Wednesday 27 April 2016

Will we meet in Kent fellow James Bond fans?

Today I have booked plane tickets from Station S (Sweden) to the HQ in London and I am so looking forward to my quick in and out trip in a couple of weeks.

The reason for my trip is the Ian Fleming event at the Whitstable Literary Festival at Lecture Theatre, Whitstable Community College, Bellevue Road, on Friday, May 13th.
The evening will most certainly be a most memorable one with not less then four speakers with connection to the James Bond / Ian Fleming world.

Below is the program that I will attend:

Friday 13 May, 4pm-5pm

Steve Cole introduces his first explosive Young Bond adventure, ‘Shoot to Kill’ giving a unique insight into 1930s gadgets, gangsters and Hollywood. Join Steve is this interactive event as he explains how he became such a fan of Ian Fleming’s super-spy, shares the research behind his creation, introduces new characters, including a sinister villain, and tests the audience’s spy skills to ask ‘How Bond Are You?’ Steve Cole has written the bestselling ‘Astrosaurs’ adventures. In 2013 he took over from Charlie Higson as author of the Young Bond series exploring the life of the teenage James Bond.

Friday 13 May, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Andrew Lycett Sportsman, womanizer, naval commander, world-traveler, and spy, the creator of the Cold War’s archetypal secret agent was infinitely more complex and interesting than his iconic fictional character, Agent 007. Ian Fleming’s wide-ranging and exciting life inevitably provided the plausible backdrop for his Bond novels. The day after his wedding to Ann O’Neill, Fleming sat down to write his first book, ‘Casino Royale’, in order to soothe his nerves. Thus began the long line of Bond novels for which he would earn lasting fame. 
Andrew Lycett is one of the foremost experts on Fleming’s life and work. He is a biographer and journalist whose other subjects include Wilkie Collins and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Friday 13 May 7.45pm – 8.45pm
Matthew Parker

Historian Matthew Parker reveals the untold story of Ian Fleming in Jamaica, his house Goldeneye, and the creation of James Bond. Amid Jamaica’s beauty, Fleming immersed himself in the jet-set society that clung to its imperial past. Rubbing shoulders with Noel Coward and Errol Flynn, he was part of a world of dangerous glamour that would infuse all his Bond novels. The top 10 Sunday Times Best seller ‘Goldeneye’ is a revealing exploration of Ian Fleming’s life and work.
Matthew Parker spent part of his childhood in the West Indies. He has written five books and contributes to The Literary Review, and BBC History Magazine.

Friday 13 May 9.00pm – 10.00pm
WhitLit is honoured to welcome Fionn Morgan, the daughter of Ann Fleming and her first husband Shane, 3rd Lord O’Neill. Fionn was 16 when her mother married Ian Fleming and has a wise stance on her step- father’s life, work, loves and outlooks. Ann Fleming was the last great political hostess, a letter writer of rare wit with close friends including Noel Coward, Evelyn Waugh, Lucian Freud and Cecil Beaton. Her long love affair with Ian Fleming started before her second marriage to newspaper baron Lord Rothermere and after their divorce Fleming married Ann in 1952.  Fionn will reveal to Andrew Lycett growing up in a fascinating family and spending time with Ian Fleming and her mother in Kent.

Authors will sell and sign their books after their lecture.

Please let me know if any of you blog readers will be in the audience that night. I would be delighted to shake your hand.

You can read more and book your tickets here.

Monday 25 April 2016 might have the highest postage rates possible

Sorry for this blog post but I am angry today. 

One of the worlds largest online auction houses HERITAGE AUCTIONS sometimes sells James Bond books. They are located in USA. And a few months back I won an auction for an Ian Fleming book. The book itself was expensive and cost me $1 250 (I will get back to the book I bought in a later blog post). But that was not my main problem. The problem was postage.
They said in an email that they would charge me with postage once they new the true cost for postage.

Last week I was contacted my mail saying that they were planing too withdraw $74 from my account. Now HA is in the US and I live in Sweden but $74 for the freight is outrageous. 

