Contribution to Bellamy's HEROS reprint?

Got questions? He's got answers!

Contribution to Bellamy's HEROS reprint?

Postby XIII » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:43 am

BOOK PALACE is preparing a deluxe reprint of Frank Bellamy's HEROS THE SPARTAN for a December 2012 release, and they have recruited some big names to contribute to the package: ... ad-of.html

"I'm very pleased to be able to announce that comics legends John Byrne, Dave Gibbons and Walt Simonson have all graciously offered to contribute their memories and appreciation of Frank Bellamy's legendary Heros the Spartan comic strip. The three gentlemen explain a little of what Bellamy's famous creation means to them and the influence it has had on their own outstanding and award winning work.

We are honoured to receive Messrs Byrne, Gibbons and Simonson's contributions for our Heros project and we hope that their insights will enable readers far and wide to more fully appreciate the genius of Frank Bellamy's creation."

Considering that Bellamy is at the top of your "Inspiration and influences" list:

but you're not exactly Book Palace's #1 fan:

"I'm pretty disappointed that after the best part of twenty-five years it hasn't been possible to do a book devoted to Frank Bellamy. But what disappoints me more is that Frank's widow Nancy has received no money from the recent Book Palace publications. I had assumed she would even, if Frank had signed away all of his creators rights to the reprinted art, because Frank Bellamy's name featured above the title-- so the books were trading on his reputation. In fact, Nancy hadn't been sent a Comp' and was completely unaware of the reprints until I mentioned it in passing recently. Dez Skinn contacted the publisher and arranged for Nancy to be sent a copy of the three books. So well done Dez."


Would you "graciously offer to contribute your memories and appreciation of Frank Bellamy's legendary Heros the Spartan comic strip" like Byrne, Gibbons and Simonson, or decline any hypothetical invitation from BP?
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Contribution to Bellamy's HEROS reprint?

Postby XIII » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:24 pm

The plot thickens. This is from the editor of the book, Peter Richardson: ... 2001579777

" fact we are in communication with Alan at the moment."


I really hope a collaboration can be arranged between both parties, despite past differences, because the book is going to be stunning and if it could feature an Alan Davis' eulogy, it would be the icing on the cake. ... s-too.html

Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Contribution to Bellamy's HEROS reprint?

Postby Alan Davis » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:12 pm

I appreciate your enthusiasm but you’re building a case on speculation to challenge a situation that doesn’t exist from a perspective I don’t share.

Firstly, I have no axes to grind with Book Palace. I suspected they had treated Nancy Bellamy badly and said so. I never spoke to anyone at Book Palace directly but was told they hadn’t made a profit so couldn’t pay a royalty. They did send Nancy a comp which meant a lot to her. Nancy regarded herself as a business partner to Frank (which I appreciate because my career wouldn’t have survived without my wife’s unwavering support) Being remembered, seeing Frank’s work is still appreciated, really lifted Nancy’s spirit during a particularly difficult time. That said, I never expect any ‘business’ to treat creators fairly-- it’s never good business to share profits with the people who actually do the work! What really disappointed me were the enthusiasts and fans who contributed to the various Bellamy reprints without ever questioning if Nancy would receive any benefit. I wonder at the motivations of those who claim to support and defend creator’s rights yet are content to have their name attached to a book that is a blatant injustice to the creator’s widow.

Second. I have frequently declined to contribute forewords, afterwords, whatever, unless I have something worthwhile to offer. I understand a publisher’s desire to include a ‘celeb’ name to help promote a book and I appreciate a ‘celeb’ might want to help promote a book from genuine enthusiasm and love of the material. But, I’ve seen one or two creators become victims of their own hype and I have no desire to become one of those rent-a-quote types who appear to leap at every opportunity for prestige-by-association or to see an opinion made fact through the power of print. The bottom line is that I never met Frank Bellamy so have no information to offer, other than my personal reminiscence as a fan, which is of no more value than a lung full of air. IF the real reason for ‘extras’ is to include a historical context or insight, Frank’s son David Bellamy should be the first choice. There are many ‘experts’ who have devoted themselves to cataloguing or summarising the artists career but for my money Paul Holder, who was a good friend and aide to Nancy for many years’ and Alan Woolcombe, who also befriended Nancy and chronicled some of the anecdotes she shared, have much of real value to offer.

Third, and perhaps the crux of the issue. I have possession of some unique archive material which I rescued from Nancy’s bin almost thirty years ago. I took the photos and pieces of sketches because the alternative was to let them be destroyed. BUT, I never regarded them as mine and always secured Nancy’s permission before using them in any way. When Nancy died I sent her son, David, a note asking if he’d like me to return the pieces and I wouldn’t presume to pass them on without David’s express permission.

I am looking forward to seeing the Heros book and I’ll buy a copy when it is published because I’m a Frank Bellamy/Heros fan.
Alan Davis
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:13 pm

Return to Ask Alan!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest