MICKEY MOUSE WEEKLY 10/07/1954

See fuller blog entry on the reasons behind identification of these strips as being drawn by Bellamy. 

Basil Reynolds had drawn many of the "True Life Adventure" strips for Mickey Mouse Weekly. John Wigmans from the Netherlands, together with Phil Rushton alerted me to this fact and both provided the scans below with which I created the blog entry. 

"Living Desert"

This comic series was based on Disney's pioneering wildlife documentary of 1953

Bellamy's comment from the Skinn/Gibbons interview:

WHEN YOU WERE DRAWING "MONTY CARSTAIRS" FOR MICKEY MOUSE WEEKLY, DID THIS TAKE UP MOST OF YOUR TIME, OR WERE YOU ALSO TAKING ON OTHER FREELANCE JOBS?

FB: I was still doing some advertising work and illustrations for Boy's Own Paper at the same time. It did help that Boy's Own Paper was a monthly, though. But not only did I draw "Monty Carstairs" in Mickey Mouse, I also got my first colour strip work, Walt Disney's "Living Desert" in the centrespread. But unlike on "Monty Carstairs", I couldn't sign "Living Desert" with my own name. I had to sign it 'Walt Disney'. Which, by the way, you have to write upside down because if you don't, you get your own handwriting instead of his.

DIDN'T YOU FEEL SOMEWHAT CHEATED, HAVING TO SIGN HIS NAME AFTER ALL THE WORK YOU PUT INTO THE SET EACH WEEK?

FB: Well, yes really, because it was hard work drawing such a thing as "Living Desert", which was my first experience of what I'd call a NON-continuity strip. There was no flow from picture to picture.

Unfortunately the dates are not very specific, but at least we do know that at the same sort of time he did Carstairs, he also did some "Living Desert".

Mickey Mouse Weekly cover date June 19, 1954 issue contains Basil Reynolds’ last "True Life Adventures" in the series "The Living Desert". The following issue, cover date June 26, 1954, not only contains Bellamy’s first in the series, "True Life Adventures" - " The Living Desert", but it also features his last episode of "Monty Carstairs". Bellamy completed 6 episodes most of which are reproduced below

Also out of interest, John's further email to me:

Please take a look on http://www.2719hyperion.com/2007/11/desert-living-in-living-desert.html and compare the first frame(s) of Bellamy's last 'Living Desert' with the photo from the wasp and the tarantula...Did he work from stills from the documentary or not?

I know that he was presented with TV stills for other projects, so I don't think this is at all unreasonable


 

WARNING - Click these images for VERY large files - thanks to John Wigmans and Phil Rushton

Mickey Mouse Weekly August 22 1953
Basil Reynolds

 

Mickey Mouse Weekly June 12 1954
Basil Reynolds

 


Basil Reynolds

 

Mickey Mouse Weekly June 26 1954
Frank Bellamy #1

 

Mickey Mouse Weekly July 3 1954
Frank Bellamy #2

 

Mickey Mouse Weekly July 17 1954
Frank Bellamy #4

 

Mickey Mouse Weekly July 31 1954
Frank Bellamy #6 and last

 

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