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James Bond Comics Series Complete

 

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James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver. Additionally, Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.

The fictional British Secret Service agent has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip and video game formats as well as being used in the longest running and the second-highest grossing film franchise to date, which started in 1962 with Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as Bond. As of 2012, there have been twenty two films in the Eon Productions series, with a twenty third, Skyfall, due for release on 26 October 2012. The film will star Daniel Craig in his third portrayal of Bond: he is the sixth actor to play Bond in the Eon series. There have also been two independent productions of Bond films, Casino Royale, a 1967 spoof, and Never Say Never Again, a 1984 remake of an earlier Eon produced film, Thunderball.

The films are renowned for a number of features, including the musical accompaniment, with the theme songs to the films having picked up Academy Award nominations on several occasions. Other important elements which run through most of the films include Bond's cars, his guns and the gadgets he is supplied with by Q Branch.

Creation and inspiration
As the central figure for his works, Ian Fleming created the fictional character of James Bond, an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander.

Name
Fleming took the name for his character from that of the American ornithologist James Bond, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies; Fleming, a keen birdwatcher himself, had a copy of Bond's guide and he later explained to the ornithologist’s wife that "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born". He further explained that:

When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument...when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, (James Bond) is the dullest name I ever heard.
—Ian Fleming, The New Yorker, 21 April 1962

On another occasion Fleming said: "I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, "James Bond" was much better than something more interesting, like "Peregrine Carruthers". Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure—an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department."

Inspiration
Fleming based his fictional creation on a number of individuals he came across during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, admitting that Bond "was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war". Amongst those types were his brother, Peter, who had been involved in behind the lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war. Aside from Fleming's brother, a number of others also provided some aspects of Bond's make up, including Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, Patrick Dalzel-Job and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale.
Hoagy Carmichael—Fleming's view of James Bond.

Tastes
Fleming also endowed Bond with many of his own traits, including sharing the same golf handicap, the taste for scrambled eggs and using the same brand of toiletries. Bond's tastes are also often taken from Fleming’s own as was his behaviour, with Bond's love of golf and gambling mirroring Fleming's own. Fleming used his experiences of his espionage career and all other aspects of his life as inspiration when writing, including using names of school friends, acquaintances, relatives and lovers throughout his books.

Looks
Fleming decided Bond should look a little like both the American singer Hoagy Carmichael and himself and in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd remarks, "Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless." Likewise, in Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is "certainly good-looking… Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold."

Background
It was not until the penultimate novel, You Only Live Twice, that Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background. The book was the first to be written after the release of Dr. No in cinemas and Sean Connery's depiction of Bond affected Fleming's interpretation of the character, to give Bond both a sense of humour and Scottish antecedents that were not present in the previous stories. In a fictional obituary, purportedly published in The Times, Bond's parents were given as Andrew Bond, from the village of Glencoe, Scotland, and Monique Delacroix, from Yverdon, Switzerland. Fleming did not provide Bond's date of birth, but John Pearson's fictional biography of Bond, James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007, gives Bond a birth date on 11 November 1920, whilst a study by John Griswold puts the date at 11 November 1921.

Comics medium
In 1957, the Daily Express approached Ian Fleming to adapt his stories into comic strips, offering him £1,500 per novel and a share of takings from syndication. After initial reluctance, Fleming, who felt the strips would lack the quality of his writing, agreed. To aid the Daily Express in illustrating Bond, Fleming commissioned an artist to create a sketch of how he believed James Bond looked. The illustrator, John McLusky, however, felt that Fleming's 007 looked too "outdated" and "pre-war" and changed Bond to give him a more masculine look. The first strip, Casino Royale was published from 7 July 1958 to 13 December 1958 and was written by Anthony Hern and illustrated by John McLusky.

Most of the Bond novels and short stories have since been adapted for illustration, as well as Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun; the works were written by Henry Gammidge or Jim Lawrence with Yaroslav Horak replacing McClusky as artist in 1966. After the Fleming and Amis material had been adapted, original stories were produced, continuing in the Daily Express and Sunday Express until May 1977.

Several comic book adaptations of the James Bond films have been published through the years: at the time of Dr. No's release in October 1962, a comic book adaptation of the screenplay, written by Norman J. Nodel, was published in Britain as part of the Classics Illustrated anthology series. It was later reprinted in the United States by DC Comics as part of its Showcase anthology series, in January 1963. This was the first American comic book appearance of James Bond and is noteworthy for being a relatively rare example of a British comic being reprinted in a fairly high-profile American comic. It was also one of the earliest comics to be censored on racial grounds (some skin tones and dialogue were changed for the American market).

With the release of the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, Marvel Comics published a two-issue comic book adaptation of the film. When Octopussy was released in the cinemas in 1983, Marvel published an accompanying comic; Eclipse also produced a one-off comic for Licence to Kill, although Timothy Dalton refused to allow his likeness to be used. New Bond stories were also drawn up and published from 1989 onwards through Marvel, Eclipse Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

 

 

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