Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I took part in a Dan Schneider interview

Some time ago I was contacted by Dan Schneider. A journalist who has done YouTube interviews since the early days of internet.

Dan does long in-depth interviews on different subjects and this time he wanted to discuss James Bond.

The three contributors to this interview was Jeremy Black who has written The Politics of James Bond, Skip Willman who has co written Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007 and myself, Stephan Bäckman, writer of this blog.

It was an interesting evening and I had to hang around in my sons bedroom with bad WI-FI connection to make sure they were not heard.

You can see the entire interview here! but please bare in mind that English is not my native tongue.

The Politics of James Bond can be ordered here

Ian Fleming & James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007 can be ordered here

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Your chance to ask Steve Cole anything you want!

With only a few days left to the release of RED NEMESIS, The final Young Bond novel by author Steve Cole the James Bond - The Secret Agent blog has been granted an interview with the author to be published the day before the book is released. And as always, I wish to turn to the readers for help.

What questions do you have for Steve Cole about the four Young Bond books he has written. This is our last and final chance to ask Steve how he landed the job and what the experiences have been during these three years. Or maybe you wish to know something particular from the books and why he choose that path.

Please comment below or on our Facebook page with your questions and I will be happy to pass them forward to Steve. I just cant wait for this interesting interview to take place.

fire away folk's!

If you haven't ordered the last and final Young Bond novel RED NEMESIS make sure to book the hard cover edition that will be signed by Steve. You can order it here on Amazon UK for only £13.48.

Hardback limited edition UK.

Paperback edition UK.

Monday, 17 April 2017

My entry for the FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE competition

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the release of the FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE novel (1957) Ian Fleming Publications has a contest that ends tonight at the end of the Easter holidays (2017-04-17).
The contest is open to everybody and the task is to conduct your very own cover design for the novel.

The first price winner will receive the limited Bentley edition of Casino Royale that cost £750 upon release (but was recently sold on Ebay for less then £200)

The second to forth runner up will receive the fantastic Folio Society From Russia with Love edition that has been signed by artist Fay Dalton.

And after that there will be ten raffle prices containing of a brand new copy of the From Russia with Love paperback. 

You can read all their rules here.

All entries will be judged on accuracy to the From Russia with Love novel and imagination and aesthetically pleasing design.

So I am not a graphics designer but I did feel I wanted to take part in this contest just for the fun of it. Below you can see my design and some comments on why I decided on this design.

My first plan was to take the Cape first edition cover and remake it in a photo instead of a drawing. But it was to troublesome to get hold of a revolver that looked like the one used on the first edition and time was short.

Secondly I felt that the most common used designs were those of the Orient Express, Istanbul and Tatiana Romanova. Therefore I did not want to use that and went for the below design instead.

1.  First of all I wanted to use the Ian Fleming Publications logo highly visible. I really like the logo and feel that it should have a proud place on the cover.

2. The font for the title is called Typewriter-Serial and gives the book a "classic" feel without using the word classic. The font is used almost across all text on the cover.

3. SMERSH stands for SMIERT SPIONAM which translates to "Death to spies" used on the paper in the typewriter. I wanted to use the translation to make the book more accessible to the common reader and not just us Bond fans who knows what Smiert Spionam is. I also wanted to use the "007" somewhere on the cover.

4. The picture of the typewriter is partly the order to kill Bond but also to represent the decoding machine that Smersh use to trick Bond in Istanbul.

5. On the left side is a quote from the book that is accessible to anybody who has seen a James Bond film which makes it highly recognisable to the common man. On the right side is an early picture of James Bond that Tatiana Romanova has fallen in love with in the novel. The photo is of Sean Connery that (I believe) was taken before Dr. No started filming in 1961 to promote Connery as Bond. It is also one of the few things that gives this cover design some colour.
I know Ian Fleming Publications does not use the face of James Bond on their covers and that Sean Connery would not approve of the use of his face (if not Eon still has all rights to this photo) but I see the picture as a time related piece just like the typewriter font.

5. At the bottom of the design it says "a James Bond novel" in the Calibri font. This is planned to be used on all the novels just like the top IFP logo. The font could then maybe be used on the spine to make all 14 books appear in sync.

So there you have it. Let me know in the comment section below what you think and maybe what you would have done different.

