Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1966) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 90 1966. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. The front cover of the comic screamed, 'Nightmare Splashdown for Crippled Ship - Monster Attacks Thunderbird 3!' And here is Bellamy's brilliant double-page artwork to prove it! The ‘Thunderbirds’ logo is an unattached laser colour copy, as are all the word balloons and the original comic which are part of this lot. Bright, fresh Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins.

Thunderbirds art sells for £4550 in latest ComPal auction

Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1966) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 90 1966. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. The front cover of the comic screamed, 'Nightmare Splashdown for Crippled Ship - Monster Attacks Thunderbird 3!' And here is Bellamy's brilliant double-page artwork to prove it! The ‘Thunderbirds’ logo is an unattached laser colour copy, as are all the word balloons and the original comic which are part of this lot. Bright, fresh Pelikan inks on board. 28 x 20 ins.
Thunderbirds original double-page artwork (1966) drawn, painted and signed by Frank Bellamy for TV Century 21 No 90 1966. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive.

The Bob Monkhouse Archive featuring his collection of original artwork produced some record-breaking results in the latest auction at Comic Book Auctions – with a Frank Bellamy double page artwork for TV Century 21 breaking the record for any Thunderbirds piece sold in a ComPal auction with a sale price of £4550. 

Three consecutive strips of Garth for the Daily Mirror, all signed by Bellamy, also sold for £1200.

Three consecutive strips of Garth for the Daily Mirror by FRank Bellamy
Three consecutive strips of Garth for the Daily Mirror by FRank Bellamy

The combination of fresh-to-market high quality boards and Uncle Bob’s unrivalled provenance started with an Ally Sloper piece from 1900. The artwork by W F Thomas from yesteryear looking like it was drawn yesterday its ‘Vote For Sloper’ cover strongly endorsed at £720.

Ally Sloper artwork by W F Thomas
Ally Sloper artwork by W F Thomas

A Terry Wakefield-illustrated “Terry Thomas” strip for Film Fun in the 1950s fetched £270 and a Don Lawrence “Erik the Viking” artwork for Smash fetched £400.

The Trigan Empire” adventure series was one of the main reasons for the popularity of Look and Learn. Another was the fact that it was initially drawn by  Don Lawrence and a page by him fetched £420.

Trigan Empire original colour artwork drawn and painted by Don Lawrence from Look and Learn cover dated 28th February 1970 (later reprinted in Vulcan No 28 in 1976). Trigo and his arch-enemy, Zer Thorus, face the searing wilderness. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Gouache on board. 189 x 14 ins
Trigan Empire original colour artwork drawn and painted by Don Lawrence from Look and Learn cover dated 28th February 1970 (later reprinted in Vulcan No 28 in 1976). Trigo and his arch-enemy, Zer Thorus, face the searing wilderness. From the Bob Monkhouse Archive.

The auction house says they hope to offer more art from the Bob Monkhouse archive next year.

Other highlights of the auction included the sale of a complete year of The Beano for 1939, issues that heralded the first “Jack Flash” by Dudley Watkins, the first “Pansy Potter in Wonderland” by Jimmy Clark and the first “Horse that Jack Built” by Bill Holdroyd. The collection sold for £1520.

A bound volume of The Dandy from 1948 also contained several first appearances, notably “Raggy Muffin the Dandy Dog” by Jimmy Chrichton and “The Slave of the Magic Lamp” by Fred Sturrock, which magicked a six fold upper estimate £2550.

A Dudley Watkins “Biffo the Bear” cover for the Beano published in 1953 just reached its estimate of £1540, and a page of his The Broons art fetched £500.

Beano/Biffo The Bear original front cover artwork (1953) from The Beano No 551 Feb 7th 1953. Drawn and signed by Dudley Watkins. The Postman stuffs a cork in Biffo's trumpet but ends up posted in his own letterbox! This art is poster colour and ink on cartridge paper. There are some small sealed tears to lower margin with a small piece missing. 20 x 14 ins. ‘The Beano' header is a laser colour copy
Beano/Biffo The Bear original front cover artwork (1953) from The Beano No 551 Feb 7th 1953. Drawn and signed by Dudley Watkins.

A worn copy of the first issue of Commando – War Stories in Pictures missing its back cover commanded a hefty £310. ‘Walk – or Pay!’

Commando Issue One

Three original Charley’s War artworks by Joe Colquhoun revealed a terrible secret from the battle of the Somme in July 1916. The centenary of ‘The War to End All Wars’ resonated with our bidders and £2650 spirited these atmospheric pages away.

Charley's War three original artworks by Joe Colquhoun from Battle 615 (1984). The Battle of the Somme, July 1916. Charley and his mates have been taken prisoner and one of them reveals the terrible secret of the previous Christmas in flashback where the captain's treachery resulted in the Germans' deathly revenge. Three artworks, Indian ink on cartridge paper. 17 x 15 ins each
Charley’s War three original artworks by Joe Colquhoun from Battle 615 (1984). The Battle of the Somme, July 1916. Charley and his mates have been taken prisoner and one of them reveals the terrible secret of the previous Christmas in flashback where the captain’s treachery resulted in the Germans’ deathly revenge.

You can read the full “Market Report” here on Comic Book Auctions

Our apologies for including artwork from Garth not featured in this sale in an earlier version of this story

Published by

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

2 thoughts on “Thunderbirds art sells for £4550 in latest ComPal auction

  1. John,

    Not the highest price raised at auction for a Bellamy Thunderbirds double page spread – one sold on eBay for £5600 in 2014. I was following it at the time and it was a last minute bidding war (Two buyers probably each thinking they’d made a killer bid at the death and not expecting it to go that high).

    I located a link to a blog posted at the time:

    http://frankbellamy.blogspot.com/2014/05/original-art-on-ebay-thunderbirds-from.html

    Regards,

    Mike

    1. Thanks Mike. The price fetched was the highest price paid for such art in a Comic Book Auctions Sale – I’ve updated the copy accordingly to reflect that.

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