and readable, representational rendering.
Having subsequently since made a quick overview of the FB episodes of T'BIRDS, I now notice that I'd never really noticed, that more often than not, Frank Bellamy would omit the Thunderbird craft lettering, or elements of it, wherever he thought it was not necessary to put it in.  So it was always, over the entire run, always as graphic requirements allowed.
THUNDERBIRDS being about conveying action and speed.

A good comparison of the TV CENTURY 21 ANNUAL pre-FB is is the (c)1965.  STINGRAY, FIREBALL, My Favourite Martian and Burke's Law.  Unmistakeably nothing like FB; in opaques, from the model STINGRAY, and the more pointed nosed Fireball XL5.  And inside only the one model still shot, of Fireball, in b/w.

Further thoughts by David Jackson:

I’ll also add to the previous observations on the opacity (process white, gouache, poster paints, body-colour, designers colours - all various names for essentially the same thing - or in oils even - anything using a solid white in the palette) or transparency (watercolours or waterproof inks - no solid white in the mix) of the original materials ‘printing through’ in printed reproductions,

Both blue skies in both THUNDERBIRDS frames on the TV21 ANNUAL and the THUNDERBIRDS ANNUAL being characteristically FB to look at. Apart from which their method of creation 'prints through' in terms of what I would call ‘molecular effects' - the actions of the materials used - which is clearly seen as being created by the spread of colour diluting (‘bleeding’ as they say) into a puddle of water on dampened board - I.e. transparent wash. An effect which couldn’t have been obtained any other way.

Close examination of the THUNDERBIRDS ANNUAL sandstone rocks (another FB speciality) along, say, the almost horizontal edge in the lower left hand corner, the broken edge shadow indentations were clearly formed with ‘blobs’ of transparent brown wash.

Re the Thunderbird craft lettering, Not only was this frequently omitted in depictions of the craft as they appeared in the strip, when they were included it would be as part of the black key line.

(This leaves the possibility of some lettering omitted by FB may have been found lacking editorially and added later in-house)..

THUNDERBIRD 1 is in black lettering although white lettered on TV.  ‘THUNDERBIRD 2’ where written out in full, can be smaller / less visible than in photographs of the model. The good reference of TB3 on the cover of the first Thunderbirds episode FB seems not to have had for that spread. THUNDERBIRD 4 lettering is also in black in the actual model. THUNDERBIRD 5 lettering is clearly created using ‘negative space‘ - i.e. the surrounding area filled in in black leaving the lettering - as opposed to ever being an area of black overpainted in an opaque white. Such uses of negative space being another positive identifier of  transparent as opposed to opaque materials and methods.

Thunderbirds from TV21 #77

Thunderbirds panel from the 3rd page TV21 #64

#77 has examples of such, and I found more than I was looking for - the first FB "T2" underwing marking correction. TV21 #64 had the last “TB2” underwing marking - (the use of which identifies both ANNUAL covers depictions of TB2 as being originated at some point by FB).

Significantly, possibly, when the third b/w line and wash pages ended, starting with the TC193 story, that third page was used for Thunderbirds launch schematics by another artist and TV21 #69 has THUNDERBIRD 2 with its T2 (not TB2) underwing mark visibly displayed. TV21 #77 had the first “T2” corrected underwing marking actually by FB.
TV21 #69: The T2 logo - Eric Eden

 What do YOU think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I hunted through two years (Bellamy will have done several months of Thunderbirds by the time this was drawn) and found no similar panel to match the Thunderbird 2 image. What about the Fireball image? Is there corresponding reference?

Friday 6 November 2020

ORIGINAL ART: A plethora from Comic Book Auctions - Thunderbirds, Life Study, Masai, Garth


Thunderbirds from TV21 #172 (page 2)

Compal, or if you prefer Comic Book Auctions Limited are offering some lovely Frank Bellamy original artwork in their November 2020 auction. and you can bid live on The Saleroom 

The first auction lot is the second page from the Thunderbirds story in TV21 #172. I see that Malcolm has mentioned the fading but interestingly, for a change, it's not the blue! Take a look at the horribly printed version below and I see greens missing, which Bellamy will have mixed with yellow and blue!  This page comes from the shortest Thunderbird story (3 episodes from #170-172)!

