Monday 19 December 2022

Frank Bellamy and Win a Dalek

 What a Christmas 1971 must have been! The Radio Times (with TV listings for 18 to 31 December 1971) on page 17 announced a competition.

Radio Times 18-31 December 1971 p.17

"Win a Dalek"?!?! What were they thinking? The competition is based on the announcement of the very fondly remembered Doctor Who story arc - "Day of the Daleks" with Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor. You can also see a preview in black and white of the best loved Radio Times work by Frank Bellamy - the cover of the next issue after this one, dated 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972. 

The Daleks had last appeared four years previously so this was a big event.  If you read the TV21 comic, you'll know this was not the first time a Dalek was available to win.

The text:

Dr Who is back on BBC1 on Saturday 1 January, facing his most terrifying enemies — the Daleks! And RADIO TIMES will bring you the chance to win a Dalek of your own. In the next RADIO TIMES you'll find an entry form and details of how you can become the owner of a Mark 7 Dalek.

Start now
To give you a chance to start preparing your entry during the Christmas holiday, we are printing a preview of one part of the competition. It concerns a distant planet called Destron, which is described as : 'A place from our worst nightmares, with a totally alien landscape of unfamiliar colours, shapes and textures. There are plants that have the power to move, that hunt and feed upon each other. Hideous monsters large and small—and all-extremely savage. Buildings constructed by a long extinct race that look strange by our standards.'

The prizes
One part of your Win-a-Dalek entry will be a painting or drawing that shows a view of the Destron landscape. Why not start now? When you've finished, keep your illustration safe until you read all the details of this unique competition in RADIO TIMES dated 30 December [sic].

The competition will be judged by Terry Nation, inventor of the Daleks. Winners will get a Dalek and spend a day with Dr Who at the TV studios; there will be consolation prizes for the runners-up.

Terry Nation creator of the Daleks character
with competition entries

The competition was open to two age groups Under-10s and Over-10s! Full details of the competition appeared in the issue of the Radio Times with that famous Frank Bellamy cover


Radio Times 1-7 January 1972

"Marking the Dalek's return after four years absence, this cover by Frank Bellamy draws attention to a competition inside where the top prizes are two 'Mark Seven' Daleks and an expense paid trip to the BBC to see Doctor Who in production. To win, entrants are invited to complete a storyline for a Doctor Who Dalek adventure, the start of which is outlined by their creator, Terry Nation, in the feature article. Due to space restrictions no photograph of the Dalek prizes is printed only an artwork likeness".

Radio Times 1-7 January 1972, p.10

Radio Times prompted readers a few times leading to the close of the competition. The results were published in the issue of the 24th February 1972. 

Radio Times 29 Jan-4 Feb 1972

Radio Times 19-25 February 1972

Radio Times 26 Feb -3 Mar 1972

 The Radio Times website has another image of Terry Nation and the page from the Radio Times showing the winners and an article on Terry Nation has another.

So what's this got to do with Bellamy? Well, every entrant was sent a certificate  The interesting thing from our point of view is the piece of art below.

Competition entrant certificate

There are a few versions of this certificate online. This is what it looked like before it was printed by the Radio Times.

Certificate with printed headings and text

The illustration was commissioned for use as a giveaway to entrants of the 'Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition 1972'. It shows Jon Pertwee and two Daleks. "This certificate has been awarded to [blank] for the entry in the Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition which was displayed in a special exhibition in London March - April 1972". I can't definitively say how much Bellamy was paid for it, but it may have been £20.

The exhibition of winning entries took place from March to April 1972 at the Ceylon Tea Centre in 22 Lower Regent Street, London which was a building designed by Sir Misha Black. The Ceylon Teac Board opened various Tea Centres around the world and the London one saw customers from 1946 through to the 1970s. There is even an image of the frontage with a Dalek at the web tribute to Vernon Corea, a Radio Ceylon and BBC broadcaster.

Who Dares Publishing (a company set up by Andrew Skilleter) issued reprints of a few Bellamy Doctor Who artworks as posters back in the 80s. This certificate was one of them.

Many thanks to Chris Hill (of the excellent Spacemuseum site) for permission to use some of his Radio Times cuttings and the Terry Nation image.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

ORIGINAL ART: Montgomery and Garth

Copies of Montgomery plus original artwork

Well, this has been a busy month for me. Omega Auctions (of Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside) c/o TheSaleroom are auctioning some original art and a collector's bound copy of Heros the Spartan and also Thunderbirds in their "TV, Film and Entertainment Memorabilia with Comics" auction.


