Wednesday 1 June 2016

Garth story Freak out to Fear - reprinted

Ant Jones (the curator of the Garth Facebook page) and Martin Baines have let me know that the latest Garth story to be reprinted in the Daily Mirror is the Frank Bellamy illustrated "Freak out to Fear". The story ran originally in the newspaper (in black and white) from 6 June 1974 till 27 September 1974 (H132-H227). I suspect that this was the last to be reprinted and colourised because of its subject matter - drugs, but that's my theory. I'm just so pleased to see the last of Bellamy's version of the unique UK superhero printed. This means that Martin Baines has coloured all of the Frank Bellamy daily strips for the Daily Mirror! Some feat!

Daily Mirror 1 June 2016

The story has been reprinted before in black and white by the now sadly defunct All Devon Comic Collectors Club in Daily Strips: Collectors Club Editions No.17 [No date] - and also in the American Menomonee Falls Gazette #218 (16 February 1976) - [#232 3 March 1978]. MFG reprinted H132-H225, in their final issue. Unfortunately, in addition to not printing the last two strips in the story, they inexplicably skipped H160-H165! As Wikipedia states: The final issue was published on March 3, 1978. (There were a total of 232 issues, but the final issue was mislabeled on the outside cover as #234.) and as Mike Tiefenbacher explains in the last issue "A funny thing happened between issue 226 and now" Ah well we're grateful for what we got!

Monday 30 May 2016

New Frank Bellamy pieces discovered!

You know by now that I love the chase and discovery of material to do with Frank Bellamy and his artwork. Well, this time I bring you two new pieces!!

Garth "All the best Nancy" Frank Bellamy

The auctioneer Arthur Johnson and Sons Limited (in Nottingham) who sold this earlier this year kindly shared this image. The original auction was labelled:
Frank Bellamy (1917-1976), a pen and ink drawing, titled Garth, a comic strip drawing, Frank Bellamy was the illustrator for the Daily Mirror and Garth was one of the comic strips, width 29cm

I asked about the piece and got the reply:
I booked the item in personally, the vendor's mother knew that it was a dedication to Frank's wife Nancy, which was also the name of her own mother, that is why she bought it originally. From where I do not know.
I actually wonder whether Frank Bellamy would have drawn a piece in this vein for his wife especially as it states "Garth in Nottingxxx" which looks to me to be Nottingham and ties in with the Auctioneer's location. Maybe the seller's mother was the mysterious woman who is addressed and she told her daughter this story! Having my Mum pass away two years ago, I am only too aware of how family stories differ from what we think they are. We may never know

And just like London Buses, another popped-up - this time from Martin Baines who saw the following image which looks like a riff on the above.

Garth at the Fisherman's Cot
I found an explanation about this piece and the interesting reference to the "Fisherman's Cot" - the only one I know of is in Tiverton, Devon.

My family owned the Fisherman's Cot Hotel at Bickleigh Near Tiverton in Devon between 1963 and 1979 when it was sold to Sir Fred Pontin. During our time there we had many celebrities visit including Art Garfunkel, David Jacobs, George Harrison and others.

 Jim Edgar and his wife Jessie spent their holidays with us in the mid-seventies. Jim wrote the scripts for “Garth” which was featured in the Daily Mirror for many years. One day I asked him if he and cartoonist Frank Bellamy could do something featuring the “Fisherman`s Cot” and he very kindly obliged!
I contacted Kevin via the website to ask for details on how to obtain copies and he kindly told me about his website now offering prints of the above in A4 and A3. As I said to him, this piece has wonderful provenance and is very unique and what a pleasure to discover two more Bellamy's!

SUMMARY ("All the best")

WHERE?: Arthur Johnson & Sons Auctioneers
SELLER: Unknown
ESTIMATE: £40-60
END DATE: 16 January 2016
No of bids: 2
No of bidders: 2

Saturday 21 May 2016

Happy Birthday Frank Bellamy....

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939, p4
Frank Bellamy was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire 99 years ago today.  As a special treat I'm sharing some of his earliest known work published in the local newspaper and also an article about him. Unfortunately the latter has a few errors.

The first is from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939 and shows some rough sketches Lance-Corporal Bellamy submitted with a report on his 'actions'. Bellamy did lots of cartoon work whilst in the Blamire Studio in Kettering, so these sketches reflect this humorous turn.  Obviously this helps us see that Bellamy started his National Service some time around the beginning of 1939. Unfortunately I would have to be a member of the family to request his Army record to confirm exactly when, but this is closer than I previously had.

