Showing posts with label Bubble Man. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bubble Man. Show all posts

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Frank Bellamy and Garth in the Daily Record (December, 1971-1973)

Back before Christmas I discovered a mystery - as far I was concerned: a Garth strip was offered that I'd never seen before. It soon came to light that it was from the Daily Record (in Scotland). So before lockdown I had the opportunity to review the Daily Record - God bless the British Library! - and am now writing this up with images to make a bit more sense.


"G305.5" from Daily Record
  • This Garth strip featured characters from "The Wreckers" story which ran in the Daily Mirror 26 October 1973 - 18 February 1974 (G255-H41)
  • The seller noted the strip was numbered "DR.CH.73" and the printers' instructions in pencil written on front state "Daily Record 26-12-73"
  • With a bit of research I discovered that Scotland and England published different papers on different days over the Christmas/New Year period, so I knew we might have extra Garth strips by Bellamy that I'd not seen in England before.
As Bellamy started on the Garth strip in July 1971 and died in July 1976 I thought there might be at least one strip for each Christmas / New Year holiday period. Once I found that the Daily Record published on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (where the English counterpart did not) I wanted to see how this looked in the paper.

I then found I needn't worry about Boxing Day in Scotland AFTER 1973 because:
  • 1973 - 2 January was created an additional bank holiday in Scotland by the 1971 Act. However, the provision did not come into effect until 1973.
  • 1974 - New Year's Day became an additional bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Boxing Day became an additional bank holiday in Scotland. ~ Taken from the archived Government page
I then went through every published Daily Record in December 1971, 1972 and 1973 and noted when it was published and which Garths appeared

Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1971

The notes above show the DAY on which the paper was published, its DATE, together with the NUMBERING for "Garth" and "Angus Og" (as that appeared together with "Garth" on the same page in the paper). Lastly the "Garth" notation in the Daily Mirror.

It appears that when an Angus Og story finished its numbering changed (as opposed to "Garth" which changed the letter prefix every calendar year, i.e. 1971 = E, 1972 = F, etc.).
Interestingly my first discovery  was that everything matched until the Christmas Day issue of the Daily Record. There is an additional strip that didn't appear in the Daily Mirror and it fits between E300 and E301, so I'm calling it "E300.5" - apologies for the poor photo

Garth E300

Garth "E300.5"

Garth E301

I'm going to take a guess and say this is an additional strip drawn by John Allard himself as his lettering looks the same and the art looks like his too. The Perishers strip  was labelled "DR.25.12.71" so I'm guessing this didn't appear in England either - oh and by the way, the weekend Perishers strip tended to be coloured! - and as I'm a fan, here that 'missing' one

Perishers Daily Record DR.25.12.71


Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1972
1972 got even more scary for me. I'm glad I captured all of December while there! Everything was fine until we get to the Daily Record dated 16 December 1972 where panels get repeated and skipped. I've labelled each panel A, B, and C and compared the Record to the Mirror's numbering

Daily Record 15 - 19 December 1972

F299 A + B panels were not published in Scotland

Garth F299
Why this occurred at this point, I have no idea. Every day was published (no strikes) and we are not yet at 25th December yet.

Garth F303
Talking of which, F303 is the end of the "People of the Abyss" story in England but in Scotland there is another episode rounding it off.

For the first time I present "F303.5"

Garth "F303.5"


Dates of Garth in Daily Record & Daily Mirror 1973

The Christmas day edition of the Daily Record was not published and a note in the Christmas Eve edition says "We'll be back Wednesday" which is Boxing Day 26 December 1973 and here is where this hunt started with Rhona Flin offering this Garth for sale last year.

Garth "G305.5" or "DR CH 73"

So the Daily Record had some different Garth strips from the Daily Mirror, the paper that hired Frank Bellamy. It appears in these three Decembers that Bellamy produced 2 episodes and Allard one. Unfortunately both John and Frank are no longer with us to ask about this. John Allard will certainly have known about this different publishing schedule as he produced one episode in the time period I examined, during the Bellamy run - which stands out a mile due to the difference in style.

Looking at the history and outline of Public Holidays in Scotland, I feel it will be a long time before I look at the rest of the Garth publishing in the Daily Record but I'm happy to give others credit if they share the information!
[UPDATE DECEMBER 2020: A website for Angus Og now exists:]

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Bubble Man (J239)

J239 episode of  "Garth: The Bubble Man" Drawn by Frank Bellamy
There's another Garth strip on eBay - from the "Bubble Man" story (#J239) - many thanks to Chris Power for alerting me to it.  "sweet4action" is the seller who describes the item like this:
You are bidding on an original signed Daily Mirror 'Garth' Cartoon strip from 1975 by the late Frank Bellamy. Drawn in pen and ink on artboard the piece features many of the artistic flourishes Bellamy was famed for.

