Friday 7 April 2023

ORIGINAL ART: David The Shepherd King

Eagle 14 March 1959 (Vol: 10 No.11)
"The Shepherd King"
I've always loved Frank Bellamy's early Eagle colour strips and "David The Shepherd King" is one of them - or to be more accurate with its title "The Shepherd King: The Story of David". 

Heritage Auctions have episode #27 of the 31 published in Eagle (Vol. 9:37 - 9:52 and 10:1 - 10:15, (13 September 1958 - 27 December 1958, and 3 January 1959 - 11 April 1959). This particular one comes from Eagle 14 March 1959 (Vol.10:11) and was, of course, on the back page in glorious photogravure print! 

The subject matter is not so glorious as Abner (formerly Saul's army commander) had agreed to give David all of Israel but Joab, the commander of David’s army, accused Abner of trying to trick David. Without David’s permission, Joab murdered Abner under the pretence of being loyal to David when in fact he wanted to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of Abner. So in the strip above, David makes it clear he had nothing to do with it and commenced a day of mourning.

The auction description:

Frank Bellamy Eagle Vol.10 #11 King David Episode 27 Story Page 1 Original Art (Longacre Press, 1959). Fans of this long-running weekly UK series know it often had gorgeous Frank Bellamy artwork! This one features rich color work and beautiful detailed linework. Ink and watercolor [sic] over graphite on illustration board with an image area of 14.25" x 17.5". The board has corner sear and a stain on the upper left, as well as foxing down the right side. In Very Good condition.

It's actually all inks - which many people cannot understand, but Bellamy was a stickler for getting it right so it would print correctly.  

Here's the printed version for reference and the front cover of the relevant Eagle - with a nice piece by Frank Hampson.


Eagle 14 March 1959 (Vol: 10 No.11)
"Dan Dare" - Frank Hampson

Eagle 14 March 1959 (Vol: 10 No.11)
"The Shepherd King"

And because David Slinn reminded me the 73rd anniversary of Eagle falls next Friday 14 April, here's the cover of the first issue! Yes, I know there's a lot of Hampson today, but hey, it's my blog!

Eagle 14 April 1950 (Vol: 1 No.1)


The Shepherd King Eagle 14 March 1959 (Vol.10:11)
WHERE?: Heritage (2023 April 26 Wednesday Comic Art & Animation Select Auction #322317 )
ENDING PRICE: $4000 (£3,207.92)
END DATE: Wednesday 26 April 2023

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