Showing posts with label Lilliput. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lilliput. Show all posts

Friday 13 June 2014

Frank Bellamy and Lilliput

Phil Rushton (who has a blog, to which he rarely contributes and I suspect that's because he is too busy sharing gems on ComicsUK Forum) kindly shared the following picture and asked my opinion

While we're on the subject of 1950s illustrators I wonder what Norman's opinion of this tiny, unsigned 1956 illustration from Lilliput no.229 is?
Lilliput July 1956, p.61

Personally I'm in two minds, but there are enough similarities to Frank Bellamy's style (particularly the nearside boot and leg) to make me think that he could have drawn it. Beyond that I can't think of any other Lilliput contributors who'd be more likely candidates.

(For those who don't know Norman maintains a couple of superb websites dedicated to Frank Bellamy and Raymond Sheppard, and is a leading authority on the work of those two fine artists).

- Phil Rushton

"Leading authority" may be a strong but I do like to share these two artists' work. Well I never need telling twice. I checked my notes of my many trips to the British Library and saw no notes on this image. But I then remembered buying this copy of Lilliput for the superb Raymond Sheppard images - and discovering the above for the first time. Why didn't I add it to the checklist at the time? Who knows!  Thanks Phil.

By the way when I say 'he shares stuff', have a quick look at this crudely assembled link to get a blast from the UK comics past mostly contributed by Phil...oh and the photo is not to my knowledge Phil (it's Phillipe Rushton, a psychologist!).

Sunday 30 June 2013

Frank Bellamy, Lilliput and W. R. Burnett

Lilliput 1954 (please excuse the crude joins!)
I have now produced 200 posts for this blog - frightening! If you had asked my teachers they would not have thought I could write the copy on the back of a [choose your favourite sweets/candy] let alone 200 articles!

I have mentioned the magazine called Lilliput in the past and felt it was time to show you some more of that artwork by Frank Bellamy.  The magazine begun by Stefan Lorant, photojournalist, was bought out by Hulton Press Limited who are best remembered for publishing Picture Post (which Hulton and Lorant created), and the famous and well-loved Eagle comic. But they also had Farmer's Weekly, Housewife, Electronic Engineering, Power Laundry and The Leader among others.

"War Party" by W.R. Burnett - Drawn by Frank Bellamy
The list of Bellamy's work in Lilliput:
  1. LILLIPUT Vol. 34:4 #202 (April 1954) "Que-Fong-Goo" by Gerald Durrell
  2. LILLIPUT Vol. 34:5 #203 (May 1954) "War Party" by W.R. Burnett
  3. LILLIPUT Vol. 35:1 #205 (July 1954) "The drifters" by John Prebble
  4. LILLIPUT Vol. 36:3 #213 (March 1955) "The raid to get Rommel" by Sandy Sanderson
  5. LILLIPUT Vol. 36:5 #215 (May 1955) "Trick justice" by John Prebble
  6. LILLIPUT Vol. 37:1 #217 (July 1955) "The demon bushranger" by Dal Stivens
  7. LILLIPUT Vol. 39:6 #234 (Dec 1956) "Men with horse" by Allan Swinton
In his interview  with Dez Skinn and Dave Gibbons, Bellamy stated:

As soon as I gave [International Artists] permission to represent me, I had a commission to do two love story illustrations for Home Notes, a woman's magazine, regular commissions from Boy's Own Paper - covers and inside illustrat­ions, Lilliput - where I did my very first western illustration for a story by John Prebble

He wasn't remembering quite right. His first western story was by W. R. Burnett and his third commission and second western story for Lilliput was by Prebble. William Riley Burnett (November 25, 1899 - April 25, 1982) wrote many of the screenplays to films which I loved in my youth - well, now actually! I remember seeing The Great Escape and Ice Station Zebra in the 60s and loving the characters and stories, but this guy was writing back in 1930s with Little Caesar, Scarface, and High Sierra, all films I remember vividly (when they were broadcast on BBC1 back in the late 60s and early 70s - noir on a black and white TV - lovely! A very full bibliography appears here and many of his works can still be purchased
on Amazon Here are all the illustrations by Bellamy to accompany "War Party"

Lilliput 1954 Page 53

Lilliput 1954 Page 57

Lilliput 1954 Page 61
That's all the illustrations for this story, but one of them appeared again. Burnett states at the end of the story in an 'Author's Note': "The character of Walter Grein was drawn in part from the famous Chief of Scouts,of the Apache Wars, Al Sieber".

On the letter page of Lilliput August 1954, the following appeared:

The Internet is wonderful and has details for you (via Wikipedia) of Al Sieber, who was apparently born in Germany before moving to the States and you can even see his gravestone on Find a grave!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Frank Bellamy and Lilliput

I was browsing my collection of Bellamy magazines and realised I have never shared anything about Lilliput magazine. I recently supplied some information to Paul Liss, a fine art dealer, (see the catalogue of Raymond Sheppard's work) and thought it worth showing some of Sheppard's contemporary, Bellamy's work from that very popular magazine. One day I might emulate the late great historian Alan Bullock and do a parallel lives of the two of them.

