Showing posts with label Happy Warrior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happy Warrior. Show all posts

Sunday 14 August 2022

ORIGINAL ART: Too many to mention but I will!


Eagle 22 November 1957 (Vol. 8:47)
The Compalcomics auction have some tremendous Bellamy original art this time. The hi-res images I have below have been grabbed from Thesaleroom where you can bid and see live bids too.


Lot 44 is a rare page from "The Happy Warrior", the story of Winston Churchill the first living person to appear in the biographical strip on the back page of Eagle. Bellamy must have had a lot of worries representing this national hero, but eventually was told Churchill approved. This is episode 8 (as Bellamy has written on the board) and appears to have preserved very well. Whoever gets it - please - do not put it in sunlight! The story ran for a year form October 1957 to September 1958.

The lot is described as:

Eagle/Happy Warrior original artwork drawn and painted by Frank Bellamy for The Eagle Vol 8 No 47 (1957). During the second Indian War at the battle of Omdurman on 2 September 1898, a young Lieutenant, Winston Churchill, with 350 men of the 21st Lancers charged what they thought were an army of 700 Dervishes. Churchill later wrote 'A deep crease in the ground - a dry watercourse - a khor, appeared where all had seemed smooth, level, plain; and from it there sprang, with a suddenness of a pantomime effect and a high-pitched yell, a dense white mass of 2000 tribesmen and a score of horsemen with bright flags who rose as if by magic from the earth...' Bright Pelikan inks on board. 21 x 16 ins.

Boy's World 28 March 1964


The 17th part of this single story from Boy' World (28 March 1964 Vol 2:13) is the next item in the auction. This was a story Bellamy drew as a one-off (there were 21 parts to the story), taking over from "C F Eidlestein" as artist on this strip, who was better known by his real name Frank Langford. The story's premise was similar to the later published Star Trek episode "Wink of an eye" Besides an illustration for a text story this is the only work Bellamy did for Boy's World. To read more about this short-lived comic you cannot do better than Steve Holland's "Boy's World: Ticket to adventure".

Anyway, the lot (#67) is described thus:

Boy's World/Brett Million and the Ghost World original artwork (1963) drawn and painted by Frank Bellamy for Boy's World Vol. 2 No 13, 1963 [sic]. Brett is captured and suddenly teleported by the Aliens as his amplifier runs dangerously low… Bright Pelikan inks on board. 20 x 15 ins 

Eagle 17 November 1962 (Vol. 13:46)


Heros the Spartan original double-page artwork (1962) painted and signed by Frank Bellamy. For The Eagle Vol. 13 No 46. Taken prisoner to the mountain Palace of Gold, inhabited by the priests of the pagan god, Diom, Heros and his cohort survivors are forced to fight duels against the wild, animal-like savages called the Magus... Bright Pelikan inks on board, 28 x 20 ins. The Heros title lettering and rectangular text boxes are laser colour editions to complete the look of the artwork and may be removed if required. *This is the final board of Heros artwork in the recent run offered for auction.

Comparing this original art to the comic it's hard to tell if this is faded (which wouldn't surprise me) but I can see the blues in it. However Malcolm does mention  the title lettering and text boxes have been added so who knows. It's full of action and comes from the first story of Heros - "The Island of Darkness" which ran for four months over 1962/1963

Lots #102, 104 and 109 are all Garth strips. The first comes from "The Wolfman of Ausensee" (F162) and shows Garth worried about Gloria as she stands on a ledge, for the film crew.  I remember as a teenager trying to copy how Bellamy drew rocks and mountains.

Garth: The Wolfman of Ausensee" G162

Garth: 'The Wolfman of Ausensee' original artwork (1972) drawn by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 8.7.'72. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins

The second is from the story "The Women of Galba" (G84) and has some lovely Bellamy 'swirls' as I call them. These are the things that attracted me to Bellamy's 70s work - his design sense. In an alternate universe I think I'm a graphic designer rather than a retired Librarian! 

Garth: The Women of Galba (G84)

Garth 'Women of Galba' original artwork (1973) drawn by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 7.4.'73. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 ins

The third is from the story "The Mask of Atacama" (G225) and again we see those Bellamy 'swirls' shading the dark sky in the third panel. Garth is off stage at this point in the story but nevertheless a lovely piece of classic Frank Bellamy artwork.

Garth: The Mask of Atacama (G225)

Garth: 'The Mask of Atacama' original artwork (1973) drawn and signed by Frank Bellamy for the D. Mirror 21.9.'73. Indian ink on board. 21 x 7 in

That's a lot of gorgeous Frank Bellamy artwork coming to light. Best of luck with any you go for.  I'll update the spreadsheet as usual after the auction. Happy Bidding!



WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £900 (Estimate: £1000-£1500
END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022


WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £1080 (Estimate: £1200-£1600)
END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £4050 (Estimate: £4500-£5000)
END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022

GARTH: The Wolfman of Ausensee

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £200 (Estimate: £220-£260)
END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022

GARTH: The Women of Galba

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £230 (Estimate: £250-£300)
END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022

GARTH: The Mask of Atacama

WHERE?: Compal/Saleroom
STARTING BID: £230 (Estimate: £250-£300)

END DATE: Sunday 28 August 2022

Saturday 29 July 2017

CENTENARY ARTICLE: Part Three: 1950s - 1960s continued by David Jackson

FRANK BELLAMY - design and technique
Part Three: 1950s-1960s continued

By David Jackson
[Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three] [Part Four] [Part Five]

1958 reprint of Clifford Makin / Frank Bellamy strip biography

The opportunity to develop distinctive layout design innovations did not present itself until Frank Bellamy moved to Eagle to draw the back-page "The Happy Warrior" strip biography of Sir Winston Churchill in line and wash full colour. [I have to mention it appeared on the day Sputnik 1 was launched - 4 October 1957 ~Norman]

FB: "Apparently, someone on EAGLE had the idea of running a comic-strip biography of a still-living personality. They'd done biblical characters and such in the past, but never a living person. So they commissioned me from Swift, to draw the strip. And a real punishing job it was too."
FA: "Looking back over your EAGLE work, it seems you started experimenting with a few new techniques while drawing the Churchill strip."
FB: "With some adventure strips, it's often you see stunt colour effects of the lighting - for instance, a purple shadow on one side of the face - but I was nervous about treating Churchill in that way. Until one day I got a letter saying I could go to town on it and do whatever I wanted. So, I started out splitting frames with zigzags, and putting an oval frame into the middle of the page and from then on I experimented more and more. That's why it looks rather subdued at the beginning, but in the end it goes into a strip technique. But I never got to fully develop experimenting until later strips like "Fraser of Africa" and "Heros the Spartan"."

The publishers' formulaic set appearance of level banks of frames of the earlier b/w stories was gradually developed into bespoke designs allowing adjustments to be made for frame shape and importance and giving balance to the whole.
The extra dimension provided by full colour was made use of literally. Backgrounds of certain frames on the second page are early examples of creating a sense of depth perspective by means of black ink in-fill and linework for the foreground elements only.

The published pages of the series are credited but not signed, though in the frame which illustrates the WWII 'phoney' war with a figure of a relaxing soldier, the blades of grass read 'FB'.

The outline figures against the union flag background to Churchill's "Finest Hour" speech include portraits of the Bellamy family:

Eagle 11 April 1958

  • Frank himself (in a flying jacket) 
  • His mother Grace, above and right of him
  • Possibly his sister Eva slightly further right in a cap
  • His father Horace George Bellamy to the left
  • Nancy Bellamy in profile in a mop cap at left
  • Their son David is the boy in school uniform and cap. 

In the last frame of Eagle Vol.9 No.24 (numbered as p45 in the 1958 book collection, David's uncle, who was in the 8th Army, is giving the thumbs-up).

Eagle Vol.9 No.24

"The Happy Warrior" concluded with a fine full page linear portrait graphic of Sir Winston Churchill in Eagle Vol.9 No.36. Whether the subsequent film Young Winston would have been made (either, at all, or in the way that it was) were it not for FB's picture strip biography for Eagle - effectively a 'storyboard' for the movie - is an open question!
In comics - rather than hiring an entire film crew, extras, cast and stars, costumes, and building sets, props and going on location - a 'shooting script' was given instead to Frank Bellamy.

Eagle 22 November 1958

The next strip was biblical: "The Shepherd King" - the story of David, again for the Eagle back page. The title portrait frame at top left, which continued to be revised as the character matured, was first replaced between No.41 and No.42 as FB recognised the potential of his depiction of David in the lower central frame of No.41 and the frame is further developed to use as the recurring portrait-frame for the next several issues.

Eagle 25 April 1959

"The Travels of Marco Polo". Drawn by FB from Vol.10 No.16 until No.23 and taken over by Peter Jackson - who many years later wrote a few paragraphs about this: "Meeting Frank Bellamy".

