Friday 28 December 2012

New Garth Story: The Doomsmen

Starting today in the Daily Mirror the new Garth story The Doomsmen. Originally published from the 3rd May 1975 to the 15th August 1975 (#J102-J191) this has also been reprinted in the following publications:
  • Garth: The Doomsmen (Daily strips No. 7) London: John Dakin, February 1981 A4 size reprint 20 pages - Print run 1000 Another edition found published by the Daily Mirror with Copyright John Dakin taken off and where it says No.7, instead it says Daily Mirror 
  • Garth: The Doomsmen All Devon Comic Collectors Club Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.7 [No date] - Information from Garth: the index (Pub: ADCCC)
Thanks again to Martin Baines for permission to use his artwork.

Friday 28th December 2012 © Daily Mirror

Thursday 27 December 2012

Sundance comes to an end

Thursday 27th December 2012

See you back here tomorrow for the first episode of The Doomsmen, kindly supplied like the above by the colourist Martin Baines.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Frank Bellamy and Outspan magazine

I have been searching for Outspan magazines for 12 years after having been to the British Library to actually find the details of Bellamy's run in that magazine title. Martin Baines, who colours the current reprints of Bellamy's Garth, asked me whether I could write something on Outspan and I can't refuse him a favour as he has been so kind to me (and you too!)

I need to tell you I do not own a single copy of Bellamy's work in Outspan so all the illustrations you see are photos taken with my camera of the photocopies I ordered from the British Library. 

"Timeliner" by Charles Eric Maine.

The Outspan ("A South African weekly for everybody"), copied the successful format of the UK Everybody's magazine, but the former was published in Bloemfontein, South Africa, starting in 1927 and later became Personality with the 6 June 1957 issue and continued until 23 Dec.1965 when it ceased, probably due to the same reason UK magazines disappeared around the mid-sixties - television

"Timeliner" by Charles Eric Maine.

It was apparently launched by The Friend Newspapers Limited on 4 March 1927 and was extremely popular. The magazine format was similar to the fifties Everbody's I have seen. "Thorough modernisation took place in 1957 when The Outspan reappeared as the fortnightly Personality on 6 June. Past contributors included Agatha Christie, Wernher von Braun, Admiral Donitz, Stuart Cloete, Denis Compton, Eddie Cantor, Major-General Sir Francis de Guingand, Donald Campbell, P G Wodehouse, Viscount Montgomery, Adolf Eichmann and Manuel Fangio. Early editors of The Outspan (and Personality from 6 June 1957) included A W Wells (1927-1939), Gordon Makepeace (1939-1953), W R G Legge (1953-1955), C H H Barry (1955-1960), D S Garnett (1960-1963), R A Short (1963-1971), G Brennan (1971) and Leon Bennett (1972)." - taken from MyFundi.

"Fear is a spotted cat" by Elaine Mans
One of my favourite pieces by Bellamy of this period is the above. It's so atmospheric. I can feel the fear

"The Satan flower" by Peter Monnow
Lastly below are two pages (download  them and stitch them together - don't forget to send me a copy! . The author of this article, Edna Henkel, wrote in September 1956, a grateful letter to Bellamy saying he'd "drawn a figure that looks like me without having seen me" and she goes on to mention that Wide World might publish some of her stories

"I was stalked by a panther" by Edna Henkel

"I was stalked by a panther" by Edna Henkel
Bellamy was proud enough of these assignments to mention them whenever outlining his career. I personally prefer them to his Everybody's work but they are so elusive. If you have copies I would really value talking to you either for sales or scans, contact me at:

Gold Star Gift Book for Boys

I recently had communication from one Peter Sutherland. The name rang a bell and after asking, found out it was not the artist of Alf Tupper the Tough of the Track: Britain's Favourite Comic-book Athlete as the recent reprint book title goes - I thought that would be Roy of the Rovers, myself! Anyway, enough of showing my ignorance of British comics history, here's what Peter kindly shared:

Gold Star Gift book for Boys, an obscure reprint annual of Boy's World Annuals from 1970 and 1971 contains the reprint  of a Bellamy illustrated story from Boy's World Annual 1971 "Johnny Boyland and the quail hunters" by J. T. Edson

The reprint was published in 1972 by Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. (ISBN 60033922X). It also contains a picture strip by Don Lawrence, Countdown to Death and a text story illustrated by Ron Embleton, Hunter's Lance. You probably know all about it, but just in case. Great blog about Frank by the way, and good to see lots of his great work getting reprinted now. All the best, Peter Sutherland. 

