Showing posts with label Story of World War One. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Story of World War One. Show all posts

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Original Art: Story of World War One

Frank Bellamy artwork for Look and Learn #437 (30 May 1970)

Look and Learn was an educational weekly comic/magazine, that was thought to be bought by grandparents and parents for children, rather than children themselves buying it! It contained fascinating articles, lots of illustrations and also comic strips. From issues 437 - 462 (30 May 1970 - 21 November 1970), Frank Bellamy illustrated a series of text articles on "The Story of World War One"

The original art for the first episode has appeared on eBay and looks to be well preserved - not faded.  It's curling but that can easily be rectified. It's a lovely example of how Bellamy had left the space for the text to be dropped in - such confidence by typesetters and the editor (Jack Parker)! The text was written by Mike Butterworth (and in the first episode had a page prior to this by Bellamy) and in most issues had accompanying photographs

I have written quite a bit about this series as well as the introduction to the brilliant reprint published by Book Palace - in fact, my profile image shows me at the book signing (yes me, signing a book!) where the real worker was Steve Holland who put the thing together!

I have added all the images the seller has put on the auction in order to capture them before the piece disappears into someone's private collection.

Centenary video
Overview with links
Additional unpublished image

Buy the book:

WHERE?: eBay - wishingonarainbow
END DATE: Wednesday 21 November 2018

Sunday 21 May 2017

Frank Bellamy's Centenary


Frank Bellamy (21 May 1917- 5 July 1976)
100 years ago today on Monday 21 May 1917, one of Britain's legendary comic artists and illustrators was born.

Frank Alfred Bellamy came into the world at a very hazardous time. Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George were respectively, U.S. President and the UK Prime Minister. The King of the United Kingdom was George V (who two months after Bellamy was born changed the German sounding family name from House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor). The United States had severed relations with Germany three months earlier and joined the war on April 6 1917 with conscription starting a few days before Bellamy was born.  The First World War was in its third year with unprecedented casualties in Europe. Two months before Bellamy was born Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown when the Russian Revolution ended the Russian Empire.

The (Manchester) Guardian of the day was eight pages of solid text, editorial and text adverts. "The remains of the shells spent on Vimy Ridge" being the only photograph which appears on page 4 with three drawn adverts. The photo puzzled me as it appears to be Canadian but research on this battle told me that the main combatants were Canadians.

The Observer, for the day before (20 May 1917) is completely the opposite with a bright front page of adverts

The Times too shows a few more illustrated adverts but is also fairly solid text - especially on its front page.

The most interesting though are the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express of the 21 May.

Daily Mirror 21 May 1917
The cover tells about the fact the British and allies were not being starved of bread as a result of increased U-Boat activity; General John J. Pershing takes command of the American Expeditionary Forces; a young girl looks at medals awarded to her dead brothers; three men who moved from Privates at the start of the war to higher ranks (including Lieutenant Palmer V.C.)  and Queen Mary visited the North and receives a bouquet from a munitions factory worker.

Daily Express 21 May 1917

The Daily Express majors on "Another line hacked out of the Hindenburg Line" and tells of how the munition workers have called off their strike.

Frank Bellamy's The Story of World War 1

Mike Butterworth (10 January 1924 – 4 October 1986) and Frank Bellamy's series from Look and Learn (#437 - 462,  30 May 1970 - 21 November 1970) was called "The Story of World War 1" in which text wrapped around illustrations by Bellamy. It must have been interesting for Bellamy to do this for the younger man. He must have taken quite an interest in the years around his birthday (53 years later)

In 2009 (was it that long ago?) Geoff West and Steve Holland worked to create a reprint and asked me to write an introduction, which I did. On the day we all stood around lots of boxes containing the reprint I felt so proud! We were there to inscribe our names into the hardback copies. As it's Bellamy's centenary the story can now be told that if you open your copies now and read the limited edition number, you are looking at my wife's fair handwriting! I was nervous enough and had to sign my name and as she'd taken the journey with me to Book Palace's Crystal Palace HQ, I thought they'd look better if she did them. I've always been quite good at delegation!

