February 27, 2017

JAMES BOND BLACK BOX

New release: Dynamite continues their line of James Bond comic books this week with a new story arc title. James Bond Black Box #1 hits comic shops on Wednesday, March 1st with a variety of variant cover designs. From the press release: "Black Box Part One - Whiteout. The next epic adventure for 007 kicks off in the snowbound French Alps, where Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who targets other assassins. This is the first puzzle piece in a larger adrenaline-fueled mystery that will send Bond across the globe to investigate a digital breach that threatens global security." The comic is being written by Ben Percy, who told NewsaRama: "When I was a kid, my father and I would watch - over and over again - the Bond marathons on TBS. When I was in high school, I took a career test and wrote 'spy' as my dream job. When I was in college, I signed up for an espionage novel course and fell in love with Fleming's books. The first drink I ordered was a vodka martini - shaken, not stirred - though I now stay true to the novels and favor bourbon. And over the past few months, I've followed the Warren Ellis run at Dynamite with admiration and jealousy. Bond is ingrained in me, a character who has centrally influenced my life and sense of story. I love the legendary, exquisitely cool 007 franchise and I couldn't be more excited to thrill readers with exotic locales, nifty gadgets, colorful villains, dangerous seductions, and wildly orchestrated action set-pieces. Cue the theme music." Check your local shops. More info here. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 24, 2017

PRISONER SUPERGRASS

The Village from the 1960s cult TV classic, The Prisoner, has become the theme of the week, as more videos join XTC in the list of cool Portmeirion projects. The band Supergrass filmed this promo for Alright Personalizer in 1995. And this time, Spy Vibers are treated to footage shot all over Portmeirion. The video begins on the estuary sands during low tide and eventually moves into the Village proper, with scenes shot around many of the major buildings and sites in the main piazza and Battery Square. We even catch a glimpse of the miles of roads that lead to the entrance and wind through the woods around The Village. Thematically, the band also chose to root the video in the 1960s by being rolled through locations on a wheeled bed, referencing Richard Lester's The Knack... and How to Get It (1965) and The Monkees TV series (1966-1968). Seeing three guys goofing off on bikes also reminded me of a Goodies (1970-1982) vibe, albeit without the witty jump-cuts and cinematic illusions. Alright Personalizer had a following and reached #2 in the UK singles chart. According to some reports, Steven Spielberg thought Supergrass could even lead a new Monkees TV series. The band, who hailed from Oxford, continued on and off with group and solo projects since their success during the 1990s Britpop era. They split officially in 2010 after a series of farewell concerts. Their final album remains unreleased. Enjoy the video! Related posts: My Photographs of The Village 2015 and 2016, Prisoner XTCPrisoner XTC 2, DC Fontana Prisoner videoJaz Wiseman Interview, My London photos Filming The PrisonerThe Prisoner audio drama review by Alan Hayes, Set Countdown- The PrisonerPrisoner/Capt. Scarlet DebutBrian Gorman InterviewEric Milval Book 


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 22, 2017

PRISONER XTC 2

Artists have continued to mine the rich tapestry of 1960s pop culture through the decades in order to pay homage to their heroes and to borrow elements of sixties design and conventions. With its pop art sensibility and radical message, it's no surprise Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner is often referenced. In my last post we looked at the XTC music video for The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, which was filmed in Portmeirion, the show's location. I absolutely love Wales and Portmeirion, and have had the good fortune to visit a number of times and stay in the Village. Even for non-fans of The Prisoner, the design, layout, and grounds of the place are so wonderfully surreal and charming! Rick Davy at The Unmutual site put an additional Portmeirion video on my radar recently. XTC also filmed The Meeting Place there in 1986, though this time the footage was mostly limited to the band miming in Battery Square outside Number 6's Round House. But keep your eyes peeled for the Dome in a few over-the-shoulder shots- a great illustration of just how close the two buildings are in real life! This video was produced by Channel 4's The Tube and presented here by the late Paula Yates, who often co-presented with Jools Holland (a major Prisoner and Portmeirion fan). Enjoy! Related posts: My Photographs of The Village 2015 and 2016, DC Fontana Prisoner videoJaz Wiseman Interview, My London photos Filming The PrisonerThe Prisoner audio drama review by Alan Hayes, Set Countdown- The PrisonerPrisoner/Capt. Scarlet Debut, Brian Gorman Interview, Eric Milval Book.  


