Showing posts with label Unknown art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unknown art. Show all posts

Thursday 1 July 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #17 & 18: Aliens

Continuing our look at the 'unknown' Bellamy artwork with thanks to Alan Davis for giving permission to use these images

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Alan Davis' images above, show how he found two of Bellamy's Polaroids which were 'snaps' of the TV screen when Bellamy's images appeared and Alan added them to the photo of the original art. This gave me the clue that these two aliens appeared on the BBC.  But so did the following correspondence, addressed to Bellamy:

Letter addressed to Frank Bellamy 18 May 1960

So here we have proof Frank Bellamy was asked to produce artwork of two aliens. In the Radio Times edition  (15 May 1960 - 21 May 1960) on the 13 May 1960 (p12 of the Radio Times) we find:

FOCUS at 5:10pm
  • Vera McKechnie introduces Your Monday Magazine.
  • Life on Other Worlds examined by Tom Margerison
  • An Introduction to Make-up with Richard Blore
  • Fencing: A demonstration of electric epee, electric foil Hungarian sabre and classical Japanese sword play. - See Junior Radio Times
  • Would You Believe It? Illustrated by Bill Hooper.
  • Robin Adler's Camera Club
  • The Ideal Four


  • Presenter: Vera McKechnie
  • Item presenter (Life on Other Worlds): Tom Margerison
  • Item presenter (An Introduction to Make-up): Richard Blore
  • Artist (Would You Believe It?): Bill Hooper
  • Item presenter (Robin Adler's Camera Club): Robin Adler
  • Performers: The Ideal Four
  • Producer: Leonard Chase

Focus ran for 50 minutes, so  therefore 5 (or is it 6?) items listed would likely mean the space article was ten minutes long. You can also see that the letter above came from the person who produced the show in which Bellamy's drawings appeared. Interestingly, he is not credited, but I expect that's because he wasn't the "artist" that week but the "illustrator" for a topic that was difficult to film without images!

The Junior Radio Times section, mentioned in the listing often featured an article from the Focus programme, but not in this particular issue - which is a shame, because that would have been Bellamy's first work for the magazine, if the aliens had been reproduced in print. But "Star Trek" was his first.

Interestingly Frank Bellamy's aliens came from "the same design lineage as those at the close of [his] tenure on "Dan Dare"", said David Jackson when we talked about this article.

The Bellamy "Dan Dare" aliens were designed for the "Project Nimbus" story, first in the form of a machine-robot weapon, which made its appearance in Vol.11 No.20 (14 May 1960)

Bellamy's alien tech - Eagle Vol 11:20

Bellamy's alien tech - Eagle Vol 11:20

There is another design in the next issue and the aliens themselves appear in No.22 to No.26.


Bellamy's aliens - Eagle Vol 11:22

More bellamy Alien tech, from Eagle Vol 11:21

Thanks to David for reminding me!

Monday 7 June 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #12: Astronaut

Alan Davis (in his Unknown Bellamy section of his website) shows this one image which I have numbered #12 for convenience.

Used by permission of Alan Davis

To me this looks to illustrate a story. An astronaut is being manipulated by an astronaut 'pulling his strings' - a metaphor for "to control someone or something often in a secret way". A beautifully designed spaceship takes off and we see the manipulating astronaut, who has no shirt, let alone spacesuit on,  and the face of an astronaut. On the right in the background is a executive (?) with dollar signs surrounding him and at the bottom another emphasis on dollars. An ECG reading shows tension across the face and background

Bellamy illustrated the Moon Landing in 1969 and we have seen 2 designs for rockets (produced for T-shirts) appear recently. Also we see an upright rocket in the Comicon '71 image and various bits for an animated ice lolly film. He also drew an astronaut for Letraset. But I can't see any connection beyond the space theme. It's a very bold design and I wonder whether it was drawn for a magazine feature? I have no other information or thoughts.

The reason for showing this is to see if YOU can see anything else I'm missing which could give us a clue where to look next.

Any thoughts please contact me. 

NEXT: Unknown Bellamy # 13 - Castrol GTX advert

Monday 10 May 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #9: Comic strip


Used by permission of Alan Davis

Thanks to Alan Davis for permission to use the above image. as he states on his website:

I was simply one of the guys lucky enough to help Nancy Bellamy clear Frank's studio when she was moving home. AND enough of a fanboy to ask if I could keep the rubbish.
Compared to new images recorded and created in our digital age none of the source material I have is good, some is very poor but I believe it offers a unique and valuable insight to any true Frank Bellamy fan.
Thanks to Nancy Bellamy for giving me the two bags of studio debris, permission to use it here and for her time in relating anecdotes and tales of Frank's life and career. 