To tie in with the birth of Bellamy and all the reminiscences of World War One at the moment, I thought it worth highlighting this fantastic book once again by pressing my wife to help me video a brief overview of the book - and yes, those are her hands! She's flicking through the book and skipping sections - after all we had better not show you it all! You need to buy copies!

The Limited hardback edition is now only £25 in Geoff's sale but if you don't have Robin Hood, King Arthur or this book, you could go for all three for only £39. The Story of World War 1 is the paperback version. The complete book sale is here

I started this blog ten years ago today! I launched the Checklist website 10 years ago!

I thought, as many bloggers do, I'd take a look at the statistics on the blog.

307 articles published since 21 May 2007
207,002 pages views since day 1
Top 5 Articles:
3324 pageviews Frank Bellamy and King Kong
1782 pageviews Fans of Frank: Will Brooks and Frank Bellamy
1775 pageviews Frank Bellamy - first past the post!
1419 pageviews Frank Bellamy appeared in Lion
1271 pageviews Frank Bellamy and Doctor Janet Brown
If you can explain why King Kong to me I'd be grateful as I own a copy of the 19 magazine it appears in, which could be worth liquidating for cash to add to my retirement fund!!!
The Top 5 countries that visit:
United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France. I wonder about one of them!
29% of users use Chrome
24% IE
23% Firefox
18% Safari
1% Opera
and others
56% of users use Windows
19% use Macs
Top 5 Keywords used to get to the blog are:

  1. king kong
  2. frank bellamy
  3. king kong and woman
  4. frank bellamy garth
  5. heros the spartan
So remember to be careful what you tell your search engine people! You're revealing more than you think!

The graph below shows a big spike which I suspect is our friend Will Brooks' article
Blog pageviews from 2007-2017
and lastly, I'm grateful to everyone that links to my blog from theirs and these include in the top 5: and .com! Blogger's way are mysterious - but thanks Steve!
but there are others - thanks Kid!


I'll be doing further special centenary articles (what? you hadn't noticed the others?) over the next few months in this centenary year starting with David Jackson's offering about how Bellamy worked. Watch for that later today!

I also have some new Bellamy works to show you and this year seems the appropriate time to reveal things I've held onto until now!

And lastly I am re-vamping the Checklist website - yes, I wonder how I have the time!


Thursday 18 September 2014

Frank Bellamy and the Story World War One

Have you had enough of World War One nostalgia? Let me get my bit out of the way then. I have just finished watching the excellent "37 days" production by the BBC which was broadcast in March this year.  The three part mini-series had episode titles:
  1. One month in Summer
  2. One week in July
  3. One long weekend
and was an excellent overview of how the early 20th Century political situation and manoeuvrings worked between the UK, Germany, Austria, France and Russia. Now I knew about the Black Hand, Archduke Ferdinand and of course Kaiser Wilhelm II but had not appreciated General Moltke and Sir Edward Gray's roles in the Prussian aggression (the former) and diplomatic negotiating (the latter) prior to the start of World War One.

It was whilst reading another blog that I realised I missed a great opportunity to highlight Bellamy's work on World War One, so let's make amends.

I've written about the adventures of Geoff West, Peter Richardson, Steve Holland, Stuart Williams (and some guy called Norman Boyd) before, so there's no need to repeat myself.

Frank Bellamy's Story of World War One

But I've never outlined the chapters and episodes written by Michael Butterworth and illustrated by Frank Bellamy so here goes, and along the way I've mentioned key characters in the hope those searching for a simple and beautifully illustrated introduction WWI may choose to purchase a copy. It's available in two editions - Amazon has the paperback of  Frank Bellamy's the Story of World War One (ignore the silly Used version price!) but Geoff West deserves your business, so travel over to the Book Palace where you'll see offers galore and the limited edition hardback too. Librarians, Dawsons have the paperback at £25 (ISBN:9781907081002). Lastly I must say thanks to Peter Richardson for allowing me to link to various spreads on his blog.