"As I had never met Frank Bellamy, but only admired him from afar, this seemed as good a time as any to make his acquaintance. And since I was taking over from him I would now learn all the secrets of his technique. [...] He was quite willing to talk about his technique but there were not, as I might have guessed, any 'secrets'. Just sheer brilliance of draughtsmanship and years of hard work. The technique was there for all to see. He told me what it was that created those magical tonal values out of countless dots. Patience. Infinite patience."
From the Fantasy Advertiser interview:

FA: "One of your own personal touches, which makes your work so easily recognisable is your 'dot stipple' technique of shading..".
FB: "Funnily enough, the Radio Times people called on me and asked me to use that old technique in my artwork for them."
FA: "What made you start stippling your art?
FB: "It started when I wanted to break down an area of black into grey. I couldn't water the black into grey as it wouldn't reproduce - the printer can't water his ink. It had to be positive black or white, no in-betweens. So the only way to do it was to create an illusion of grey which I did with small black dots. And then, to supplement that I'd use the three colours together. Had they been 100% pure, they would give a white, but being impure they give a phoney grey."

FA: "Do you use a Rapidograph for your stippling?"
FB: "No, just a straight pen."
FA: "What nibs do you use?"
FB: "My favourite nib is a Gillott 1950. I find it very good, not too flexible or too hard."
FA: "And your brush?"
FB: "Just an ordinary sable brush."
These are from the 1950s but are still produced

FA: "Do you use a soft or hard pencil for your layouts and what kind of pencil layout do you do - a rough or finished one?"
FB: "I always use an HB moderate hard pencil. I've been using an HB since EAGLE, because, while it was easy to remove the pencil marks, if I'd used a softer pencil, the board would have started to get dirty. And it is quite a crime to put dirty board under infra-red camera. My normal way of working would be to draw in pencil and then ink in the linework with a pen. Then I would fill in the large black areas with a brush, and finally, when everything's done, I'd fill in the colour. But all of the pencil must be rubbed out before the colour is added, or it will be trapped under the ink, which is transparent. When using pure tone, not contained by line, you draw the shape lightly in pencil until you get it right, and then rub it out until it has almost vanished, so you can just see it, and then direct brushwork on the top. So, with an HB pencil you get no dirt on the CS10 and no retouch bill from the engraver."
FA: "I believe CS10 can be a difficult kind of board for colour - what brand of ink do you use?"

FB: "Yes. Ink can be a difficult medium. But I prefer it to water colour. I use waterproof inks for colouring but with the water colour technique. It's very difficult and I think it should be printed on the bottle...USE CONFIDENTLY, because that's what is needed. You've got to take a deep breath and slap it on. The actual inks I use are the German 'Pelikan' inks, because I find them to be the best inks in the world. [...] I boiled them down to one red, one yellow and one blue, and obviously, the black. I use vermillion for the red, ultramarine for the blue and straight yellow."
FA: "You mixed from the three basic colours rather than taking a shade straight from a bottle?"
FB: "I'd never take a green straight from a bottle. I'd mix my own with blue and yellow which is exactly the way it's printed. This way it has a better chance of being printed looking the same as the original."
He never used distilled water (recommended in manufacturer's instructions) to thin the ink washes.
FA: "How do you get such a flat edge to your colour work? Do you mask it?"
FB: "I use a very simple mask - a piece of Sellotape:

FA: "Of course CS10 is excellent board for this - this tape can be removed easily without damaging the surface."
FB: Yes. I stick it down, wash over with colour, let it dry and then peel it off, leaving a nice sharp edge."
Colyer & Southey's CS10 Line Board
 He used a razor blade to cut the Sellotape mask to shape.
He always said the sky effect was the most difficult to handle (in the medium - waterproof inks); sometimes when the phone would ring he'd shout down, 'TELL THEM I CANNOT POSSIBLY ANSWER YET AS I'M RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SKY!'

Taken form the reprint book "The Happy Warrior" 1958 showing skies!

David Bellamy comments in Timeview on how his father preferred working with waterproof inks - carefully mixed in a palette of about sixty sections - despite their difficulties as a medium, particularly on CS10 line board, on which the inks tend to dry unevenly, yet he could wash in skies or flat areas of colour and produce an almost airbrushed effect.

FA: "That cover you did for me, for Eureka a few years ago, I noticed the black areas were really solid. Was that ordinary ink?"
FB: "With ink it's true that you don't get a solid black area on your first coat, so, as with colour inks, I go over it again and again, as much as seven or eight times, until it is solid. I never use an air-brush, it's another trick I dislike."

His 'line and wash' work comprises solid black lines, solid black areas and optical tones created by dot stipple, scribble and crosshatch etc, all of which relates to the black being the 'key line'; this is a 'work-around' to pre-empt the possibility of out-of-register colour of some printed copies - i.e. to make such copies at least readable even if not in perfect synchrony.
With black and white letterpress newspaper printing, in any square millimetre or less, there was either a white space (the paper) or a black mark (the ink) - no 'in-between' dilute grey.