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 17, 2017

PRISONER XTC

A warm thanks goes out to Jaz Wiseman for putting the band, XTC, back on my radar. I was a huge fan of their albums Black Sea, Dukes of the Stratosphere, Skylarking, and Oranges and Lemons back in the day. In fact, the latter two were some of the few records in my life that I played in constant repeat upon their release. The music of XTC and Andy Partridge had a great appeal for me, due in part to their catchy melodies, smart lyrics, and occasional Beatles vibe. I didn't see so many music videos during that era, however. After college I moved back to northern Japan, where I had spent time in school on a study-abroad program. Although I was still an avid record hunter on weekends, my TV exposure was pretty limited to episodes of Lupin the III in Japanese. Cue Jaz Wiseman. Jazz recently posted an XTC video for The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul in a forum we belong to. I was so pleasantly surprised to not only see an XTC video, but to see the whole Channel 4 Tube production was an homage to The Prisoner. The band filmed the piece at the Gothic Pavilion in Portmeirion in Wales! While XTC mimed the tune, a trio (the men sporting Prisoner jackets), performed a bit of modern dance worthy of 1960s television- all intercut with original Prisoner footage of Patrick McGoohan outside the Round House. In short, it's a blast! Check it out below. Watch for more XTC videos with Spy appeal here on Spy Vibe. Enjoy! Related posts: My Photographs of The Village 2015 and 2016, DC Fontana Prisoner video, Jaz Wiseman Interview, My London photos Filming The Prisoner, The Prisoner audio drama review by Alan Hayes, Set Countdown- The Prisoner, Prisoner/Capt. Scarlet Debut

February 16, 2017

MAGRITTE FANTOMAS

The great French character Fantomas- an archetypal villain and master of disguise from the cliffhanger serials by Feuillade- was the object of fascination by a number of avant-garde artists and writers in the early part of the 20th Century. The original pre-WWI films, along with the director's Judex and Les Vampires, established the template for future cinematic diabolical masterminds and espionage/crime thrillers. Fantomas was resurrected a number of times over the decades, through literature, film, and comics. Spy Vibers may best remember the character from the trilogy of French crime comedies in the 1960s starring Jean Marais. Artist Rene Magritte often drew on images of the character in his work, which I find to be a fascinating connection. My friend, cartoonist Richard Sala, put this image on my radar today (see below). I love how the the piece celebrates and plays with the costume design of the mysterious figure in black. You can just about hear an evil laugh worthy of John Phillip Law's Diabolik. Also below are a few additional Magritte/Fantomas images that pay homage to film scenes and the original novel cover design: Enjoy! Related Spy Vibe posts: Fantomas DesignFlying Citroen DSFantomas comics 1Fantomas comics 2Fantomas Kindle CollectionDiabolikal Villain Archive, Fantomas Blu-ray, Prada VillainsCatsuits, Les Vampires Blu-ray, Fantomas Kindle, Les Vampires, Macabre Mystery Week, Richard Sala.




Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 14, 2017

BOND VALENTINE

All relationships have their greatness, however long of brief. To the one and only Mrs. Bond, and to all the Spy Vibers out there. Happy Valentine's Day!


