December 28, 2009
From scopitone.com: ‘The Scopitone was a "Film Jukebox" invented in France in the early 1960's (from surplus World War II airplane parts!) and also the films (the precursors of todays music videos) which played on it.’
I’d love to find out who created and directed this Scopitone – parts of it are very 1960s, and other parts look quite modern (especially the graffiti background).
There are many more Scopitones up on YouTube if you want to check them out!
December 21, 2009
and see a close-up of the painting here.
Can't help wondering who 'sir' is... if anyone knows the background story of this painting, please do post!
November 10, 2009
The Robert McGinnis cover of the first Fawcett-Crest 'Modesty Blaise' paperback was also used, it seems, for a foreign paperback cover of a Henry Kane novel.
The Paperback Covers of Robert McGinnis, which provides an index of all of McGinnis' covers, makes no mention of any Henry Kane novels, so the art likely commissioned for the Modesty Blaise novel and then licensed to the Finnish publisher.
This translation was published in Finland in 1966; the original Kane book is titled Peter Chambers #13: Death on the Double (thanks, Sami S!). There's some information on author Henry Kane here, for anyone interested, and a bibliography of his works on this site.
Thanks to all the Modesty fans who contributed information!
October 29, 2009
Now, if only Titan would print all the versions, it would be a collector's dream...!
October 12, 2009
I'm not sure I see this running to Modesty's tastes, though... I rather see her in the Classic Bangle. Still, nice to know she continues to inspire fashion!
August 21, 2009
You can also add yourself to this map, and see where other Modesty fans are located.
In addition, you can read stories from Modesty fans about how they first encountered Modesty, on my website. Please feel free to contribute!
July 30, 2009
July 27, 2009
July 2, 2009
June 5, 2009
No indication of how it relates to Modesty Blaise -- possibly just that the music is from that era, and/or that the 'cheesy' refers to the 1966 movie! Too bad the graphic isn't of Modesty (is that Twiggy?)
From the CD information:
Killer Mod/freak beat pounding compilation with 14 dance floor tracks from the ’60s. Includes Chris Farlowe's Air Travel, VIPs Straight Down To The Bottom, Eyes of Blue's Don't ask me to Mend Your Broken Heart, Plastic Penny's Your Way To Feel Me Go and many more hundred dollar tracks...
The first seven tracks of this super ‘60s comp are Mod and R&B movers and the remaining seven are out and out freak beat pounders.
1. Erma Franklin - I Don’t Want No Mamas Boy
2. Dusty Wilson - Can’t Do Without You
3. Varetta Dillard - That’s Why I Cry
4. Larry Trider - Carbon Copy
5. Malcolm Hayes - Searchin’ For My Baby
6. Esnew Reader - Undivided Love
7. Azie Mortimer - Put Yourself In My Place
8. Chris Farlowe - Air Travel (Special Version)
9. Eyes Of Blue - Don’t Ask Me to Mend Your Broken Heart
10. VIP’s - Straight Down To The Bottom
11. Howard Carpendale - Du Hast Mich
12. Trubadurzy - Osiewcsyna I Pejsas
13. Snappers – Upside Down Inside Out
14. Plastic Penny – Your Way To Tell me go
May 13, 2009
Still no word on what the 'extra' material is, so if you've got a copy, please let me know!
April 27, 2009
April 23, 2009
the day after I posted the piece Dalida's 'Modesty Blaise' song, The Purple Zombie DJ posted a downloadable CD of spy-themed music... which includes the Dalida track!
You can download the whole CD from his blog (it's zipped as a .rar file; if you need a rar extractor, a good free one is 7zip.)
April 22, 2009
Details can be found at Amazon and other booksellers.
April 14, 2009
Most MB fans have heard of the British pop group Modesty Blaise... however, I didn't realize there was a Norwegian rock group by the same name. I haven't been able to find any information on them apart from this brief mention on YouTube:
"MODESTY BLAISE were one of the most successful rock bands of Norway. Take some parts of U2, Roxy Music and Curved Air and mix them with a big part of originality - ready is MODESTY BLAISE. They were very popular in their homeland (TV shows, extensive tours etc.). Their album 'Face Of The Sun' is available on CD (contains two extra tracks), vinyl and cassette."
Given the reference to cassettes, the album must be quite old. If any Norwegian readers out there know more, please let me know!
You can listen to them on YouTube (and I agree, they do sound rather like U2).
