Showing posts with label Fans of Frank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fans of Frank. Show all posts

Monday 4 October 2021

Fans of Frank: Owen Claxton (Part Two) - Frank's highlighting

"Thunderbirds" in TV21 219
White scraped off surface

Frank’s Highlights

Last time Owen Claxton told us about what inspired him in Frank Bellamy's artwork. This time he focuses on one aspect of Frank's technique. I've peppered the article with other examples where I know that Bellamy did NOT use any process white as the original art still exists

OWEN CLAXTON: Being an artist myself I’m always interested in how other artists approach their work and any quirky little tricks or tools they may employ to get certain effects. One aspect of FB’s technique that has intrigued me is how he did highlights without ever resorting to using process white, which is a simple, fast and effective way that many time-pressed illustrators would use. So I thought I would take a closer look. Disclaimer, I don’t have access to any Bellamy originals so this is based purely on viewing printed reproductions. [But lucky for you Norman does!]

"Fraser of Africa" Eagle 27 May 1961 (Vol.12:21)
An example of using ink over white board for highlights

It’s pretty clear that Frank never used process white for painting in highlights, in the Skinn/ Gibbons interview he clearly states that he didn’t like using it. In the same interview he also says the only masking technique he used was a piece of tape for giving a straight edge, no mention of any masking fluid.

In Timeview David Bellamy says his father would begin with a loose sketch in soft pencil without any preparatory work. A loose sketch rather than a tight one suggests to me that the final position of highlights was not decided at this stage. David goes on that Frank would start to ink with a dip pen on top of this loose sketch, building up the picture. 

This stage is where skill comes into play most of all, each pen mark carefully tightening up the initial sketch and providing the structure of the piece. Once this inking stage is over the position of the highlights would be suggested by the ink drawing. I doubt Frank would note their position in pencil as it’s most likely that all pencil would be rubbed out before adding the colour for fear of it showing through the translucent washes. So it must be as the colour inks go on that the final position of highlights is decided. Most of the time an artist can just carefully paint around the highlight with very light washes but there are occasions when this is not always possible. 

Look and Learn #452

If we look at the illustration of French soldiers (page 122 of The Art of Frank Bellamy and above) we can see that the background of fire, explosions and smoke is very loosely painted. However the bits of exploding shell on the left clearly cross over the loose splodges of red and brown ink. If Frank didn’t paint these curving marks over the top with a paler body colour then how did he do it? I can only think of two ways. 

"Montgomery of Alamein" Eagle 14 April 1962 (Vol.13:15)

Firstly while the ink was wet he used a damp cloth or even cotton wool to lift the colour off the board, he would have to work fast to do this to get the ink off before it dried. David Bellamy does state that his father worked at ‘fantastic speed’ and this may well be an approach that Frank used but it’s near impossible to get back to white doing it this way. [see "Montgomery" above ~Norman]

Which brings me to the second way, Frank let the inks dry and then scratched out the highlights with a razor. Now I’ve never used CS10 board but someone who has is Steve McGarry who writes: ‘The china clay surface accepts ink beautifully and mistakes can be scratched out with a razor blade without any feathering, so the art always looks pristine.’ My gut feeling, because I haven’t seen the original artwork, is that Frank used a combination of lifting and scraping to achieve these highlights. If anyone else has any further information or thoughts then I’d be interested to hear them. 


I gave this to David Jackson to have a look and he made some comments:

Some of the early romance - and that era - illustrations [c.1950-1952 ~Norman] have some indications of opaque paint but all later Bellamy art (where it isn't pencil/chalk type) is transparent colour washes of waterproof inks. As Owen has rightly deduced (some of this can be seen in the art) when the washes have completely dried on CS10 board it can be scraped away to the white surface. FB's scraped-back and rubbed-out effects were developed experimentally in black and white line and wash monochrome while still working on Swift. [King Arthur and Robin Hood ~Norman]. 

Thanks David. Paul Holder kindly sent me some of these images in better resolution than produced in the published versions. Looking at the character of Much the Miller in the tree, one can see scraped back elements in the branch, where it forks. 

In the image below that (of the Sheriff of Nottingham) we can see that emphasis has been placed on the gap between the front Norman rider and the one behind, by scraping or sanding the surface of the board. 


