Wednesday 30 August 2017

A sneak peak at Casino Royale comic

These days it feels like there is new literary James Bond stuff to blog about every day. Most of the material comes from Dynamite Entertainment 007 and colleagues series.

During 2017 writer Van Jensen and artist Dennis Calero has worked on turning Ian Flemings Casino Royale into a comic book once again.

A few days back Van Jensen showed the anticipating fans how he works using his Twitter account.

First off he reads the book of course. Secondly he seems to conduct the important text into small pieces and thirdly draws a set of storyboards for artist Dennis Calero I guess.

The Casino Royale novel has been pushed forward once already and will now be released October 17th. The book will be 160 pages so this will be a very exiting book to have in the collection.

Below is some borrowed photos from Van Jensen.

You can order Casino Royale from Amazon US for only $16.66 compared to normal price at $24.99 here or at Amazon UK for £22.99 here.

Monday 28 August 2017

James Bond will experience the Solstice this winter

I am a bit proud of mentioning that there will be a new James Bond short story released on November 16 this year by Dynamite Entertainment. The best thing about this short story is that its written and drawn by no other then Ibrahim Mustafa.

If you have followed my blog since the beginning you might remember that I found a marvellous drawing of James Bond by Ibrahim (see here) quite early in his career. He later decided to make one drawing of each James Bond film that I showed at my blog (see here). He also provided my blog with a one of 50's drawing of James Bond using his Beretta (see here).

I guess all of his fine work and Bond knowledge later paid off since Dynamite Entertainment then offered him a "one off" opportunity between 30 and 40 pages story called Solstice released this November 16th. 

Very little around the Solstice story has been released so far: 007 accepts an unofficial mission. He travels to Paris, in pursuit of a Russian. But is Bond the hunter, or the hunted?

The comic can not yet be ordered at Amazon but I will get back on this once it can be ordered. 

Below is the action packed cover drawn by Ibrahim Mustafa. 


Tuesday 22 August 2017

Added to my collection: A 1953 Casino Royale book

Added to my collection recently was a CASINO ROYALE second edition printed in 1953.

This is the closest to a real CASINO ROYALE first edition I will ever get. But sadly it does not stop there. My version has a marvellous facsimile dust jacket ordered from the US I have seen the real dust jacket twice in my lifetime and I must say that this is amazingly well done. The only problem is that it is in to good condition. But it is nice to see what it must have looked like in 1953.

Secondly my book misses out on page 187-188.

The seller wanted £350 for it but I only offered £235 for the book including postage. The seller excepted my offer and it feels like I made a great deal on this book. This should be compared with a first edition of the book in good condition sold recently for £22,000.

It needs to be mentioned that Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC told me that they had updated the CASINO ROYALE dust jacket some time ago and therefore gladly sent me a new one free of charge. Now that is truly great service compared to many other companies out there.

The second edition of CASINO ROYALE was ordered by Jonathan Cape in April 1953 and delivered in May. the total orderd books were 2 300 and the final amount out for sale was 2 264. These printing figures comes from John Gilbert's excellent Ian Fleming: The Bibliography from Queen Anne Press.

Out of these 2 264 printed books for sale 64 years ago, I own one of them.

Flip or flop, you decide. Leave a comment.

Dust jacket for the first edition and the forth edition of Casino Royale. 

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Ian Fleming's true love was his muse

I am just coming back to my computer after a classic Swedish vacation at the country house with minimal access to internet. During the summer I have read Andrew Lycett's Ian Fleming biography close to 500 pages and it was clear to me that Fleming had a very strange relationship towards woman. He seem to only have been interested in the women he could not have.

During his marriage to Anne Fleming he had a "secret affair" to Blanche Blackwell in Jamaica. It was so secret that after a while Anne refereed to Blanche as Ian´s second wife in Jamaica.

Anyhow, In Lycett's book one gets the feeling that Blanche was the only one with a human heart not placing herself first and tried to be nice to Ian every time they meet. In the end he started using her to a degree that actually made me upset. It was sad to read how a lovable person can be treated like this due to the fact that she was in love with a married man.

On August 7th Blanche Blackwell died at age 104. This is only four days away from Ian Flemings own death on August 12, 1964. She outlived him by 53 years and hopefully lived a very happy life when the focus of Fleming had to go away.

Below is the best obituary for Blanche Blackwell and it includes a lot of information about Blackwell and Flemings life together and the way she added inspiration to Flemings novels.
The text below is borrowed by The Washington Post to make James Bond fans find this great piece of writing in many years to come. 


