February 14, 2013


For Your Shelf Only: Rare Ian Fleming. It took a lot of discipline to resist entering a bidding war today for a very rare Ian Fleming item on eBay. Many collectors seem to focus their efforts on paperbacks and hardcover editions. Being an Ian Fleming collector -on a budget- ever since my youth, I have tended to gravitate toward his appearances in periodicals and softcover. Magazines and paperback editions are often fun to find because they offer unusual graphics and illustrations. Well, this item has them in spades. 

Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service was apparently serialized in the California Weekly People supplement of the San Francisco Examiner. The first six chapters appeared in the Jan 26th, 1964 issue. The cover of the supplement measures about 14.75 x 10.7 and featured very cool graphics, including a fabulous color illustration of the beach scene by (I believe) house editorial cartoonist, Ken Alexander. They also reproduced the familiar "A James Bond Thriller" type-logo from the Signet book-cover designs of the era. Inside, Alexander contributed five other illustrations (two in full color). Alexander died at age 87 in May 2012. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was famously serialized in Playboy in 1963, and later adapted as a comic strip in the UK in 1964 by John McLusky. I shared this significant eBay find with Jon Gilbert, author of Ian Fleming: The Bibliography. Neither of us had ever seen it and were quite excited! In the end, the paper sold for just over $200. It was hard to let it go, but I am determined to track down a copy at an affordable price in the future. I'd love to use it for a project I am working on! For historical purposes, the scans from the auction are below (click to enlarge). I send my congratulations to my fellow Ian Fleming collector out there. I wish I shared your deep pockets today, but I also share your excitement in adding this piece to your collection. Have any Spy Vibers ever seen this edition before?

For Your Shelf Only, where guests share stories about collecting and show us some of their treasures. You can find most of the series links here: Jon GilbertRaymond BensonJeremy DunsPeter LorenzDavid FosterRob MallowsRoger LangleyCraig ArthurFleming ShortMatt Sherman, Alan Stephenson. Check out my books Counting Sheep and Mort Walker ConversationsYou can find James Bond books and other spy treasures in Spy Vibe's secure Amazon Store.

I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more

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  1. Cool! I'd never seen that piece before. Thanks for sharing, Jason!

  2. Agreed- a great find which had gone under my radar. Expensive, but worth it.

  3. Lee Pfeiffer (Cinema Retro) wrote that he also has never come across this one before.

  4. Sweet! Puts Bond into a historical perspective.