DIMENSIONS: Approximately 54.5cm x 15.5cm.

ITEM DETAILS: The strip carries the date 10-10-75 in pen, in the top right corner, and the number J239 denotes that it is from 'The Bubble Man' series from that year (1975). Considering that the strip is over 43 years old it is in extremely good condition, being bright and clean with no staining, yellowing and only minimal wear to board corners (see photos). The pen-work is crisp and clear with only the odd pencil outline visible. It has the Daily Mirror copyright stamp on the back (see photos).
This auction is due to end  on 12 November 2018 and the bidding starts at £225.

The seller put up these images too which show the lovely detail

The last episode from this story that sold went for only £255 in March this year. I suy 'only' because I'm surprised that it didn't go for more!

The Bubble Man story has been reprinted in the following places:
  • Garth: The Bubble Man All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28 [No date]
  • Garth: The Bubble Man Spaceship Away Issue 19, October 2009, to Issue 23 March 2011 Coloured by John Ridgway
  • Daily Mirror Wednesday 9 November 2011 to Friday 30 December 2011 - Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: sweet4action
LOT #: 223215051163STARTING BID:£225
END DATE: 12 November 2018

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Bubble Man (J258)

J258 episode of  "Garth: The Bubble Man" Drawn by Frank Bellamy

I noticed that there's a Garth original on eBay. This one sold 6 years ago for £170 and the market has certainly not 'cooled' for original Garths.

The seller describes this piece very briefly:
Original newspaper artwork. This is panel J258 from "The Bubble Man" published on 01 NOV75 published in the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper in 1977.

It's a lovely example of the later Bellamy Garth and the fascinating aliens he concocted! In addition to this Garth the seller also has a Steve Dowling 'Garth' and a Martin Asbury 'Garth'

This auction is due to end  on Wednesday 22 March 2018 and the bidding starts at £200. Do note, the seller lives in Luxembourg but he mentions the manner of postage in his description - and he has some lovely Tony Weare, Leonard Starr, and Arthur Ferrier to sell.

The Bubble Man story has been reprinted in the following places: 
  • Garth: The Bubble Man All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28 [No date]
  • Garth: The Bubble Man Spaceship Away Issue 19, October 2009, to Issue 23 March 2011 Coloured by John Ridgway
  • Daily Mirror Wednesday 9 November 2011 to Friday 30 December 2011 - Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines
Here's an example of Ridgway's coloured version of the first compilation of 6 strips
Used with permission

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: staylor133
LOT #: 123014810386
END DATE: 22 March 2018

Saturday 7 October 2017

Original Art: Garth on Heritage - Garth: The Bubble Man (J214)

I go on holiday where there's no wi-fi or mobile phone signal and Heritage add another Garth strip for sale! And a lovely example of Bellamy's technique of "swirls". I remember on first seeing this story in 1975 how it reminded me of the horror of Quatermass, that quintessential British hero!

J214 episode of  "Garth: The Bubble Man" Drawn by Frank Bellamy

This time Heritage have another Garth for auction, another from the story "Garth: The Bubble Man". the last one I know that came to market was in 2012 and sold for £170, but that was 5 years ago!

Heritage describe this piece:
Frank Bellamy Garth Daily Comic Strip J214 Original Art Comic Strip dated 8-29-75 (Daily Mirror, 1975). Garth uses a pilot's trick to throw the bad guys around. Produced in ink over graphite on illustration board with an image area of 20.5" x 5.5". In Excellent condition. From the Ethan Roberts Estate Collection. 
The whole story is one that has not been reprinted a lot and ran originally in the national UK newspaper the Daily Mirror from 16 August 1975 - 28 November 1975 - (J192-J281)

Garth: The Bubble Man was reprinted by All Devon Comic Collectors Club in their Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28 [No date]  and more recently coloured by John Ridgway for Spaceship Away (Issue 19, October 2009, to Issue 23 March 2011) and lastly coloured by Martin Baines for the Daily Mirror Wednesday 9 November 2011 to Friday 30 December 2011

Learn more about Bubble Man in a previous blog article

WHERE?: Heritage Sunday Internet Comics Auction #121741
LOT #12006
ENDING PRICE:$657.25 including Buyter's premium = £498.52
No of bids: 8
END DATE: 8 October 2017

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Original Art: Garth on eBay - Bubble Man & Angels of Hell's Gap & The Doomsmen

Just like a London bus, you wait for  a while and then several come along at once.

I have updated the recent sales including a phenomenal amount for a Garth original. Are we seeing rising interest?

