Thursday 9 April 2020

Frank Bellamy and ... a rhino!

I'm tidying up in anticipation for a completely different way of working - let's hope I can pull it off - so I need you to see an article from Eagle which was published in Vol. 12:34 (26 August 1961). It's a real hotch-potch of an article. Derek Lord, Assistant Editor of Eagle at the time describes his journey to Zululand (now South Africa). Hluhluwe is still a game reserve and covers 96,00 hectares in the KwaZulu Natal Regine Of South Africa. 

Eagle Vol. 12:34 (26 August 1961)
Take a look at this double page and you'll see what I mean. We have a cartoon, of Mr. Lord and a talking gorilla (by 'Blake')! A photo of a white rhino (but unfortunately in black and white so ironically not very effective), photos of Cape Buffalo and impala and then a shot of cars arriving on safari in a village. On the next page we see a Zulu wedding and lastly a bull buffalo

The Bellamy drawing is captioned "Rhino crushing his way through the undergrowth and Wellington creating blue murder behind him" - a B&W illustration showing a rhinoceros. What was interesting to me was that Bellamy had just finished "Fraser of Africa" (12 August 1961) and it wasn't until 18 November 1961 that we see his work again in Eagle with  a third of the front cover - "Men of Action No.5: Sir Edmund Hillary".

Then after that we get - one of my favourites - "Montgomery of Alamein" by Clifford Makins, Bellamy's first double-page spread in the middle of the comic, running from 10 March 1962 - 7 July 1962.

But what was Bellamy doing  during the summer/autumn of 1961? There are two things I can think of.

Firstly, creating the new "King Solomon's Mine" spreads (all unpublished). Secondly I can tell you that the 1961 catalogue of the Society of Graphic Artists shows that the 34th exhibition of the S.G.A took place at the Royal Institute Galleries, Piccadilly from the 10th to 29th of July at which Bellamy showed four pieces:
  • Tiger (Carbon pencil & wash)
  • Studies for life (Crayon)
  • Ngoma (Pastel)
  • Masai (Pen & ink)
Dame Laura Knight and (Cecil) Stuart Tresilian exhibited various pieces. Then the “Summer Salon” 18th Annual Exhibition at the Royal Institute Galleries ran a month from 12th to the 30th August and Bellamy showed the same pieces (without the Masai piece).

But other than the above I have no clue what work he did between the bulk of August 1961 through to March 1962 - except for Wide World just once and that Swift cover. That doesn't prove he didn't have work but if he did, it's not yet been clearly identified.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi Norman,
Maybe he was in a self imposed form of 'lockdown' himself. He probably did something very creative and we just don't know what. Or just re-charging his batteries perhaps?
Keep up the fine work!