Monday, December 6, 2021

Andy Richardson:

Addicted to Comics

Can’t give up the habit? Neither can he! This week, welcome ComicBase columnist Andy Richardson as he dishes up a brief introduction to the tough-as-nails-British-import, Modesty Blaise, and comments on the progression of her comic-cousin, James Bond, from the world of British comics to Hollywood movie-making.

MODESTY BLAISE: THE HELL-MAKERS

Writer Peter O’Donnell once realized that there were a lot of action/adventure, espionage yarns in the world — but very few starring a woman.

Thus he introduced Modesty Blaise, the tough yet beautiful star of these adventures, into British pop culture in the 1960s. In the daily newspaper strip, a woman got to have the kind of big, sprawling adventure that typically only men had enjoyed. This oversized collection offers three stories, most notably the gripping title tale in which Blaise’s partner, Willie Gavin, is kidnapped and it will take all of her wits and ability to save him.

“The blueprint for the ass-kicking femme,” said one review, and these stories make that fact abundantly clear. The collection also includes interviews, original art, and a history of the newspaper strip.

 

 

 

 

JAMES BOND 007: DR. NO

The James Bond movie franchise drifted a little bit from the harder-edged tone of the Ian Fleming novels, but off the screen, 007 lives on pretty much as he was originally imagined.

Bond remains part of the popular culture, both in novels by other authors like John Gardner and in newspaper serializations of some of his greatest adventures. This oversized graphic novel collects those newspaper comic strip adaptations of Dr. No, Diamonds are Forever, and From Russia, With Love, three of Fleming’s greatest novels.

This collection alsoincludes a narrative history of the character in print, a foreword by a former “Bond girl,” and a wealth of behind the scenes information.

Andy Richardson is a freelance writer and editor who has been reading and writing about comics for far longer than he can believe at this point. Andy can be reached via e-mail at richardsonag@earthlink.net. Please use “ComicBase” as your subject line.

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