Sunday 25 January 2009

Frank Bellamy and Letraset transfers


Letraset's  Space Adventure Transfers
 None the of the above is Bellamy's artwork, but he did do the advertising artwork for the Space Adventures which I know appeared in TV21 and also Smash comic around October 1969 (a Christmas stocking filler?). Here's Bellamy's artwork and obviously the advert with Bellamy's art appeared in lots of UK comics at the time and not just TV21, it was just convenient to list that as I can say with authority it was the first TV21 appearance of the advert!

TV21 #242 the last issue before joining Joe 90

If you follow the links on his site you'll browse through a load of memories - if you're my age - which have sunk down in the brainpan, but have been quickly re-awakened! To save you time here's the link to the actual contents of this particular Action Transfer set.

Dean, the owner of the - the defunct - 7 Wonders site gave me permission to share images with you. As his site is now down I'm uploading what was there, none of which are Bellamy's artwork.  Read more about Letraset here

Tom Vinelott let me know:

Just to let you know that all Dean's Letraset scans on Seven Wonders moved over to many months ago, so any links you may have on your site (I only checked a couple) will now be pointing to the wrong page.


Tom Vinelott's site 


Sunday 14 December 2008

Various items

I have had several emails from my kind friend Richard Sheaf since I started this blog. I'm trying in this email to let you know about changes and scans I have added to the Frank Bellamy site as a result, as well as some general tidying up.

  • From Articles to Advertising - Comic Media News No 25 Mar-Apr 1976 with scan in the Note This is the black & white advert for Comicon '76. But interestingly this advert appears cropped from the 1975 event poster which I have added too
  • Deleted the entry on the Advertising page to my guess work on BOAC and added full entry to 'Welcome Aboard' in the Magazine page as outlined in my previous blog entry
  • Added to Advertising Comic Media News No. 21 plus scan of the (B&W plus red) poster for Comicon '75
  • Added to Books Two romance novel covers (with thanks to Steve Holland) - glad they're out in the open now
  • Added FB's complete adventures of King Arthur to the Books page

Saturday 29 November 2008

Frank Bellamy welcomes you aboard BOAC

I am always on the lookout for any new Frank Bellamy information. Thus I keep alerts providing updates from all over the web. I had a fantastic surprise when a search I had been doing for many years, said "BOAC's in-flight magazine Welcome Aboard"

I had a reference to Bellamy's BOAC work, but no idea what it was. I knew he had provided some illustrations for a poster to be used at Farnborough Air Show in 1970 and at the same time he did some BOAC work. I wondered whether the two references had got mixed up, as often happens when dealing with memories of 38 years ago - including my own! But getting back to that alert...

"The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) is the online resource for visual arts. It has provided services to the academic community for 11 years and has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in teaching, learning and research in the UK."

One such service is the digitisation of Design magazine from 1965 -1974. DESIGN was published by the Council of Industrial Design, 28 Haymarket, London SW1 4SU. As luck would have it, one of the articles in this archive is titled: "Flight reading" in the issue dated 1st October 1971.

"So is this where Bellamy's work appeared?" I hear you ask. Sort of, is the answer!

The article written by Doug Blain is on pages 48 - 53 and deals with the history of the publication of the bi-monthly in-flight magazine "Welcome Aboard" given out on BOAC flights.

The most amazing coincidence - and why I chased this down - was that in illustrating this obscure article, 8 spreads were chosen as examples of the design work. Amongst those by Bellamy's contemporaries Charles Raymond, Pauline Ellison, Alan Aldridge, Nicholas Thirkell and Alan Cracknell (some of whom, like Bellamy, had illustrations in the Radio Times) appears one by, on close inspection, Frank himself!

Unfortunately the article tells us "John Adams in Birth of a nation" is by Bellamy but not in which of the "Welcome Aboard" (published bi-monthly since 1968) it appears.

Here life's serendipity intervenes. I set up a search immediately on eBay and just two weeks later what appears but a rare "Welcome Aboard" booklet. The answer to my question came back "yes, there is an article on 'John Adams in Birth of a nation' in it". Imagine my joy on receiving my win!