The Story of World War 

An introduction to the Schlieffen Plan and Moltke's part in the start of WWI
German troops move west

'That contemptible British army'

Kaiser Wilhelm was not impressed by the British Forces. We meet Kitchener and King George IV and Field Marshall Sir John French and the march to the River Meuse
Nice layout based on the next page
being a double page spread
British troops march across France

The clash of the mighty on the Western Front!

We learn of the French Plan 17 and meet Prince Rupprecht

The road to Mons

For the first time in nearly a century the British stood ready to do battle on French soil, and we meet General von Kluck and von Moltke
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

Into battle - by taxi!

600 Paris taxi-cabs transport 6,000 troops to the Marne and we meet General Joffre

Enemy aircraft overhead!

For the first time in any war, this dreaded alarm call rang out! and we meet Anthony Fokker and the Royal Flying Corps and Lieutenants Freeman and Dawes
Enemy aircraft overhead

Life and death in the trenches

Incessant rain day and night, turns the battlefield into a sea of mud and we meet General Sir Douglas Haig 


Ypres and mustard gas
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

War in the air

Very early dogfights between bi-planes and French single seaters
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

The magnificent failure

Enver Pasha, General Liman von Sanders and the battle in the Dardenelles

Attack - and retreat at Gallipoli 

French battleship Bouvet and 1,500 Australians fighting Turks 

Date with destiny

10,000 British troops march on Loos, Piper Laidlow V.C. and the Indian troops
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

The menace of the Southern oceans

Admiral von Spee, Valparaiso, the Falkland Islands, the Gneisenau and the Atlantic

The flying heroes

Manfred von Richtofen, George Guynemer, Mick Mannock and Albert Ball representing the German, British and French flying aces
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

News from the homefront

London in 1915, Zeppelins, white feathers and Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin.

Fight to the last man

These were the orders given to the French army at Verdun.  We meet General Von Falkenhayn and General Petain.
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

A lost chance

Properly used, the tank could have changed the whole pattern of the war.

Stalemate at sea

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, Vice-Admiral Rheinhard Scheer and Major Harvey in the Battle Of Jutland.

A bitter failure

We meet General Joffre, General Petain and General Nivelle and the inferno at Champagne.
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

A whole world in conflict

The Battle Of Caporetto, General Paul Von Hindenburg and General Ludendorff and the Russians.

Masters of the skies

Sopwith Camels, Bristol fighters and the German Albatross and the British ace, Albert Ball.

An army in revolt

Passchendaele and David Lloyd-George.

Allenby's sword flash at Jerusalem

British spirits lifted in 1917.  We meet Sir Edmund Allenby in Jerusalem and Thomas Edward Lawrence.

The last offensive

Major-General Erich Ludendorff on the Eastern front with Paul Von Hindenburg.
Poor photo by me, but love the detail

The beginning of the end

General Foch of France appointed commander of the French and British armies from the Alps to the North Sea - and counter-attacks.

Peace at last

Lloyd-George Prime Minister and Winston Churchill Minister Of War, the cenotaph in London and memorials in villages and towns and hardships are suffered in Germany.


The book then has a short biography of Butterworth and Bellamy written by Steve Holland and reproduces "Artists at work", a letter by a Michael Niederman of Ontario who wrote in to Look and Learn to ask about the artist. The letter and reply appeared on 28 November 1970 with a photo of Bellamy at work on issue 460 ("The last offensive")

Sunday 28 February 2010

Far from quiet on the Western Front!

"Far from quiet on the Western Front"... or ... "Stormin' Norman goes to war" - both titles suggested by my family as titles for this blog entry.

This week for me has been a rollercoaster ride. It started with a hospital visit to review some test results with my best friend (all clear, thank God), picking up one of my children from her one and a half year visit to the Far East (M25 rush hour, two major roadworks, and raining on the way to Heathrow!) but ended on such a high note!

Yesterday morning at Geoff West's BookPalace, a bunch of us unpacked some of the boxes from China containing three exciting titles. If you had told the teenage Norman that he would be signing books to which he would contribute a couple of pages (1518 words to be exact), he might have quietly thought you were mad and then dismissed the comment!