"Montgomery of Alamein" Eagle Vol.13:21

Boards from the "Montgomery of Alamein" series in Eagle are very rare and this one is in pretty good condition considering its age. The last one sold that I recorded in nearly 15 years of keeping figures, was in November 2009 (from Eagle Vol 13:17) and that raised an impressive £2,849 for Comic Book Auctions Ltd. Here we are 13 years later with the episode from Eagle 26 May 1962 (Vol.13:21). The biography of Monty ran for 18 weeks from 10 March 1962 - 7 July 1962 and is one of my personal favourites, written by Clifford Makins. 

The auctioneers descibe it thus:

An original artboard (60 x 44cm) with original art across various panels for 'Montgomery Of Alamein' by Frank Bellamy, published 26th May 1962 in 'The Eagle'. Marked to lower right hand 'Vol 13/21'. Also a set of 18 sheets of the strip from March to 17th [sic] July 1962.

I love the devices Frank Bellamy used in this series which appeared as shorthand for troop movements and the large lettering for "Operation Market Garden" (one of the airborne forces most famous operations). Then we have the cameo of Monty himself. When comparing the original as being sold I feel I must say that at this point in Eagle's 12 years of publication, the printing quality was nowhere near as good as it had been and looking at the original we can see that this well-preserved piece shines compared to the printed version. All of the text boxes which will have been glued in place by Eagle staff seem to have gone, but what a beauty! I'd love to see a hi-res scan of this, if the winner feels like sharing!

"Montgomery of Alamein" Eagle Vol.13:21 (my photo)


Garth- The Doomsmen (J180)

I suspect they do not have a comic strip expert at Omega Auctions, but nevertheless:

An original storyboard [sic] by artist Frank Bellamy, depicting a panel from a 'Garth' comic, published c 1975. Measures 54.5 x 17.5cm.

This is from a later story "The Doomsmen" and the auctioneer's estimate is £150 to £250 which suggests they haven't been reading my blog! But these are strange times so let's see!

The other three lots, of Bellamy interest, are "a large collection of Thunderbirds comic pages" described as 

"A large quantity of bound colour pages from TV Century 21 magazines with art by Frank Bellamy. One volume with pages from Jan 15th '2066' to Oct 22 '2066', one from Dec 10th '2066' to July 8 '2067', More from '2067' to '2069'."

From the images, I'm guessing you are also getting some other Bellamy cuttings such as Doctor Who and I can't see how the different sizes are bound. 

Then we have another group: "A bound collection of colour cover [sic] pages from 'Heros Of the Spartan' by Frank Bellamy, from 27th October 1962 to 26th Oct 1963. Good condition. "

It sounds like the first two Heros stories are here. I'll leave you to explore my comic listing to see what's missing from these volumes after you check with the auctioneers if required!

Then there is Dan Dare collected together and described:

A bound run of Dan Dare comics from The Eagle from 29th August [1959] to 9th July 1960. Excellent condition.

which sounds like all three Bellamy stories - but do check!

I'll update sales figures when they become known.



WHERE?: TheSaleroom / Omega Auctions
END DATE: 6 December 2022


WHERE?: TheSaleroom / Omega Auctions
END DATE: 6 December 2022

Bound copies of Heros

Bound copies of Thunderbirds

Bound copies of Dan Dare

Monday 7 November 2022

ORIGINAL ART at Thunderbirds

 A friend pointed out that there are some lovely works available on Heritage auction site (2022 December 10 - 11 Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction #7343) due to be available to bid on 20 November 2022. To quote Heritage, "Bidding Begins Approx.November 21st Monday with Auction Dates December 10th-11th Saturday-Sunday.

Get a free account, login and limit your search to "Original Art" and sit back with a large cup of your favourite beverage. There are three Frank Bellamy pieces, but also 5 Mike Noble, one Frank Langford and an anonymous piece of Green Hornet artwork. Though I love Mike Noble's artwork, we're here to highlight Frank Bellamy.


"Thunderbirds", TV21 #80 pp.10-11


Frank Bellamy TV Century 21 #80 Thunderbirds Complete 2-Page Story Original Art (Century 21 Publications, 1966). This two-page spread from Part 8 of the "Atlantic Tunnel" story arc features the Thunderbirds team recurring villain, the Hood! The page also features TB-2 delivering the Mole, as well as TB-1. The 2-page episode was presented as a double-page spread created in ink and watercolor on illustration board with an image area of 25" x 16.25". The logo is hand-painted. All text is hand-lettered paste-up. Signed by Bellamy in the image area. In Excellent condition.