I have scanned the cover of "Welcome Aboard" - not shown in the article mentioned above - as well as a scan of "John Adams in Birth of a nation"

I realise that our American friends hold Adams in very high regard, so I hope they'll forgive Bellamy entertainingly portraying him as a semi-superhero in the last panel! But also notice that whoever wrote the script spelled 'Harbor' in the American way

Frank Bellamy art appears on pp20-21

Cover by Tony Meeuwissen

I'm off to lie down now - too much excitement for one day.

Sunday 26 October 2008

Frank Bellamy and life class sketches

Bellamy ran a life class whilst at Blamires' Studio in Kettering - his first art job - which was a modest affair (in both senses of the word!) and also later for the Studio Club, Piccadilly, London. The club was run for artists and musicians, and was situated in the basement of 15, Swallow Street, and was founded in 1915. I believe it was during the late Fifties and early Sixties that he committed loads of sketches of the female form to paper (I'm trying to avoid words that web-blockers will block!).

I don't own much Bellamy art myself, but I couldn't turn down these pieces when offered to me some years ago. One day I'll get them protected, particularly as you can see I managed to get a fold in one piece! At least I know not to let the light near them, so they haven't faded.

I hope you enjoy these simple speedy sketches done in pencil and coloured pencil. The lady who has her back to us, has a notation worth mentioning: 8.45

Now whether this is the time it was done, or the minutes and seconds the drawing took, I don't know. But I've been in art classes where we had a set time to complete a sketch, so maybe it's not too fanciful to assume the latter. I have seen other sketches in this 'series' from his art pad, and I've listed others I've found on Unpublished Bellamy webpage 

Bellamy proves here that he is adept at fine art and I'm certain his visits to Italy will have inspired his love of the naturalistic poses in these sketches.

If anyone has any others - with notes on - I would appreciate scans and details, thanks

Sunday 21 September 2008

King Arthur, Merlin and Frank Bellamy

I have missed two events this weekend.

The first was meeting Steve Holland for the first time at the excellent "The London ABC Show" which features amongst other things original art, British comics, newspaper strips, pulps and paperbacks but also book signings. I've been to a few now, seeing John Bolton, Graham Bleathman, Sydney Jordan and Al Davison amongst others.

If all went to plan Steve should have been signing specially flown in copies of the latest Bellamy reprint, Frank Bellamy's King Arthur and His Knights: The Complete Adventures. The book is due out shortly (presumably when copies arrive from China). The reprints are taken from the Swift comic (Vol. 2:31 - 2:53, 3:1 - 3:18 dated 30 July 1955 - 31 December 1955, 7 January 1956 - 5 May 1956) . I make that 41 episodes, 2 pages each.

The story of King Arthur here, was written by Clifford Makins (later editor of the Eagle) Bellamy shows great skill in depicting the knights and their armour, horses and weaponry. He shows long shots of British castles, and battlefields. Bellamy must have been extremely worried when he read "Merlin says to Arthur, “You must build a great Round Table to seat 100 men”". However, Bellamy pulls it off admirably in such little space – the 70 or so knights depicted around an enormous table are amazing. Comparisons with Foster's Prince Valiant, can't be helped, but they are two different products created for different markets.

The second event this weekend, that I'm not worried that I missed, is the BBC's new production for Saturday night, Merlin. I'm fairly sure Steve Holland and the Book Palace did not aim to have the Arthur book available because of the launch of this, but I'm sure it can't hurt. The BBC's modern take on the old story has been hyped a lot and is obviously important to the BBC Saturday evening schedule, but I found the earlier Robin Hood, done in the same vein, bored me so I'm a bit prejudiced. But I'm sure that won't stop you making up your own mind!

Used with permission

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Frank Bellamy licks the Daleks into shape

Shaqui and I had some email correspondence recently after I alerted him to the fact that Frank Bellamy had produced some Dalek material for Wall's Ice Cream around September 1975. Even research in the Unilever Archives showed me they do not retain any part of this series except the front part of a wrapper!

