The name’s Bond … Jane Bond! With the lavish art of Mike Hubbard, the artist of iconic Daily Mirror strip “Jane”, lovingly restored to its full glory, a collection of campy espionage adventure stories from 1960s girls’ comic Princess Tina is coming in April 2023, courtesy of the Treasury of British Comics.
In The Best of Jane Bond, we’re introduced to the Secret Agent, is the finest spy on Worldpol’s roster. Armed with her wits, her fists, and an array of futuristic tech, she is our last line of defense against a international criminal underworld.
From fighting a school of super villainesses, to foiling plans to melt to Artic ice caps, to escaping the clutches of a giant mechanical lobster, there’s no shortage of dangerous missions Jane must undertake for Queen and Country!
When artist David Roach shared a page of this strip back in 2014, I wasn’t alone in suggesting the strip would make for a great collection – but it’s taken a change of rights ownership to achieve this, Rebellion gradually making the most of the hundreds of comic properties it now owns.
“Jane Bond: Secret Agent” ran in Tina and Princess Tina between February 1967 and 1970, drawn by Mike Hubbard, and later appeared in the 1979 Tammy annual. The strip was also reprinted aboard (as “Jane Bond – Geheim Agente” in Holland, for example).
No specific connection between James Bond and Jane, an agent of “World Pol”, was ever made, but the inference was clear, right down to her use of clever gadgets to sometimes get her out of a jam.
Hailing from Ireland, Mike Hubbard (2nd April 1902 – 25th June 1976), artist on Jane Bond, started out in the 1930s as a British pulp illustrator, on detective titles like Union Jack. After World War Two, between 1945 and 1959, he drew the newspaper strip “Jane” for the Daily Mirror; followed by and enormous number of strips for Fleetway’s girls comics – “always with an emphasis on pretty girls,” David noted. “I love his work.”
His credits also include “Allan Quartermain”, for Ranger and the science fantasy story “Pals” for The Bumper Story Book for Boys.
A Welcome Addition to the Treasury of British Comics Line
It can’t be an easy task deciding what might work well commercially in collection, as opposed to reworking an established character in new ways for a modern audience.
But now, through its Treasury of British Comics imprint and partnerships with publishers such as Anderson Entertainment, Book Palace and Hibernia Comics, not to mention overseas collection deals in Spain, France and India, to name but a few territories, we have been treated to a remarkable number of vintage comic releases.
The impending release of Jane Bond is great news, as is much welcome interest in British girls comics of late.
Given the high praise David Roach has previously received for his books such as Masters of British Comic Art and the newly-released The Art of Luis Garcia, surely it’s high time we had a book dedicated to girls comics from him, too?
After all, he’s catalogued every British Girls comic, with around 90 per cent of the strips creators identified, so the raw materials are certainly there.
All we need now is a willing publisher…
• Pre-order The Best of Jane Bond here from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
• “Jane Bond” art on the Illustration Art Gallery
• “Jane Bond” art on ComicArtFans
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