"Robin Hood" Swift, 23 June 1956 Panel #4

"Robin Hood" Swift, 23 June 1956Panel #3

And lastly in the two Thunderbirds images below,we see in the Thunderbird 3 image (from TV21 #217) not only white space left blank, but also scraping back to white (to emphasise the circular highlight on the body of TB3) and also the dabbing with cotton wool effect in the spray on the water. But as Paul mentioned, also look at the 'arm' and you'll see a yellow - orange colour in which Bellamy leaves some white for highlight - so confirming what Owen observed.  And in the Jovian Eye (TV21 #152) we can clearly see 'sanding' on the pupil.

"Thunderbirds" TV21 #217

"Thunderbirds" TV21 #152

I've always said I'm not an artist and shy from this sort of article which I know is of interest to many following the blog. So I'm very grateful to the above for so much help - Owen for being kind enough to write down the process he deduced; David for further help and thoughts as usual and Paul for most of the images and thoughts. This can not be done without you guys.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Fans of Frank: Owen Claxton (Part One)

Frank Bellamy: Radio Times (3 July 1976 - 9 July 1976)
Doctor Who - The Planet of Evil

I received the following email recently from Owen Claxton -[before you search, much of his work is NSFW - links below]:

Firstly, I would like to thank and congratulate you on your work for the The Art of Frank Bellamy book. I’ve been a Bellamy fan ever since I bought the Timeview book as a young Doctor Who fan in the mid 80’s, I found that book so inspiring that I took up pen and ink drawing as a hobby. I persevered at drawing, went to art college and am now an artist myself. The recent book has given me much more info about the man, his methods, times he worked in as well as introducing me to more of his marvellous drawings, for which I’m very grateful!
He then went on to ask me about Bellamy's technique - I responded with part of the Skinn/Gibbons interview and, with hope in my heart, asked him if he'd like to write a piece for the blog on how Bellamy inspired him! So I present (in two parts) another in the series "Fans of Frank": Owen Claxton.

OWEN CLAXTON: When I started school it was quickly discovered that I was mildly dyslexic and I found learning to read and write a frustrating chore. Consequently I tended to cast aside books for comics where I could follow the story by ‘reading’ the pictures and picking up the odd word or phrase that I understood from the captions. I found it much easier to learn to read from these bite sized captions with a pictorial context than from the dense pages of text in books. Eventually I managed to progress onto the books from my favourite TV show of the time 'Doctor Who'. I also loved to draw, maybe when I grew up I could draw comics and book covers too.

Like all young Doctor Who fans of the late 70’s and early 80’s I avidly scoured bookshops for the Target "Doctor Who" novels, on the lookout for another missing title to add to my ever growing collection. The appeal of these books wasn’t just the fantastic adventures within but the sumptuous artwork on the covers. The often brooding portraits of The Doctors surrounded by monstrous alien creatures always stood out amongst the Enid Blyton’s, CS Lewis, Black Beauty and other seemingly more wholesome fare of the children’s section.


Andrew Skilleter cover

Jeff Cummins cover

I quickly began to recognise the styles of the various artists responsible for these alluring images, occasionally the artist would get a credit so I could put a name to a style. Jeff Cummins and Andrew Skilleter, were two that stuck in my memory, but my early favourite was Chris Achilléos. Achilléos employed a dot stipple black ink technique that fascinated me, as a typical child with no patience I couldn’t begin to imagine how long it would take to build up all those individual dots to make such accurate images. In short it seemed like magic. Reading in Doctor Who Monthly I discovered that Chris Achilléos had been asked to draw in a similar style of another artist, Frank Bellamy, I was intrigued- Frank who?

Radio Times 13-19 May 1972

In those pre-internet days there was no easy way to discover information about anything remotely ‘niche’, so I resigned myself to never hearing anymore about this mystery artist or ever seeing any of his work. Then again in DWM I read that the aforementioned Andrew Skilleter had set up a company called Who Dares to promote his striking airbrush work, also he planned to publish two art books of work by his own illustration heroes, Frank Bellamy and Frank Hampson. I was excited by this prospect, not only would I get to see Bellamy’s work but there was another mysterious Frank out there to discover too!

Frank Bellamy's son David wrote Timeview in 1985

I was 12 when Who Dares published Timeview- The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations of Frank Bellamy in 1985, I pestered my mum to order me a copy as soon as it came out. It did not disappoint. I was blown away by the artwork and pored over every one trying to work out what it was that made them so compelling. I discarded my pencils for a dip pen and tried to copy many of them. I scoured the excellent text by Frank’s son David for any clue as to how his father approached his work. There wasn’t much for a young learner to grab onto- ‘never used process white’, ‘never did meticulous tracings’, ‘liked to get the essence of a photograph’ but I took them to heart and decided that’s what I must do to improve my own drawings. I have Frank to thank for getting into good habits early on!

Chris Achilléos cover

The two major works in the book are of course the 'Day of the Daleks' Radio Times cover and the colour illustration for 'Terror of the Zygons'. Frank’s depiction of the Skarasen Loch Ness Monster on the latter is just fabulous. Although it is extremely unfair to compare it with Achilléos’ version for the Target cover of the same story, I find it unavoidable. Achilléos does wonders breathing life into what was a very clumsy and unconvincing TV model but it doesn’t look as if it could give you more than nasty bite on the leg. In contrast Frank’s Skarasen twists and rears ready to lunge down and tear its prey apart with huge razor sharp claws that break out from the background frame. In the original story this fearsome cyborg was supposed to be able to sink oil rigs, here that terrifying potential seems credible. Again it’s wrong to compare two artists, Frank has obviously been given a much freer hand by RT than Achilléos has by Target books, the latter has been told to stay as true to the images from the TV programme as possible and has discussed before his frustrations that such constraints caused him. I don’t remember the creature on TV having claws but their addition by Frank is a masterstroke. Gratitude must go to the RT art director [David Driver ~Norman] for allowing Frank a free hand. 

Radio Times (30 August 1975 - 5 September 75)
Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons

The beast is upon us, there seems no way of getting out of its way, with bloodlust in its eye and drool swishing from its mouth as it looms out of the darkness, The Doctor looks genuinely alarmed! Frank is a master of composition, here you have the Zygon spaceship blasting off upwards, the monster pushing forwards and to the right while in top right Tom Baker fixes us with his wide eyes, yet the whole drawing hangs together. The two rectangles of the background give stability but the way their edges are broken or sometimes left out stops them having a dulling effect and the jagged lightning border, the abstract shapes to Tom’s right and the zig-zagging wave of sea foam help to move the eye around the drawing and keep the two halves in harmony. 

Radio Times (1-7 January 1972)
Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

On the 'Day of the Daleks' cover he brilliantly uses negative space on the left to break up the square format, the strong diagonal of the speech bubble along with the foreground sucker arm breaking the right border adds dynamism and the circle, which is not drawn but painted in by colour alone, provides focus. The composition is so perfect you don’t notice that Jon Pertwee doesn’t appear to have any ears. [He had a lot of hair covering them -~Norman] Also, note the Dalek eye at the centre of the circle, a lesser artist such as myself would be tempted to add more detail to that which would be the wrong thing to do as it would pull focus and send The Doctor into the background. One of the hardest things for an artist to learn is economy- when to make a mark or to leave it out- it’s something that can only really come from experience and a lot of drawing. Beauty comes from simplicity. The more simply something can be drawn, the more beautiful it will be. There are never any unnecessary lines or marks in Frank’s work, if something like a Dalek eye can be convincingly suggested by just a black oval and a bit of flat cream colour then why add anything more? Something you see a lot of in his work is a half defined face, the other half being lost in shadow or bleached out by bright light or even cropped off entirely. This is economy, you only need half a face to read the expression and if you’ve got tight deadlines you don’t have time to render everything so you must decide what’s the simplest way to get the story across dramatically and effectively. Less is more, it allows the viewer to fill in the gaps with his or her own imagination.

With Frank as inspiration and the guidance of very supportive art teachers at school I managed to get myself into Edinburgh College of Art in 1991. By the early 90’s, 'Doctor Who' had finished, Target books were running out of stories to publish and no one at art school knew who Frank Bellamy was. Having come to the painful conclusion that no one, particularly girls, was impressed by my extensive knowledge of creaky old TV shows and now long dead illustrators, I decided to put such childish interests behind me and try to become a cultured and sophisticated grown up. At art college I immersed myself in the work of the old masters and various 'Art-isms' and I swapped drawing Daleks for nude models. There are many smug artists that will tell you the hardest thing to draw is the human figure, that’s because they’ve never tried drawing a Dalek! I was lucky enough to win a Scottish Education Trust Visual Arts award as a student (the Trust set up by the late Sir Sean Connery with the money he made from Bond) and since graduating I have worked as a freelance artist and occasional illustrator. I have never forgotten my debt to Frank Bellamy and Chris Achilléos for inspiring a young lad to start taking drawing pictures seriously.