Firstly Bellamy didn't use watercolour on his comic artwork - but many people are fooled by his superb washes in inks. Secondly all the balloons and text panels will have been added to Bellamy's complete work - see my previous articles showing delivered artwork photographed by Bellamy here and here -  but more importantly the "hand-painted" Thunderbirds logo. This will have been added onto Bellamy's finished artwork by the art staff of TV21 so I hope it's either the original pasted on lettering or a replica that someone has added. Also comparing the original and the comic it can be seen that the positioning is slightly different - perhaps the size is slightly different. So I think the artwork on Heritage has an added logo. Also notice the lack of pasted text panel at the start. There are also some other balloons that have moved from the published version - look at both the Hood's frames - and you'll see a text box missing.  

I'd love to know what happened but nevertheless it looks in brilliant condition and I'm sure will sell for four figures.

A scanned page from TV21 #80


"Thunderbirds" in TV21 #88, pp10-11


Frank Bellamy TV Century 21 #88 Thunderbirds Complete 2-Page Story Original Art (Century 21 Publications, 1966). This episode was Part 6 of the story arc "Solar Menace" and it features the TB-2, and the TB-3. The cliffhanger leaves Alan and Brains in a bad situation. The 2-page episode was presented as a double-page spread created in ink and watercolor on illustration board with an image area of 25" x 16.25". Signed by Bellamy in the image area. All text is hand-lettered paste-up. In Excellent condition.
Same thing about the watercolour.The most interesting thing for me is what's happened at the top left corner? Here's the original comic - the colours on this comic and the one above are a bit messy but I think you'll see what I'm seeing. Despite whatever has happened, the rest looks gorgeous!

A scanned page from TV21 #88

Bellamy never left that area blank and included some interesting backgrounds for the logo to be dropped in - in this case, more blue sky. But thankfully the rest does not appear to have faded - as can be seen by those rich blues which UV light loves to eat!


"Thunderbirds" in TV21 #156, p.11


Frank Bellamy TV21 #156 Thunderbirds Story Page 2 Original Art (Century 21 Publications, 1968). Virgil Tracy is at the controls of Thunderbird-2 and valiantly searching for his brother Gordon in the missing aquatic Thunderbird-4. An exciting page with great layout and vibrant color work. Created in ink over watercolor on illustration board with an image area of 12" x 16.25". Signed by Bellamy in the image area. All text is hand-lettered paste-up. In Excellent condition.

Firstly this reminds me to say regarding the two images above Heritage usually give two views of artwork - 1) close up on the art itself and 2) a view of the whole board.  In the piece above I'm showing the whole board version but the two double-page spreads above don't appear to have any more to show. Have they been trimmed back to the art? Unfortunately though, despite the "vibrant color work" I think this looks a bit faded. 

A scanned page 11 from TV21 #156

I'll update sales figures when they become known.



WHERE?: Heritage
ENDING PRICE: £9,050.69 ($11,100 inc buyers premium)
END DATE: 11 December 2022


WHERE?: Heritage
ENDING PRICE: ££9,050.69 ($11,100 inc buyers premium)
END DATE: 11 December 2022

THUNDERBIRDS TV21 #156, p.11

WHERE?: Heritage
ENDING PRICE: £2,738.98 ($3,360 inc buyers premium)
END DATE: 11 December 2022

Friday 4 November 2022

ORIGINAL ART: David and Garth x3

Eagle 21 March 1959 (Vol:10:12)

 This time Compal Auctions have a lovely non-faded piece of Bellamy colour artwork and three Garth strips. here's the usual (edited by me) blurb from Compal:

The Compalcomics November auction is open. The catalogue is open
Click here to visit You can also browse auction lots and print a fax or mail bidding form at Compalcomics Click here to visit Compalcomics
Postal and fax bids need to be with us by FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER and we will enter them on your behalf in Book Auctions website closing on Sunday 20 Nov from 2 pm.


So first we have a lovely "David the Shepherd King" page from the back cover of Eagle (21 March 1959). It's described like this:

David, The Shepherd King original back cover artwork by Frank Bellamy for The Eagle (1959) Vol. 10, No. 12. The Philistine hordes march on Jerusalem but David hides his warriors in the outlying forest setting a trap to ensnare the invaders. Years later, King David's son, Absalom plots treachery against his father. The 'Shepherd King' title header and top LH panel of Young David with explanatory text are laser colour additions to complete the look of the artwork. Pelikan inks on board. 17 x 22 ins

I ought to mention the comic was called "Eagle", not "The Eagle" - a mistake I have been hauled over the coals about!  I wonder if the second explanatory text on the third row might also be added later as well as the first one on the first row. The crowd scene with David leading the people of Israel in bringing the Ark of the Covenant is the usual brilliant Bellamy crowd panel. It will be interesting to see if the estimate of £1,500-£2,500 is close or not.


Garth: The Angels of Hell's Gap J80
Then we have two strips from one of Bellamy's beloved Western strips. The first J80 has a lovely last panel where Bellamy does his trademark swirls and here indicates the outline of the mountain - gorgeous. It's described like this:

Garth: 'The Angels of Hell's Gap' original artwork (1975) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 8-4-'75. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins

It has an opening bid of £220 and an estimate of £240-£280.


Garth: The Angels of Hell's Gap J100

The second one is the penultimate strip from the same story - J100. Garth is a guest of a film director who is making a movie on the American Civil War in the exact location where it happened. Although the story doesn't spend much time on the Civil War it's obvious Bellamy loved the subject of the West. Again this is the stuff that drew me, later than I should have, to appreciate Bellamy's sense of design: the border on panel one; the use of those swirls in panel two to show Garth returning from his time-travelling!

The estimate is the same as the one above as well as the starting bid:

Garth: 'The Angels of Hell's Gap' original artwork (1975) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 1-5-'75. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins


Garth: The Beautiful People K58
The last Bellamy original artwork in this auction is from "The Beautiful People" - episode K58.

Garth: 'The Beautiful People' original artwork (1976) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 9-3-'76. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins

This seems to be considered more valuable as the opening bid is £230 with the auctioneer's estimate at £250 - £300

A lovely solid piece with the three separate panels with lots of those Bellamy swirls. The story is about Garth helping a friend who "has a string of international modellling agencies and worldwide pop group interests" but Mr Zamos, a criminal is messing up Garth's friend's idyll on Ikonos!

That's it.  I'll update the spreadsheet as usual after the auction. Happy Bidding!


WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 20 November 2022

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 20 November 2022

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 20 November 2022

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
END DATE: Sunday 20 November 2022

Friday 28 October 2022

Comparing unedited artwork with published art

TV21 #111
Thanks to the response to my last post which included some photographs kindly given to me by Alan Davis, I decided to go through the photos a bit more carefully and discovered something rather interesting.

In TV Century 21 (TV21 to its friends!) issues 110 - 117 (25 February 1967 - 15 April 1967) Alan Fennell wrote an eight part Thunderbirds story which I've called "The Bereznik Zoo Rescues" but is better, and more accurately known as "The Trapped Spy". 

To set the scene, U.S.S. Agent 39 has become trapped in an Eastern bloc country - often used in Anderson material - Bereznik. The World Security Council meet and ask Jeff Tracy's outfit to intervene, but receive an unexpected answer: "International Rescue is an organisation sworn to neutrality. Under no circumstances can it become involved in political problems".

This particular story is interesting in that we see some crossover with the wider Gerry Anderson universe - Commander Shore sits in the foreground of a panel(!) on the World Security Council. I can't imagine Frank Bellamy would have added him unless told to. After all he wasn't illustrating Stingray. 

TV21 #110 (cropped)

To Shore's left (our right) are 5 other figures, but who are they? Who do you think they should be? I would say besides the head of World Aquanaut Security Patrol, it might be good to have World Space Patrol  send Commander Zero, or Lieutenant Ninety or even Steve Zodiac. How about Colonel White, of Spectrum? Well, Bellamy's original art shows he delivered Steve Zodiac (and I think Commander Zero)

Same panel from Bellamy's photo of the original art

Then in the following issue #111 we see a different gentleman again! But this time he bears a resemblance to TV21's Brent Cleever, who has been known to readers since issue #21 as "Secret Agent 21". This began as an editorial and morphed into a proper comic strip which ran throughout TV21's initial run - drawn by Rab Hamilton - occasionally changing the title of the strip ( 21 / Agent 21 / Mr. Magnet and Secret Agent 21). But here, I'm guessing he is just some higher up in the U.S.S. as he sends for two agents to discuss a plan to force International Rescue to save their agent on the ground.

