Welcome to frank bellamy - the checklist
Who was Frank Bellamy?
Frank Bellamy was an artist born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, on the 21st May 1917 at 68, Bath Road, Kettering (There is a blue plaque to commemorate the event). His Dad, Horace George Bellamy was a shoe machine operator - a major industry in that area at the time and Mum, Grace Bellamy (born Ashley) had one more child Eva. There was no clue in his background to alert his family as to the profession in which he would become famous. His list of credits reads like a trip down nostalgia lane in post-war Britain: magazines such as Boy's Own Paper, Lilliput, Home Notes, Everybody's and the Radio Times; comics such as Swift, Eagle, Mickey Mouse Weekly, TV21, and national newspapers such as the Sunday Times, and the Daily Mirror. In his career in the late fifties he was well known as the artist who illustrated various biographies in the Eagle. In the sixties he spent many years on Thunderbirds in TV21. In the seventies, he became associated with Dr. Who and the daily comic strip Garth.
His death in 1976 was a blow to the UK comic scene which was beginning to appreciate its artists, but his influence is acknowledged today by many of the world's top comic artists such as John Byrne, Alan Davis, Al Williamson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Walt Simonson and many others.
Many magazines and books have given brief details of his life
(listed in our articles
section) and our aim is to produce a book with examples of Bellamy's
work. We'd recommend the following (wouldn't we?)
True Brit: A Celebration of the Great Comic Book Artists of the UK, edited by George Khoury and published by TwoMorrows in 2004 (isbn: 1893905330). The section you want is pages 34-43, written by Paul Holder and containing many beautiful Bellamy illustrations. It's out of print but still available (with additional colour) in digital form
What are these pages all about?
They're a reference work. A listing of all known Bellamy works. On the 12th October 1976 David Jackson started corresponding with Norman Boyd and swapped (that's 'traded' for non-UK people!) various pieces of information and photocopies (crude back then!). Norman left home and headed to college, got married, had kids etc. until one day he thought about what we had begun. He made contact with Paul Holder (see http://www.frankbellamy.com) and discussed making a complete list of Frank Bellamy's works. Paul showed Norman some poorly photocopied sheets which contained the listings David Jackson and Norman had started (in that naive correspondence) and Norman's name was still there along with many other contributors:
|Tim Barnes||Clive Beeston||David Bellamy||Nancy Bellamy||Norman Boyd|
|Richard Burton||Julian Coleman||John Dakin||Terry Doyle||Paul Duncan|
|Mark Ellis||Ian Emerson||Paul Gravett||Jeffrey J. Haythorpe||Paul Holder|
|Steve Holland||J. David Jackson||John Knight||Nick Landau||Shaqui Le Vesconte|
|David Lloyd||Keith J. Luck||Geoff Provins||Luke Rainford||Richard Sheaf|
|Dez Skinn||Bill Storie||Mathew Vaughn||Alan Vince||Alan Woollcombe|
There are many other names that MUST be mentioned in relation to the spirit of free communication: the late Bob Monkhouse, Dave Gibbons, Alan Davis, David Larkin and P. R. Garriock are just a few.
In the spirit of David Jackson's generosity this list is freely available to all as a thank you to the generosity of many in supplying details. Many hours have been spent turning pages in the British Library and poring over old magazines and books. Any mistakes are ours, but many dates used by David Jackson and Norman have been corrected, so we hope no errors have crept in since then!
We have drawn up the lists in ALPHABETICAL order of title rather than chronological order. Maybe one day we will release the chronological version we have at hand. Questions like "when is a comic not a comic?" and "how can you be sure it's by Bellamy?" are all annotated within these pages at the relevant points. We decided fanzines are magazines!
We have taken dates in the English form (1st of March becomes 01/03 - not 03/01) and have listed page numbers in his magazine work, but avoided page numbers in comics as this seemed to be too nerdish - even for a librarian like Norman!
We have chosen arbitrary divisions in Bellamy's work, so for example, despite it being the first strip work Bellamy executed, Commando Gibbs is listed in the advertising section not the comics section.
We have listed reprints where known in order that people may be able to find cheaper editions of Bellamy's work - have you seen the price of TV21 nowadays? - and would love to hear from anyone with further details to add, especially non-English reprints. We have included reprinted works in the main body of each section with reference to the original, as some readers may not realise they are reprints.
Why no pictures in this listing? We decided against it due to bandwidth restrictions, copyright clearance issues and .....we'd love to create that book we've been talking about for ages - any would-be publishers who'd like to talk to us, click the email link below.
Lastly, we have listed many references to Bellamy's work in various media. This list is by no means exhaustive as many books may make mention of Bellamy and /or show some of his work, but may not focus on him per se. For example Roger Sabin's Comics, Comix, & Graphic Novels: a history of comic art, mentions Bellamy in the index but does not show any work and Bellamy is incidental to the point Sabin is making, therefore we could have omitted this reference in our page "articles and books about Bellamy"
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All comments and contributions and corrections gratefully received you can email us at feedback @ frankbellamy.co.uk