Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The Art of Modesty Blaise
The book is introduced by Lawrence Blackmore, author of The Modesty Blaise Companion, who offers a brief but complete overview of the strip. A couple of minor errors creep in: John M. Burns' early Thomson strips were drawn for Diana, not for "Classic Picture Strip" and, on a more journalistic note, where Blackmore says that "It is not for me, or anyone else for that matter, to arbitrate on the merits of the artists." I'd argue that it is precisely what you can do in a signed feature introducing "the art of" a subject and, as long as we know whose opinion it is, having and expressing an opinion is perfectly OK.
These were Pat Wright's first two strips and he was brought in suddenly, mid-story, so it's almost inevitable that he needed a few strips to get his footing and establish his own style.
The biography of Peter O'Donnell appears to have been written prior to the author's death in 2010, referring to him in present tense ("If pressed he will relate...") as if her were still around.
Minor gripes aside, the main meat-and-veg of the book is the artwork, and with over 160 examples from the pens of Jim Holdaway, Enrique Badia Romero, John Burns, Pat Wright and Neville Colvin on display, you really can't go wrong.
Book Palace Books website.