JAMES BOND 007
Original Drawings 1958-1966
made for the DAILY EXPRESS serialisation of Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories
ON VIEW FROM
10am THURSDAY 30th SEPTEMBER
TO CELEBRATE THE LATEST FILM RELEASE
The Artist’s son will be here that day and give a brief introduction to his father’s works at 6.30pm.
We will be keeping extended opening hours until 8pm
The Exhibition continues through 5pm Saturday 30th October
On July 7th 1958, almost four years before Sean Connery would star in ‘Dr No’, Daily Express readers in the UK got their first sight of James Bond. Difficult as it is to imagine now, the face John McLusky created would be many people’s first and lasting image of 007; it was his Bond that composer John Barry had in mind when writing the original theme tune …
Although initially reluctant, Ian Fleming had been pursuaded by Edward Pickering, then Editor at the Daily Express, to grant the paper permission to create a syndicated series of comic strips based on his novels. John McLusky, who had made technical drawings for Air Force Bomber Command in WWII, happened to be touting for work in Fleet Street. In the right place at the right time, he was asked to supply a sample strip, and won the contract.
Keeping to an intense schedule of one strip a day, six days a week, McLusky would eventually illustrate thirteen of Fleming’s novels and short stories for the Daily Express between 1958 and 1966 (we have drawings for eleven of these in this Exhibition), and five for the Daily Star bewteen 1981 and 1983. The stories were visualised almost chronologically. ‘Casino Royale’, the first, was adapted by Daily Express staff writer Anthony Hearne. Then, for the next seven years McLusky teamed up with writer Henry Gammidge (there was a one-off partnership with Peter O’Donnell for Dr. No in 1960).
Fleming was concerned that his detailed prose wouldn’t transpose well to the format. But the strips were an instant success and boosted sales of the newspaper. The flow of the stories, only read at a rate of three cells a day, kept readers hooked; the punchy, fast-paced style and daily cliff-hangers suited Bond’s adventures perfectly.
Trouble broke out in 1962, when Fleming published his short story ‘The Living Daylights’ in rival newspaper The Sunday Times. Lord Beaverbrook, the Daily Express owner, abrubtly curtailed the publication of ‘Thunderball’, then only two months into syndication. It was not until 1964 that a settlement was reached, allowing the Daily Express to continue publication of the strip and all Fleming’s other works.
These ORIGINAL DRAWINGS are all sold to include a mount and frame.
Sizes given are mounted dimensions. The individual strips are between 4x14inches and 5x18inches.
Serial Reference Numbers (S.R. Nos.) are given so the scenes can be identified in each narative.
If you would like to read the complete strips, Titan books have published very good compendiums.
We recommend the The Complete Comic Strip Collection. Or the smaller format James Bond Omnibus series.
CASINO ROYALE (1958)
Fleming Novel, Published 1953
James Bond is sent to play against and bankrupt Le Chiffre, the paymaster for a SMERSH-controlled trade union, in a high-stakes baccarat game in France. With help from CIA agent Felix Leiter, Bond wins the game, but is betrayed by Vesper Lynd, a double agent. Lynd falls in love with Bond and, instead of betraying him, commits suicide.
LIVE AND LET DIE (1958/59)
Fleming Novel, Published 1954
Bond is sent to the United States to investigate “Mr. Big“, an agent of SMERSH and an underworld voodoo leader who is suspected of selling 17th century gold coins to finance Soviet spy operations in America. Bond’s friend and CIA ally, Felix Leiter, is captured and fed to a shark whilst Mr. Big’s fortune-telling girlfriend, Solitaire, runs off with Bond. Solitaire is captured by Mr. Big, but Bond saves her and blows up Mr. Big’s yacht with a limpet mine.
