Friday 15 February 2008

Frank Bellamy original artwork sales

Heros the Spartan
for a mere $8000 on ComicArtFans! If the link doesn't work search for 'Heros the Spartan' here. The piece has kept its colour very well

If my collection wasn't so buried I'd tell you which particular issue of Eagle it comes from. Anyone want to race me to their collection?

Edited on 27 July 2009

THUNDERBIRDS from TV21 July 29 2067 #132

I think a visit to eBay right now would be worth doing if you'd like to see a really good colour Thunderbirds strip. This is likely to sell for an enormous amount of money. The colour is superb and I think demonstrates how devoted Bellamy was to using inks properly in his colour strips. The story it comes from is one set around the terrorists who ram a liner called the President in the narrow Nicaragua Canal. It ran for 7 parts and this is part #3

Auction ended 21 Jun, 2009 at £827 - 20 bids - reserve not met! These are indeed hard times as I would have predicted at least £1000 would be bid!

Edited on 28 June 2009

I have avoided pointing to sales and auctions in the past, as any eBay links will date very quickly. But so much has come out of the woodwork recently, I couldn't resist and have copied the pictures from the auction sites so you can see the actual items. (If anyone objects for copyright reasons let me know and they will be removed!)

On eBay we have seen several items raise surprisingly better prices than usual, which is encouraging.

Currently you could spend that spare £1500 and buy an original Thunderbirds from TV21
Tweedacademy is also selling a rare Heros
for a snip at £2000!
...and lastly rush over to Comic Book Auctions Limited where Lot#136 (The Daily Mirror Book of Garth, 1976) will see a lot of interest in my opinion. The estimate of £450-£500 seems modest as this is a totally one off piece. The auction ends on 4th March - so hurry!
Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £1,089

An original single page from Thunderbirds recently was for sale at a starting bid of £300 but petenovitch ended the auction early because the item is no longer available for sale, normally meaning it was sold outside eBay before the auction ended
petenovitich also sold a nice single page with 9 bids for a low price of £404.95 - a bargain in my opinion.
Someone in the USA had 18 bids on the original Marco Polo page raising a nice £1,116.80
Garth original come up fairly regularly for a wide variety of prices. Three sold recently £72.70, £150.91, and £125.76. Why the range of prices? - no idea! It's basically what the buyers were willing to pay!

Also one range of books has always had interest; that's the reprints of Garth strip published by John Dakin in the late 1970s The Doomsmen raised £24.02 for the seller - a good price!

Well that rounds it up for now. I've managed to post something at least once a month since launch! Hopefully with the new Robin Hood book coming from BookPalace in March we might see some new stuff!

Friday 11 January 2008

Lifetime achievement followed up...

Back in September last year, I mentioned I'd found out about something called a "Frank Bellamy Achievement Award"
Richard Sheaf wrote to tell me that he had a bit more info:

Hi Norman,
  • The first annual awards for the SSI were held on 23/09/78 (for the year 1977) and "The Frank Bellamy award : most promising newcomer" went to Mike McMahon for his work on Judge Dredd, in 2000AD.
  • For the 1979/80 awards (presented 22/11/80) the following people were nominated for "The Frank Bellamy award" Geoff Campion - 35 years a pro, Dennis Gifford - services rendered, Don Lawrence - Trigan Empire, Pat Mills - creating 2000AD, Mike Noble - 30 years a pro, Reg Partlett - 60 years a pro
So the purpose of the award seems to have changed somewhat from before!

  • In the end Don Lawrence won with Geoff Campion and Pat Mills as runners up. Lawrence is described as winning "The FB award for most outstanding contribution to strip illustration"
  • The award for 1980/81 (presented 31/10/81) went to Dennis Gifford for services to British comics. The award is described thus in a write-up of the ceremony "...the top award, the FB award, going to the most outstanding strip cartoon personality of the year, or the best up-and-coming artist, etc" which explains the flexibility noted above
  • The awards for 1982 (held 13/11/82) saw Dez Skinn win for Warrior magazine
  • The awards for 1983 (held 03/12/83) saw Ron Embleton win

And that's all I've got I'm afraid. All of the above comes from the Association of Comics Enthusiasts newsletters that Dennis Gifford used to produce

best regards

So, thanks to Richard (whose collection of fanzines must be enormous!) we have some more information!

An aside, wouldn't it be great if one day all UK fanzines might be scanned and electronically indexed for all to access

P.S. The picture below is NOT the award, but the Blue Plaque that Kettering Civic Society placed on the house where Bellamy was born!

Monday 19 November 2007

Anna Marita and King's Cliffe airfield

Unknown artist
I am always amazed that there are really kind people out in cyberspace.

I received an email from someone called Arthur Sevigny the other day and he wrote:
"Attached is a scan of Anna Marita who performed at King's Cliffe Airfield on May 7th 1945. This was the home of the 20th FG during WWII." Arthur Sevigny MSgt USAF (Ret), Historian, 20th Fighter Wing Association.

Attached was a scan of an old fashioned flyer. I still didn't understand what I had, but after plucking up my courage I wrote back to this Arthur.

He replied quickly, and stated:
"The flyer is for the V-E celebration for the defeat of Germany. Anna being an entertainer at the show. The 20th FG flew P-38 and P-51 aircraft out of King’s Cliffe which is near Wantsford. I spent 7 years (1980-1987) in the UK with the 20th TFW that was stationed at RAF Upper Heyford."
Now you're wondering what has this to do with Frank Bellamy. So was I until I searched my own website for the answer.....

Anna Marita's name appears in one place on the website - under Unpublished material search on that page for her name.