Thanks so much Owen - good to know Frank is still inspiring people! 
Owen kindly sent me two images which are pertinent as they depict Doctor Who subjects:
Dalek Life Drawing Class - Owen Claxton

David Tennant as Doctor Who
by Owen Claxton
And I love his clock face Doctor Who but obviously 12 might limit the imagination! An alternative to Lee Sullivan's ever expanding "Usual Suspects"!
Twelve Doctors by Owen Claxton


[Part Two to follow shortly]

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Fans of Frank: Mark Farmer


Garth: G250 from "The Mask of Atacama"

I wrote to Mark Farmer a while ago. His credits on the Grand Comics Database state he was penciller for 43 items but an inker on 1,728 - I have not counted any publishers outside the UK and USA. Nevertheless you can see why he's known now as an inker! Why did I write to him? 

Well, I was tidying the data which I transferred from my old Bellamy website to this blog and found the files pertaining to a 'competition' in the Daily Mirror.

Daily Mirror 1 June 1974, p.9

The Daily Mirror of 1 June 1974 has the headline, (in the Junior Mirror section) "Is there a comic in the house?" It shows the Hulk, Spider-Man and a tiny cameo of, I think, Super-Humanoid from The Incredible Hulk #116, who says I don't work hard! The blurb states:

Fancy yourself as a comic artist? If so, draw us a strip featuring your own characters, funny or dramatic, and we will publish the best one. How about that. Fun and fame...all for the price of a postage stamp!

It doesn't say it's a competition but later we discover the winners earn an original Garth drawn by Frank Bellamy! 

In the Daily Mirror of the 15 June 1974, under the banner "Titan the Terrible!" the winners are announced for the competition including Mark Farmer, the renowned comic book artist!

Daily Mirror 15 June 1974, p.9

I wrote to him, having known this was THE Mark Farmer for quite a while. I asked him if he could add anything to "this tiny backwater of Bellamy history" and sent him copies of the relevant pages. He replied very politely:

 Hi Norman,

Strangely enough, in the process of sorting "stuff" out during lockdown, I found my own old clipping and scanned it for my records, but thanks for your scans in any case.

All I remember of this event is that my Mom sent the drawing in without my knowledge and the first I knew about it was getting a call from the Daily Mirror telling me the piece would be printed in Saturday's edition and that I was to get a piece of original Frank Bellamy's Garth artwork as a prize. When I saw the image in the paper I quickly realised that they'd cut off one of the arms and a leg and pasted them at a weird angle in order to fit in with the columns and edges of the page. All very crudely done and a foretaste of my future where art is altered without the artist's consent, though at this time I was just delighted to see my work in print. My Mom and Dad were very proud but I don't think I even told my mates at school. The Bellamy artwork was much more exciting to me.

When the artwork arrived I was amazed at how big it was .... it was the first piece of original comic artwork I'd ever seen or held. It was on CS10 board (long gone, I'm afraid) and the ink looked really black and the white gleamed. It wasn't a great piece of Bellamy art but I've since added two other Garth strips by Mr. Bellamy and I have all three framed together .... the two other pieces are much better examples of what he could do with half tone stippling and extreme lighting and shadows, but they are all pretty special to me, originals by the greatest British comic artist ever to have lived.

I hope this is of use, Norman. Any questions, just send me a message.

Cheers, Mark.
"Of use?" I am over the Moon. After thanking him, I asked which episode he received. G250 was the reply - see the top of this article

Lastly David Jackson shared this photocopy of his Bellamy scrapbook with me in the late 1970s and I've just noticed that he had a bigger article on comics than I saw down south! Another instance of different editions of the same daily paper (as we saw with the Daily Record!)

The same article BUT different!

Monday 13 March 2017

CENTENARY ARTICLE: Pop goes Bellamy with Disc!

Disc 25 May 1974
1974 was a busy year for Frank Bellamy. Marv Wolfman (of then Marvel Comics) wrote asking if Bellamy was interested in doing something for Marvel Comics, either black and white or colour or just covers in colour. "We produce eleven black and white titles, along with sixty-odd color comics", he said to which Bellamy politely declined stating he was extremely busy with his daily newspaper strip.

In April 1974 Frank appeared on TV for the first time on "Quick on the draw", a programme broadcast 19 June at 3.55pm (just in time for little Norman to be home from school!) where cartoonists like Bill Tidy, and other TV personalities (Leslie Crowther and Diana Dors on this particular show) would draw a joke from a suggestion made by Bob Monkhouse the compere. Frank was the surprise guest who demonstrates a Garth drawing without showing himself and the regulars have to guess who is behind the door from the sketch!