Those words "you probably know all about it"can sometimes be correct but as in this case, no, this is completely new to me. I wrote back to say thanks and also clarify a few points:

Hello, the book is 48 pages including the covers.I checked the 1971 Boy's World Annual and the Frank Bellamy story is reprinted exactly as it first appeared, all the same text and all the illustrations in all the same places. The 1st illustration is on page 33, the 2nd on page 34, the 3rd on page 35, the 4th on page 36 and the 5th (final) one on page 37. All the captions beside the last 4 pictures are included as well. All the best, Peter S. (NOT the Tough of the Track artist)

A man after my own heart - a true bibliographer - so I've updated the annuals page and included the illustrations as taken from Boy's Own World Annual for those who have never seen them. The first is my rough scan showing the lovely billboard font to accompany the stiory and the second is stolen from someone's website. A thorough Google search didn't reveal whose i took it from.

If it's yours please let me know so I can give you credit for stitching these together so nicely

Thursday 15 November 2012

Heros the Spartan update and OFFERS from Book Palace

Book Palace now have a page for pre-orders  and Peter Richardson has shared loads of spreads with us from the forthcoming reprint of Heros the Spartan....more below,.....but first a word from our sponsors friends at Book Palace!

How would you like some reprinted Frank Bellamy books at great prices?

These are extremely likely never to be reprinted in paper form. There are four offers:

All Bellamy's work for SWIFT

Story of World War One Paperback
Story of World War One Hardback

Three classic reprints
And for those who are keen to hear more of what's happening to the deluxe reprint of Heros the Spartan, follow the link to Peter Richardson's comments and then have a look at the price which has now been decided at £95. By my calculations that's £1 per restored episode - but with John Byrne, the full Frank Bellamy interview from Fantasy Advertiser plus a commentary on the stories by some guy called Norman Boyd! It sounds a lot, but try buying, let alone finding, the Eagles - at least £3.50 a piece - and you'll have to pay approximately £300 for them...if you find them and at that price! Oh, and that Peter Richardson is a card...I love the title of my meagre offering in the Heros introduction! Thanks Peter for dreaming that one up!

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Frank Bellamy begins his five year run on Garth

Today in the Daily Mirror newspaper we see the beginning of Bellamy's original story that started his 5 year run on the strip. As mentioned earlier, Allard hung around in a role that confused even Bellamy at the time and - in my opinion - hindered Bellamy's artwork in places. When you see horizontal dashes in the background for clouds - Allard; when you see zip-a-tone/letraset - Allard.

Jim Edgar was the author of Garth from the story called "The Brain" (dated 25 April 1966) taking over from Peter O'Donnell at that time and provided Bellamy with scripts. The men later found out they were both Kettering boys and together with their wives met up socially!

The first episode Frank Bellamy illustrated was on 12 July 1971 (E162) and follows yesterday's episode where Garth, in the woods, is chasing and killing a grizzly bear. He is weakened by the tussle and swoons.

"As Garth slumps towards the ground he hears a booming gutteral voice... "The tall white-eye with yellow hair from the great iron bird will come among our people"...and the mysterious time spiral attuned to the hyper-sensitive psyche swings him away into the past"

Martin Baines has kindly sent Bellamy's first episode along which he is colouring. So off you go and enjoy. And don't forget to follow the story in the Daily Mirror today onwards in full colour

© Daily Mirror

Tuesday 6 November 2012

New Garth Story: Sundance

"But in the moment of death, the wheel of time has carried Garth back into the present..." and Garth leaves the world of Cortes and the Aztecs and starts another time-travelling adventure

© Daily Mirror
Martin Baines, has forwarded the opening panels for the latest Garth story. The art above is by John Allard - not Frank Bellamy - and Bellamy came on board on episode 13 of the story - so by my reckoning we will see Bellamy's first episode on Tuesday 12 November, a week's time.

This story originally ran from 28 June 1971 to - 11 October 1971 (E150-E226)  with Bellamy's first episode being 12 July 1971 - E162. It has been reprinted a few times, but never coloured before.  It was reprinted in the Daily Mirror Book of Garth London: IPC Limited, 1975, during Bellamy's lifetime,  Garth Book One: The Cloud of Balthus London: Titan Books, 1984 and Menomonee Falls Gazette #40 (18 September 1972) - #52 (11 December 1972) Issue #51,  4 Dec 1972, was misprinted as #52 on cover just to confuse you perfectionists!

You might be interested in my previous short piece on Sundance where we learn about Allard's involvement in the art after Bellamy took over the art chores on Garth, as well as a bit about the ritual 'Sundance'. See you next week for the first Bellamy episode of a great story Sundance!

And just for the person who sent an anonymous request via the blog, - (and to ensure we have some Bellamy artwork on Frank Bellamy blog!) here's the Garth strip from the  story just finished - the Mask of Atacama - dated 11 October. If I'm wrong, email me directly and I'll see if I downloaded it or I could scan it. But be aware that the Mirror is not loading every episode - after all they are trying to sell newspapers so it may have to be a scan!

© Daily Mirror