Interestingly he is not credited as Lance Bombardier, (the Royal Artillery equivalent of Lance Corporal, the lowest Non-Commissioned Officer grade i.e. one above a Gunner (Private)). I'm not that au fait with Army ranks so need help here. Am I missing something? He went on to become Corporal and by the time he left the Army, after the Second World War, he was a Sergeant.

Click to enlarge

Bellamy writes and draws in 1939
The second clip comes from when Bellamy had established himself and comes from the local paper Kettering Leader and Guardian 11 November 1955 and is titled "R.A. praises local artist". This refers top the much quoted fact that Sir William Russell Flint, the brilliant watercolourist was very impressed with Bellamy's illustration in Everybodys Weekly (published 1 October 1955 - click here for more details). 

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3
The article is spot on except, to my knowledge, when it mentions he illustrated Girl comic, the sister paper to Eagle and Swift - which he did strips in. I'm hoping someone out there proves me wrong as I'm always looking for more Bellamy!

Anyway, have fun reading these - and remember you can see Russell Flint's version of the dancers he mentions at the above link - thanks to the wonderful Jim Vadeboncoeur.

Happy Birthday Frank, you are missed!

Monday 18 April 2016

Frank Bellamy - Docotr Who and Winston Churchill

I feel I should apologise for the lack of material on this blog in the last 6 months.  Our house has been completely re-plastered - new plasterboard on walls and ceilings! That's the first time I've been able to paint new new walls and ceilings and skirting boards! And it will the last, I can't face that work again!! Amway all the books, notes etc are out of storage

Enough of me, let's talk Bellamy

While I was 'out of it' a few things appeared which connect with Bellamy. 

Doctor Who: The Complete History
Volume 17:Colony in space; The Daemons; Day of the Daleks
The above Doctor Who: The Complete History was published as a partwork by Panini. I caught it while it was available in W H Smiths. This is the second published volume (actually volume 17) covering three episodes (the first two 1971; the latter 1972). You can read the reviews of each issue of this multi-part work at the Doctor Who fan site Kasterborous "Doctor Who News, Opinions, Reviews and PodKast", If you are wondering, they state "Kasterborous (Cas-TER-bor-os) was the constellation in which the planet Gallifrey was located"

It looks like the series of hardbacks have the following outline:
  1. Introduction
  2. The Story
  3. Pre-Production
  4. Production
  5. Post-Production
  6. Publicity
  7. Broadcast
  8. Cast and Credits
  9. Merchandise
  10. Profiles

Below are my photos of the Bellamy relevant pages from this particular volume which show artwork from the Radio Times
  • 10 April 1971 -16 April 1971: Doctor Who - Colony in Space 
  • 22 May 1971 - 28 May 1971: Doctor Who - The Daemons
  • 18 December 1971 - 31 December 1971: The omnibus edition of The Daemons
  • 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972: Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks

pages 38-39


I also saw advertised in a Museum catalogue which arrived on my doormat, the excellent "Happy Warrior" reprint I have previously mentioned where they state rather strangely  "Reproducing 8 complete 'Eagle' colour comic strips from the 1950s telling the life story of Sir Winston Churchill". Where did they get the figure 8 from? The series ran for 49 episodes (including the full page portrait); it was one long story - not 8 parts; it took up one page each week; it was indeed the '1950s' but actually 1957-1958. Strange!

An erroneous description!
The hardback is apparently out of print in the USA, and i have learned that  Book Palace have stock

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Original art - Thunderbirds

Original art TV21 141
It wasn't long ago that I was writing about Heritage Auctions in the States selling 2 Frank Bellamy originals, which sold for a combined price of approximately £1,668.82. They are now for sale on eBay!

The seller, who I don't know, states:

This is for 2 pages of original art from the comic TV Century 21 issue 141 September 30th 2067 (1967)
Both pages are from Thunderbirds and are by Frank Bellamy
The colour is still very good with the usual light fading
The art is sold framed
A copy of the comic is included in the sale
Art by Frank Bellamy is very rare and being Thunderbirds makes them extremely collectable.
Please note that the Thunderbirds logo is a modern reproduction. The rest of the art is complete and original.
Very sad to see this go

While I was away on holiday both the other Bellamy pieces sold - see them here and here - and also Tweedacademy put a beautiful piece on the auction site. So for completeness sake I'm showing the art here with the data collected below, as I'm starting to see people using the blog to see how much their art is worth!
The original artwork for Thunderbirds in TV21 #125
TV21 #125 (June 10 2067) is a FANTASTIC example of what Bellamy wanted to achieve. The seller was kind enough to let this be photographed and that's what I use for my profile on Facebook "Frank Bellamy Artwork" page.  I wondered whether to change my picture like others do, but haven't the heart as it is so gorgeous!