For the Radio Times he drew regular drawings in black and white, such as the May 1974 "The Movie Quiz Late horror show". Bellamy was also approached by 19 magazine to illustrate their feature on King Kong and he was illustrating Garth in "Beast of Ultor". (Later in 1974 he'd also illustrated Garth in "Freak out to fear" from June to September and then went onto Garth in "Bride of Jenghiz Khan"). But this article is about how, for the 25 May 1974 edition of the weekly Disc he produced an unusual piece

The charts in Disc 25 May 1974 p.1

The main cover (see top of article) of this newspaper format magazine shows Garth slicing through the page with a karate blow. The whole of the magazine is in black and white (with the exception of the centre spread pin-up) so Bellamy's colour choice here is for dramatic effect. Why was Garth, a Daily Mirror newspaper strip character on the cover of  a pop music paper?

Disc 25 May 1974 pp4-5

Lon Goddard arrived from America in 1966, worked as a reporter for Record Mirror, then moved on to become Head of Press for CBS records. And finally he became Editor of IPC's weekly Disc in 1973. Lon was and is a fan of Frank Bellamy's art and commissioned him to do this work.

When he sold the original art on eBay (of the cover and the interior illustrations) many years ago I wrote to him  and I had the presence of mind (and cheek) to ask him about Bellamy. Lon kindly wrote back to me to tell me that with Bellamy in Lon's office he "acted out the approach" for his proposed illustrations. He also confirmed Bellamy was paid £150 and Jim Edgar (Bellamy's writer on Garth) wrote some blurb but this was re-written by Brian Wesley from The Sun!

Disc 25 May 1974 p.5
The main image inside shows Garth with headphones on a keyboard-like instrument. In the 'interview' we learn he is playing music from the planet Axatel "in the Andromeda nebula" which apparently is taken from an earth song "Tie a yellow ribbon"! We also learn that Garth has almost bumped into Dan Dare and has had dinner with Octobriana, "the Russian underground heroine"

Lon's eBay description of the two head shots of Garth included in the article:
The two images of Garth each just under 3" tall and are rendered on a 12" X 7" CS10 artboard with a tracing paper cover sheet attached, exactly as Frank submitted them in the Fleet Street offices of Disc in London. How do I know this? Because I was the editor of DISC at the time and I commissioned the drawings from Frank, himself!
From the original art by Frank Bellamy
 I thought it worth checking with Lon whether he remembered anything else since the early 2000s when I last wrote, especially on the authors of the article. I managed to track him down and he wrote:

Nice work finding me. Yes, I'm busy as a street-level celeb, playing guitar and singing, plus acting in theater here in a very small town. I often ask my audience for their autographs.

Nothing really huge to add regarding the amazing Frank. That's really the story. Oh...he was dressed in a khaki safari jacket and smoked a lot...but I smoked then, as well. Didn't we all? He was obsessed with detail and lighting in his artwork, as you know, and described his intentions while acting out the Garth poses he intended for Disc, as well as the dynamic poses of other figures he had done in the past. He sure loved westerns (as do I). As a professional illustrator myself (Folio Artists and Illustrators of Holborn), following six years as PR for Phonogram Records, the point at which I left the music industry, I became even more aware and respectful of Frank's incredible attention to detail, somewhat later.
I'm trying to remember Ray Fox-Cumming's input, but that's foggy. However, he is on Facebook.
Fox-Cummings moved with Disc when it joined with the Record Mirror and then went on to the Observer. He retired from the rat race in 1995 and is now a hotelier. I wrote to the hotel, but have not received a reply to date. 

Lon added a quote from Steve Holland's excellent blog on Jim Edgar, who still remains a bit of a mystery despite having authored so many of the Garth strips. Any help on James Edgar offered gratefully received!

Lon left Britain for Sacremento in 1986. In an article on Peter Jones, editor of the Record Mirror, Paul Philips (author of the Car 67 single) says "Lon Goddard, an ex-pat American who became the go-to guy for your singer-songwriter updates and much more besides"

I see since these emails from the 2000s Lon's work appears all over the Internet due to his association with many famous names of pop. He not only designed a few album covers, but also now plays and sings and is no mean artist himself! Lon continues:

I have included some bits of my own art, both early caricatures for Record Mirror, a couple from Folio...and that's me in the Cleopatra poster I posed and rendered for our theater. Hollywood Producer/Director/Writer/Film Editor Elmo Williams was a close friend of mine, as a former resident of Brookings, Oregon - our aforementioned 'small town.' As host, I did 24 screening/lecture shows with Elmo in our community theater and Cleo was one (he produced). Elmo won an Oscar for editing the classic High Noon. He passed away in 2015, at 102-years. The City of Brookings asked me to design a bronze plaque as a memorial to be placed in our local Azalea Park, which was done (pictured). So, as age 70 approaches, that's where I'll eventually be going...up there with Elmo
That's about a wrap for the moment. Good to hear from you, Norman.