I had placed most of the extant life drawings in the late forties / early fifties - while Bellamy was working in Blamires' Studio, Kettering, or the Norfolk Studio in London. How? By the signature style which was more rounded earlier in his career. If that's correct then Bellamy managed to find Marita work as an artist's model (she was obviously supplementing her income as a 'performer').

Below are the items sent to me under a special note for those interested in King's Cliffe airfield and Ms. Marita. A simple search on the Net will give you more than enough information on the airfield's history. Now, we're not saying the above image had anything to do with Frank Bellamy, to be clear but is of interest historically for others maybe?

Thursday 18 October 2007

Commando Gibbs v. Dragon Decay

"Your teeth are ivory castles - defend them with Gibb's Dentifrice" - slogan from (at least) 1922

For those who have only known toothpaste in a tube, you might need enlightening.

This product came in a small circular tin and you had to rub a wet toothbrush and create a fizzy paste to rub on your "ivory castles" as Gibbs called your teeth! I can just remember the stuff in the 1960s, and I think some toothpowder still exist!

Frank Bellamy produced 7 strips in the Gibb's advertising in Eagle during the first 3 volumes entitled "Commando Gibbs versus Dragon Decay"

GD 311-1505, Eagle Vol. 2:42 (25 January 1952), p. 5
Dragon looks at 'young Jimmy' through telescope

GD 312-1505, Eagle Vol. 2:46 (22 February 1952), p. 12
Dragon enters bathroom

GD 313-1505, Eagle Vol. 3:2 (18 April 1952), p. 13
Dragon in tank attacks No.14

GD 314-1505, Eagle Vol. 3:6 (16 May 1952), p.13
Dragon in submarine attacks boat

GD 315-1505, Eagle Vol. 3:11 (20 June 1952), p.13
Dragon sends rocket to blow up the Smiths' "ivory castles"

GD 316-1505, Eagle Vol. 3:14 (11 July 1952), p.13
Dragon gets telegram and heads to Cliff House

GD 326-1505, Eagle Vol. 3:24 (19 September1952), p.13
Dragon dresses as Policeman on bike

  • Eagle Vol. 3:19 (15 August1952), p.13 - Reprints Eagle Vol. 3:2 (18 April 1952)
  • Eagle Vol. 3:33 (21 November 1952), p.5 - Reprints Eagle Vol. 3:6 (16 May 1952)
  • Eagle Vol. 3:36 (12 December 1952), p.13 - Reprints Eagle Vol. 3:11 (20 June 1952)

Interestingly, I wonder if anyone has any answers for me regarding the numbering of adverts. Even though all previous advertising strips are numbered sequentially, 2 adverts were 10 issues apart, but their (up till now) regular numbering jumps from GD 316-1505 to GD 326-1505.

Anyway to round off, this dentifrice product ran for years. I've found eveiodence from the 1920s and here is another (unknown) artist's take on the theme from Judy 16 March 1963, p28.
Judy 16 March 1963
Finally I was astonished to see there was also an Ivory Castle game! Produced by D. W. Gibbs Ltd, and consisted of a coloured folding board, counters and dice, in labelled envelope with rules printed to rear, from c.1933/4 . The artist is unknown.

Gibbs Dentifrice Game

Tuesday 9 October 2007

BIG NEWS: Robin Hood again!

Steve Holland has announced a project he has been working on for Look and Learn / Book Palace that:
"...we're also working on The Complete Frank Bellamy Robin Hood. This is a Look and Learn/Book Palace project that has been in the works for a while now (it takes time to scan and clean up that many pages!). The book will reprint the whole of Bellamy's long run of 'Robin Hood and His Merry Men' and 'Robin Hood and Maid Marian' for 15 months in 1956-57 in the pages of Swift. Not, I may add, the abridged version that later appeared in Treasure in the 1960s. This is the complete run."

The date: 2008! Start saving your sixpences as that means approximately 134 pages of art plus any additional introduction etc.!

This picture has been borrowed and will be returned soon to its rightful owner Steve Holland

Tuesday 18 September 2007

Robin Hood & ROK Comics

Robin Hood art Copyright © Look and Learn Ltd

The very 21st century technology of mobile phones presents a mid 20th century version of Robin Hood!

Many thanks to John Freeman who helped me to get this to you. In the picture above you'll see two arrows on the right which allow you to browse the single mocked-up mobile screens

Mind you, the cover is not by Bellamy!

Now if we could see the complete Robin Hood and King Arthur stories from the Swift comic reprinted in one book, so an old man, like myself could read them, that would be brilliant!

ROK also produce mobile phone versions of early non-Bellamy Garth strips, but use the Bellamy Garth for their publicity

Lifetime Achievement Award

I have heard of all sorts of awards with strange names - the Oscars, Nibbies, Daggers etc. But a new one to me, which has been around for at least 5 years is the "Frank Bellamy Achievement Award"!

"Originally formed in 1977 as the Society of Strip Illustrators where comics professionals could meet socially, swap stories, share information and network. It still does all these things. But we've also adapted and changed since then. In 1992 the Society changed its name to the Comics Creators Guild in a move to more obviously represent all the various arts and specializations that combine to produce comics." says their About Us page.

Winners in the past have been from both sides of the Atlantic:
2006: John Severin
2005: Peter O'Donnell
2004: Leo Baxendale
2003: Dave Sim
2002: Dr Jerry Bails

On our page with references to articles about Bellamy, there is mention of the old Society's newsletter where an article was written about Bellamy and a follow up letter correcting errors in said article.

If anyone can let me know why Bellamy's name was chosen for this award, I'd love to know