April 7, 2013


They say that if you travel far enough, you eventually meet your double. In the world of book design, it turns out that you don't have to travel that far after all! Spy Vibers might enjoy seeing these classic James Bond cover designs for Ian Fleming's Diamonds Are Forever (Great Pan/1958) and For Your Eyes Only (Great Pan/1962). Although the covers are quite familiar to Bond fans, I imagine that few have paired them up alongside their doppelgängers. 

Widow's Pique by Blair Treynor was a murder mystery published in paperback by Perma Books in 1957- apparently one year before the release of Diamonds Are Forever! One might imagine that Perma was sharing the illustration with Pan (a Macmillon imprint), but Perma was an imprint of Doubleday. Was it a case of plagiarism, or did a busy illustrator 'double-dip' to save time? Author Jeremy Duns suggested that this was the work of illustrator James Meese. Original Meese artwork for Widow's Pique below is from a cover archive here. Additionally, Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming: The Bibliography lists that Diamonds Are Forever was illustrated by Rex Arthur in 1958. 

Likewise, we can see J. Oval's portrait in For Your Eyes Only repeated five years later on the cover of The Devil's Secret, a Johnny Nero adventure published in the Fleetway Super Library series in 1967 [Spy Vibe exposed this pairing in our Fleetway Super Library post here]. Have Spy Vibers uncovered similar design doppelgängers? Let us know!

Ian Fleming on Spy Vibe: recent posts include Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carrdiscovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII CommandosIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, and our Ian Fleming image archive link here.

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), PG Tips Brooke Bond, 1960s espionage writers, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, and more. 

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