In Review: The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special)

The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - front cover by Enrique Badia Romero

The latest illustrators Special from Book Palace Books is dedicated entirely to the artists who brought the Modesty Blaise newspaper strip created by Peter O’Donnell to life – and if you’re a fan, I’d argue it’s an essential purchase.

Offering a guide to the creation of the character, authors Diego Cordoba and Norman Boyd provide a fascinating insight into the development of the character and strip, taking us through each era of the long-running series artist by artist.

Along with those who drew the strip – Jim Holdaway, Enrique Badia Romero, John M Burns, Patrick Wright, Neville Colvin, we’re also treated to sight of tryouts by Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson and Thunderbirds artist Frank Bellamy.

Until now, I confess I was unaware Bellamy had any involvement with Blaise, which came before his work on the Daily Mirror “Garth” strip, which alone made this Special such a terrific read.

The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread
The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) - Sample Spread

Add in coverage of the numerous Modesty Blaise paperback cover artists and the full size samples of artist’s work for the strip, the closest equivalent to seeing original art some of us will get, and never before seen visuals of Modesty… Well, I hope you’ll be suitably intrigued and give this Special a try.

(The images above don’t do justice to the quality of the print edition, but should at least offer a small sampling of what this excellent publication includes).

Admittedly not an inexpensive purchase, I’d argue it’s very much worth every penny of cover price, given the work featured, that shines, for me, from every page.

As with other illustrators releases, if you want great insights into the craft of creating comic strips, this Special is very much of the same, if not higher standard. Recommended.

John Freeman

Buy The Modesty Blaise Artists (Illustrators Special) here

Authors: Diego Cordoba, Norman Boyd
Artists: Jim Holdaway, Enric Romero, John M Burns, Patrick Wright, Neville Colvin
Publisher: Book Palace Books, October 2022
Number of pages: 160
Format: Soft Cover; Full Colour illustrations
Size: 9″ x 11″ (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9781913548308

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Books, Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Let us know what you think about this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: