Lost Visions: Frank Bellamy’s unfinished King Solomon’s Mines

"King Solomon's Mines" Episode Three by Frank Bellamy

“King Solomon’s Mines” Episode Three by Frank Bellamy

Over on Comic Art Fans, there’s an opportunity to spend £5000 on a comic strip that was never published, drawn by “Dan Dare” and “Thunderbirds” artist Frank Bellamy.

Commissioned by the original Eagle, “King Solomon’s Mines” was sadly abandoned in favour or another strip, leaving Bellamy’s many fans to wonder just what they missed out on to this day.

"King Solomon's Mines" Episode One by Frank Bellamy

“King Solomon’s Mines” Episode One by Frank Bellamy

"King Solomon's Mines" Episode Two by Frank Bellamy

“King Solomon’s Mines” Episode Two by Frank Bellamy

Believed to have been drawn sometime between August 1961 and March 1962, the proposed series was scrapped after the editorial team felt another African strip was too much. Three spreads were drawn and each strip will have taken one week to produce.

On sale is Episode Three. According to seller Terry Doyle, who is also selling his original Modesty Blaise sample by Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson the strip was  intended for Eagle magazine, as a replacement strip for “Fraser of Africa”, but aborted when the editorial team decided not to go with two consecutive African-based series. Instead, Bellamy was commissioned to produce the acclaimed “Montgomery of Alamein” strip, written by Clifford Makins, which ran in the Eagle comic from Volume 13:10 – 13:27 (10th March 1962 -7th July 1962).

Measuring pproximately 20″ x 12″, the artwork is in excellent bright condition on heavy CS10 illustration board.

At one point the seller owned all three episodes of this strip. It looks fantastic and I’m only sorry that there’s only three episodes.

• Check out the “King Solomon’s Mines” art by Frank Bellamy on sale here on Comic Art Fans

• Norman Boyd’s excellent Frank Bellamy Checklist Blog has a feature on this unpublished strip here

The Illustrated Comic Journal #Issue 31 had an article “Frank Bellamy’s King Solomon’s Mines: unpublished strips by Terry Doyle”

Read our item on Frank Hampson’s take on Modesty Blaise

This article first appeared on the Boys Adventure Comics blog and is reprinted with permission 

Richard Sheaf is a longtime contributor to downthetubes and has written for numerous magazines about British comics.



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