This latter piece has sold as the seller accepted the Best Offer made - which I hope was a lot, as this is the best I've seen!

SUMMARY (of TV21 #141)

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: d.g100
BUY IT NOW: £3,950
END DATE: 29 February 2016

SUMMARY (of TV21 #125)

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: Tweedacademy
BUY IT NOW: £4,000
END DATE: 22 February 2016

Monday 25 January 2016

Original Art: Heros the Spartan

There is now another chance to own a Heros the Spartan doublepage spread. On eBay right now. Mind you, you will need some money to buy it! It's always awkward when I know who owns the piece to keep the seller's anonymity without sounding too cold, but this person is very trustworthy and a nice person too!

Episode 12 from the "Eagle of the Fifth" story by Tom Tully comes from Eagle 25 May 1963 (Volume 16:11).

Eagle 25 May 1963 - the comic
I have taken the pictures below from the Ebay auction and you can see how pure the colours are after all these years - 53 years! Someone smart has not stored it on a wall in sunlight!

It was this piece when I saw it in the original, that convinced me that poor Bellamy must have been very frustrated by the later run of Eagle comics which really muddied his colours. Just compare, say "Happy Warrior" to "Montgomery of Alamein" to "Heros the Spartan"

As a child - and I've told this story before - I read the Eagle after my older brothers and found Heros a muddy multi-coloured mess. It was only reading Dez Skinn raving about it that made me think again, but this piece convinced me that what Geoff West and Peter Richardson did in reprinting the run, was a Godsend!

The seller has this description on ebay, which includes something about me - no commission or money has exchanged hands ;-)

It doesn't get much better than this! (That is, until we show you a little something else which will be coming up soon).
As an example of Bellamy's mastery of layout and use of colour these Heros double page spreads for Eagle in the 1960's take some beating. Included in our pictures with this listing is the scan from our original that was reproduced in the fantastic book collection of these strips 'Heros the Spartan', from Book Palace books. Cut and paste the link below to see an article on this book at the unbeatable Bellamy Blog resource run by Norman Boyd (also involved in the production of this outstanding collection.. follow the link :)
This has been conservation framed and is in amazing condition for a 50 year old work. It has some lovely details, including the famous 'wolf's head' that has been much imitated.
Postage will obviously more than the £7.50 that this platform allows me to specify? Let's talk :)

The original art

Just look at the rich colour

And I suppose I should mention the reprinted Heros the Spartan books are still available from Book Palace. The last I heard from Geoff the numbers were certainly going down so do not hesitate!

If the piece sells and the seller is knd enough to share, I'll complete the listing below


WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: Tweedacademy
BUY IT NOW: £6,000
END DATE: 22 February 2016

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Original Art: Garth on eBay - The Orb of Trimandias

F98 The Orb of Trimiandias
That kind Chris Power has pointed me to eBay where an original Garth strip is up for auction (with 7 bids at £16 which tells me there's a few people really hoping to get this cheaply!). Last time it came up for auction it got £233 in 2012. It will be interesting to see how much it goes for this time. Previously another strip from this story sold for £156 but they are coming up less and less so who knows?

The seller says:
A superb example from one of the UK's greatest comic artists, Frank Bellamy. This is an original from the series 'Garth' which appeared in the Daily Mirror in the 1970's. An outstanding example we think you'll agree and all starting at 99p with no reserve in sight.

This is from the story 'The Orb of Trimandias' and it finds the time travelling hero Garth at the sharp end of a rumble with the henchmen of Cesare Borgia no less. Featuring one of the few wordless panels of the run and emphasising the no nonsense sword play. We hope to have some lovely things for the discerning palette listed in the days to come.

A tantalizing description!

The story appeared in the Daily Mirror 28 January 1972 - 22 May 1972 (#F24-F121) and has been reprinted a few times
  • The Daily Mirror Book of Garth, London: IPC Limited, 1975
  • Garth Book One: The cloud of Balthus Jim Edgar, London: Titan Books, 1984 
  • Menomonee Falls Gazette #67  (26/03/1973) - #83 (16/07/1973) - 6 daily strips reprinted in B&W
  • Daily Mirror Monday 3 June  2013 to - Monday 29 July 2013 Two tier reprint coloured by Martin Baines

WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: Tweedacademy
END DATE: 27 January 2016
No of bids: 31
No of bidders: 8