Since then HA have keep sending me catalogues with currier that I have not asked for. I have emailed them saying that I do not want any catalogues but they keep sending them anyway.

So I contacted them and the sales representative first said "but you paid $1250 for the book?". Well that should not have anything to do with postage and to that she agreed.

They then said that the postage was for 2 lbs but the book I ordered only weight 0,6lbs. Was packaging 1,4lbs?

A few months back I also ordered the Sylvester Stallone auction book. For that I paid $37 for the book and $25 for postage. That book weighs more then five times as much and has 506 full size pages.

It is wired that HA charges so much for postage. This will only mean that I will not be a returning customer. It is expensive as it is with +25% tax ontop of the sales price.

Have you ever been f**ked with postage? If so, comment below. 

Wednesday 20 April 2016

The final issue of VARGR is finally here

Today we finally see the release of the Dynamite Entertainment James Bond comic VARGR. It was first set to be released on April 6 but was postponed to April 20. As I have written before this seems to be quite common in the comics industry. Why Dynamite Entertainment dont wait three extra months to release the comics so they can be certain that they can deliver on the advertised release date is for me a question. I believe the answer is that the work they order needs to be cashed in as soon as possible. No money should ever sit and wait.
I just dont think this is the way to treat loyal customers or people working with the comic.

What if Eon Productions failed to deliver a James Bond film on time?
I work daily with sales of films and we do have the same issue in our industry. But when a date is set the industry make sure to deliver the film on time.

Anyhow I am so glad that during the weekend I can sit down with my complete set of VARGR comics and read them for the first time. I have waited to read the story until I had all comics and it do look so great. I absolutely love the drawing above by Jason Masters. Its like he has captured a younger Bond then normal but still very though. Somewhere around 28 years old instead of the regular 35-40 years old.

During March Dynamite Entertainment sold a little more then 15 000 copies of VARGR taking the comic to the #126 on the comic charts in the US.  

I am happy to mention that both Warren Ellis and Jason Masters have received renewed confidence and will release a new James Bond story called EIDOLON and set (at this point) to be released on June 15. Below you can find a short synopsis about the story that includes SPECTRE.

After World War Two, army intelligence groups created ghost cells called "stay-behinds" across Europe in the event of a Warsaw Pact surge. "EIDOLON" is the story of a SPECTRE stay-behind structure - ghost cells of SPECTRE loyalists acting as sleepers until the time is right for a SPECTRE reformation and resurgence. The time is now. 

Monday 18 April 2016

Universal Exports was Ian Flemings figment

As a James Bond fan you might be aware that James Bond often uses UNIVERSAL EXPORTS as an employer when going undercover. This has appeared in many of the films during the years.

But what all fans might not know is that this was not an idea from the screenwriters but an idea from Ian Fleming himself. The only only thing added is the S in the end.

In the second James Bond novel LIVE AND LET DIE from 1954 James Bond calls M from New York after his first meeting with Mr Big.

You're connected, caller,' said the Overseas operator. "Go ahead please. New York calling London."
 Bond heard the calm English voice. "Universal Export. Who's speaking, please?"
"Can I speak to the Managing Director" Said Bond. This is his nephew James speaking from New York."

"Just a moment, please." Bond could follow the call to Miss Moneypenny and see her press the switch on the intercom. "It's New York, Sir," she would say. "I think it's 007."  "Put him through" M would say. 

What I am trying to say with this post and actually whit this entire blog is that if you have not read the James Bond books you should. There is so much more with in the books and between films the books are an excellent way of enjoying the James Bond universe. To learn where all the ideas for the films come from.
As Cubby Broccoli said. "When we get stuck with the scripts we always go back to the books..." 

Sunday 10 April 2016

Anthony Horowitz recives great birthday present

On April 5th James Bond author Anthony Horowitz, who has written the latest James Bond novel TRIGGER MORTIS, turned 61 years old no less.