Printed version

This is the auction description:

Lot: 105   

Thunderbirds original artwork (1968) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV21 No 172. A neutron cannon developed by Brains has crashed into the Thames. The crash has activated the firing mechanism and a neutron particle is aimlessly fired every ninety seconds destroying everything in its path... Pelikan inks on board with some fading to grey. 15 x 18 ins £1,200-1,500

Masai Warrior

The second lot is a gorgeous pastel. Bellamy did a few of these and they are so hard to appreciate unless seeing them out of their glass, being so difficult to photograph. BUT I have seen some of these photographed well, and love them. The auction description:

Lot: 106   

Maasai Warrior drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy (1960s)
Terracotta pastel on black cartridge paper. 23 x 20 ins £300-400

Life study (rear view)

And another 'life study' as I call them! 


Nude study drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy (mid 1960s)
During this time Frank Bellamy ran and organised life drawing classes at the Studio Club in London's Piccadilly Crayon on paper. 15 x 12 ins No Reserve

Then we get three sets of Garth strips which sell very well - especially as two of three lots are consecutive pairs of strips.


F251-F252: Garth: People of the Abyss
They show no markings or scribblings by Daily Mirror staff - which is unusual but I'm guessing they are mounted with a passe-partout or something similar.

Lot 116 description: 

Garth: 'The People of the Abyss'. 2 original consecutive artworks (1972) by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 24/25 Oct 1972 Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins (x2) £500-600  

The next lot is also from the same story, so if you are collecting the whole of this story, good luck! I don't know anyone who has a complete story of any Garth by Bellamy as they're scattered to the four winds!

F278: Garth: People of the Abyss
Notice, here we can see a sticker and some faint notations.

Lot 117 description:

Garth: 'The People of the Abyss' original artwork (1972) by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 24 Nov 1972 Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins £250-300
G41-G42 Garth: The Women of Galba

 The final Bellamy lot  is another pair of consecutive strips
 Lot 120  description:

Garth: 'The Women of Galba’ 2 original consecutive artworks (1973) by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 16/17 Feb 1973 Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins (x2) £500-600


WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
STARTING BID (with reserve): £1,080.00
Auctioneer's estimate £1,200 - £1,500

END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020

GARTH: F251-252 (People of the Abyss)
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
STARTING BID (reserve): £450 
Auctioneer's estimate £500 - £600
END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020

GARTH: F278 (People of the Abyss)
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
STARTING BID (reserve): £230.00
Auctioneer's estimate £250 - £300
END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020

GARTH: G41-42 (Women of Galba)
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
STARTING BID (reserve): £450.00
Auctioneer's estimate £500 - £600
END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020

LIFE STUDY (Back view)
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020

WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
STARTING BID (with reserve): £270.00
Auctioneer's estimate £300 - £400

END DATE: Sunday 22 November 2020



Monday 26 October 2020

Frank Bellamy and Battle Picture Weekly

 In this previous article I showed some images that appeared in Battle Picture Weekly

Today I have found the following images taken from Look and Learn #452 12 September 1970 and the cover from that issue reprinted too. I have a feeling there might be more Bellamy re-used in this title.


Cover by unknown artist

Battle Picture Weekly Annual 1977 pp74-75
You can see the main picture above in full colour here and it never hurts to show you the unpublished cover that Bellamy did. The cover used was the one below which appears as an inset above in the reprint

Unpublished cover for Look and Learn - thanks to Jeff Haythorpe

Look and Learn #452 12 September 1970

Wednesday 7 October 2020

The Art of Frank Bellamy is now public knowledge!

When should I tell people that I've written c.8000 words on Frank Bellamy which will be published next year? 

 Well, now that Geoff West of Book Palace Books has publicized it on his website. 


The artwork and covers have not yet been finalized but will look something like this and yes, there will be 144 pages of glorious colour images.  This will be the largest work devoted to Bellamy (so far, if I have my way!).

Draft cover

Gathering the artwork is the hardest part of such a venture and many people have really been kind with hi-resolution scans. Some works have been scanned from my collection where originals are not available but the whole package looks superb...and there are a few pieces you will never have seen before.

Draft back cover

 I'll let you know more in time, so start saving your pennies!


Thursday 1 October 2020

Kettering Leader and Guardian (PART THREE)

I know you've loved these posts on early Bellamy work, because no-one has disrupted their reading and viewing by saying anything on them! So here's another to add to your pleasure!

