Titan Books completes its “Modesty Blaise” collections with “The Killing Game”

Modesty Blaise - The Killing Game

We’ve been remiss in not noting – and celebrating – the completion of Titan Books collections of the Modesty Blaise newspaper strips with the release of The Killing Game last month.

Spanning 28 collections in this series, Titan have now published every Modesty Blaise newspaper strip, complemented by background articles and information on the comic strip character first created by Peter O’Donnell and artist Jim Holdaway in 1963 for London’s Evening Standard.

The strip follows Modesty Blaise, an exceptional young woman with many talents and a criminal past, and her trusty sidekick Willie Garvin. Eleven novels and two short story collections were also written and It was adapted into films in 1966, 1982 and 2003.

The strip was syndicated among a large number of newspapers, ranging from the Johannesburg Star to the Detroit Free Press down the years. Initially drawn by Jim Holdaway (after O’Donnell decided against using Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson), Spanish artist Enrique Badía Romero took over the strip after his death in 1970 for eight years replaced, albeit briefly, by John M. Burns.

Patrick Wright and Neville Colvin also drew the strip until 1986, when Romero returned to the job and continued until the end of the strip in 2000.

The art for the final Modesty Blaise daily comic strip, #10183 by Enrique Romero. Unlike the printed version, the original art appears without the word balloons. The gist of the dialogue is that Modesty and Willie plan to unearth a treasure (the one left buried at the end of the book "A Taste for Death") and anonymously donate it to the Salvation Army, and to take a break from adventuring. The final exchange at sunset: Modesty says, "No villains, no victims, no blood sweat and tears... we'll take a little break, Willie love, just you and me." Willie replies, "Best bit of all, princess..."
The art for the final Modesty Blaise daily comic strip, #10183 by Enrique Romero.

In The Killing Game, wedding bells are sounding for Guido the Jinx, but as always he’s in over his head and Modesty and Willie must fight to save him, and the world, from bio-terrorists in “The Last Aristocrat”. Modesty and Willie are forced to become quarry in a big game hunt, playing for keeps in “The Killing Game”.

In Modesty and Willie’s final newspaper strip tale, “The Zombie”, the pair must rescue an old Network friend from a super-computer building cult.

Buy The Killing Game from amazon.co.uk (using this link helps support downthetubes)

• More Modesty Blaise books and more on amazon.co.uk

Web Links

The Official Modesty Blaise Site

• The Complete Modesty Blaise Dossier

Peter O’Donnell on the origins of Modesty Blaise

Enrique Badia Romero – Official Site

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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