However it gets even more strange. Compare the man we have just been thinking about with the man - as delivered by Frank Bellamy - below in issue #111 

TV21 #111 - The printed panel

TV21 #111 - The delivered panel

You'll have to forgive the colour differences, because post-production can change anything and we are looking at a scan of a photo of original art. But that doesn't explain the changed figure next to Commander Shore. This figure is changed further on in #111 too.

TV21 #111 - The printed panel

TV21 #111 - The delivered panel

My guess is Alan Fennell realised he hadn't directed Bellamy to tie this in more accurately, and then got an in-house member of staff to paint over the moustache and bald head. We may never know. 

TV21 #125 "Thunderbirds"

This isn't the first Bellamy artwork we have seen which has been changed. Issue #125 shows the Goliath aircraft (labelled DT19) from the TV series "Captain Scarlet". It was broadcast as the second episode in October 1967. The issue Bellamy drew was published for the 10 June 1967 and shows Bellamy's version of this plane. If we go with the usual 6 week lead time, it was likely delivered around the end of April 1967 so he had access to some studio photos or visited the studio (which we know he did at least once), 6 months prior to broadcast.   

The DT19 coloured over

The DT19 coloured over BUT badly!

However unless you see the original artwork you will not notice that Bellamy actually drew the ‘DT19’ and very unusually someone has tampered with his art by colouring –clumsily – over the number in blue to try to match Bellamy’s blue. Why is anyone's guess as I can't imagine they'd be worried that a viewer would later moan about seeing the same aeroplane in a Thunderbirds strip!

TV21 #125 Photo of delivered artwork
with DT19 on the plane
Finally here's the whole Bereznik story in photos that Frank Bellamy took before delivering the finished artwork. As TV21 strips were seen abroad, the balloons and captions were added in-house not added by Bellamy (although he did do his own on many comic strips). Pay attention to the opening panels, many of which would have a text "catch-up" block placed over them somewhere.
TV21 #110 Original photo of the art

TV21 #111 Original photo of the art

TV21 #112 Original photo of the art

TV21 #113 Original photo of the art

TV21 #114 Original photo of the art

TV21 #115 Original photo of the art

TV21 #116 Original photo of the art

TV21 #117 Original photo of the art

Thursday 15 September 2022

Frank Bellamy and Mike Noble

"Thunderbirds" by Frank Bellamy from TV21 #138
It was only at his memorial service in January 2019, I found out Michael Kenneth Noble had a middle name! Of course he was known to one and all as Mike Noble

Back in the mid-60s I recognised this man's art style in TV21 on "Fireball XL5", "Zero X", "Captain Scarlet", but it was only when he drew "Timeslip" in Look-In, that I knew his surname was "Noble" and mysteriously his (/her?) first name began with "M." Frank Bellamy, of course, signed his name all over the place and his distinctive signature made it easy to know this artist's work. Eventually as time went on I learned that "M. Noble" was Mike Noble! Mike was born on the 17 September 1930  and sadly passed away on 15 November 2018 in Balcombe, West Sussex. I was privileged (like many people I found out later!) to interview him and my thoughts from that interview were published in True Brit. which is still available in digital form. 

The story about a Space Mirror that appeared in TV21 #137-140 was a short one, perhaps ended very quickly due to the change in the "Thunderbirds" strip's position - from centrespread to two separate colour pages from issue #141. These are the photos, scanned by myself from the collection Alan Davis kindly shared.  How he came to have these is outlined here on his site. These show the finished artwork before Bellamy sent them off to the publisher - and more to the point - without captions and balloons

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #137

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #138

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #139

"Thunderbirds" from TV21 #140

They make a fascinating study in themselves and I so wish that Bellamy had better technology at the time to record these things. Polaroids were some of the best colour film at the time that allowed him to capture what he no longer had and for us to now enjoy them thanks to Alan..

The reason for the focus here is that Bellamy's episode  in TV21 #138 (the second episode) was re-drawn by Mike Noble for school children! Jeff Haythorpe shared these on a Facebook group in 2019 - whoever said I was fast! And they make interesting viewing. My memory from Mike's tale was that he was asked by the local school to do a talk on comic art. He used Bellamy's comic as an example and showed the very fortunate children the stages of creation.


Mike Noble - Pencil art

Mike Noble - Inked art

Mike Noble - Coloured art

Frank Bellamy's original version

ANIMATION of Mike (and Frank)'s work, because I wanted to see what it looked like! Hope you enjoy it too!