Best of luck to all entries!  

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Steve Cole has signed the limited edition of Red Nemesis

The final Young Bond novel Red Nemesis by Steve Cole has now been to the printers.

The novel will be released in a hardback edition containing extra material not found in the paperback or Ebook edition. The Hardback will also have the entire print run signed by Steve Cole himself.

Steve uploaded two photos on his Twitter account the other day from the time of signing. One can just wonder how it feels to sign an enormous amount of books in one day. The wrist might need a vacation after that.

My personal opinion is that the hardback edition of Red Nemesis has the best cover artwork of all Young Bond books. I can totally understand how exited I would get if I would have been 12 years old.

Below is the official synopsis for Red Nemesis.
James is on home soil when he receives a package with a message from beyond the grave. The package’s mysterious contents put James at the heart of a long-running plot that, if it runs its course, will paint London’s streets red with blood. Not only will James have to fight to stay alive and save the country he loves, but to clear the Bond family name, which he holds so dear. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and James doesn’t know who he can trust . . .

The book will be 320 pages.

If you have not already secured your copy of the limited hardback edition you can do so here on Amazon UK. The book seems not to be published in the US at this point.

Below photos have been borrowed from Steve Cole's official Twitter account.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

New blog header by artist Rapha Lobosco

The very talented Rapha Lobosco who is the artist behind the current James Bond comic series by Dynamite Entertainment titled BLACK BOX has kindly donated one of his cover drawings to this blog. 

Rapha Lobosco is collaborating with writer Benjamin Percy in creating the new story called BLACK BOX and issue one has already been released and issue two will be out later this month (read April 2017). 

I have been in contact with Rapha Lobosco begging him to follow in the footsteps of other artists who has drawn a header for my blog. Rapha is off course very busy working on Black Box but did not want to disappoint the fans so he sent the cover he did for the first issue of their Bond story. 

I then had to modify the drawing a bit to fit the header space for the blog to make it look more appropriate. As you can see I have moved Bond somewhat in the drawing. 

It is really nice that many of the famous James Bond artists have participated in my wish to make them come up with their own ideas for a blog header. 

Let's wait and see who will be the next artist to put their golden touch on this blog. 

Below is the blog header and the cover for the first Black Box issue it originated from. 

You can buy Black Box issue one on Amazon US here

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Rare Ian Fleming photo has surfaced

It was when I was scanning Ebay that I found a picture of Ian Fleming that I had never seen before.

The below photo is from an article about one of Ian Flemings mistresses in The Daily Telegraph that was on sale on March 18, 2017 in the UK.

 The photo seems to be from the time Fleming worked at the Admiralty as a Commander.

If any of you have seem this photo of Ian Fleming before then please let me know in the comments below.

You can buy the magazine online at Pressreader for only £0.99

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

How Tiffany Case got her name

Nowadays when there is a new James Bond film out all characters needs to be invented with very Bondish names. Something that Mike Myers has played with wonderfully in the Austin Powers series.
But the early films all had names from the James Bond books written by Ian Fleming.

Tiffany Case was the name for the girl in the 1956 novel Diamonds Are Forever.

And it is revealed in the last third of the book, when Bond asks her why she was given such a special name.
And the reason I got called Tiffany is because when I was born, dear father Case was so sore I wasn’t a boy he gave my mother a thousand bucks and a powder case from Tiffany’s and walked out. Joined the Marines. In the end he got killed at Iwo Jima. So my mother just called me Tiffany Case and set about earning a living for us both. Started with a string of call-girls and then got more ambitious. Maybe that doesn’t sound so good to you?’ She looked at him half defensively and half pleadingly.
In the world as of today parents seem to give their children all types of names. Especially names from Film and TV. But back in the 50's and 60's Ian Fleming must have been in a league of his own coming up with all these fantastic names within the literally James Bond.

Below is the cover drawing for the Scandinavian James Bond comic that was distributed between 1965 and 1995 by Semic Press. Many of them with fantastic scenes from the James Bond books. The below one is of course from Diamonds Are Forever that was titled Death Plays False in Sweden and Death and Diamonds in Denmark. Cover scan is borrowed from Bond O Rama.

If you wish to read Diamonds are Forever you can buy it at Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. 

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