February 8, 2010


Celebrate Spy Vibe's first year with a series of prize contests! Up first, a copy of the fantastic book, James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007 by Alan J. Porter. Just post a comment on this announcement at the Spy Vibe blogsite, or e-mail me at jason[at]spyvibe.com with "Illustrated Bond" in the subject line. In your communique, describe your three favorites from the world of spy poster art or illustration. Don't need the book? Tell us about your faves anyway and specify you don't need to be added to the random drawing. Your entries must be made by February 22nd. Good luck!

Details from Hermes Press: Now for the first time, the complete history of the illustrated James Bond is chronicled by pop culture historian Alan J. Porter in James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007. Porter's new book examines James Bond's adventures in newspaper strips and comic books. Before Bond became world famous with his movie series, the character was the subject of successful English newspaper strips and later in comic books. With the explosion of Bond on the screen the character and his exploits become even more popular in comic strip and comic book versions all over the world. James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007 examines it all, and covers Bond's newspaper strip and comic book appearances from the 1950s to the present. The release of this all-new history is timed to coincide with James Bond's newest movie appearance and is sure to be a must for all Bond fans. The cover of the book presents a never-before- seen painting by noted artist Bob Peak who made a significant contribution to the Bond canon's movie poster art.


  1. I'll get the ball rolling here- my fave three spy illustrations off the top of my head are: 3: the James Bond comic strip. Love it! The stories adapt really well to the strip format and the art was awesome. Just look at the motorcycle or car chase scenes. The omnibus collection is now out from Titan Books. 2: the Thunderball movie poster art. I love how they conveyed the promise of action (jetpack, scuba, and romance!). 1: Gotta go with Tanner/DoubleO Section here and say Deadlier Than the Male movie poster art. Nothing cooler than spy/assassin girls with spear guns!

  2. Yeah, you know me well: all the various international poster art for Deadlier Than the Male is at the top of MY list! Beyond that... oh, there's just SO MUCH that I love! Thunderball's a great choice, too; I love the way McCarthy's knack for action and McGinnis' knack for beautiful women are combined to create a poster that captures every aspect of the Sixties spy movie. But I think my top choice of McGinnis art is actually Live and Let Die; it's SUCH a classic composition! Aw, I'll just cheat and say ANYTHING by McGinnis as my #2 choice. It's so hard to limit my love of spy art to just three things, but I think that Steranko's run on Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD has to edge out McClusky's excellent Bond newspaper strip and even Gulacy's fantastic Bond art in the comic book Serpent's Tooth to represent spy comics for me. Just look at that classic cover to issue 4. Steranko combined Bond and The Man From UNCLE iconography with pop art, surrealism and psychadelia to create some of the all-time best fantastical spy imagery!

    (Please don't consider me for the contest, though; I already own that excellent book!)

  3. Great picks! That's a really good point re: Steranko's Shield art. I love those pop art touches!

  4. There are so many things I would like to add to this list. It is very difficult to pick three. I would like to include Robert McGinnis's one sheet design for 1967's "Casino Royale" for instance (such a great iconic 60s image) and indeed all the early Bond posters were fantastic. Some friends and I would get the cinema to give them to us after screenings of the Connery Bond movies and then have to find some way to divide them between us.

    But here are three visual Bond images that had the most influence on my childhood imagination:

    #1: The Spy Who Loved Me movie poster by Bob Peak. This was my first exposure to Bond in 1977. I was nine years old and everybody was excited about "Star Wars" but this other film intrigued me. I was hooked on TV shows like The Avengers that my contemporaries were not so familiar with and here was this movie with a billboard that loomed outside the cinema that looked more exotic, intriguing, glamorous than anything I had ever seen. The dinner jacket/gun pose would define the remainder of my childhood.

    #2: Moonraker movie poster by Dan Grouzee. Between the release of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker I was lucky enough to see two Connery Bond movies on the big screen which I enjoyed just as much as The Spy Who Loved Me. Thunderball and then Goldfinger. Goldfinger was in a Sunday night double feature with Breakheart Past, with Goldfinger on second. Somehow I managed to convince my parents to take me even though it was so late and they were not even any children's ticket. This was about two months before the release of Moonraker in 1979. As if Goldfinger was not a mind-blowing enough experience, as we were coming down the stairs from the theatre, there above the inside of the doorway was a massive one sheet for Moonraker - the version depicting the space station interior with Drax pointing at Bond and Holly Goodhead like God casting Adam and Eve out of Eden. Looking up at that poster was like looking at the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Or rather if I ever get to visit the Sistine Chapel it will be like looking at the Moonraker billboard. Also, for some bizarre reason the lettering was all in French, making it so much more exotic.