When (not, if!) you buy a copy of the excellent "Story of World War One" illustrated throughout by Frank Bellamy, you will have the choice of a signed hardback or an equally excellent paperback. Both have lovely covers but the hardback limited edition has, firstly a limited edition print inserted in the book and also Steve Holland's and my signatures. When you have a copy in your hand I can guarantee the signature is mine as I signed 175 copies of the book yesterday morning.

Open it and gaze at the Bellamy illustrations but take a moment to congratulate Stuart Williams for the design. I did wonder how one would reproduce a three page article including a double page spread in such a book. I was prepared for the blank fourth page. However Stuart has taken the cameos of the major players in the First World War (which were drawn by Bellamy and incorporated in the illustrations he did) and placed them on those empty fourth pages. The text has been completely reset and pictures cleaned up (by Steve Holland).

This resource would be brilliant in schools and gives a great general introduction for those studying World War One in Key Stage Three (Years 7 - 9) - the prime target of the original Look and Learn from which this comes.

Steve Holland, being more geared up for this sort of occasion, brought his camera along to the event and we had on hand a photographer, (well my wife!). Steve kindly sent me this picture - I insisted we hide behind the books - from left to right - Geoff West, Norman Boyd and "the famous" Steve Holland, (as I named him yesterday) after he called me "Bellamy expert"

You will have already seen the books Steve is holding (on the right) I'm proudly displaying the above title and finally Geoff is holding a very thick leather bound and very limited Complete Swift Stories volume in which you get all the adventures that Bellamy illustrated in that young people's comic. I've yet to sit down and read through the whole lot and check the contents (a natural bibliographer!) but they haven't forgotten the Swift Annual story which often gets overlooked! I very much doubt these will ever be reprinted again, so my advice is get over to Book Palace and order a copy - you will not be disappointed and you need to support such work so that the future projects can be produced.

I ought to also say the pictures I have scanned are not indicative of the quality of the above books, they are lot better but I thought it would be good to show some detail other than the spreads I have used in the past

Saturday 30 January 2010

Frank Bellamy's reprinted stories - UPDATE

In my post of the 14 August 2009 I was looking forward to Titan's reprint book. I felt that with some misleading information on the Net I ought to write a little bit for anybody that relies on this blog for news of Bellamy's reprinted material.

Rather than perpetuate any more errors, I wrote to the authority in these matters John Freeman.

"I think the confusion may have arisen because the original plan was to run Courage and Bellamy's David in the same volume. I argued Jesus and Mark would complement each other better and offer the possibility of a second volume with another well known strip, David, alongside Eagle's story of Paul. There's no planned publication date for this second volume. As you may already know from reading my blog an animated film based on the imagery of Road of Courage is in development."