One could have hoped that Ian Fleming Publications would have used this date to announce that Horowitz will be writing his second James Bond novel for the following months to come but that never happened. I now hope that this will be released on May 28th witch is the birthday of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. I will go so far to say that I will be surprised if that does not happen on that date.

Anyhow, this blog post is about the present that Anthony Horowitz received from one of his two sons a few days back. Because the present was really cool and cleaver.

Anthony received a Richard Chopping tribute to TRIGGER MORTIS by watercolour artist Gerald Wadsworth.

Gerald Wadsworth is currently working on an Ian Fleming tribute making his own drawing for each book. And as you can see above he has also done a TRIGGER MORTIS tribute. I am sure that Anthony was really surprised by this present and it is nice that Gerald's work reaches a wider audience.

You can head over to Gerald's own web page to read more about the artist and see his other work. If you want you can also buy a print but do ask him about the sizes because I cant figure out how big they are.

Finally I wish to take this small opportunity to congratulate Anthony Horowitz a bit late on his birthday. Happy (late) Birthday!

Thursday 7 April 2016

Here is a world exclusive for you!

I am very proud to share whit you the blogs first world exclusive.

To celebrate that this blog JAMES BOND - THE SECRET AGENT has passed 20 000 page views in just six months and that our Facebook page very soon will pass 400 followers (just two to go). I have been in contact with the very talented Jason Masters to draw an exclusive painting of James Bond to be used as a header for this blog.

I have been waiting for his drawing for a few days when it showed up in my inbox today. And boy was I satisfied.

JASON MASTERS began his career in commercial advertising and went on to work as a professional comic book artist for DC, Marvel, and Dynamite Comics.
Masters got his big break in comics when he met Ethan van Sciver, a prominent artist for DC Comics, at a book signing in Johannesburg a few years ago. Van Sciver passed on his portfolio to his editor at DC, who a few months later, contacted him about working for DC Comics as an artist.
Masters' early work includes Human Target and Red, a comic series penned by Warren Ellis, for Wildstorm Studios, an imprint of DC. He went on to work on various Batman titles, including Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman Incorporated, Batwoman, and Nightwing. For Marvel he worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverine, and X-Men. His biggest gig arrived in 2015, when he was handpicked by comics legend, Warrren Ellis, to handle the artwork as ongoing series artist on Dynamite's high-profile relaunch of the James Bond comic book, the first all new 007 comic series in over 20 years.
The series, under the helm of Ellis and Masters, has received popular and critical acclaim and is currently one of Dynamite Comics bestselling new series. Jason Masters lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

See the full drawing he painted fort the blog below.

And if you are a fan of Jason Masters work like I am you can follow him on Twitter here

Sunday 3 April 2016

Was Douglas Wilmer hired to play Ian Fleming?

The very fine actor Douglas Wilmer appeard in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy as Jim Fanning.

As soon as I learnt more and more about the world of James Bond I have always wondered if Douglas Wilmer was hired to actually play Ian Fleming in Octopussy. Or at least someone that looks like Ian Fleming and is called Jim Fanning in the film, a name that is truly close to Ian Fleming if you ask me.

I wished for a very long time that I could ask someone if this was the case.
And in 2014 the From Sweden with Love founder Anders Frejdh arranged a screening of Octopussy in Sweden with Director John Glen (amongst many others) in attendance.

So during the signing of autographs I had the privileged to sit next to him and pump him with questions between signings. And of course I asked him if Douglas Wilmer was hired to play an Ian Fleming lookalike character.

And he told me that so was NOT the case and he himself had never thought of the resemblance until I mentioned it. I was supprised by this and said that Douglas Wilmers character even dressed like Fleming and was called Fanning in the film. John Glen then said that this must have been by coincidence.

And maybe I will make some of you angry now but I just can't let this one go. Can it really be a coincidence that the character is named Jim Fanning wears a bow-tie (with dots) and looks like Ian Fleming?

What do you think? Please comment below.

Sadly Douglas Wilmer passed away March 31, 2016. He was 96 years. 

Douglas Wilmer / Ian Fleming

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