Wednesday 28 June 2017

The complete set of James Bond: Hammerhead covers

A few weeks back Dynamite Entertainment released the hardback version of James Bond: Hammerhead.

Hammerhead was written by Andy Diggle and the artist was Luca Casalanguida. The story was spread between six issues and as mentioned above is now released in a hardback.

As mentioned in previous blog posts regarding these comics the first issues always comes in a few different cover designs for hardcore collectors to try to obtain.

I have added this hardback to my own collection now and am looking forward to reading it. Luca Casalanguida has made an amazing job with the illustrations.

Issue six that has been used as the header for this blog post must have find its inspiration from the teaser campaign for the 1969 James Bond film "On her majesty's secret service" that you can see here.

If you still have not bought the James Bond: Hammerhead hardback you can do so at a very good price over at Amazon US or Amazon UK.


Monday 26 June 2017

O.H.M.S.S. cutting continuity script up for sale at auction

On June 27th, 2017 there will be an auction held in Calabasas, California in the US with lots of items connected to the movies for sale. Some of these items are connected to James Bond.

One of the items I was planing to bid on was a script of "On her majesty's secret service" signed by George Lazenby, Richard Maibaum and Peter Raven. The reason I am interested in the scripts are to see if any changes actually were made to the James Bond films that was originally in the script. For a few minutes I was ecstatic about what I was offered to bid on. But then I understood that this was not a usual script....

This was a cutting continuity script dated December 1969. In other words it was printed just days before the London premiere on December 18th 1969.
I have worked with films and distribution for many years now and since my home country (Sweden) subtitle all films from abroad we always get these dialogue scripts sent to us for the translator to use when setting the translation. In other words, what is on sale here is not a script written before the shooting of the film began. This "script" is only showing the cuts and the dialogue and not whether the scene is exterior or interior etc.

In other words this document contains all dialogue in the film and notifications on were sound effects has been added and were the cuts are. The dating in December also shows that this script will not contain any deleted scenes since the prints were ready to be made. To me and my interest this is a much weaker collectable to own then I first thought I had in front of me. Especially when the starting price is $1 000.

Below is the actual description of the item as written by the action house:

936. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service book bound cutting continuity script signed by George Lazenby and writers. (United Artists, 1969) Vintage original studio bound and bradded 170+ page Cutting Continuity script. Dated, “December, 1969” on the interior title page and signed in black ink below by, “George Lazenby, and writers, ‘Dick Maibaum” and “Peter Raven”. Bound in a hardcover board binding with gold gilt embossed title and “007”on the cover and spine. While pages are 3-hole punched in the left margin for bradding, the book is bound by the tops of the sheets. Some paper surface loss to interior front cover, not affecting content or integrity of the binding. In vintage very fine condition. $1,000 - $1,500

What is your take on the collectable for sale here? Is this something you feel the need to have in your collection? Please comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

If you wish to place a bid on this auction you can be the first to do so here. It will be interesting to see what the sales price + 28% commission will be.

UPDATE: Item sold for $4.000 +28% commission. The total became $5.120 

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Have you ever heard about The Ian Fleming Foundation?

Have you ever heard about The Ian Fleming Foundation?

Maybe you have visited the London Film Museum and the Bond in motion exhibition but without knowing who actually own most of the cars offered on display.

This will be a very short blog post because I am planing to pass you forward to an interview with Mark VanBlaricum who is one of the founders of The Ian Fleming Foundation.

In the below video from YouTube you can hear him tell the tail about how The Ian Fleming Foundation came to be and why. I find the story very interesting.

During the 90's the foundation produced a magazine called Goldeneye focusing on all things James Bond and Ian Fleming. I only have one or two of these in my collection but some of them are available on Ebay.

Now sit back and enjoy the below interview about how The Ian Fleming Foundation came to be.

Below is the Goldeneye magazine that they produced during the 90's.

Monday 19 June 2017

Moonraker US cover restoration

Some people turn to yoga for relaxation and others turn to alcohol. I seem to have found a method for relaxation that I find both rewarding and fun at the same time. I retouch old James Bond book covers using Photoshop.

Being a James Bond collector is almost as being a hoarder. We collect far more then we need and even more then we have space for. Therefore I am extra happy when I decide not to buy a book and to just restore the artwork and be satisfied with a JPEG on my computer. As the saying goes "You can't bring it with you..."