Fleming Novel, Published 1955
Bond joins M at Blades to stop a member, Sir Hugo Drax, cheating at bridge. Bond is subsequently seconded onto Drax’s staff on the “Moonraker”, Britain’s first nuclear missile project. Bond discovers that Drax is an ex-Nazi, working for the Soviets; he also establishes that the rocket is not a defence, but is to be used by Drax to destroy London. Bond re-targets the rocket, sending it into the North Sea, where it kills Drax.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1960)
Fleming Novel, Published 1957
Bond is targeted by SMERSH to be killed in a compromising situation on the Orient Express. He is lured to Istanbul by an attractive young cipher clerk, Corporal Tatiana Romanova, who claims to be defecting and bringing a Lektor, a Russian decoding device much coveted by MI6. Returning to London by train Bond meets SMERSH assassin, Red Grant, pretending to be a fellow British agent. Grant drugs Romanova and attempts to kill Bond, but fails: instead Bond kills Grant. Bond is then nearly killed by Colonel Rosa Klebb, one of the SMERSH planners, before he manages to capture her.
DR NO (1960)
Fleming Novel, Published 1958
Commander John Strangways, the head of MI6 Station J in Kingston, Jamaica, and his secretary both disappear and Bond is sent to investigate the matter. Bond finds they had been investigating the activities of Dr. Julius No, a reclusive Chinese-German who lives on Crab Key and runs a guano mine. Bond suspects a connection to the disappearances and, with the assistance of his old friend Quarrel, Bond visits Crab Key. He is captured by Dr. No and establishes that No has been sabotaging American missile tests at nearby Cape Canaveral. Bond escapes and kills No.
Fleming Novel, Published 1959
Bond investigates the activities of Auric Goldfinger, a gold smuggler whom M suspects of being connected to SMERSH and financing their western networks with his gold. Bond is captured by Goldfinger and forced to work as a secretary to oversee “Operation Grand Slam”, the stealing of the United States gold reserves from Fort Knox. Bond manages to alert the US authorities through his friend, Felix Leiter, and the plot is foiled.
Fleming Short Story, Publ. 1960 in the collection For Your Eyes Only
Bond investigates a drug-smuggling operation run by the Russians.
FROM A VIEW TO A KILL (1961)
Fleming Short Story, Publ. 1960 in the collection For Your Eyes Only
Bond investigates the murder of a motorcycle dispatch-rider and the theft of his top-secret documents by a motorcycle-riding assassin.
Fleming Novel, Published 1961
An international, non-aligned terrorist organisation, SPECTRE, has hijacked a NATO plane and seized its two nuclear bombs, which it uses to blackmail the western world. Bond is sent to the Bahamas, where he joins forces with Felix Leiter. Bond meets “Domino” Vitali, the sister of the pilot who stole the plane with the bombs on board, who is also the mistress of a wealthy treasure hunter, Emilio Largo. Bond and Leiter suspect Largo and, using a nuclear submarine, track him to the bombs: whilst the submarine’s crew fight Largo’s crew, Bond battles with Largo and is overpowered, but before Largo can finish Bond off, Domino shoots him with a spear gun
ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1964-65)
Fleming Novel, Published 1963
Bond continues to search for Ernst Stavro Blofeld after the Thunderball incident. Through contact with the College of Arms in London Bond finds Blofeld based in Switzerland with a co-conspirator, Irma Bunt. After meeting him and discovering his latest plans, Bond attacks the centre where he is based, although Blofeld escapes in the confusion. Bond meets and falls in love with Contessa Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo during the story and the pair marry, but Blofeld kills Bond’s new wife hours after the ceremony.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1965-66)
Fleming Novel, Published 1964
After the murder of his wife, Bond begins to let his life slide. M gives him a last chance of redemption, to persuade the Japanese to share radio transmissions captured from the Soviet Union. The Japanese agree, but only if Bond kills Dr. Guntram Shatterhand, who operates a politically embarrassing “Garden of Death” in an ancient castle. Bond recognises Shatterhand and his wife as Blofeld and Bunt and he infiltrates their castle. He kills Blofeld and escapes, although he is injured as the castle explodes; his injury leaves him with amnesia and he lives as a Japanese fisherman until he travels to Russia to find out about his past.