Among the items rescued from Frank's studio are pages of clipped printed frames kept as a record by the artist of how some particular effect had reproduced in print. Below a b/w frame from 'King Arthur' drawn for Swift, is the pencilled note: "THIS GREY TECHNIQUE CANNOT BE USED WITH INFR RED REPRO" [See Alan Davis' site for loads of great stuff ~Norman]

With 'line and wash' tonal originals for black and white halftone reproduction on glossier, magazine format, stock paper (such as the above - or the third page of the early "Thunderbirds") the solid black ink is overlaid with a tonal grey wash - over the same 'key line' solid black pen and brush work areas and dot stipple and line hatch technique, as if it were for full colour. In BBC TV's Edition, in 1973, presenter Barry Askew says:

BA: "Let's look at what did, in fact, change you. I mean, one of your classic periods was with EAGLE and there we have an example of Dan Dare. Now what kind of technique development did you put into Dan Dare?
FB: "The technique I used, you mean the materials?"
BA: "Yes."
FB: "The materials I use have been exactly the same in all my career as a strip artist; waterproof inks. In this case full colour waterproof inks."
BA: "What about the design techniques themselves, how were those developed?"
FB: "It was a development of mine. I was tired of seeing frame upon frame of little squared-off pictures and this was the old-fashioned idea. I wanted to bring out the page as a complete page, a spread as a complete spread, to make it a unit in its own right."

In reality Dan Dare proved to be more of a challenge in more ways than one, as outlined on this blog previously - primarily in terms of adaptation to the working conditions, the established page format, existing designs and the Dan Dare studio set-up with assistants rather than the science fiction genre as such.

FA: "On Dan Dare you were working with several other artists. How much of the strip did you actually draw?"
FB: It varied from week to week. Sometimes I'd draw half a dozen frames only, the following week I might draw both pages. But I'd always draw any frames that introduced new characters. It often depended where the awkward frames would appear. As senior artist in the studio, this was my problem. The eventual idea was that I would take over the whole strip and draw both pages by myself every week."
FA: "But you didn't want that?"
FB: "No, not really. Although, as a temporary measure, I'd have preferred to draw Dan Dare in that way, complete, as Keith Watson did later."
Eagle 14 November 1959 Vol.10:39
Vol.10 No.39: FB inside page demonstrates the above point.
Vol.11 No.9: FB produced both pages.

Eagle 30 April 1960 Vol:11:18 page 1

Eagle 30 April 1960 Vol:11:18 page2

Vol.11 No.18: inside page (page 2 above) single top left frame; FB introduces the new alien spacecraft as an 'on-screen schematic' with the rest of the page by the studio team.
The Dan Dare studio artists and FB collaborated on the front page of Vol.11 No.2 - the inside page is all Bellamy and signed - with the lower three frame sequence being by FB and the main frame by the team, might on first sight be taken to be a Bellamy page.

FB: "But the other artists were employed on a freelance basis to help me with fill-in frames and such. I never really have been happy working that way. If I look at Alex Raymond art, I like to see pure Alex Raymond, not inked by Fred Bloggs. It's okay if Fred Bloggs is helping out with some research or rubbing out the pencils, but I like the drawing to be a personal thing."

EAGLE Vol.11 No.4 front page illustrates the logic of this.
Eagle 23 January 1960 Vol:11:4 page 1

FA: "You had one restriction on Dan Dare, I believe ... You were drawing the originals printed size. Was this very difficult?"
FB: "Actually, I prefer never to have to draw a strip more than a quarter up..."
FA: "...Which is only fractionally bigger than the printed size. Why do you prefer this size?
FB: "I don't actually, I prefer never to have to draw a strip more than quarter up...
FA: But I would've thought you could get sharper lines and a tighter effect if the originals were drawn for reduction?
FB: "No. I don't want it to appear more detailed in print, just because it has been reduced a lot from the original drawing size. I'd rather present a finely drawn original in the first place, and therefore, once again, give the editor a piece of finished work ready for press, that he can look at almost exactly as it will appear in print."
 Some Dan Dare studio methods were alien to Frank Bellamy.
FB: "The Dan Dare team used to make roughs, but I always thought that if you make a highly detailed rough, you can't draw the same thing a second time, on your board, and capture as much atmosphere. There's always something lacking. There is no spontaneity or imagination in copying a rough on to board."
Keith Watson once related the following to me. One of the Hampson team was copying a rock formation from a reference photograph, FB was nonplussed and said to him, "Good God, if you can't draw a few rocks..!"

Eagle 24 October 1959 Vol.10:36 - NOTE the rocks!
 Many, possibly most, artists might have done the same. But though such a found reference would be 'realistic', it would not necessarily best meet the graphic dynamics, the 'flow', or shape required, on a particular frame or page - up to and including, depending on context, looking 'too photographic'.
What it pointed up was the difference between the long-term, comprehending, distilling and internalising, artistically, the essential structure of something, as opposed to short-term, short-cut copying what happens to be in a found reference source, which could be either ideal or not!
Interestingly, long before then, FB must have been somehow dissatisfied - possibly unconsciously but probably consciously - in the way he had been depicting rocky landscapes (though they would have appeared perfectly good enough to a reader) or gained new insight, and, over time had made refined incremental improvements in his way of rendering geology, so much so that, as his son David once rightly commented, as an aside, that the rocks look so rocky.

Eagle, Girl, Swift and Robin had been sold by Hulton Press to Odhams, publishing as Longacre Press, and Hulton's last issue of Eagle was Vol.11 No.1 dated 2nd January 1960.

Nevertheless, within the imposed limitations outlined above, experiments with page layout, innovative graphic design and dynamic panel breaks continued.

The original art from Eagle Vol:11:4

Such as the Vol.11 No.4 spectacular and vertiginous Dan Dare crash-dive cover sequence - the filmic contribution made by the altimeter numerals is in itself notable - culminating in a spectacular explosion (a Bellamy speciality).

The common British logo style through the Sixties

From its inception, Hulton's Eagle had carried the distinctive masthead (which no doubt seemed a good idea at the time) but was itself an invariable constriction, by its size and form and place on the front page, which meant, from a storytelling art and design consideration (let alone as possible collected volumes) the weekly loss of a quarter of the cover space. New owner Longacre Press lost no time in commissioning an updated new look for the Eagle masthead and front page, and particularly for Dan Dare. (Volume 11:12, 19 March 1960)

FB: "They asked me to redesign Dan Dare. The uniforms, space fleet, everything. This meant I had to make sketches of everything before I actually started drawing the strip, but I prefer to do that, anyway. I've always done so, on Fraser, Heros and so on. This let the editor know exactly what everything looked like from the start so he wouldn't get any surprises sprung on him in the middle of an instalment."
FA: "Did you have any qualms about re-vamping Frank Hampson's personal creation?"
FB: "Oh, yes. I didn't like doing that. But it was a directive from upstairs - that's what they wanted, and you can only give the client what he wants, so that was it." 
Republication of the Fantasy Advertiser interview in Warrior 22 (September 1984), with some variations, included additional art and this extra Q&A:

"Why did you get the directive to revamp the costumes and ships?"
FB: "I think it was just the march of progress. They had tended to look old fashioned, and they wanted to keep ahead of what was happening in Cape Canaveral. At the beginning of Eagle, everything looked super-futuristic, but the actual real life events were catching up extremely fast. They also wanted a 'new look' to coincide with the facelift the cover was getting. I did lots of drawings of the space fleet which were exploded drawings, showing the cabin areas, undercart, rocket compartment and that, which I'd hoped was also help an author so he wouldn't make the common mistake of having someone stepping from one cabin to another, when they are supposed to be at opposite ends of the ship. I tried to keep a realistic approach. Later, there was an exhibition, I think it was at Charter House School, showing 'the birth of the comic strip', and they used my approach, with my art, preliminary sketches, the script, pencil and ink artwork. The interest was so great that members of the American Air Force would go down, thinking these diagrams of ships were for real."
- Laughter -

Eagle Vol.11 No.12, 19th March 1960, is the 'new look' issue for which FB also produced both Dan Dare pages.

Eagle Vol.11 No.12, 19th March 1960
 Many of his pages which followed in the series stylistically prefigure TV21(for example, EAGLE Vol.11 No.15 p2).
Eagle Vol.11 No.18 cover page (see above) includes some innovative FB stars and space nebula development of his 'dot stipple' technique. This effect is further developed on the front cover of No.21. Frank's stars are distinctive and unique and appear as a pragmatic and brilliant design solution to the 'problem' (as Frank might have seen it) that the most efficient way of creating stars in pen and ink is to lay-in flat areas of black and speckle with blobs of process white - which technically, from all he has said, Frank wouldn't want to do. Hence his starfield design (requiring a thought-through understanding of its micro-component elements to produce the specific effect) which removed the need for process white.
FB also started to develop line-hatch alternatives to stipple tonals during Dan Dare which would develop over time and would lead in the 1970s to FB referring (above) to the stippling method as an "old technique" (returning to it for art editor David Driver at Radio Times). The pen-work change includes Vol.11 Nos.20-22-23 and the slight patch of tentative linework hatched along the cheekbone of Dan Dare in No.26, heralded a technique development which might then have seemed insignificant. By whatever insight, FB saw reason to experiment with what would be possible with another method.

Coincidentally or not, Eagle Vol.11 No.26, 25th June 1960, page eight, also includes an unattributed and so far unattributable depiction of Gary Player in a Slazenger sports equipment advertisement rendered in dot stipple effect.

Eagle Vol.11 No.28 front cover is the final Frank Bellamy Dan Dare, published on 9th July 1960.