So today, there was an auction on Ebay for a US first edition of MOONRAKER that I was planing to bid on. But instead I decided to just use a high resolution scan of the artwork and try to restore it. Especially since I am not to impressed with the design of the artwork that was made by Leo Manso.

Below you can see the finished restoration that took me about 40 minutes.

While doing this I came to think about something. Could the US Moonraker jacked design be the inspiration for the later UK jacket design for Thunderball. Both of the shows a skeleton hand. What is your opinion. Please comment below.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version. 

Thunderball UK first edition dust jacket.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Added to the collection: DR. NO original comic strip from 1960

In conjunction with's current contest regarding the James Bond comics I thought it would be a good idea to show the readers a new edition to my Fleming / James Bond collection.

As most of you may know The Daily Express ran all of the James Bond novels as daily strips during the 50's and 60's.

The comic's artist who got the job of drawing the strips was John McLusky.

The sixth comic to be released was Dr. No and it ran in the Daily Express between May and October 1960. The story was written by Peter O'Donnell who is widely famous for creating Modesty Blaise.  And from the Dr No story I have the second strip which is numbered 585. In other words, I own a comic strip created two years before Sean Connery became James Bond with the entire world.

On the strip we see an angry James Bond just coming out of M's office talking to Bill Tanner who makes fun of Bond's lack of interest in his mission in Jamaica. 

What's is interesting to see on my strip is that in the final frame McLusky has changed the complete image of Bond with a new one. The detail on the drawings are also far better then they were in the Titan Books 2005 edition as you can see below.

I paid £200 for this strip and I am truly happy to finally own one. I have been wanting to add some strips to my collection for a very long time. The James Bond comic ran monthly in Sweden between 1965 and 1995 so I have been growing up with all these comic stories and have every single comic in my collection. They are around 300 comics.

If any reader of this blog post has a strip for sale, please contact me.

If you wish to order the remastered editions of the original comic books from Titan books you can do so on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

The full strip measuring 45x13cm (18x5,2 inches)  
Close up of the third frame were Bond has been changed.
The quality of the Titan Books 2005 edition is a bit weaker then the original drawing.

Sunday 11 June 2017

What Swedes don't know about Ian Fleming

I started collecting James Bond books at the age of 14 back in 1990. I did miss the opportunity to see LICENCE TO KILL at the cinema and had to wait another five years until GOLDENEYE was released. During that time most you fans would have given up on James Bond if they had to wait as long as I did.

Since James Bond is not a Swedish character and Ian Fleming is no longer a household name here I have always felt like a goof or nerd for enjoying the books as much as I do. When the subject of my collection has come up I still find it troublesome to talk about. I get the feeling that Swedes just don't understand how big Ian Fleming was during his last years alive.

But going through my collection the other day I noticed something that I have been longing to find for decades. It was on the backside of the Swedish edition of Kingsley Amis THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER (released is Sweden under the name "The Case James Bond") On the back of that book it says the following very interesting sentence.
"What is it with Agent 007 that makes the books about him being sold by the millions and even in Sweden sold in 800 000 copies soon". 

Now wee need to take a few things under consideration here.

THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER was released in Sweden in 1965 (same year as in the UK).

According to this website the population in Sweden was 7 777 000 in 1965 (look at the population figures twice).

To be a British spy writer in the UK selling 800 000 copies as early as in 1965 must be considered an fantastic achievement back then. The books were to be released many times after 1965 by the Swedish publishers Albert Bonniers Förlag. My guess is that Ian Fleming have managed to sell more then one million copies in Sweden alone.

And rumour has it that the books will soon be released in Sweden again. This time by publisher Modernista.

So from this day forward I will never feel ashamed of my collection and hobby. Ian Fleming is clearly a household name with in the elder generation of Sweden.

PS. Let me just mention that according to an article on Swedish publishers Albert Bonniers Förlag was quick on their heels. Sweden was the third country in the world (after UK and US) to publish Casino Royale back in 1955.

A wonderful cover design for DR. NO titled DEATH IN JAMAICA in Sweden. This edition released in 1965. 

Swedish edition of THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER.

Text in Swedish regarding the 800 000 sold copies.

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