James Bond

NAME:
James Bond
NEWSPAPER:
Daily Express
Sunday Express
Daily Star
DATES:
1958-84

ARTIST(S):

John McLusky
Yaroslav Horak
Harry North
WRITER(S):

Ian Fleming
Kingsley Amis

Anthony Hern
Henry Gammidge
Peter O'Donnell

Jim Lawrence

John McLusky original artwork for From Russia with Love - detail

The first Bond novel (Casino Royale) was published in 1952, closely followed by From Russia with Love and Dr. No.

Although it was still some years before U.S. President John F. Kennedy would tell a reporter that Casino Royale was his favourite novel - and spark Bond Mania - and four years before the first of the Bond films appeared (Dr. No 1961), in 1957 the UK's Daily Express newspaper approached Ian Fleming to create a newspaper strip featuring Bond.

Although initially reluctant Fleming finally agreed and the first story (Casino Royale) appeared in July 1958. The artist for these early stories was John McLusky, and the Fleming texts were mostly re-written for the strips by Henry Gammidge (although Anthony Hern wrote Casino Royale and Peter O'Donnell wrote Dr. No).

McLusky is attributed with un-intentionally casting Sean Connery as the first Bond. McLusky's depiction of Bond was very close to that of Connery - and a friend at repertory showed Connery the strip. When the call went out for casting Bond, Connery attended and won the part.

Original James Bond art by John McLusky, From Russia with Love scripted by Henry Gammidge. 

 

McLusky and went on to draw all of the Fleming Bond stories from 1958 until 1966: from Casino Royale all the way through to You only Live Twice. In 1966 McLusky was replaced by Czech artist Yaroslav Horak whose most popular work to date had been Jet Fury for the Australian market. However, for Bond his style was superb with a much grittier, tougher look to it than McLusky's.

 

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Original James Bond art by Yaroslav Horak, Man with the Golden Gun scripted by Jim Lawrence.

Horak with his writing partner Jim Lawrence, went on to adapt the remaining Fleming stories as well as Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun. This took them to the end of all that had been written about Bond; so they continued with original stories, written by Lawrence, until 1977 when the Daily Express discontinued the series. To be honest the later stories were by no means as tight or original as Fleming's and often appeared to be a cross between The Man from Uncle and the further adventures of Steed and Peel.

Although the Daily Express had terminated the series, it did continue unabated in the Sunday Express and the Daily Star as well as appearing in various foreign newspapers, magazines and comics. The final Bond (Horak/Lawrence) story Double Eagle, appeared in 1984.

 

 


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