Saturday 22 May 2021

ORIGINAL ART: Thunderbirds from TV21 #206 and some statistics

"Thunderbirds" page 1 from TV21#206

Phil-Comics has more than 18,000 positive feedbacks on eBay (and no negatives!) and has been selling comic related materials since 2000. I have sold some stuff through him and found him to be nothing but polite, efficient and an all-round nice guy. He often has obscure British material, such as advertising flyers for annuals, free gifts (which sell so well these days - why did I throw all mine on a bonfire?!?).

Anyway, you don't come here for my charming repartee. Phil is selling an original board on eBay which we have seen come up for auction before, back in 2011 when it sold for just £550. I've said something about the change in colour from original art to printed version (but can't add anything to what I said then).

Here's Phil's description of the piece: 

Thunderbirds Original Artwork (FRANK BELLAMY) for TV21 comic #206 (1968)

A wonderful single page of original artwork, drawn and painted by Frank Bellamy, for TV21 comic #206 - Dec 28 1968. It appeared on page 11 and was the first page of the strip in this edition, but Part 4 in the overall story.

The art board measures 47 x 37.5 (18.5 x 14.75 inches) and is rigid, so will be posted flat.

Vibrant colours and incredibly crisp lines, this is a joy to behold. A few very small brown spots (of paint?) have somehow landed on the page at some stage in its 53 year life, but don't detract and are hardly noticeable. There's also a 2 inch brown line of the same substance to the right edge, which is more noticeable but only slightly goes across 1/2 inch of one panel edge. A bump / scuff to the lower corners but artwork unscathed.

Frank Bellamy's work is highly sought-after and this is the first time we have bought a page of his original artwork to market.

UK buyers - This will be posted flat between several sheets of  sturdy cardboard (and quite possibly in a large box to really protect it) and sent by Special Delivery. Cost £14.95.
I suspect those "very small brown spots" have appeared in the last 10 years as the image from Comic Book Auctions didn't show them back in 2011, and if I had been the buyer then, and discovered they weren't on the image, I would have kicked up a fuss. [UPDATE: The spots ARE visible back in 2011]. It will be interesting to see what this reaches with a the staring bid is £1,250. 

Out of interest, I thought I'd look at statistics for the single Thunderbirds pages that I have recorded in the spreadsheet - you can all play along if you like. 

The average price - where I have data - of a single Thunderbirds board (remember they were double page spreads until TV21 #141) was an amazing £1,544! Bear in mind this is over 17 years when I could, and did record data. So we need to look at outliers and maybe median prices. 

The lowest price was in 2008 (TV21 #146) £404.95

The highest price was in  2018 (TV21 #90) £4,550.00

So you can see, just as with some of the Government statistics, you really do need to ask some questions about how things are counted. 

The median price over those years (and where recorded) is £1,080

I haven't done the mode (most commonly recurring amount) as it means nothing here at all!

If you want to see the pages, just click on the links under the dates on the spreadsheet

Lastly I've added all of Phil's images below and there are some nice close-ups.


WHERE?:phil-comics on ebay
No of bids: 1
END DATE: 30 May 2021

Friday 21 May 2021

It's Frank Bellamy's Birthday


On 21 May 1917, Frank Alfred Bellamy was born to Horace George Bellamy (born in 1885) in Rothwell, Northamptonshire and Grace Winifred Ashley (born 1887) in Kettering. Frank had one sister Eva born in 1912 (so 5 years his senior).

The image above comes from Ally Sloper, a new comic he contributed to in the year he died, 1976. It was published two months after his untimely death.

 Gone but never forgotten.  Happy Birthday Frank!



Thursday 13 May 2021



Garth: People of the Abyss F246 and F266

Compalcomics are offering more Garth strips this month, drawn by Frank Bellamy. The images are gorgeous and clear and make me re-appreciate his work here. 

As Malcolm Phillips, the Director of Comic Book Postal Auctions Ltd,  says:

Welcome to our May/June catalogue. The catalogue is open for bidding. You can place realtime bids at The Saleroom. Click here to visit our catalogue at The-Saleroom. You can also browse lots here and fill out a fax or mail bidding form.

The fact he still gets faxes (is that the plural?) is amazing to me. It's been years since I sent or received one!

Onto the Garth strips

GARTH: People of the Abyss - 2 episodes: F246 and F266

Garth: 'The People of the Abyss' two original artworks (1972) by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 18.10.72 and 10.11.72. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins (x2)

That's the description for these two strips in Lot #103 (see top of article for the image). Please click on these images and view them in detail. Bellamy's gorgeous linework is sublime. And for those who want to know it's a torch and an electro-gun he's holding in that first strip!  Notice those famous Bellamy swirls which add tone in a light-handed way. In the second strip he creates a bubble of light.

Garth: The Women of Galba: G22 and G26

GARTH: The Women of Galba The Beast of Ultor - 2 episodes: G22 and G26

Garth: 'The Beast of Ultor' [sic] two original artworks (1973) by Frank Bellamy for the Daily Mirror 25/30 January 1973. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins (x2)

These two strips are actually not from "The Beast of Ultor", but from "The Women of Galba" story. I'll let Malcolm know so this may change before you see it. Nevertheless they are lovely drawings. Look at the third panel in G22 and how Bellamy uses diagonals and cuts them off, to show a background of some sort. 