John then kindly provided the following blurb, as it's called in the trade

The Road of Courage Written by Marcus Morris; drawn by Frank Hampson Ran in Eagle from volume 11, issue 12 to volume 12, issue 14 [19/03/60 – 08/04/61] (56 episodes)
  • The Road of Courage starts with Herod ordering a census. Joseph appears in episode 3, Mary in episode 4 and Jesus is born in episode 5. It features every major incident in the biblical life of Jesus: the flight from Egypt, Jesus’ early life, the battles against the occupying Romans, Jesus’ fights against the Pharisees, Palm Sunday, throwing the money lenders out of the temple, the Last Supper, Judas betraying Jesus, the confrontation in the garden of Gethsemane, the trial of Jesus, setting Barabbas free, Jesus carrying the cross and rising from the dead.
  • The Road of Courage has only been published in a collection once before (in 1981, by Dragon’s Dream) as The Road of Courage – The Story of Jesus of Nazareth. It was also published in Dutch and French. This collection is long out of print and commands a considerable premium on ebay etc. when copies are for sale.
Mark, The Youngest Disciple Subtitled “The story of John Mark writer of the 2nd gospel” Ran in Eagle from volume 5, issue 46 to volume 6, issue 26 [12/11/54 – 01/07/55] = 34 episodes [there were 53 issues in volume 5] Written by Chad Varah, who died in 2007 (follow the link for Steve Holland's excellent article) and drawn by Giorgio Bellavitis (who died very recently)
  • The timeframe over which Mark, The Youngest Disciple is told is different from every other normal back page Eagle “True Life” story. Normally, they covered a lifetime but in the case of Mark, the tale spans just over seven weeks, from Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) until Whit Monday (seven weeks after Easter). Even then, most of the action takes place on just a few days.
  • The story is based around Mark rushing around Jerusalem getting into scrapes as he follows Jesus through this momentous time in Jesus’s life, opening with the Last Supper before moving quickly to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. It features the trial of Jesus, setting Barabbas free, Jesus carrying the cross, his rising from the dead, the founding of the Christian church and the first baptisms, ending with Peter agreeing to let Mark work with him as a missionary.
  • Throughout, Jesus is featured but his face is never seen
Shepherd Lad of Bethlehem Written by Chad Varah, drawn by Norman Williams Ran in Eagle from volume 2, issue 37 to volume 2, issue 38 [21/12/51-28/12/51] – 2 episodes
  • A seasonal tale set in Bethlehem and never before re-published.

Thanks for the information John. I have the first reprint of Road to Courage (by Dragon's Dream) and it's great to see pure Hampson, so it's well worth buying for that alone

So what does this mean to us Bellamy fans? Wait patiently and pray sales on Titans reprints encourage the reprinting of the next volume and then we might see David reprinted

Meanwhile Geoff West of Book Palace has reminded me that the shipment of his two reprints are due in the third week of February and this gives me an excuse to outline what they are about.

The Story of World War One (Hard cover Signed Limited Edition)
  • Artist: Frank Bellamy
  • Author: Michael Butterworth, Frank Bellamy, edited by Steve Holland (and that Norman Boyd too!)
  • Publisher: Book Palace Books
  • Publication Date: February 2010 First Edition.
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Size: 9" x 12" (220mm x 297mm)
  • Format: Hard Cover
  • Illustrations: Part Colour
  • ISBN: 9781907081033
  • Territory: World
  • Synopsis: For the first time ever, Michael Butterworth's epic series of articles recounting the history of the First World War collected from the pages of Look and Learn, where it was fully illustrated each week by the incomparable Frank Bellamy. From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand through the desperate battles fought at Gallipoli, Verdun, the Somme and Passchendaele. The story is told in a series of beautifully illustrated episodes that are suitable for children. This book is a testament to the the greatness of this famous British strip and the artists who drew it. 110 works of original art beautifully reproduced.
LIMITED TO 200 Copies with a unique numbered print of a double page spread of original art.

The Story of World War One (Signed Limited Edition)
  • Artist: Frank Bellamy
  • Author: Michael Butterworth, Frank Bellamy, edited by Steve Holland
  • Publisher: Book Palace Books
  • Publication Date: February 2010 First Edition.
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Size: 9" x 12" (220mm x 297mm)
  • Format: Soft Cover
  • Illustrations: Part Colour
  • ISBN: 9781907081002
  • Territory: World
LIMITED TO 1250 numbered copies

Frank Bellamy's Complete Swift Stories Deluxe Edition (Limited Edition)
  • Due February 2010.
  • This book brings together every strip and illustration produced by Frank Bellamy for the classic British children's comic Swift, Frank Bellamy's Swift contains the complete adventures “Robin Hood”, “King Arthur and His Knights” and “Swiss Family Robinson”, plus his contributions to other strips (“The Fleet Family”, “Paul English”) and the Swift Annual.
  • As a bonus, the book is issued with a Limited edition Robin Hood print.
  • 380 pages. Hard Cover Part Colour 9" x 12" (220mm x 297mm)
  • (ISBN-13: 9781907081026)
Deluxe Slipcased Limited Edition of 200 copies. With bonus Limited edition Robin Hood print.