Cleopatra poster "starring" Lon himself!

The park in which Elmo Williams plaque sits

Elmo Williams plaque designed by Lon Goddard

James Brown art by Lon Goddard

Art by Lon Goddard

Ricky Nelson (star of Rio Bravo)  by Lon Goddard
LINKS to various things about or by Lon
  • The sound quality is rather poor on these, but here's some audio interviews with Lon
  • There's a brief biography and a list of some of Lon's articles he wrote while with the Record Mirror
  • Lon's interview with The Doors' Ray Manzarek
  • Mari Wilson enacts Psycho for Lon
Moving swiftly on, here's an addition to the Bellamy story that's been lost in time that I suspect you will enjoy. BUT BE WARNED YOU WILL spend a lot of time on the recommended site below!

Disc 6 July 1974

I can't remember when I bought the above or how I found out that Lon had commissioned the fantastic  J. Edward Oliver (known as Jack)  to do a spoof of the Garth episode above (not the tiny reproductions of Bellamy's version on both the above and below pages), but Lon wrote to me recently:
Jack Oliver (J. Edward Oliver), Disc's cartoonist, quickly took to my follow-up idea and mimicked the Garth cover with his Fresco-Le-Raye dinosaur character. The two of us had fun devising the text for the feature. Jack passed away in 2007, age 65, only weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Fresco-Le-Raye, the dinosaur cartoon character had his own fan club and a regular black and white strip in the magazine by J. Edward Oliver.  The front cover is an exact copy of the earlier Garth cover with Fresco substituting for Garth! The same occurs internally with a few witty additions!

Disc 6 July 1974 p. 7
Lon made me laugh out loud when he wrote again:
 Two bits that will forever remain in my mind, regarding the wonderfully and absolutely honestly eccentric Jack Oliver: He came into my Disc office one time, with his weekly cartoon strip, wearing his usual black cape and top hat, announcing that he had signed up for lipreading classes. He said both of his parents, with whom he resided, were fairly deaf, so he was expecting the same fate and wanted to get the jump on it. I spent time with Jack, who was perhaps ten years older than myself, and knew his folks, who always stayed in the background when I visited. A few months later, when he walked in to deliver his strip, the subject came to mind, so I enquired as to how the lipreading classes were going. He told me that he had quit after the first one. When I asked why, he replied, perfectly naturally, "Because I could hear everything they said."
I have no idea as to the degree Jack actually realised how affably eccentric he really was, but he never seemed to notice it at all.

Secondly, he always gently complained that he was underpaid. I couldn't get a raise for him within my budget, so he threatened to start leaving the last frame in his strip as a total blank. I told him that if he did so, I would fill it in personally, being a cartoonist, myself. Well...he did so. And I did so. The resulting frame is attached. 
I'm pleased to say, Lon, I found the strip on Peter Sanders' excellent site (the last one on the page - follow that link) and he highlights the strike in a special article here

Disc October 26th 1974

It says: "Now, J. Edward... I warned you I'd fill in your protest blank myself... and force you to appear in your own strip!! Neat huh!?"

I happened to notice that Garth appeared elsewhere in this issue in JEO's strip - check out the bottom right hand corner:

Fresco-le-Raye in Disc
It's obvious from browsing Peter Sanders' site that JEO loved Marvel and DC comics as well as many other media personalities as he replicates Conan ("Fred the Chartered Accountant"), Tarzan and many others very well and with great affection (and madness!). He transforms the DC Tarzan to "Tartan of the Aardvarks", one week, "Tadpoles" another and "Warthogs" a third all pastiching Joe Kubert's covers.

Check out Steve Holland again for a biographical sketch of Oliver and of course Peter Sanders site, where amongst other wonderments you can see Doctor Who make an appearance

J. Edward Oliver's "Fresco-le-Raye" meets a certain Doctor Who
And now I can confess and free my soul.....I too am a member of Fresco's club! The proof has long since disappeared. And I'm nearly as old as that dinosaur now!