You can view a clip of the interview at the Jazz Baroness site.
There is also an in-depth interview (2006) with John Dankworth on the subject of his film scores, from the Journal of British Cinema and Television, at Britmovie.co.uk. It is an interesting piece -- previous to Modesty Blaise, Dankworth had worked with Joseph Losey on The Criminal, and his list of film and TV score credits is extensive.
Dalida - Modesty Blaise lyrics
Album: La Danse De Zorba
Elle fait du judo et du karaté
Et court sa vie avec passion
C'est dans le genre de la féminité de la dynamite en jupon
C'est la beauté mêlée à l'aventure
Que tous les hommes rêves d'aimer
Et c'est une ombre qui passe les murs
Et que l'on ne peut attraper
C'est une femme qui aime couramment le danger
C'est une femme qui sait pourtant se faire aimer
Elle est sincère quand elle est amoureuse
Et donne tout sans discuter
Mais attention elle est très dangereuse
Avec tous ceux qui veulent tricher
C'est une femme aussi belle que la fleur du jour
C'est une femme qui ne peut vivre sans amour
Tous ceux qui l'ont approchée vous diront
Cet ange cache le démon
Mais tous ceux qui l'ont aimée avoueront
Ne jamais oublier ce nom
March 27, 2009
Anyway, here are the lyrics, quite good I thought:
The secret service man
Is on the phone again
I go where madmen dare
Another foreign affair
Adventures waiting for me
I am the lady
You can rely on
I fight the villains
I am revenge
I'm always ready
Remember my name
I am the Princess
Once there was a time
I was the mistress of crime
The menace number one
And then I changed my ways
Though going straight these days
I didn't lay down my gun
My phone is ringing again
A warning from my friend
I know assassins are near
It's my idea of fun
I never miss with my gun
Destroying danger and fear
I am the lady
You can rely on
I am the Princess
March 23, 2009
Just don't expect anything true to the original... as I mentioned before, I think it's Remington Steele with different character names. But I'd love to hear what you think, if you do watch it!
March 18, 2009
The Hammer House of Horror Blog bestowed the award (thank you, Holger!), which is given out by bloggers to blogs. You can read more about the awards in Holger's blog piece; he did the research on what they are and how they work.
It's nice to have some recognition. Although this blog is only a couple of months old, it is an extension of my website, which has been going for about six years now. A lot of work went into that, with contributions from many people, some of whom still pass along any Modesty snippets they find, and many of those end up in this blog, so... it's a group effort. Thanks to all the contributors!
Now I am starting to sound like a rambling Oscar award winner, so before I start thanking my parents and everyone I ever met...
Premio Dardos award recipients can then give the award to another blog (or blogs; some 'rules' say up to 5, some say up to 15.) I think 15 starts would start turning the award into a chain letter, so here are four that I think truly deserve this award:
Bear Alley Blog - dedicated to comics and comic art
Spy Vibe - what is says. Plus, it's a visual treat.
The Drowning Machine - book reviews and interviews
The Bookshelf Muse - a user's guide for writing fiction
It looks like the Penguin India reprinting of the entire 'Garth' series (for which Peter O'Donnell wrote from 1953-1966) is being delayed. The original news release on the Penguin India site, in 2008, said:
"The third major reissue in our retro revival series will be the Complete Garth in a collectible 5-volume hardback graphic novel box set. Garth is a character well known to most Indians through newspaper strips and a brief run as comic books from Indrajal comics. Though there have been a couple of annuals and two dedicated volumes, never before has Garth ever been collected. So for the first time ever fans can get all 16,000 strips covering 165 stories in 3,000-plus pages."
However, the micro-website for the Retro Revival series (which recently reprinted the entire Modesty Blaise series, as well as all the Madeleine Brent novels) seems to be down right now, so looks like we have to wait for more news...
You can view a Garth strip here.
So far the artwork for the Retro Revival series has been stunning, so hopefully we can expect the Garth reprints to be just as good!
March 17, 2009
And this montage, Girls, Guns, and Death, includes McGinnis' cover of I, Lucifer.
McGinnis is also featured in this CBS Sunday morning clip, which discusses Stephen King's first 'pulp fiction' novel 'The Colorado Kid' (2005). It is published by Hard Case Crime, a publishing house that aims to bringing back the pulp noir paperback. McGinnis was commissioned to do a number of covers for them, his first book cover work in some years. You can view all the covers on the Hard Case Crime website.
