The Art Of Modesty Blaise (book review).

March 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

Having reviewed The Book Palace’s ‘Illustrators’ magazine in recent months and I hope some of you who had a look at their website enough to know that they also have a market in original comicbook and newspaper strip art. As such, it would hardly be a surprise if there wasn’t a quantity of ‘Modesty Blaise’ strips included. Although it’s outside of my price range, an opportunity to see even these on the Net is a precious thing. However, publisher Geoff West went one better and has produced a limited 600 copy edition called ‘The Art Of Modesty Blaise’ which features all strips he had available as drawn/inked by Jim Holdaway, Enric Badia Romero, John M. Burns, Pat Wright and Neville Colvin.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

When I first saw book there, I thought that would be all it would contain. However, there is an introduction from Lawrence Blackmoor, who wrote the even more limited edition book ‘The Modesty Blaise Companion’, and histories of these artists and writer Peter O’Donnell himself as well as the strip story list. What is especially important is the extras. Seeing the original designs that Jim Holdaway used to capture both Modesty and Willie is pure gold. I can certainly understand why O’Donnell rejected Frank Hampson’s version seeing his three pencilled panels. Holdaway explored settings and relationships in his preliminaries and it does make me wonder if he chose Tarrant’s deputy, Jack Frazer, to look a little like O’Donnell himself. There are even some undialogued pages from ‘The Dark Angels’ that Romero drew for a Swedish graphic novel and was printed (with dialogue) in the American Comics Revue # 200. One can only hope that Titan Books will do a reprint of that after they finish the newspaper strips. Also from ‘Comics Revue’ are a selection of covers Romero did for them as well. On the front and back covers are some John M. Burns paintings although he seems to have forgotten that Willie Garvin couldn’t hit a barn standing on the inside with a pistol.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

 

Nevertheless, this book is going to be as completest as it can get and you will surely want to add it to your collection. If you are tempted to buy any of the remaining strips, there is a £25 voucher that can be deducted off any original art The Book Palace has for sale over £100 in cost. Remember this book is limited so don’t leave it too long before all the copies are gone.

GF Willmetts

February 2016

(pub: The Book Palace, 2014. 83 page illustrated squarebound softcover limited to 600 copies! Price: £20.00 (UK) so buy direct off of them. ISBN: 978-1-907081-26-28)

check out website: www.thebookpalace.com

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Category: Books, Illustration

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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