Eagle Vol.11 No.28, 9 July 1960
FA: "You drew Dan Dare for exactly a year. Why did you stop?"
FB: "I'd only wanted to draw it for a year."
FA: "Have there ever been any sets you've particularly disliked drawing?"
FB: "Well, once again, Dan Dare, because I felt cramped on it, as I've said."
 Many thanks to David for this series of overviews of Bellamy's career.  In the next episode we plunge into the 1960s

Monday 18 April 2016

Frank Bellamy - Docotr Who and Winston Churchill

I feel I should apologise for the lack of material on this blog in the last 6 months.  Our house has been completely re-plastered - new plasterboard on walls and ceilings! That's the first time I've been able to paint new new walls and ceilings and skirting boards! And it will the last, I can't face that work again!! Amway all the books, notes etc are out of storage

Enough of me, let's talk Bellamy

While I was 'out of it' a few things appeared which connect with Bellamy. 

Doctor Who: The Complete History
Volume 17:Colony in space; The Daemons; Day of the Daleks
The above Doctor Who: The Complete History was published as a partwork by Panini. I caught it while it was available in W H Smiths. This is the second published volume (actually volume 17) covering three episodes (the first two 1971; the latter 1972). You can read the reviews of each issue of this multi-part work at the Doctor Who fan site Kasterborous "Doctor Who News, Opinions, Reviews and PodKast", If you are wondering, they state "Kasterborous (Cas-TER-bor-os) was the constellation in which the planet Gallifrey was located"

It looks like the series of hardbacks have the following outline:
  1. Introduction
  2. The Story
  3. Pre-Production
  4. Production
  5. Post-Production
  6. Publicity
  7. Broadcast
  8. Cast and Credits
  9. Merchandise
  10. Profiles

Below are my photos of the Bellamy relevant pages from this particular volume which show artwork from the Radio Times
  • 10 April 1971 -16 April 1971: Doctor Who - Colony in Space 
  • 22 May 1971 - 28 May 1971: Doctor Who - The Daemons
  • 18 December 1971 - 31 December 1971: The omnibus edition of The Daemons
  • 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972: Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

pages 38-39


I also saw advertised in a Museum catalogue which arrived on my doormat, the excellent "Happy Warrior" reprint I have previously mentioned where they state rather strangely  "Reproducing 8 complete 'Eagle' colour comic strips from the 1950s telling the life story of Sir Winston Churchill". Where did they get the figure 8 from? The series ran for 49 episodes (including the full page portrait); it was one long story - not 8 parts; it took up one page each week; it was indeed the '1950s' but actually 1957-1958. Strange!

An erroneous description!
The hardback is apparently out of print in the USA, and i have learned that  Book Palace have stock

Sunday 21 June 2015

Frank Bellamy and Churchill at Sotheby's

Sotheby's is auctioning a copy of the Clifford Makins' version of his masterpiece (in my opinion) "The Happy Warrior", one of three special editions printed for the author, (Clifford Makins) the artist (Frank Bellamy) and the biographical subject (Winston Churchill). Why special? Read the links below to find out

"The Happy Warrior"
The estimate of Winston Churchill's own copy which sold at auction recently was £500 but went for a final price of £3,750! The Makins copy went for auction previously for £500 but presumably didn't meet the reserve, if there was one, and is now offered here by Sotheny's.

 Their description says the lot includes the most comprehensive interview with Bellamy from Fantasy Advertiser



4to, FIRST EDITION, 48 pages of coloured picture-strip illustrations by Frank Bellamy on thick paper, plain photographic illustrations of Churchill, red leather gilt binding, silk endpapers, gilt edges. 
some slight spotting and browning

THIS IS ONE OF THREE SPECIAL COPIES PRINTED ON HIGHER QUALITY PAPER AND BOUND IN GOLD-LEAF EMBOSSED LEATHER. One was presented to the artist Frank Bellamy (sold in these rooms 17 July 1997, lot 410), one to  the writer Clifford Makins (this copy) and one to Churchill himself (sold in these rooms as part of the sale 
Daughter of History: Mary Soames and the Legacy of Churchill, 17 December 2014, lot 109). Also enclosed is a copy of Fantasy International (vol.3, no.50, November 1973) with an interview with Frank Bellamy and referring to the Churchill picture-strip; and also The Observer Review, 15 January 1967.