I have no information to provide for this unknown piece. It's done in a comic strip form, yet there is space for a libretto text beneath the first row - but as with all this material I am arguing from silence! We have to use what we have, to see if we can move this further. 

  1. The story looks to open with three or four people mounted on horseback in a fenced field.
  2. A farmhouse with walled garden appears to be watched from on high. 
  3. Four people walk towards a helicopter
  4. What appears to be the pilot (with cap and sunglasses) appears to be held at gun point
  5. Two men, prone on the ground are secretly watching the horse-riding party pass by with rifles aimed at them
  6. As three people head towards a rope ladder dropped from the ascending helicopter a guard stands by facing away from the copter
  7. The helicopter takes off from the same farmhouse grounds
  8. The last shot shows a military build-up showing helmeted soldiers with rifles, an armoured vehicle and jeep plus two jet aircraft flying over a village

I have no correspondence that fits this strip and can only guess it's from later in Bellamy's career. The structure of the panels is lovely and clear - but note they do seem to sit on top of each other with that space between the rows. Perhaps a newspaper article might have some text between them? Is this reportage of a kidnapping incident? We had the IRA bombings, Bader-Meinhof Red Army incidents in the 70s - when I think this was drawn. Could it be one of these?

Alan kindly let me scan the photos he recovered - which I'll show in later blog articles - here's a scan I have converted from TIFF to JPG - perhaps this might give another view of Alan's photo?

Used by permission of Alan Davis - version 2

Bellamy did "try-outs" for newspaper strips before landing "Garth" for the Daily Mirror. I have seen copies of "Modesty Blaise", "The Saint", "Wes Slade", and earlier, "Antony Falloway" Could this be the opening of a character's strip before the lead enters the scene? Which strips in the late 60s-early 70s were of the secret agent / political thriller type?

Let me know your thoughts!

NEXT: Unknown Bellamy # 12 - that astronaut picture

Thursday 29 April 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #6-8: Bell and Howell

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Alan Davis (in his Unknown Bellamy section of his website) shows three images next to each other (numbers 6-8 as I have labelled them here). I can reveal they are actually advertising for a cine-camera as you might guess. 

Movie Maker June 1967 cover

Movie Maker - note the two separate words (unlike MovieMaker in the USA) was a magazine that began as a new title in March 1967 (and ran till October 1985) and was published by Fountain Press Limited, publishers of many books on photography too. I confess I have only ever seen the one I own - June 1967 - and you know why I have that issue in particular! The cover shows a woman - hardly visible, ironically - behind a film projector and the magazine cost 3/6d.

The title began life through the incorporation of Amateur Cine World, 8mm Movie Maker and Cine Camera. The British Library states it also incorporated Film Making as well, but that's not in the one I own, and they say its later title was Making Better Movies. This glossy black and white magazine is 28 x 20.5cm and was published on the second Thursday of the month "preceding the month for which it is dated"- well, in June 1967 anyway! The Editor was Tony Rose, the Assistant Editor Alan Cleave and the Art Editor Anthony-Brian Grant. The Advertising Manager was John Patrick. It contains loads of advertising but also "How-to-do-it" features, Special Features, News and Reviews- one of which is by Denis Gifford: "Films to Buy"! Gifford commissioned Frank Bellamy for his comic Ally Sloper, which became Bellamy's last comic strip ever in 1976, so is too far-fetched to assume he put a word in for Bellamy? Or maybe it all went through an agency and is just coincidence!

Anyway our focus today is on Bell and Howell's "The Optronic Eye: Report on the Bell and Howell Optronic Eye Super 8 camera in action" which appears over three right-hand pages (which any advertising person will tell you costs more than any left-hand page) - p309, 311, 313.

The first thing I notice in Alan Davis' rescued Polaroid (see top of article) is the lettering is surprisingly not by Frank Bellamy but added later. However it seems obvious Bellamy left space in the designs for boxes containing text.

Movie Maker June 1967 p.309

The first page introduces us to this simpler Super 8 camera with cartridge loading capability. I felt the way the guy is holding the device in the first panel looked awkward but this is demonstrated properly by the lady on the instruction manual below

The script is a bit stilted in order to show off all the features and our protagonist uses phrases like ""I don't tolerate mistakes, I gritted" and ""Nix", I grunted"!

Movie Maker June 1967 p.311

The second page ignores "Uncle Arthur" and moves to the father of the bride who obviously knows how to do it properly but is outdated. I'd love to know who the model for this was, as he looks like a politician to me, but I suspect he can't be. The last panel is empty of text.

Movie Maker June 1967 p.313

The last page has Bell and Howell's technical sheet  for three versions of the camera at £49.19.0, £79.15.0 and lastly £125.0.0 The advert states the camera was developed as a result of "cooperation with official U.S. Government Moon-shot experiments" - whatever that means. The Bell & Howell Research Center in Pasadena certainly looked at spectroscopy at this time. I like the line on this page that seems to thing we are, I presume, secret agents: "Further Classified Information: All agents to memorise"!

Unfortunately, despite having access to the Bellamy's financial accounts for the period (for which I'm ever grateful to Nancy Bellamy) I can't find anything attributed to the brand or any agency that can be identified.

So we can tick off those three images now! 

NEXT: Unknown Bellamy # 9 - that comic strip.

Thursday 22 April 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy: INTRODUCTION

FRANK BELLAMY "Unknown artworks"

Alan Davis (does he need an introduction?) has given me permission to reproduce some of the Bellamy artwork on his website, thus making it a lot easier to discuss individual pieces and see if anyone out there can help identify what they are? Yes, it's been 45 years since Frank Bellamy left us but anyone following this blog will know we have found a lot, we knew nothing about previously.  Alan has other images that are worth discussing but for now we'll get started on identifying these pieces.


So if we use Alan's Unknown page as our starting point, I've given each image a number to help remember what we will have covered and help me keep clear in my own mind which image I'm talking about, as they have no titles. I shall blog each different image as separate entries to make it easier to update as we go.

Alan Davis' Unknown Frank Bellamy work

There are 18 images, and we now know what several of them are:

  • #1-5: "Pawley's Peepholes"
  • #6-8: The Bell and Howell advert from Movie Maker (June 1967) - I'll blog the published version soon
  • #9 is a strip but what???
  • #10 confirms that not only did Bellamy draw two strips on Walls Wonderman but also drew some 'point-of-sale' material
  • #11 is from the Radio Times article on Orville and Wilbur Wright 
  • #12 is an astronaut pulling strings and money is involved - BUT what is it???
  • #13 is a Castrol GTX advert but I've never seen it published. I'll say more about this one later
  • #14 is John Bull and the New Year 1973 BUT where was it published, if at all?
  • #15 Farnborough Air Show- I'll blog the other stuff some time soon.
  • #16 The "WSA+P bridge" was a commission for an individual who worked for W. S. Atkins and Partners - an engineering firm
  • #17&#18 I think are the two images for the early 1960s BBC TV programme Focus (16 May 1960) but again I'll say more

Have you got any thoughts on these? I'd love to see what you think? My next article will cover these in as much detail as I can round up.

Saturday 20 April 2013

Frank Bellamy and an unknown romance illustration - original art

Romance illustration by Frank Bellamy
UPDATE: Winning bid with 2 bids: £200 (April 2012) 

Thanks to Richard Farrell for pointing out the latest sale on eBay of a Frank Bellamy I've never met before. The seller (susita66) has listed it at the starting price of £200 and the auction ends on 25 April 2013. The piece measures 11.5" x 9" (approximately 27.94cm X 22.86cm) and is in colour. The medium used is unclear but decide for yourself. I've copied all the pictures provided on ebay and hope that the buyer will share a better scan of the piece.

The seller's description: 
"Graphics are of a dark haired man and blonde woman, with a circular feature of a house and trees in the background. The background is painted a luscious deep burgundy. Also has another small circle to the left of the picture of the same house. Board cuts are visible. Actual Artwork is on heavy paper."

Detail of a house with a light on

Bellamy's signature from pre-1950

Lines suggesting where cropping could be done

Now where did it come from? If I hear back I'll let you know what the seller says. I've checked the listing for the exhibition "Unseen Bellamy" but the size doesn't match anything there nor the descriptions. It looks to match another piece (provided by Tim Barnes - see below)  which I have yet to track down in any publication. The style matches his Home Notes work and the romance books "Dark Inheritance" and My True Love" 

To see a larger version visit website

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Bellamy and bags of rubbish

The famed comic artist Alan Davis has taken a lot of trouble in scanning a large range of images of Frank's work.

He helped Nancy Bellamy clear out Frank's studio after his early death and rescued many things from ending up in the rubbish for which Bellamy fans should be eternally grateful.

Some of this I have seen before and listed on the Frank Bellamy website, and it's great now to be able to see the pictures online but some is new even to me.

Take a long time over it and visit each link and slowly be amazed

MANY THANKS to Alan for sharing!