Monday 23 November 2009

Hairy Faced Lunatic

Books. Hate ‘em. Too many words.

Thank Alfred, then, for The James Bond Omnibus, a collection of comic strips that ran in the Daily Express between 1958 and 1962. This book, which is made of 100% recycled groovy, is the perfect thing for a dangerously obsessive Bond freak who’s watched the films and read the novels so many times that he introduces himself with his surname first, then his first name and surname together, even if he has a name that doesn’t sound remotely cool when spoken like that. Fortunately I don’t know anyone quite that obsessive, and I certainly wouldn’t be caught doing that myself, oh no.

Anyway. Ian Fleming’s original books were serialised in the Express in the days before it became the Daily Diana Conspiracy Theory, and if you’d been around then you would have been alternately entertained by the zippy plots and fantastic artwork (by John McLusky in this book; other artists such as the peerless Yaroslav Horak - surely a Bond villain name if ever there was one - would take over later), and frustrated by the fact that it took about four seconds to read and then you had to wait till tomorrow for the next four seconds. But the majesty of this book is that that frustration has been banished – banished, I say! – by squidging them all together into one continuous story.

One thing I love about Fleming’s novels is that Bond can often be found spouting the most ridiculous put-downs to the villains which even Roger Moore would have trouble saying out loud, and I’m pleased to see they’re carried through to the comic strips. Here’s my current favourite, from 'Moonraker':

Furthermore, when they ran out of original stories, writer Jim Lawrence came up with a bucketload more, which I haven’t read but am very excited about, despite them having Harry Potteresque titles like ‘The League Of Vampires’, ‘When The Wizard Awakes’ and ‘The Xanadu Connection’. And I shudder to think what ‘Doomcrack’ is all about, but I look forward to finding out.

So well done to Titan Books for parping out this beauty, keep ‘em coming and have a free plug on The Incredible Suit for your troubles.

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1 comment :

  1. "The name's Bond, Basildon Bond" he said "and my number 007 Omnibus will take anyone in the Q for a ride. "Money?" asked a lady "Penny." said Bond. "Dam and Drax! Blow!Failed! forgot my cash." one passenger Beretted himself and nudged his sleeping companion for help who though shaken was not stirred. The Omnibus edition just avoided a Smersh with an Aston Martin, ran over Felix a white cat and vanished from view.