March 27, 2009

Closterkeller - Modesty Blaise song

Another Modesty Blaise song came across my radar this week, although it's from the early 90s. Polish goth/rock group Closterkeller have a track on their 1992 album, Blue, called Modesty Blaise. Most of their songs are in Polish, but there are also many in English, including this one. I haven't been able to listen to the track yet; there are many sites offering it for download, but I've yet to find one that works successfully. The blog I stumbled across it on is here -- perhaps one of you can get the track to download successfully?
Anyway, here are the lyrics, quite good I thought:

The secret service man
Is on the phone again
Somebody disappeared
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
Modesty Blaise

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

Modesty Blaise

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
Modesty Blaise

March 23, 2009

Modesty Blaise 1982 TV Pilot - Available for Download

The 1982 TV pilot is now available for download. You can Google 'Modesty Blaise Pilot 1982 torrent' to find the torrent file, and download from there (and if you don't already have a BitTorrent client, a good, simple one is uTorrent).

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

Premio Dardos Award

This blog has received a Premio Dardos award!

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


Penguin India 'Garth' Reprints Delayed

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

Robert McGinnis on YouTube

I came across some video montages of Robert McGinnis' book cover art on YouTube. There's a promo for a McGinnis documentary DVD, which I never knew about and must try to find:

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

Marek Losey Film - The Hide

This is a few degrees of separation from Modesty Blaise, but I thought I'd mention it anyway: Marek Losey, grandson of Joseph Losey (director of the 1966 Modesty Blaise film), has a debut film called The Hide. The films, starring Phil Campbell and Alex MacQueen, is adapted from a stage play.

Reviews so far are favourable: you can read the Channel 4 one here.

March 12, 2009

Direct Hits - Modesty Blaise song

Only a few weeks after stumbling across the Montt Mardie song 'Modesty Blaise', I came across another track I'd never heard of, yet is decades old!

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

'Lady Killers' Titan Reprint

A small mystery surrounding the next Titan reprint to be released: it seems there are two different covers out there. Comixology shows an orange cover; Amazon shows a pink one (with a different drawing). Both and show the pink one, so it's not a different-sides-of-the-pond thing. Perhaps there was an earlier version of the cover that was changed before production? Strangely, the Titan website doesn't show the cover at all.

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

Modesty Blaise Merchandise Finds

Surfing around, I came across quite a few MB finds on Ebay and iOffer this week...

The Modesty Blaise resin model kit from Japan (sculpted by Joe Simon) has turned up again. I also found this wonderful pillbox from, 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

New Wonder Woman Film: MB similarities

One of the MB list members had this great piece of info to share about the new animated Wonder Woman film:

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

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

Modesty Blaise 1982 TV Pilot

I was surfing around for Modesty-related items and came across this: the only offer I've ever seen for a DVD of the 1982 Modesty Blaise TV Pilot. I don't believe a DVD of it was ever commercially produced (the ad for this came and went on iOffer very quickly) so I'm not sure if it's home burned - likely it is - no company name on the cover.

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

Romero comment on Crikey! Interview

The March 2009 issue of Crikey! magazine, which features a brand new interview with Modesty Blaise artist Enrique Badia Romero, is now available. Romero had this to say to the editor, about the interview:

"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.