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 12, 2017

AVENGERS SEASON ONE

One of the most exciting events of last year was the discovery of the missing season one episode of The Avengers, The Tunnel of Fear. As Spy Vibers probably are aware, many programs in the UK, including The Avengers and Doctor Who, were routinely wiped so the studio could save money by reusing the tapes. Media archeologists and conservationists are always on the hunt to find materials and, against all odds, long-lost bits of film still turn up sometimes. Nobody expected to see early Avengers unearthed, that's for sure! With this new discover, Avengers scholar Alan Hayes has released revised edition of his book, Two Against the Underworld. The book is an in-depth guide to season one of the series. Spy Vibers can pick it up in paperback, hardcover, and ebook editions. More info at Hidden Tiger Books at Lulu. Also available on the site is Avengerworld, an omnibus celebration of The Avengers (I wrote the Afterword). More about Two Against the Underworld from the press release: "Two Against the Underworld brings together eight years of research to tell the story of The Avengers from both sides of the camera. It has now been further revised following the recovery of the episode Tunnel of Fear. The authors lift the lid on all 26 Series 1 episodes. Comprehensive chapters detail the narratives in extended synopsis form, as well as the production, transmission and reception of each episode, and the talented personnel who made them. The creation of The Avengers, Ian Hendry's departure, the series’ destiny and the mystery of the missing episodes are explored in a series of essays, each of which has been revised. Avengers writer Roger Marshall and Neil Hendry both contribute forewords to this volume. The book also boasts black-and-white illustrations by Shaqui Le Vesconte and 70 pages of appendices that deal in depth with the unproduced episodes of Series 1, Keel and Steed’s further adventures in the comic strip The Drug Pedlar and the novel Too Many Targets, and much more." Orders put in by midnight UK time (Sunday, Feb 12th 2017) can save 15% by entering the code FWD15. You can also get free shipping by using the code SHIPFEB17. Enjoy! Read Alan's review on Spy Vibe of The Prisoner audio dramas by Big Finish. Related posts: Avengers Pop Art InterviewDiana Rigg Auto Show, Avengers Interview: Alan HayesJaz Wiseman InterviewAvengers Interview: Mike RichardsonCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonThe Saint Interview: Ian DickersonAvengers Interview: Rodney MarshallAvengers Interview Rodney Marshall 2John Buss InterviewFarewell SteedShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggLost Diana Rigg InterviewDiana Rigg BFI ScreeningAvengers Season 5 TitlesThe Avengers SingLost Avengers Vol 2-7Richard Sala Interview: Super EnigmatixAdventures of Richard Sala Interview.


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.

February 9, 2017

DANGER MOUSE TOYS

When the UK classic Danger Mouse cartoon from the early 1980s got a relaunch in 2015 I couldn't wait to catch up with one of my favorite spy characters from my youth. The original show was filled with humor, puns, and some marvelous nods to 1960s spies. The title, of course, is a comical twist on Danger Man starring Patrick McGoohan (titled Secret Agent in the US). Although I haven't been quite as taken with the roboot, the episodes I saw on Netflix clearly showed efforts to recapture the charm of the original. Fifty episodes were produced so far and it was announced last May that a second season had been commissioned. Much of the first season has been relapsed on region 2 DVDs. Both the 1981 and 2015 series are streaming in Netflix. One thing I did not expect from the new cartoon was merchandising. and I'm happy to report that a recent trip to the local Toys R Us left me pleasantly surprised. Just as I was leaving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aisle, there was Danger Mouse- sporting his white jumpsuit and ready for adventure. In addition to various puzzles and card games, fans (and kids!) can enjoy talking and plush figures, a role-play costume kit, shrinkatizer ray gun, as well as a number of DM figures with accessaries. Spy Vibers can also find these items at Amazon and on-line toy outlets. Here are a few images that caught my eye. Learn more at Danger Mouse and Spy Vibe. Enjoy!










Selected Spy Vibe Posts: 1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art Interview, Fergus Fleming Interview, Avengers: Alan Hayes InterviewJaz Wiseman Interview, Diana Rigg BFI InterviewCasino Royale Interview: Mike RichardsonLost Diana Rigg InterviewHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE School.
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