KL&G 29 August 1947 p.7
A delightful cartoon showing the newspaper's photographer reacting to a bee sting whilst the bee casually smokes! "No laughing matter: You must never make a bee angry" is the title of the column, which describes a reporter's attempts to research the easy way but instead jumping in the deep end!

KL&G 5 September 1947 p.7

Press on: 'Tich' made it on his hands and knees" is the second I want to highlight. It shows our reporter 'Tich' with camera looking at a very tall puzzled hiker from the local Youth Hostel. The caricature of the hiker with hairy legs and full equipment is brilliant and shows him scratching his head wondering why the reporter is not dressed properly for the occasion!

KL&G 26 December 1947pp.6-7
The above double-page shows "In peace or in war these are the Christmases remembered best of all" and the sub-title is "Some are treasured but others they try to forget". Local readers have been asked to submit memories of Christmases past. Here we five Frank Bellamy drawings  showing visually some of the memories of "Bill" as he returns home after the war.
  1. The cartoon in the centre shows Flight-Lieutenant John Strachey looking at an Army biscuit, as told by Major John Profumo - yes, THAT Profumo who was Kettering's MP for many years before the scandal occurred - follow the link for more information on him and his later life.
  2. J. Marshall Bailey tells the next tale of how a Corps Commander wanted to wish the sleeping company a Happy Christmas. "The reply was prompt: "I don't care who the purple spots you are. Shut that Pygmalion door"".
  3. Captain G. lane tells of how Germans soldiers, who were merry at this festive time, were surpised by an 'invasion' of their pill-box!
  4. "I shall always remember father's bitterness" shows a poignant scene telling of Alderman George S. Lindgren's father's unemployment at Christmas.
  5. Lastly we see "Dinner that was to be but wasn't" - W. Cheney's tale of arriving late for Christmas dinner
Bellamy uses various styles in this double-page to show jokes and serious subjects. he shows silhouettes for the train door opening and the visiting Corps Commander; an almost serious bunch of Brit soldiers coming up to tipsy Germans and then an out and out cartoon in a sketchy hand showing shock at ' "one piece of cold plum duff". These are mixed with the poignant image of a father and son at the table on Christmas Day with 'unemployment' being the headline on the paper. 

Lastly for today, here's a lovely strip "Ireson says it with coal - and get the sack". It's incredible how much Bellamy crammed into a small space, with brilliant caricatures for even the train, the "3195". Kettering - Raunds - Kimbolton  - Buckden - Godmanchester - Thrapston - Kettering are the place-names mentioned for this old train journey - before the cuts by Dr. Beeching! Wikipedia has an article on the old line with a map!

KL&G 27 February 1948 p.3

Monday 28 September 2020

Frank Bellamy and Leopards

When I found a single illustration in Eagle of a rhinoceros by Frank Bellamy it looked odd in a page of photos and text. - considering he did strips from 1957-1965. 

But now I've found another which rather excitingly has not been recorded before! It's a rarity to find a 'new' work by Bellamy - I call it the diminishing law of returns and I can see why it's been overlooked before!

Eagle Vol.11:17 (23 April 1960), p.4

Bellamy loved all things African with a focus on Kenya and the Masai people. His work for an South African magazine Outspan included such things as leopards too

OUTSPAN (10 February 1956) contains the story "Fear is a spotted cat" by Elaine Mans the first page of which I've shown before
 On pages 20-21 we see a leopard poised to spring with the caption - "Lifting her heavy limbs for a final effort, she fell against the rock, lying upright against its coolness"

Please forgive the image - which is a scan of a photocopy of the magazine! If anyone wants to supply a better copy, I'm more than happy to receive it! The magazine was very similar to Everybody's Weekly in size

Outspan 10 February 1956 pp20-21

Friday 14 August 2020

ORIGINAL ART: Various from Comic Book Auctions - Thunderbirds, Life Study, Garths and Sunday Times

Angela Mansi

This lovely nude or 'life study' (as I call them to avoid censorship), is currently appearing on Comic Book Auctions and The Saleroom

I've added the individual links below for Lots #67, 68, 79, 82 and 85 which are original art pieces by Frank Bellamy, so let's go through them and preserve them here for posterity (or as long as this website lives!)

