Apollo 11 Illustration from the Daily Mirror by Frank Bellamy, published 11th July 1969. Via the Frank Bellamy Checklist

Apollo 11 at 50: The First Moon Landing, illustrated by Frank Bellamy

Apollo 11 Illustration from the Daily Mirror by Frank Bellamy, published 11th July 1969. Via the Frank Bellamy Checklist
Apollo 11 Illustration from the Daily Mirror by Frank Bellamy, published 11th July 1969. Via the Frank Bellamy Checklist

Americans would have us believe that Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon on 20 July 1969 because they saw it happen in their late evening. However, 50 years ago today, British audiences saw it happen in the early hours of 21st July 1969.

10 years ago on downthetubes, Jeremy Briggs wrote a 40th anniversary day-by-day celebration series of articles marking the Apollo 11 mission, featuring contemporary British comics and illustrations – and you can read his 21st July 1969 entry here, taking a look at two very different vintage Apollo-inspired lunar models.

Today’s lead 50th anniversary celebration image comes from the pages of the Daily Mirror, 11th July 1969, art created by the legendary Dan Dare, Garth and Radio TimesDoctor Who artist Frank Bellamy.

One of Frank Bellamy's draft "moon landing" artworks for the Daily Mirror, drawn in 1969
One of Frank Bellamy’s draft “moon landing” artworks for the Daily Mirror, drawn in 1969

As ever, researcher Norman Boyd has carefully documented all of Frank’s “moon landing work” on his incredible Frank Bellamy Checklist Blog, which I urge you to check out, if you haven’t already – and comic artist Alan Davis has some moon-related Bellamy artworks on his web site, too.

The Times, 21st July 1969 - Man lands on the moon. From my scrapbook of the occasion
The Times, 21st July 1969 – Man lands on the moon. From my scrapbook of the occasion

WEB LINKS

Art by Jack Kirby and Al Williamson for the cover of Race for the Moon, #3, Harvey Comics, 1958
Art by Jack Kirby and Al Williamson for the cover of Race for the Moon, #3, Harvey Comics, 1958

NASA: Apollo 11 in Real Time, 50 Years Later

The Space Race from Audible on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

• “Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration” Gallery on Flickr

The Race into Space Tea Cards – available from the London Cigarette Card Company

NASA: Frequently Asked Questions about Apollo

 

 

 

 

 

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. 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.

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