March 13, 2009
Reviews so far are favourable: you can read the Channel 4 one here.
March 12, 2009
This snippet on The Word Magazine directed me to Modesty Blaise by The Direct Hits. I don't know how I missed this band in their time, given how much I loved mod bands! - but the song is absolutely great. You can read more about the band here, and can also download the track.
From 'The Songs That People Sing' blog:
"Blow Up came out in 1984. It is, like a lot of their material, very 1966 influenced. Groovy pop that leans into the psychedelic. Touchstones would be The Beatles Rubber Soul, The Who A Quick One and The Jam All Mod Cons."
If you give it a listen, I'd love to hear what you think...
March 10, 2009
And are the drawings by different artists, or am I mistaken? Could be a clue in there... The Lady Killers is the first Titan reprint to cover the Neville Colvin era. I'm not familiar enough with the strip artists to identify the images below... can anyone else? (There's a great summary up on Wikipedia of strips, dates, and artists.)
Either way, Comixology has one of the best, succint summaries of Modesty I've ever come across:
'The dark underworld of espionage and crime is lit up by the fatal charms of the gorgeous Modesty Blaise, high priestess of crime and goddess of cult thrillers! Adventurer, spy, smuggler, racketeer, and all-around bad girl, Modesty is as stylish as she is smart, as lethal and as beautiful as a Japanese fighting sword!
This latest volume features three classic stories - 'Dossier on Pluto,' 'The Lady Killers,' and 'Garvin's Travels.' Featuring new story introductions by creator Peter O'Donnell, plus a host of special features and behind-the-scenes material, this latest addition to the Modesty Blaise library is not to be missed!'
This has me itching to get my hands on the new edition! I'd love to hear some more description of what the special features are...
March 9, 2009
The Modesty Blaise resin model kit from Japan (sculpted by Joe Simon) has turned up again. I also found this wonderful pillbox from suchcoolstuff.com, with the artwork from the Clyde Allison 'Agent 0008 Meets Modesta Blaze' novel. There was also a lovely painting* by artist Todd Maell.
*image posted with permission of the seller
A couple of days ago Warner Bros. released the first full-length animated Wonder Woman movie to DVD (they decided not to wait for the likely-never-to-see-the-light-of-day live-action film).
I highly recommend it because it's made by Bruce Timm, who made the acclaimed Batman Adventures series, the Superman series, and the Justice League series. These aren't kid's cartoons, but are rather mature fare, more aimed at teens and older audiences. Wonder Woman in fact was originally rated R (!!!) but was edited to a PG-13. This ain't your dad's Filmation-era cheapies!
The reason why I mention the film is that the art department were clearly influenced by Modesty Blaise. Not so much with WW herself, but with her right-hand man, Steve Trevor. In this reimagining he's a US pilot who finds himself working with Diana to save the world. Visually, he very closely resembles Willie, as drawn by Holdaway. And at one point he even throws a knife to take out a bad guy exactly like Willie. Willie and Wonder Woman also share a few MB-Willie-like moments in the battlefield, although, to use POD's vernacular, they play for keeps, not sleeps (another sign this Wonder Woman is far distanced from Lynda Carter).
Nathan Fillion of Firefly does the voice.
I dug up a couple web pages with images. However, since these are screen captures it's not necessarily evident immediately the similarity in appearance. (Steve's personality on the other hand is completely different from that of Willie's - after all this is Nathan Fillion we're talking about. Everything comes back to Captain Mal eventually).
Splashpage on MTV.com
Review on Underwire
I had to see the film to check this out, so I watched it at the weekend. Here are the similarities and differences I noted between the Modesty/Willie relationship, and Steve/Diana:
Both Modesty and Willie, and Diana and Steve, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and fight well as a team
Willie and Steve both use throwing knives
Modesty and Diana can take down someone twice their body mass
Modesty and Diana both fly planes
All are good at taking out guards quietly and effectively
Willie calls Modesty ‘Princess’; Steve calls Diana ‘Angel’. (ironically, Diana is a princess)
Willie and Modesty don’t bicker; Steve and Diana do
The romance between Steve and Diana
...If you see the film, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!
Thanks to Alex F-H for the info.
March 5, 2009
For those who have never seen the pilot, think Remington Steele (except no Brit characters at all, not even Tarrant!)