The author Clifford Makins, editor of
The Eagle; given to his successor as editor Alfred Wallace, thence by descent (letter by A. Wallace loosely inserted, dated 9 October 1996)

1,500 GBP - 2,000 GBP

As usual I'll update the sale price when the auction is over


  • WHERE?: Sotheby - English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations
  • SELLER:  [Lot # 36]
  • ESTIMATE:£1,500-£2,000
  • END DATE: JULY 4  2015
  • No of bids:

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Frank Bellamy and Clifford Makin's copy of "The Happy Warrior"

Recently we saw one of three unique copies of the reprint "The Happy Warrior" come up at auction at Sotheby. It had an estimate of of £500-£900 but the price bid for it ended up as £3,750 (hammer price with Buyer's Premium)

Well, if you missed the Sotheby copy, get your money ready and run along to eBay where Alfred Wallace's daughter is selling the copy Clifford Makins was given. On the eBay page she explains:

In 1958 Hulton Press published in hardback format "The Happy Warrior", a pictorial biography of Sir Winston Churchill. The biography had previously been published as a weekly serial in the Eagle magazine for boys. The book was considered an important publishing event and to that end the printers, Eric Bemrose, produced a limited edition of just three copies printed on high quality paper and bound in gold leaf embossed leather. The three copies were presented to Frank Bellamy (the artist), Clifford Makins (the script writer) and Sir Winston Churchill himself. The copy listed here was the one presented to Clifford Makins and remained on the shelf in his office after his position was taken over by my father in 1962. This book is in very good condition and the pages are clean and crisp. There is some yellowing and the leather on the spine is slightly rubbed due to dusting over the years.

I've emboldened the interesting piece. I asked the seller, knowing I didn't want to get this wrong, who her father is and she promptly replied "Alfred Wallace". I was stunned, as children of my age (be quiet!) still hold great affection for "Alf and Cos" who worked their magic and informal style in the 'Power comics' of the 1960s. Their editorial and letter pages were great fun and so different from, what appeared to me to be, the aloof non- communicative D.C.Thomson (and other publishers!).

Lew Stringer (whose blogs are always worth following) had fewer references to 'Alf and Cos' than I thought, but there is at least one

'Alf' is 91 years of age and I've asked Melanie, his daughter, to pass on my message to let him know he is still held in affection by many comic fans.
The Happy Warrior - drawn by Frank Bellamy
Melanie has scanned the piece from Fantasy Advertiser (Vol. 3:50 November 1973) in which Bellamy told Dez Skinn and Dave Gibbons about the three leatherbound copies  - so your provenance for this book is excellent.

And just as a treat here's another page from the story

Episode 21 of "The Happy Warrior"

Now I wonder when Frank Bellamy's copy will come out of the bookcase? As usual I'll update the template below with information when the auction ends


  • WHERE?: eBay
  • SELLER:  mellymelsells
  • ENDING PRICE: To follow
  • END DATE: February 8 2015
  • No of bids: To follow

Sunday 14 December 2014

Frank Bellamy and Winston Churchill's copy of "The Happy Warrior"

Frank Bellamy's art for "The Happy Warrior"
David Slinn let me know that Churchill's own copy of the leather bound "Happy Warrior" strip is up for sale in the latest Sotheby's auction : Daughter of History: Mary Soames and the Legacy of Churchill 17 December 2014 | 2:00 PM GMT | London

Sotheby’s is proud to offer items from the collection of the late Mary Soames, Winston Churchill’s last surviving child. The sale will include many of the personal possessions that surrounded Lady Soames in her delightful and very personal home in Holland Park. Together, they chart Mary Soames’ fascinating life – from her childhood in Chartwell to her service in the army during World World II and her later public life. The collection chronicles the remarkable relationship Mary enjoyed with her father, allowing for a unique and very moving insight into the private side of Britain’s greatest war-time leader. At the same time, Churchill’s exceptional ability as a painter, extraordinary for an amateur, will be celebrated in the sale through a group of 15 paintings which together represent the most important and personal group of paintings by him ever to come to the market.

Lot #109 states

with a description:

FIRST EDITION, 4to, 48 pages of coloured picture-strip illustrations by Frank Bellamy on thick paper, plain photographic illustrations of Churchill, red leather gilt binding, silk endpapers, gilt edges

The estimate is listed at £500 - £900. This is such a unique item I have no idea how much it could go for. Bellamy himself said in the Skinn/Gibbons interview that three leather-bound copies of “The Happy Warrior” were presented to Sir Winston Churchill, to Clifford Makins, the author and the third to Frank himself.I have never seen any of them and believe Nancy sold her copy at Sothebys circa 1997.

Episode 11 of "The Happy Warrior"
It's a coincidence as I visited Churchill College, Cambridge recently (who have a Churchill Archive) and enquired regarding this item in Churchill's collection.

Dear Norman, 
I'm afraid I have also been unable to find anything relating to this matter in our archives. I have run searches similar to the ones you made, including for 'Happy Warrior' and have looked through the relevant Gifts files. 

I have looked in the relevant section of Martin Gilbert's biography of Churchill but couldn't find any reference to the comic or the leather-bound copy. 