The first is a rather faded Thunderbirds double page - from the second Thunderbird story in TV21 #64

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #64

This piece is described:
Thunderbirds original double-page artwork drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy from TV Century 21 No 64 (1966). Virgil jumps for his life as the International Rescue Machine is charged by the crazed rhinoceros… Some minor fading to the Pelikan inks. 27 x 19 ins.
This is certainly very collectable, being such an early story and also a double page spread. These first few stories are cherished by fans and this one shows Bellamy's love of Africa.
The second lot is of the nude above and has this description:
Angela Mansi nude study drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy (mid 60s). During this time Frank Bellamy ran and organised life drawing classes at the Studio Club in London's Piccadilly. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Brown crayon on paper. 17 x 10 ins. No Reserve

If you search the blog for 'life studies' you'll find others that I've shown. It'll be interesting to see what price this fetches.

"Discreditable exercise" Sunday Times 6 December 1970

The third lot is from the Sunday Times Colour Magazine (6 December 1970) and was written by Robert Lacey, the British historian and writer. I've communicated with Robert over this series and have captured his memories for use on this blog in the future. This piece appeared on pages 22-23 and is all about credit checking. It's described thus:

A Discreditable Exercise' original double-page artwork painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for The Sunday Times magazine (late 1960s). From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Bright Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins. No Reserve

This is the sort of design layout that made me fall in love with Bellamy (despite having seen his work from circa 1963 in Eagle, TV21 amongst others). Where and how he places panels is superb - and remember - this is way before any comic strips were standard in the relatively 'new' glossy Sunday magazines, let alone such a quality paper as the Times was!

The next two lots are Garth strips

Garth: "Beast of Ultor"H108-H109

The first pair are lovely- the hands depicting the Harpies attack have that three-dimensional look and we have the Bellamy 'swirls' as I call them.  But not only that, this strip shows the recurring character in the Garth strip - Astra.

The auction description:

Garth: The Beast of Ultor. 2 original consecutive artworks (1974) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 9-10 May 1974. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins (x2)


Garth: "The Bride of Jenghiz Khan" H265-H266

Both these show how Bellamy depicts three-dimensions in two so effectively in a comic strip with three panels. The description:

Garth: Bride of Jenghiz Khan. 2 original consecutive artworks (1974) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 11-12 November 1974. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins (x2)

Both pairs of artwork are lovely and it's great to get consecutive numbering.  As usual I'll update the details below when the auctions are finished


WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
Auctioneer's estimate
£1,800 - £2,400

END DATE: 30 August 2020

WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
END DATE: 30 August 2020

WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
END DATE: 30 August 2020

GARTH: H108 + H109
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
Auctioneer's estimate
£500- £600
END DATE: 30 August 2020

GARTH: H265+H266
WHERE?: Comic Book Auctions
Auctioneer's estimate
£500- £600
END DATE: 30 August 2020

Saturday 1 August 2020

More Kettering Leader & Guardian

Continuing my previous articles on what I found from the Kettering Leader & Guardian before lockdown I'm sharing some more of, what I think, are great Bellamy interpretations of the text provide by "Riston/Ristone" in his gardening column

This time all 20 come from the first six months of 1948, a time when the words "Dig for Victory" were still fresh on the minds of the people who stayed at home during the Second World war

January 2 1948 p.12
Seed Germination

January 9 1948 p.12
Rotation of crops

January 16 1948 p.12
Work among the vegetables

January 30 1948 p.12
A few don'ts for amateurs

February 6 1948 p.2
Sow beans now

February 13 1948 p.12
An essential "Family"

February 27 1948 p.2
Now is the hour

March 5 1948 p.2
Fruit tree planting

March 12 1948 p.2
Starting young

March 19 1948 p.12
Good fruits to grow

April 2 1948 p.2
Best way to grow peas

April 9 1948 p.12
These veg need rich soil

April 16 1948 p.5
Make the best of your flowers

April 30 1948 p.12
Prepare celery trench now

May 7 1948 p.12
Give potatoes plenty of room

May 14 1948 p.12
Grow better strawberries

May 28 1948 p.12
Prepare celery trench now

June 4 1948 p.12
Salad secrets

June 11 1948 p.2
Still time to plant seeds

June 25 1948 p.12
Destroy that caterpillar