Sunday 31 January 2016

Added to my collection: CARTE BLANCHE white signed edition

Added to my collection now is the first edition of 2011 James Bond Novel CARTE BLANCHE written by Jeffery Deaver.

I have not yet read the book but I know from fellow James Bond fans that this is not supposed to be one of the best books. This is also one of two reasons that I have not been in a hurry to get this book to the collection. The other reason is that Jeffery Deavers signature is such a lame signature that anyone can fake it. What you cant fake is the FOYLES sticker to put on your book (well you can but you will never get your money back).

When this book was released in 2011 many different versions where made trying to suck more money out of us fans. This way of treating us fans upset me. I might get the black version (same cover but white has shifted to black) if the price is right but it is nothing I am hunting.

The white version cost £19:99 when it was released and then it was signed. 5 years later I bought it on Ebay paying the exact same price plus £10 for postage to Sweden. A really great price but it also tell us something. The value of used James Bond books is not high if they are not early editions of the original Fleming books.

The reason that I have not yet read the book is that no Swedish publisher ever bought it so it has never been published in Sweden.

What is your comments on this book? Something to look forward to or...?

No exiting signature in my world and very easy to fake. 

Friday 29 January 2016

Rare original James Bond painting sold today!

Sold today at auction is a rare piece of an Ian Fleming connected painting.

The below painting was drawn by Richard Harvey and is called Tatiana. She is off course the female lead from the novel (and film) called From Russia With Love. In the mirror above hear head James Bond can be spotted.

The drawing was made for the book and magazine company called Readers Digest.

The drawing is said to have been used during the 1980's but when I search the net for any picture of the book I fail to find it at all.

The painting is made with Chalk and airbrush and the size is 394x559 mm; 15 1/2x22 inches

Auction house Swann Auction Galleries estimated that it would sell for between $250-300 but the actual realized price became $594. I was not bidding on this item. did any of this blogs readers bid?

You can see the lot here.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Here is the true face of James Bond

Over the last 54 years the face of James Bond have changed many times. Even the James Bond character has changed to fit the actor playing him on screen. From the never smiling Timothy Dalton to the always smiling Roger Moore. 

But within the books there have always been one James Bond and he has always looked the same. The thing is that if you have never read the first novel by Ian Fleming called Casino Royale then you have mist out on the structure of Bonds face because it is only here you can find the true face of James Bond.

On page 49 in the Casino Royale novel you can read:

"He is very good looking. He reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless in his..."

And on page 66 the description continues:

"As he tied his thin double-ended, black satin tie, he paused for a moment and examined himself levelly in the mirror. His grey-blu eyes looked calmly back with a hint of ironical inquiry and the short lock of black hair which would never stay in place slowly subsided to form a thick comma above his right eyebrow. Whit the thin vertical scar down his right cheek the general effect was faintly piratical. Not much of Hoagy Carmichael there thought Bond, as he filled a flat light gunmetal box with fifty of the Morland Cigarettes with the triple gold band". 

And that's it. Thats all you can find about James Bond's apperence within the 14 books by Ian Fleming.

So who was this Hoagy Carmichael then as you can see to the right.

Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for composing the music for "Stardust", "Georgia on My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.
American composer and author Alec Wilder wrote of Carmichael in American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900–1950 that he was the "most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented" of the hundreds of writers composing pop songs in the first half of the 20th century.

You can read more on Wikipedia about Hoagy Carmichael here.

The face of Hoagy Carmichael was later used on the cover of the the James Bond comic PERMISSION TO DIE released in 1989. 

Monday 25 January 2016

I got a sad email from Canada

As a Christmas present to the blogs readers I wrote a blog post with a link to the full Ian Fleming Interview made in 1964 just a few months before he sadly died.

You can find that blog post here.

In that blog post I promised to give you any news I had in my search for a possibility to buy the interview on bluray, just to make sure that we could still watch this video even if CBC decided to take it down from the internet.

So I sent an email to the Senior media librarian at CBC and sadly this is what he replied.

Hello Stephan,

Thanks very much for your request but I'm sorry to say that we don't have dvd copies of the interview for sale.
There is also third party material involved with the item that is unavailable.
Thanks for the interest and good luck with the blog.
So the hunt goes on. I will try to get hold of information on who actually owns the right to this interview. in the opening of the show there is a logo with the word EXPLORATIONS. Does anybody know who owned that company or if it is a programme series? As soon as I make progress I will inform you again. 

Do you recognise this logo? comment below or send me an email.


Sunday 24 January 2016

The magazine covers for VARGR issue 3

A few weeks back Dynamite Entertainment in the US released their third out of six continuation comics called VARGR written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Jason Masters.

The first issue of this comic was released in 19 different covers and the second issue was released in seven different covers. The third and the latest issue was only released in two different covers.

