(1917-1976) UK artist of Comic strips. Highly talented, FB had a polished line style and refined colour sense, and his bold, forceful treatment of the human figure has influenced many prominent artists in the medium. His first job on leaving grammar school was in a local art studio, painting cinema posters. Following wartime service in the Royal Artillery (1939-1945) he did similar jobs before turning to comic strips, working for Mickey Mouse Weekly drawing Disney's Living Desert and Monty Carstairs (1953-1954). He went on to draw adaptations of King Arthur and his Knights (1955) and Robin Hood (1956-1957), among others, for the children's comic Swift, then took over the full-colour biographical strips on the back page of the boys' comic Eagle (1957-1959) and, on that comic's front page, Dan Dare (1959-1960), in part later collected as The Terra Nova Trilogy (graph coll 1994) and Project Nimbus and Other Stories (graph coll 1994). FB's other work of fantasy and sf interest included Heros the Spartan in Eagle, where he and Luis Bermejo alternated stories 1962-1965, The Ghost World (based on Harry Harrison's [1925-2012] Deathworld ) in Boys' World (1963-1964), Thunderbirds for TV Century 21 (1966-1969), a short adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1843) for Sunday Citizen (1966), a number of individual illustrations in Radio Times for various episodes of Dr Who (1971-1976; vt Dr, Who: Timeview graph coll 1985) and the daily newspaper strip Garth (1971-1976) in the Daily Mirror, reprinted in The Daily Mirror Book of Garth 1975 (graph coll 1975), The Daily Mirror Book of Garth 1976 (graph coll 1976), The Doomsmen (graph 1981), Bride of Jenghiz Khan (graph 1985), The Cloud of Balthus (graph coll 1985) and The Women of Galba (graph coll 1985). He was involved in the production of one episode of The Avengers, "The Winged Avenger" (1967), for which he both designed the Winged Avenger's costume and drew some comic-book pages that appear in the episode, which tells of a comics artist who insanely comes to believe he is the avenging Hero he has created.
FB was a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and received the Best Foreign Artist Award from the American Academy of Comic Book Arts (1972). In 1982 The UK Society of Strip Illustration (now the Comics Creators' Guild) instituted the Annual Frank Bellamy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Comics.
Other published collections of his work include High Command (graph coll 1981) and Fraser of Africa (graph coll 1990). [RT]
further reading: Long interview in Fantasy Advertiser Vol 3 #50 (1973).
Frank Alfred Bellamy