There's an overview of all Modesty film and TV productions to date on my website
March 2, 2009
"I have just received the copy of CRIKEY, in which you have published my interview. I should congratulate you because the edition is frankly perfect. The quality of these publications, they don't accustom to be at the level of yours. The total content of the same one, will wake up the interest of its followers.
I feel very pleased before the result of the pages that you have been devoted. I celebrate to have collaborated with you, and I wish you a happy future in your future works."
High praise indeed! Details on how to buy Crikey! can be found at the magazine's website.
February 23, 2009
February 10, 2009
"This is the latest photo shoot we did for the online mag UCE Magazine. The theme was 'Criminal intent' and we chose to be inspired by the style icon and cult figure Modesty Blaise, and built up a little story
around her. Go to Spectacular Studios and check out the photos in larger versions."
(or you can jump to them here: http://trashbin.bicho.se/uce)
Photographer: David Bicho
Creative Director: Eric North-Blyth
Hair/Makeup: Maria Oldenstedt
Stylist: Catta Molin
Model: Ida S + sweet little Alex
February 7, 2009
February 4, 2009
February 1, 2009
January 30, 2009
I know, more of the same... but I really can't get enough of this story! Rather than continuing to post every few days, here are the main articles so far:
|BBC News||Ex-KGB spy in bid to buy UK paper||15 January 2009|
|BBC News||Ex-KGB spy buys UK paper for £1||21 January 2009|
|BBC News||Profile: Alexander Lebedev||21 January 2009|
|New York Times||To Fleet Street by Way of the K.G.B.||24 January 2009|
|The Telegraph||Alexander Lebedev sets himself three years to raise Evening Standard||25 January 2009|
|The Times||Evening Standard ‘has three years to survive’||26 January 2009|
|The Guardian||Evgeny Lebedev reveals plans for London Evening Standard||27 January 2009|
|Asia Times Online||Oligarchs turn to (almost) free press||30 January 2009|
January 25, 2009
January 24, 2009
The Swedish magazine Agent X9 has now finished the complete publishing of Modesty in chronological order with the special episode "The dark angels" in no 2-2009. They will start all over again this summer but first there will be four issues with a lot of never before published drawings of Modesty and with different persons telling their story about Modesty. First out is Romero with the story "My life with Modesty".
Thanks to Mats Jönsson for the update.
January 22, 2009
January 21, 2009
January 15, 2009
"My forgotten book, isn’t a single book, but a series, a character really: Modesty Blaise, star of the books by Peter O’Donnell, written roughly in the late 1960s and 70s. Like many women who were once girls, I particularly remember being introduced to Nancy Drew, ‘girl detective’. Nancy was a girl just like us. Well, just like us, except that she was wealthy, beautiful, popular, and adventurous. But we all knew that eventually Nancy would grow up, leave school, marry Ned (or some equally suitable boy from her social set), have 2.5 children, and a Golden Retriever, and start popping Valium. But Modesty was nothing at all like us. She was exotic, mysterious, and had a shady criminal past. She was grown up and she STILL had an exciting life. Modesty had once been the leader of a notorious criminal gang called 'The Network', and now, having given up her life of crime, she and her side-kick Willie travelled the world fighting crime. Even when Modesty was a criminal, she was a ‘good’ crook.
I read the Modesty Blaise books when I was in my late twenties, settled down with house and children and dog. I think those books were my first realization that adult women could still be strong and fearless and independent. I was living in South Africa at the time: I don’t think the books got much attention in North America. In the crime-writing world today there are plenty of strong women, but Modesty blazed the trail. If there is an earlier adult adventure/crime book in which the female is the main character, and the male the side-kick, I don’t know it. It’s interesting that the books were written by a man. As a crime-writer, and as an independent woman, I owe a lot to Modesty Blaise."
You can read more about how Modesty influenced Vicki's writing in this exclusive interview piece.
January 14, 2009
The above is from a fashion blog, although there's no reference to how these creations actually relate to Modesty Blaise!
Book Review BlogsIn Chelsea magazine/blog has a piece on British heroes. Interesting that they forgot the character of Modesty Blaise is not British, although her creator is!
And this reference is brief, but hilarious: a Telegraph book review describes one character as "the unlikely literary love child of Father Brown and Modesty Blaise."
Another mention is in this book review blog, The Drowning Machine, where the author has chosen A Taste for Death as 'the book you most want to read again for the first time'. I love the concept of the book questionnaire - it takes some pondering!