Menomonee Falls Gazette no.81, July 2nd, 1973, p.3 

 

Mike Tiefenbacher and Jerome Sinkovec wrote to Bellamy in the early 1970s asking for clarification regarding John Allard's part in producing Garth, which they began reprinting in their Gazette (#40, 18/09/1972). Bellamy in his usual generous way replied and the two creators of MFG included it in the Gazette:

FRANK BELLAMY
Letter to Menomonee Falls Gazette
Published in no.81, July 2nd, 1973

A few weeks ago, the London MIRROR Syndicate told us that Frank Bellamy, illustrator of GARTH, would like to see a copy of the GAZETTE. We dashed off a letter to him and this was his reply:

First, I do hope that you will accept my apologies for the delay in writing to you. I have had, and still have, so many deadlines to meet that I have found it very hard to get away from the drawing board. I am sure that you will understand and I do hope that I am forgiven.

Secondly, very many thanks for writing to me and for sending a copy of the GAZETTE.

I can tell you that I was more than pleased to see a copy at last. I must congratulate you both on an excellent production. It's great. May I say here and now that I feel most honored to be included in the GAZETTE with such illustrious company.

Thank you for the complimentary remarks about my work. You are very kind. It means a lot to me to find acceptance in the United States. I was very interested to read about Al Williamson. As I am a great admirer of his work it gives me great pleasure to know that he is familiar with at least some of my work.

You ask about the functions of Jim Edgar and John Allard. Well Jim Edgar is the scriptwriter. John Allard was on the strip for a number of years before I was called upon to draw it. He sometimes letters the balloons. However, I now do all the drawing, but the credits remain. Sounds confusing... it is!

I will do my best to see if it is possible to let you have an original GARTH. The fate of the originals remains with the newspaper. In any case I would be pleased to draw a cover for you, when I can get the time to fit one in!

It's a pity that most of my strip work from the 50s until two years ago was in full colour gravure. It would probably have interested you. That 50s bit alone makes me sound very old! I guess that I am! When I was in the army during the war I was at one time next to a U.S. Unit. My home was surrounded by the U.S. 8th Air Force. Yes, I have a soft spot and affection for the United States, hence my thanks to you for looking at my work.

I would love to receive the GAZETTE and would like to thank you for your most generous offer.
May I think you both again for your kindness and consideration and trust that one day we will meet.
Take care and with many good wishes to you.
Yours sincerely,
Frank Bellamy

THE PUBLISHED REPLY

Thank you, Frank, for doing such an incredible job on GARTH. Many of us remember your color work on such strips as THUNDERBIRDS and STAR TREK for the English weeklies also. We hope you continue GARTH for a long time.

GL adds: Ironic that Bellamy should say "It's a pity that my work was in color gravure." when we all remember gravure so fondly. What he means, I think, is that the GAZETTE was only publishing in B&W, so couldn't reprint any of his older work.

The cover to this issue looked like this (Flash Gordon by Sy Barry)

The letter as printed (click to enlarge):

 

 

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