"The Dalek Death Ray wrappers was a revelation - I was kicking myself for not recognizing the style but then the repro is mushy at best and I didn't think Bellamy would do stuff like this!" Of course when he says 'mushy' I don't think he was making a pun - these wrappers were covering ICE lollies, after all and had a tendency to make the wrappers mushy! However, in his usual helpful manner, he supplied some examples so we could see what they looked like.

Shaqui tells me that Wall's Ice Cream published two series of Dalek material in the first half of the 1970s. The first series was called 'From the world of the Daleks...', while the second, non-Bellamy, one is called 'The Incredible Daleks...' The titles from the first series are:

The Grenium Invisibility System

Daleks and the Ancient Britons

The Swamp Creatures of Terroth
When the Daleks Flooded the Earth!
The Cyclops Z-Ray
A Dalek Deep Space Battle Cruiser
Dalek Officer

Shaqui then told me something that I didn't know about this series: "The other interesting trivia note for the Bellamy series is all bar one ('Dalek Officer' although I think some notes come from some cutaway seen but the approach is quite different) are taken from the 1976 Dalek annual: 'Terroth' and 'Flooded' are based on the two strip stories, while the 'Cruiser' appears in a text story. 'Transmol', 'Z-Ray', and 'Grenium' are from one of those 'amazing Dalek facts/technology' features, while there is a mention of Daleks on Earth in AD42 in another."

Concepts for Bellamy work from this annual - Artist unknown

It should be stressed that no Bellamy artwork appears in  Dalek Annual 1976, and this would have been published at the end of Summer 1975 for Christmas sales in 1975. 

An eBay seller helpfully put some of these up for sale and here is one to show what the back looked like complete

Front and rear of a Bellamy Dalek's Death Ray
Bellamy had correspondence with Eric Fletcher of "Scheme", (presumably the agency creating the designs for Wall's). In it he mentions that "we could sit the creature with the fangs on a sort of 'all-seeing' eye." Could this be the design Alan Davis has on his website? Why was it not used?

 Lastly, in the correspondence mentioned above, a series called "Solar System" is mentioned. Did Bellamy do it? - We have no other reference to it

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Peter Cushing liked to read Bellamy!

'Ian from The Receptacle Group', as he wants to be known, recently posted an article that made me smile and with his permission I have adapted it here for you!

The film, Doctor Who and the Daleks, was released in 1965 starring
Peter Cushing as the cinema Doctor (Hartnell was on the TV at the time) . In the opening scene, the camera pans around the Doctor's living room. First we see Susan reading 'Physics for the Inquiring Mind' by Eric M. Rogers. Then we see Barbara reading 'The Science Of Science'. And what’s the Doctor himself reading?

Eagle and Boys' World Vol.16 No. 12, 20th March 1965.

As the Doctor puts down the comic, we see that he has been reading 'Heros The Spartan' from the centre pages, which of course was illustrated at that time by Bellamy.

And then we see him reading the next pages, 12 and 13, before he stands up when Ian arrives.

Anyway.. according to Mark Campbell's 'Dimensions In Time & Space' book, the movie was filmed from 8th March to April 1965, then the premiere was 24th June 1965. This issue would have been on sale in the newsagents from 17th March to 23rd March, in the middle of filming, so it could well have been picked up specially for this scene, filmed during that week?

You would have thought that Terry Nation would have wanted a copy of TV Century 21 to be advertised in the movie, what with the Daleks strip appearing on the back cover of that comic. [Issue 9 would have been out at the same time as this issue of Eagle]. Although I suppose its best as it is, otherwise kids and Doctor Who fans would have been saying that how come the Doctor didn't know about the Daleks when he'd just been reading about them!

Thanks for this Ian, great stuff, and for Bellamy fans, here's the actual strip that held Cushing's eye. It's part 4 of the last story of Heros that Bellamy did (he was followed by Luis Bermejo) and Bellamy has used many, almost psychedelic, colours for backgrounds.. The story was called The Slave Army