Churchill did not keep a personal diary. 

I would recommend you contact the team at Chartwell, [email protected], to see if it is in Churchill's surviving library there. 

I'm sorry I could not be of any more help on this occasion, but if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Kind regards, 

Gemma Cook, Archives Assistant, Churchill Archives Centre Churchill College Cambridge CB3 0DS 

Episode #31 of "The Happy Warrior"

I wrote to Chartwell but received no reply and assumed it was another dead end.  But here we now have a copy for sale! Does anyone know what happened to Clifford Makin's copy or indeed the Bellamy copy?

UPDATE: I have been told that the whereabouts of another copy - presumed to be Bellamy's is known


  • WHERE?: Sotheby - Daughter of History: Mary Soames and the Legacy of Churchill
  • SELLER:  [Lot # 109]
  • STARTING BID:£500-£900
  • ENDING PRICE: £3,750  (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
  • END DATE: DECEMBER 17th 2014
  • No of bids:Unknown

Monday 17 March 2014

Frank Bellamy and Winston Churchill - original art

UPDATE: I see the seller has reduced the price to £900 Buy It Now (27 March 2014) - sale ends 4 April

I was searching eBay and tripped over this item for sale for £1400 ('buy it now'). Why don't eBay's search alerts work properly? Seller 'fredy1237' appears as a new identity on eBay and has this rather unique piece for sale: "Frank Bellamy Original Artwork Winston Churchill Coulur [sic]Technique Experiment" . The seller states:

Original rare artwork by Frank Bellamy which is related to the Eagle As far I am unaware this is unpublished, I can provide a letter of provenance detailing how I purchased the artwork from Nancy Bellamy after Franks death. A mounted part page in original folder and mount. Folder size 50cm x 34cm

This is the first I ever heard about this. It's known that Bellamy often did a character outline for a new series and we know that he was nervous about drawing the first living personality to appear on the back page of the Eagle (in the seven year's of this feature). The feature was about Winston Churchill and called "The Happy Warrior". Maybe he felt he needed to show Marcus Morris, the editor, how his likeness of Churchill would look. The seller says this is a colour experiment and this actually lends authenticity as this was Bellamy's first work in colour for the Eagle comic, although this does look faded - particularly when compared to the rich colour used in the published drawings.

It is reasonable to assume that Bellamy was nervous about this commission, especially as he learned that Churchill was to get final approval (and before the comic was delivered the front cover 'Dan Dare' was removed as Churchill didn't like space adventures). Bellamy used references from the Imperial War Museum to get accuracy in weapons, uniforms etc. and found it "a real punishing job".

But if you look at the whole run of the story (from 4 October 1957 to the last episode which is often missed in the reprints, of Churchill's full face portrait (6 September 1958), you'll see Bellamy's confidence growing and his beautiful shaped panels becoming more and more like graphic designs and less like comic panels.

Episode 32

Episode 38

A recent reprint is available - I haven't yet seen a copy - of the whole Churchill saga and other repints have appeared since the first near-complete hardback reprint in 1958. Have a look at the website listing

Sunday 12 January 2014

Frank Bellamy and Winston Churchill reprint

The Happy Warrior: The Life Story of Sir Winston Churchill as Told Through the Eagle Comic of the 1950's (Eagle Comics) is due to be published in March/April by Unicorn Press

Paperback published by Unicorn Press
I previously wrote about the hardback American edition. David Britton, a great supporter of the Eagle Society, let me know he bought a copy of the American edition.

"The original [reprint in 1958 published shortly after the original series finished] had 64 pages with black & white photographs, which apart from the final page, only deals with Churchill. 
There is a lot more about Eagle in this version than in earlier versions. It is about 100 pages long, has the preface by the publishers "The Eagle That Dared", a slight pun, as it makes significant references to Dan Dare and presents the cover of the copy of Eagle when the story started and appears to have been written by Colin Frewin. It covers the origins and history of Eagle over 8 pages. Then the article by Richard M. Langworth (14 pages) "The Lion Still Roars" is a synopsis of Churchill's life followed by the strip, broken up into sections. Finally there is the epilogue and bibliography under "Why the Happy Warrior?". Overall it is a much more sophisticated book than the earlier [1958] version, perhaps to appeal to a wider and possibly an adult American audience."

To read a bit more go to the Unicorn Press site  - Amazon states it's a paperback of 96 pages so it does look similar (23.5 x 19 x 0.8 cm)
Let's hope they haven't made the same mistake that the 1981 reprint "High Command" and the 1958 reprint did, of omitting the final portrait that appeared in Eagle Vol 9:36 (6 September 1958)!

Thanks to Lew Stringer and John Freeman for spotting this and David for his permission to use his information