stolisomancer: (Default)
[personal profile] stolisomancer
Following the sudden death of Jim Holdaway in 1970, Erich Romero took over the art job on the "Modesty Blaise" strip for much of the rest of its run. In 1972's "The Bluebeard Affair," Romero had not yet evolved into the pin-up artist he was in the later strips, and while he never misses a chance to draw a good-looking woman, he comes off here more like he's trying to mimic Holdaway's style. It's interesting to see his early work, since this is, after all, the "Axa" guy.

This arc is collected in the Titan Books volume The Gallows Bird, along with "The Iron God" and "The Hanging Judge."

20 comic strips, after the cut )
angelophile: (Pryde & Wisdom - Drinking)
[personal profile] angelophile
Bleeding Cool's reporting that Peter O'Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise has passed away.

He created Modesty Blaise, the gadget-toting super spy with artist Jim Holdaway back in 1963 for the Evening Standard and the character appeared in strips right up until 2001. Although it was syndicated across the world and the character's been upheld as being a feminist rolemodel, apparently the strip wasn't widely available in the US until relatively recently - apparently the occasional nudity was considered a problem - but Chris Claremont, at least, has noted Peter O'Donnell as being a major influence and Warren Ellis has just payed tribute to him as "one of the finest comics writers of the last century".

Bitch Magazine has a great article for the uninitiated.

RIP Peter O'Donnell.

A sampling from Modesty's origin story under the cut. )
[identity profile]
Posted on the old scans_daily but maybe some here have not seen it..)

This three page recap is from 1966. Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway created it for newspapers who were beginning to run the Modesty Blaise strip. There are one or two points in the origin that I think might be emphasised. Modesty was not a private detective or anything, she ran an international organization called the Network, and she got rich from a variety of crimes. Not prostitution or drugs, she explicitly hated those vices; but even if the Network mostly specialized in smuggling, armed robbery, extortion and blackmail.. and even if she tried to target rich people who could survive having their valuables heisted... Modesty and Willie certainly hurt a lot of innocent people in their career. Some guards are going to get killed, some victims will put up a fight and be shot in the struggle, that sort of thing. These two are not candidates for sainthood.

Also, while Modesty certainly deserves the praise she gets for her later crime-busting and hostage-rescuing career, Willie merits more credit than he usually receives. He is after all her right hand man, has saved her life many times and a lot of her explots would have ended badly without him. The most important thing is that she can absolutely trust him with no thought of betrayal ever entering her mind. In the overlapping worlds of organized crime and espionage, a partner who will stand by you no matter what is almost unheard of, and Modesty has that in Willie. He would very likely have remained a two-bit thug without her inspiration, but she would probably have never been as well-balanced or happy without his grounding influence. (Or as much fun to read about)

And now here it is, story by Peter O'Donnell and art by Jim Holdaway, the beginnings of one of the greatest friendships and partnerships in adventure fiction...

read )


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