Garth: The Wreckers G280 and G283

GARTH: The Wreckers - 2 episodes: G280 and G283

The third lot (#107) has two strips from "The Wreckers". I've always wondered who Bellamy used as a model for his version of Andromeda, a recurring character who meets and helps (and loves) Garth in his time-travelling adventures. Malcolm's brief description:

Garth: 'The Wreckers' two original artworks (1973) by Frank Bellamy (both signed) 24/28 Nov 1973. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 (x2)

These two strips have some usual Bellamy devices: beautiful woman, the sweeping thrust of an arm,  the frame behind Garth and Andromeda in G283 (the middle panel). 

Garth: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan H245 and H250

GARTH: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan 2 episodes: H245 and H250

These two strips come from "The Bride of Jenghiz Khan" story (Lot #110) are described:

Garth: 'The Bride of Jenghiz Khan (1974) two original artworks by Frank Bellamy (both signed) 18/24 Oct 1974. Indian ink on board. 21 x 17 ins (x2)


If you want information on reprints of the strips travel to the menu on the website "Garth Reprints" and I'll add these to the spreadsheet, where I record sales of original art by Frank Bellamy. 

Lastly I NEVER ask for money for the website or blog but gifts are very much appreciated, check out the Mike Noble Fireball XL5 - I suspect it might sell for the higher end of the reserve! And also there are lots of Eagle comics which have Bellamy artwork - but I have those!


GARTH: People of the Abyss - 2 episodes: F246 and F266

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom -Lot #103
STARTING BID: £450 reserve
END DATE: Sunday 6 June 2021

GARTH: The Women of Galba The Beast of Ultor - 2 epsiodes: G22 and G26 

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom -Lot #105
STARTING BID: £450 reserve
END DATE: Sunday 6 June 2021

GARTH: The Wreckers - 2 episodes: G280 and G283 

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom -Lot #107
STARTING BID: £450 reserve
END DATE: Sunday 6 June 2021

GARTH: The Bride of Jenghiz Khan 2 episodes: H245 and H250 

 WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom -Lot #110
STARTING BID: £450 reserve
END DATE: Sunday 6 June 2021

Monday 10 May 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #9: Comic strip


Used by permission of Alan Davis

Thanks to Alan Davis for permission to use the above image. as he states on his website:

I was simply one of the guys lucky enough to help Nancy Bellamy clear Frank's studio when she was moving home. AND enough of a fanboy to ask if I could keep the rubbish.
Compared to new images recorded and created in our digital age none of the source material I have is good, some is very poor but I believe it offers a unique and valuable insight to any true Frank Bellamy fan.
Thanks to Nancy Bellamy for giving me the two bags of studio debris, permission to use it here and for her time in relating anecdotes and tales of Frank's life and career. 

I have no information to provide for this unknown piece. It's done in a comic strip form, yet there is space for a libretto text beneath the first row - but as with all this material I am arguing from silence! We have to use what we have, to see if we can move this further. 

  1. The story looks to open with three or four people mounted on horseback in a fenced field.
  2. A farmhouse with walled garden appears to be watched from on high. 
  3. Four people walk towards a helicopter
  4. What appears to be the pilot (with cap and sunglasses) appears to be held at gun point
  5. Two men, prone on the ground are secretly watching the horse-riding party pass by with rifles aimed at them
  6. As three people head towards a rope ladder dropped from the ascending helicopter a guard stands by facing away from the copter
  7. The helicopter takes off from the same farmhouse grounds
  8. The last shot shows a military build-up showing helmeted soldiers with rifles, an armoured vehicle and jeep plus two jet aircraft flying over a village

I have no correspondence that fits this strip and can only guess it's from later in Bellamy's career. The structure of the panels is lovely and clear - but note they do seem to sit on top of each other with that space between the rows. Perhaps a newspaper article might have some text between them? Is this reportage of a kidnapping incident? We had the IRA bombings, Bader-Meinhof Red Army incidents in the 70s - when I think this was drawn. Could it be one of these?

Alan kindly let me scan the photos he recovered - which I'll show in later blog articles - here's a scan I have converted from TIFF to JPG - perhaps this might give another view of Alan's photo?

Used by permission of Alan Davis - version 2

Bellamy did "try-outs" for newspaper strips before landing "Garth" for the Daily Mirror. I have seen copies of "Modesty Blaise", "The Saint", "Wes Slade", and earlier, "Antony Falloway" Could this be the opening of a character's strip before the lead enters the scene? Which strips in the late 60s-early 70s were of the secret agent / political thriller type?

Let me know your thoughts!

NEXT: Unknown Bellamy # 12 - that astronaut picture

Saturday 1 May 2021

Bellamy Life Studies

Tony Smith, appears in the Frank Bellamy Checklist as he interviewed Frank Bellamy, shortly before Frank died and also published various articles in the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph. His articles helped keep Frank's name in the limelight - just search for his name on the Articles on Frank page.

Anyway he was inspired by the start of the new series I'm doing based around Alan Davis' findings amongst Frank's studio 'detritus'! I'm so glad the series has prompted such a response. Tony sent me three images by Frank I have never seen before and with Tony's permission I present them here. As Tony explained they are all behind glass and therefore not the best representations of the master's work! But I'm more than happy to spread the love!

Tony added that the middle one is, according to Nancy Bellamy herself, Frank's drawing of her!

Nancy Bellamy kneeling