    #3 = A Spanish or Italian poster Robin Behling's "Licence to Kill" one sheet, featuring Timothy Dalton with his bow tie undone and stubble on his chin. I glimpsed this for sale in Sydney Australia in 1989. I wish I'd had enough money - or sense - to buy it. It seemed so much more daring than the English language variant. It got the jump on the similar imagery for the Daniel Craig Bond movie posters, nearly 20 years later.

    #3 = An unknown set of frames from a McClusky Bond strip. I kept a scrapbook of Bond images from newspapers: movie posters printed as newspaper adverts etc. My father brought back a paper from a business trip and it featured the Bond strip. It haunted me because it was so mysterious. I knew nothing about the existence of Bond newspaper strips and yet here was this fragment that I could not even place in any of the novels once I had read them. It remained a riddle to me for years afterwards and even now I don't know which strip it came from.

  5. via e-mail (images not attached here):

    My three favorites from the world of spy poster art or illustration:
    3. Never Say Never Again
    It was just so great to see Connery back!
    2. Live and Let Die
    My favorite cover from this great series of reprint editions.
    1. Target for Tonight
    I find this image quite haunting.

    Please add my name to the drawing!
    -> RHR.

  6. Hi Jason, well, my favorite spy posters are 1. Thunderball, because it was the first Bond I saw as a child and loved the underwater battle; 2. Danger: Diabolik!, because the poster is such a ripp off of James Bond and has all the elements on the poster but sadly the movie can not live up to it and as 3. Deadlier than Male, because I love Elke Summer in that role at the height of her fame during the 6O's.

  7. via e-mail:

    Hi Jason,

    Happy first anniversary!

    Three favorites would be an OHMSS subway poster I found, but that's probably just because I like the movie so much, the foreign poster for Deadlier Than The Male, and an Italian poster for one of the UNCLE films that I can't think of the name of right now, but it's beautiful!.

    If I don't win a book, I'll take one of the Prisoner Ball Chairs (nyuk, nyuk!)

    david broussal

  8. My three faves:

    The US one-sheet for "The Living Daylights" -- the gun-barrel, the shooting pose, the diaphanous silhouette... everything that says "Bond" to me.

    The Japanese poster for "Modesty Blaise.", which features a brunette Modesty, and makes the film actually look closer to the books than it was in reality.

    ...and lastly, the cover to the TSR "Top Secret" role-playing game of the early 1980s, which managed to distill the image of a spy's life to my teenaged mind.

    Enter me in the contest! My email is gms@adamantentertainment.com.

  9. This looks like a great book! I have all the old James Bond Role Playing Game books- great illustrations there- sort of a mix of all the actors in 1 characature.

  10. My three favorites:

    On her Majesty's Secret Service poster- too neat!

    From Russia With Love - Brittish quad

    The concept poster for "Licence Revoked" (Later License to Kill)

  11. via e-mail:

    My favorite spy poster/art:

    Thunderball - Robert Mcginnis - He really knows how to draw the women and he along with Frank McCarthy's movie poster art just epitomizes the spy films of the sixties.

    Venetian Affair - Wonderful poster art with Robert Vaughn and Elke Sommer that unfortunately is not available on dvd.

    Deadlier Than the Male - Elke Sommer - What else can I say. Do you notice a trend here.

    Double O Section, Spy Vibe and Illustrated 007-The Art of James Bond blogs. No wonder I get nothing done at work. Thanks for all your effort.

    Bob Haffner

  12. Well let's see...

    1. Gotta be the 1967 Casino Royale poster - great image (better than some proper-series-Bond images) manages to blend the psychedelic with the Bondian.

    2. The least-seen poster for Ypotron with Luis Davila in the extreme lower right corner with the desertscape, Gaia Germani and explosion behind him and the awesome title on the upper right WITHOUT any of the "Agent 077" stuff before it.

    3. Can I have the posters Deadlier Than the Male AND Some Girls Do (the white-backed one sheet for the latter, please). Because when weighing up images of Sylva Koscina, Elke Sommer and Suzanna Leigh against bikini-clad Daliah Lavi, Beba Loncar and Sydne Rome, coming out with a winner is impossible!

  13. Gareth-Michael Skarka is the winner in the random drawing! Thank you to everyone who entered. There are current and upcoming contests, so you have more chances to win Spy Vibe prizes. Thanks for being a part of Spy Vibe! -Jason


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