November 23, 2010

Agent X9 searching for A-strips

What does this cryptic title mean?
In their continued quest for the highest quality reproduction of their latest reprint run of the Modesty Blaise strips, the good people at Agent X9 magazine in Sweden are looking for high-quality scans of Romero's A-strips.

What is an A-strip?
Part of the Modesty Blaise mystique..
From Wikipedia: "Outside the ordinary numbering is also an amount of A-strips. An A-strip has the same number as the previous strip but followed by an A. They were used on days when not all the newspapers containing Modesty Blaise were published. An A-strip is not vital for the continuity of the story and is often just supplementing the previous strip. The first A-strip was 194A and was published during Christmas 1963 in Scottish newspapers.

Since December 1974 The Evening Standard has not been published on Saturdays. So since then (and the story "Cry Wolf") a sixth of the strips have been A-strips and have not had their premiere in The Evening Standard."

If you can help them out, please send 600 dpi scans to Johan Kimran at Agent X9.
Thank you!

November 21, 2010

AgentX9 Modesty Blaise Covers

Artist Loopy Dave, who this year created a new 'Bad Suki' cover for Swedish comic Agent X9, has created another Modesty Blaise cover  - The War Lords of Phoenix.

So far, his Bad Suki cover is the favourite of this year's (as voted on in their online poll); head to the Agent X9 blog to vote for your favourite!

Agent X9 magazine has undertaken a massive project to source as many Holdaway original frames as possible for their latest reprint run. From the magazine's producers:
"We've had some problems getting all available originals scanned in time to include them in the later Holdaway episodes, but I believe, without doing the math properly, that we've managed to scan ca 50% of Holdaway's ca 2000 dailies and in the early episodes, all of these were used. The reason for this is simply that a large portion of the original artwork is still in the hands of only three collectors, who have all helped us with material. The Vikings in particular, a classic example of [poor] reproduction, has never looked better. In some stories we have more than half of the strips in new scanned and high quality files; in most episodes it's about 1/3."
"We've also retranslated Holdaway's entire run for this reprint to match the original dialogue as closely as possible. Willie's cockney is of course essentially untranslatable, but we at least tried to bring out his apparent roughness (to those who don't know him) in the way he speaks."

A fitting tribute to Peter O'Donnell that the Modesty Blaise strip reproductions keep getting better and better!