Since I no longer is to familiar with comics and how their release pattern is nowadays I was afraid that is was lack of sales for the comic that made the amount of covers less and less with each new issue. So I asked my comic retailer about this and he said that it is quite common that the first release of a new comic have lots of different designs to use as marketing. So (as we say in Sweden) there should be no danger on the roof.

This made me check out the sales figures for VARGR during December and according to this web page VARGR had the 128 spot of of almost 400 comics during December with a total sales of 21 254 issues of the comic. I do not know if thats a good number or not. My guess is that this is the sales figure from Dynamite to resellers so there is no guarantee that these was actually sold to end customers.

Ian Fleming Publications has said that they are planing for a new James Bond comic adventure and I sure hope they will stick to that plan.

I have not yet read the story. I am waiting until I have all six comics at home to sit down and enjoy them all at once.

Below you will find the two covers that was released for issue 3.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Now were did they get this idea?

I had the pleasure today of visiting a pre screening of TRUMBO today.

The film premiered in October last year in the US and in February this year in the UK.

The film is about Dalton Trumbo, a famous screenwriter in Hollywood who got into reel trouble for being a communist during the 1940.
I dont want to give you more info on the film because that might ruin the screening for you. But if you like me love film making a little bit more then others, then this is the film for you.

But this blog post is not about the film itself. It is about the marketing campaign that A+P put together for US distribution company Bleecker Street Media. Because when I first saw the marketing campaign and its two different movie posters I could only think of one man. Ian Fleming! For you who, just like me have enjoyed pictures of Ian Fleming for many years must feel the same? I see it as a nice homage.

A+P just must have looked at pictures of Ian Fleming when they decided what route to take with the ad capaign.

Look below and be the judge yourself.

Note that the white tux poster for SPECTRE came out in Sep 2015 and the white tux poster for TRUMBO came out in October. Coincidence? If you had looked at Ian Fleming and copied his style you could do it once again with James Bond as well...

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Today is the TRUE birthday of James Bond

Today is the true birthday of James Bond. and below you can find out why. I hope you all celebrate this is style. Me myself is celebrating this be rereading Casino Royale for the third time.

The following text is from page 189 in John Pearsons THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING.

"James Bond was born at Goldeneye on the morning of the third Tuesday of January 1952, when Ian Fleming had just finished breakfast and had ten more weeks of his forty-three years as a bachelor still to run. He had already had his swim out to the reef, and he was wearing white shorts, a coloured beach shirt from Antonio's in Falmouth, and black hide sandals. He came up the steps from the garden while (his housekeeper) Violet was clearing away the remains of breakfast, shut the door of the big living room , closed the jalousies, and settled himself down at the brown roll-top desk with his oxidized gold cigarette case , his twenty-year-old Imperial portable, and a ream of best quality folio typing paper he had bought at a shop on Madison Avenue ten days earlier". 

He had already decided that his main character should be named James Bond. (and you can read the reason here). Apart from the name he had no notes and had made no preparations for his story.

"He simply began to type in his cool, big, shaded room, and for the next seven weeks he kept at it steadily. Every morning between nine and twelve, the sound of the machine echoed through the still house. There were no distractions.
Around midday the noise of typing would cease and Fleming would come out of the house and sit yawning and blinking in the strong sunlight by the cliff. After he had eaten he slept for an hour or. At five he returned to his desk to read through what he had written before putting the pages into the blue manilla folder in the bottom hand left drawer of the desk"

And later the following year Casino Royale was released by Jonathan Cape. And the novel started with the now famous line:

The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.

Just so you know, The name of this blog THE SECRET AGENT is off course the name of the first chapter of the below book.

Monday 18 January 2016

My 30 different editions of CASINO ROYALE

I have quite a few James Bond book...

A few days back I gave the Facebook readers of The Ian Fleming Foundation the chance to decide what I was supposed to read after I had finished  reading THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING. A book I have written a blog post about here.

I must be honest and say that I longed to read a book about the making about the James Bond films but you wanted something else. I had decided to read the James Bond novels by Fleming all over again. I must confess and say that must of them have I only read once and that was more then 20 years ago. At that time I also read them in Swedish loosing some of the prose of Fleming that I was not mature for.

So when the voting was done by the readers CASINO ROYALE stood as a clear winner and I started reading the book yesterday.

I have many different editions of Casino Royale including all Swedish editions. As you can see on the above photo I have four different copies of the Jonathan Cape "queen of spades edition" and the earliest of them is from 1957 and that is an new edition to my collection. The three others will soon be fore sale here on the blog or on Ebay (I will get back to that later)

Below you can see some of my Casino Royale book collection. All pictures are from the books of my own collection.

Witch is your favourite?


With more to come if the cover speaks to me!

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