Jamaican muse and mistress of 007’s creator, Ian Fleming, dies at 104


 Blanche Blackwell in her youth in Jamaica
Blanche Blackwell’s romantic life inspired one of Noël Coward’s plays about an upper-crust love triangle, and swashbuckling Hollywood star Errol Flynn wanted to marry her. She was a member of one of Jamaica’s richest families but was best known as the mistress and muse of Ian Fleming, the rakish author who was the creator of James Bond.
Mrs. Blackwell died Aug. 8 in London at 104. Her death was confirmed by Andrew Lycett, Fleming’s biographer. Other details were not available.
Vivacious and outdoorsy, Mrs. Blackwell was known for her bright smile and casual allure. She first met Flynn — “a gorgeous god,” in her words — in the 1940s, during one of his Jamaican vacations. He described her laugh as “like the sounds of water tinkling over a waterfall” and was so enchanted that he wanted to propose, even though both were married to other people.
One of her closest friends was Coward, the gay playwright and entertainer who based a character on Mrs. Blackwell in his 1956 play “Volcano,” about the self-indulgent lives of island aristocrats. The play was so sexually charged that it wasn’t performed in public until 2012. Mrs. Blackwell attended the opening.
She lived long enough to give business advice to U2’s Bono, whose career was launched by her son, Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.
“She always says, ‘I love men — they make such good pets,’ ” Chris Blackwell told the British magazine Tatler this year.
Mrs. Blackwell had a home on Jamaica’s north coast, midway between Coward’s island retreat and Fleming’s estate, Goldeneye, where Fleming wrote his novels and stories about Bond, Agent 007.
She was divorced and in her 40s by the time she met Fleming in the mid-1950s. She had recently returned to Jamaica after several years in England, where her son was attending school.
“I remember I sat next to him at dinner and he said: ‘Why haven’t I seen you before?’ ” she recalled to London’s Sunday Express newspaper in 2012. “I told him I was just over from England and he said, ‘Oh good God, you’re not a lesbian, are you?’ ”
In Jamaica, what began as “a tropical dalliance” between the writer and Mrs. Blackwell “developed into a deep love affair,” Lycett wrote in his 1995 biography of Fleming.
Beginning in 1952, Fleming returned to Goldeneye every winter to write a new book about Bond’s adventures as a British intelligence officer and serial seducer of women — a fair summary of Fleming’s earlier life. His wife, Ann, usually stayed in England.
Mrs. Blackwell left Fleming alone to work in the mornings, then stopped by at midday for snorkeling and lunch. She came back for the cocktail hour, after his afternoon writing session. He called her “Birdie.”
“She was really somebody who offered him friendship,” Lycett said in an interview. “She made him content and happy at a difficult time in his life. She was a woman of great charm and intelligence and was extraordinarily good company.”
In 1956, Mrs. Blackwell helped coordinate British Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s visit to Goldeneye, planting tropical flowers and bushes in the gardens. Fleming’s wife, who was having an affair of her own with a British politician, Hugh Gaitskell, later tore out what she called the “ugly shrubs.”
It is widely believed that Mrs. Blackwell was the inspiration for one of Fleming’s most memorable female characters, Pussy Galore, the bisexual leader of a female criminal gang in “Goldfinger.” Another character, the Jamaican-born Honeychile Rider in “Dr. No” (renamed Honey Ryder and played by Ursula Andress in the film) was also thought to be modeled after Mrs. Blackwell.
“She was a sort of macho female,” Chris Blackwell told Vanity Fair in 2012. “The relationship they had, how she and Ian bonded, was that they were both into doing things: climbing these falls, going into those caves, swimming here, snorkeling there.”
One of the gifts Mrs. Blackwell gave Fleming was a small fishing boat, which he named Octopussy. The title of the 14th and final Bond book, “Octopussy and the Living Daylights,” was published in 1966, two years after Fleming’s death at age 56. (He was also the author of the children’s classic “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.”)
Mrs. Blackwell did not attend Fleming’s funeral. Afterward, Ann Fleming reportedly told the manager of Goldeneye that he could rent the estate to anyone “except Blanche Blackwell.”
“She disliked me,” Mrs. Blackwell said in 2012, “but I can’t blame her.”
Blanche Lindo was descended from a Sephardic Jewish family that fled persecution in Portugal and eventually settled in Jamaica. The Lindos were one of about 20 prominent families that dominated much of the island’s commerce through the 19th century.
After business reversals, several members of the family moved to Costa Rica, where Blanche was born Dec. 9, 1912. After replenishing their wealth, they returned to Jamaica, where her father owned property and a rum distillery. Blanche had private tutors and attended a finishing school in England.
In the 1930s, she married Middleton Joseph Blackwell, a military officer and heir to a British food fortune. They later divorced.
Their son, Chris Blackwell, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as “the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music.” Mrs. Blackwell’s other survivors include two grandsons.
In 1976, Goldeneye was bought by reggae star Bob Marley, whose recordings were produced by Mrs. Blackwell’s son. Marley later sold the estate to Chris Blackwell, who transformed Goldeneye into a luxury resort, where his mother had a cottage.
Mrs. Blackwell spent her final years in London, where she was interviewed in 2008 by writer Ian Thomson for his book about Jamaica, “The Dead Yard.” She spoke of her earlier admirers by their first names.
“Ian was an angel,” she recalled. “Errol was another angel. Both lovely men — both exceptionally manly and definitely not for domesticating!”
At 95 and nearly blind, Mrs. Blackwell had lost none of her charm.
“Not that I should complain,” she said, reaching for a rose. “I’ve had a marvellous life. Do smell my pink rose.”


If you have not yet bought the Ian Fleming biography by Andrew Lycett you can do so on Amazon US (Hardcover at only $13,38)  here and Amazon UK here (hardback at only £4.16).

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