Barry Windsor-Smith · Frank Bellamy · Heads Up!

Heads Up: Tully and Bellamy’s “Heros the Spartan” in 2011?

Here are two sample pages from Heros the Spartan, written by Tom Tully and drawn by Frank Bellamy:

And here are the details of the forthcoming collection from Titan Books; my source is the Amazon.co.uk online catalogue:

Heros the Spartan [Hardcover]
Tom Tully (Author)

RRP: £12.57
Price: £9.59 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions
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# Hardcover: 128 pages
# Publisher: Titan Books (UK) (3 May 2011)
# Language English
# ISBN-10: 1848568932
# ISBN-13: 978-1848568938

There’s also a listing for Heros the Spartan at Amazon.ca with a ridiculous publication date of “Dec 31 2035,” but the ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 numbers are the same as in the listing at Amazon.co.uk, so I think Bellamy fans have reason to believe that a collection really is in the works.

BTW, if you’re looking for a heavy-weight endorsement of Frank Bellamy’s work on Heros the Spartan, you need look no further than RCN favourite, Barry Windsor-Smith, who said in an interview with Comic Book Artist magazine in 1998, “I was quite awestruck by Bellamy, his Heros the Spartan was simply magnificent.[…] Britain had a clutch of exceptionally gifted comics artists during the ’50s and ’60s but the subject matter of the strips often disinterested me. I liked Dan Dare and Heros, I think that’s all. I named the lead male character in my ‘Young Gods’ series Heros in homage to Bellamy.”

Given his fond memories and admiring assessment of Heros the Spartan, I would imagine that BWS was pleased to be profiled, along with Frank Bellamy (and eight other comics luminaries), by P. R. Garriock in his 1978 book, Masters of Comic Book Art. As I recall, one of the highlights of Garriock’s book was the inclusion of an episode of Heros that had been “exhibited in New York in 1972 when Bellamy received the award for Best Foreign Artist from the Academy of Comic Book Art” (Garriock, p. 38); a monumental battle sequence, the strip was reproduced in full-colour across two full pages — 40 and 41 — of what was a 9-by-12-inch trade paperback.

The other artists profiled by Garriock included Richard Corben, Robert Crumb, Philippe Druillet, Will Eisner, Jean Giraud, Harvey Kurtzman, Victor Moscoso, and Wallace Wood.