February 20, 2015

Modesty Anniversaries

This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Modesty Blaise novel! 

Published in 1965, the first in the series of Modesty novels and short story collections was a novelisation of a screenplay that Peter O'Donnell wrote based upon the character, and the novel ended up being published a year before the film was released. The filmed version of the screenplay bore little resemblance to O'Donnell's original; the one happy outcome of the 1966 Joseph Losey-directed (travesty of a) film was that it was the seed that germinated the novels! Previously ignored by those who did not read comics, Modesty became accessible to a wider audience.

There are some additional anniversaries this year, too:
April marks 11 years since Titan Books started their latest reprint series, with no signs of stopping. And January 2015 was the 30th anniversary of the start of Titan's first set of reprint volumes.
Next year will mark the 35th anniversary of the start of the Ken Pierce First American Series reprints.
Anniversaries galore!


Thanks to AF-H for the reminder!

October 27, 2014

Modesty Blaise in Tamil Comics

After a two-year hiatus, Modesty Blaise is coming back to Tamil Comics.

The publisher, Muthu Comics, has made an official announcement on their website (of course, you have to be fluent in Tamil to read it).

The title on the cover below (Maranathin Mutham) can be loosely translated as Kiss of Death.

thanks to King Viswa for the update!

July 31, 2014

The Seekers.... They sought to copy!

Hi everyone, I'm sharing this email from one of the Modesty Blaise fan group members as this is a fascinating bit of trivia: a comic strip called "The Seekers" that was clearly a Modesty Blaise rip-off. Read on...

"Another interesting hit on Google. This may be old news, but as I¹ve never seen this magazine mentioned here before, I thought I¹d bring it to the gang¹s attention. From 1971 to sometime around 1978 it seems there was something called the Menomonee Falls Gazette which was a weekly tabloid that reprinted comic strips from various sources. If you check out the cover scan gallery at Comic Vine you¹ll see some issues featured Modesty Blaise. Unfortunately there appears to be no index of the issues at Comic Vine. Now, while scanning the gallery I spotted this:
It's a reprint of a UK comic strip called The Seekers. Does the art look familiar? It definitely jumped out at me! That led me to WikipediaApparently, The Seekers was a UK strip that John M Burns, one of the MB artists, drew. And according to that article, it bears a few similarities to MB. Anyone ever see this one?
There's a partial online archive of the strip on thrillmer.com.
 I just looked at a few at random and if Peter O¹Donnell didn't share words with somebody about this I¹d be very surprised! I know artists have their own style and so characters often look similar, but still...!

June 2, 2014

Countdown to Modesty: the cast: Willie Garvin

Neil Maskell will play the role of Willie Garvin in the upcoming BBC radio production of Modesty Blaise.

Maskell has appeared in several populist dramas such as 'Casualty' and 'Soldier Soldier'. In 2011, he was nominated as Best Actor by the British Independent Film Awards for his role in the British movie 'Kill List'

You can read more about him on IMDb.


May 30, 2014

Another BBC Radio Play!

Fantastic news... the BBC will be producing another Modesty Blaise radio play, this time based on the first novel.

The play is again adaped by Stef Penney and produced by Kate McAll. Daphne Alexander will reprise the role of Modesty. (full cast list below). The play was recorded in the BBC's Cardiff studios last week, with Daphne in the role of Modesty.  The broadcast is scheduled for the five days of the week of 16 June.

Cast List:
Modesty Blaise - Daphne Alexander
Willie Garvin - Neil Maskell
Paul - John Hollingworth
Nicole - Hannah McPake
McWhirter - Alex Ferns
Sir Gerald - Alun Armstrong
Grant - Matthew Gravelle
Gabriel - Ewan Bailey