The three pieces on sale this week on eBay are care of the seller "muddyfunster2001" (also known as Chris Martin of Burgess Hill) and they look to be in very good condition. Chris let me know how he bought them:

"Rather boringly I picked them up at a local antique market from a dealer who didn't really know what he was selling. I used to read Garth (and numerous other Bellamy illustrated strips) as a schoolboy in the '70s and immediately took a fancy to them so I bought them on impulse" They are:

They all start with £99 starting bid and are already attracting interest.

The Doomsmen #J139

Every time I see a woman sitting/standing like this, drawn by the master I am reminded of the lovely Nancy Bellamy, Frank's wife. She was a great model and very proud of her figure even into her 80s!
The Bubble man J239

He also knew how to make aliens look very alien. Is it a frog, a butterfly, a hybrid between the two?
Angels #J56

I won't bother repeating myself! Enjoy!

I will update this entry when the auction finishes in the same way I have for the recent ones

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Original Art: Garth on eBay - Bubble Man & Manhunt

J197 The Bubble Man
'Tweedacademy' is selling a copy of one of the Bubble Man strips as well as one from the last Garth story Bellamy illustrated Manhunt 

Again they look beautifully preserved as the piece that has just finished on eBay, fetching a nice £168 does too.

The seller says of the Manhunt strip:

This is from 'The Bubble Man' (J197) published in The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1975 and being re-run currently in said paper. Here we have a vibrant action piece with Garth about to be kidnapped by the eponymous Bubble Man's henchbugs. 'Space Bugs!' cries our hero. I'd be a tad more salty if I were in his position! Bellamy again makes a virtue of the outlandishness of the creatures and their scale shows that even Garth would be hard pressed to take on two at a time, even with crow bar (they don't fight fair anyway). He'll get the better of them before the story is done I'll wager :)
Good example of Bellamy techniques in one panel!

UPDATE: £181 with 17 bids (March 2012) 

Tweedacademy obviously read too many Stan's Soapbox columns in the sixties Marvel Comics - where hyperbole was always under done! But looking at the close up of the last panel, it does show those famous 'Bellamy swirls', and his lovely lettering in the balloon - where usually Jim Allard lettered the other speech balloons.

K247 Manhunt

The second piece is from Manhunt. This is the last story that Bellamy illustrated and  the seller says:

I believe this is one of the last strips Bellamy did (strip number K247) before his untimely death, from the story 'Manhunt' published in The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1976. This particular work is, in essence, a complete panel with all the narrative complete in the transition from the aircraft in cloudscape through to the amazing work on the eyes as our protagonist (plus, of course, charming companion) dissolve to another dimension in mid flight. Remarkable stuff. A true 'Bellamy' effect and very poignant in retrospect as we know what was to come.
This is indeed a beautiful example of Bellamy's Garth work. Tweedacademy is right in saying it was "one of the last" but in fact Bellamy's last signed strip is K254 (25 Oct 1976), however the credit above the strip as printed in the paper is Martin Asbury who stepped wonderfully into Bellamy's shoes. The crude copy below is taken from the Mirror's online database, but it shows the credit above the strip.
UPDATE: £315 with 39 bids (March 2012) - a phenomenal amount for a Garth!

Bellamy's last Garth strip # K254
And lastly a clearer idea of how the art changed from Bellamy to Asbury can be seen in this only reprint of Manhunt, taken from Mike Higgs' compilation Mirror Classic Cartoon Collection, London: Hawk 1998. Visit Martin's site to see his work since Garth as well as the opportunity to buy original art including, yes you guessed it, Garth strips

The last 2 Garth strips by Frank Bellamy & the first 3 by Martin Asbury

Wednesday 9 November 2011

The Bubble Man starts in the Daily Mirror today

Wednesday 9 November 2011 © Daily Mirror

An unusual strip to reprint this time in the Daily Mirror, is The Bubble Man, which ran originally from 16 August 1975 - 28 November 1975 (numbers J192-J281). It has been reprinted twice to my knowledge in Garth: The Bubble Man by the fan publisher All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.28. And more recently by Spaceship Away (Issues #19, October 2009, to #23 March 2011 where they were coloured by the excellent John Ridgway.

As Martin Baines said to me when kindly forwarding the first strip, "I think it makes a interesting exercise to compare John's colouring to mine..." It will indeed and I'd love to know what Frank himself would have thought of it all!

Incidentally, I try and keep this blog about Bellamy - other artists do slip in occasionally and thanks to Martin's mention of John Ridgway, I'd like to recommend his new strip in ...Strip Magazine. It's called Age of Heroes, written by James Hudnall and beautifully drawn and coloured by John Ridway. Don't believe me? Follow the link and see a copy. Phew I think I got away with that, just!