Stefan Lorant created Lilliput in July 1937. “The Pocket Magazine for Everyone” certainly was pocket-sized (it grew in size later in 1954, presumably as all rationing ended in England and consumerism really took off)  One of the lovely things about sitting page turning in the British Library is that you really get a flavour for a period. I am in love with the 1950s. The plethora of illustrations in these magazines is amazing. Line work with wash, cartoons, caricatures and so on. All the names are there too: Eric Fraser's bold lines; Robin Jacques delicate pointillism , Neville Dear adventurous illustrations and so on. The most famous was Ronald Searle, whose St. Trinians cartoons appeared from October 1941 until he (unsuccessfully) killed off the characters in 1951. July 1960 was the last issue of Lilliput which - like many children's comics of my youth, contained so called 'good news' - the merger with Men Only (more of which in a later article).

 Bellamy's work in Lilliput,  began in 1954 at the time he had a regular strip in Mickey Mouse Weekly, 'Monty Carstairs' and also he was doing regular illustrations for Boy's Own Paper. The following year he was illustrating for Everybody's (another prestigious magazine that Sheppard also illustrated for) and Outspan, the South African equivalent of Everybody's. All this from a self-taught artist from Kettering, Northamptonshire

Gerald Durrell (January 7, 1925 – January 30, 1995) was first published a year before this article appeared in Lilliput - 'Overloaded ark' appeared in 1953 and of course his Bafut Beagles (his "party of native specimen hunters" from Cameroon) were equally famous at the time . It would be fantastic to know how Bellamy was chosen to illustrate this story called "Que-Fong-Goo" - the native name for the skink illustrated. Illustrators were very important to Durrell's work (see Wikipedia)  he was no mean artist himself - but Bellamy obviously didn't make enough of an impression on Durrell for him to request him at a later date. But that's all supposition on my part! 

The six illustrations accompanying this article are all by Bellamy and show his love of all things native. Remember references for these things had to be worked at - no Internet back then - and photos of Bellamy at home show his collection of Africana

Bellamy's stippling (that mass of dot s that provide perspective in the illustration above) and line work here are very mature. I'm sure he knew this was a prestigious commission and as we can see he went on to do six more commissions for Lilliput. I suspect by the end of 1956 his regular work in Swift (and then Eagle later in 1957) plus these odd commissions were enough work to keep his small family comfortable

 All illustrations are copyright of their owner, which I'm guessing is IPC (who acquired much of Odhams, who acquired Hulton. Please contact me (feedbackATfrankbellamyDOTcom) if anyone can enlighten me

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Bellamy and the Wild West:

Frank Bellamy illustrated pieces in the Boy's World Annuals of 1965 and 1966. He then only appeared in 1971 edition to the best of my knowledge - (and I love being contradicted!)

In the 1965 he illustrated "A Question of Honour" by Henry Casson, various matador drawings - a subject he loved very much. His subject for 1966 was "The Raid" showing war topics - wish I'd remembered this for the essay I wrote for Steve Holland's new book Frank Bellamy's Story of World War One (for the latest on this follow Steve's blog or take a look at Geoff West's site - scroll down the page a bit). I've reproduced the cover here and would expect it to be available on Amazon fairly soon and as Geoff says, you can pre-order on his siteAnyway, getting back to Westerns and Bellamy. In the Boy's World Annual 1971 he illustrated an author my Dad loved - no, not Zane Grey this time, but J.T.Edson. Steve asked me to help out by providing an illustration or two from that annual - which I do have in my collection - for his article written by Jeremy Briggs on Edson and his stories in the Victor comic. Click here for Part One and here for Part Two. This set me thinking about a theme for the blog: Bellamy and the Wild West

Bellamy's love of Africa is well known, but he was also very keen on cowboys and the Wild West. Throughout the 1950s Bellamy produced many illustrations to accompany Boy's Own Paper stories such as "Phantom buffalo" by Gerald Wyatt, "Vivo the wild colt" by Ross Salmon and "Stormy round-up" by Ross Salmon. For the children's annual Swift 1956 he drew some pictures of a young Indian brave, and various illustrations for Lilliput magazine such as "War Party" by W.R. Burnetta and "The drifters" by John Prebble.

In the 1970s he illustrated the annual that started this article, the particular story being on pages 23-27 "Johnny Boyland and the quail hunters" by J. T. Edson, and of course, one of his most famous works "Garth" saw two great western stories - "Ghost Town" and the one he opened the series with "Sundance". "Ghost Town" was reprinted around the time of Bellamy's death whilst a replacement was found (Martin Asbury) as it was one Bellamy's personal favourites.

He also did some odds and ends during the 70s such as the cover later used after his death for the Comicon '78 cover and a sketch of "Chilli Willi" whatever that was! One interesting cowboy feature at this time was for the Monty Python team - Bert Fegg's nasty Book for Boys and Girls, published by Methuen, in 1974 (also reprinted in Dr Fegg's Encylopedia of All World knowledge 1984. The story was called "A Cowboy Story" and was in full colour. "How the west was won" was drawn to accompany the showing of that famous film, in the Radio Times

The next piece to mention is "Hombre" as we have no idea what it was. In the picture below of Bellamy in his studio, we can just see "Hombre" in the picture on the right.

The content looks very similar to the last strip he published before his untimely death in 1976 "Swade" in Denis Gifford/Alan Class magazine Ally Sloper.

Then finally I also ought to mention again "Wes Slade" which you can read all about on my website, he also produced a cover posthumously (sort of) in 1980 for Marvel Comics (UK) of all people, thanks to Dez Skinn - Marvel Western Gun Fighters.

I suppose I could also add that as Bellamy appeared on ITV and this feature is on Westerns I should mention Quick on the draw, but as the quiz show from 1974 was about cartoons and comic artists , then again I don't think I will as that pun would be too awful!

Happy Trails Pardners!