WebFind: Modesty Blaise by Paul Gulacy

Award-winning American comic artist Paul Gulacy is deservedly praised for his distinctive comics work, a creator who helped make Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu a success back in the 1970s. But I’ve only just discovered his take on Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise, which he posted to his official website, back in 2011.

Before anyone starts thinking a new Modesty Blaise series was in the works back then, unfortunately it was simply a commission piece, still on view in the archive of Paul’s official web site, and included in his work reel video.

Given his standout work on series such as Black Widow: Web Of Intrigue (with others), James Bond 007: Serpent’s Tooth and Sci-Spy (reunited with MOKF writer Doug Moench), you can’t help but wonder what might have been, had someone in a publishing house spotted it, and done more than ask, “Where’s Willie?”

Paul Gulacy should need no introduction to many downthetubes fans. He’s an internationally acclaimed comic book artist with over forty years in the field, who trained at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Pratt Institute in New York. Paul has also worked in magazine illustration, in animation, and for high-profile advertising agencies.

He made his initial mark on the art world while at Marvel Comics during the Kung Fu craze of the 1970s with Master of Kung Fu. His work on that title inspired legendary film director Quentin Tarantino to say, “Master of Kung Fu … hands down my favourite comic book.”

(Paul himself reportedly cites Master of Kung Fu #40, “The Murder Agency”, as his favourite story of his work on the series).

Unused wraparound cover for COR Controlled Organics Robotics by Paul Gulacy| Via www.gulacy.com
Cover art for Sabre by Paul Gulacy | Via www.gulacy.com
Judge Dredd art from IDW’s Judge Dredd title, story by Duane Swierczynski who Paul worked with on Cable for Marvel | Via The Artists Choice
Paul’s cover to Bizarre Adventures Magazine #27 featuring the X-Men Phoenix, Nightcrawler and Iceman, was used as the new cover to the True Believers : Phoenix – Bizarre Adventures #1 in 2018 | Via www.gulacy.com

His trademark action-packed, cinematic style can also be found in such titles as Batman, James Bond, Star Wars, including Star Wars: Crimson Empire 3 for Dark Horse, Cable, The Rook, Terminator, Catwoman, and many more. Other works include Time Bomb for Radical Publishing, and GI Joe: Special Missions at IDW Publishing.

Paul Gulacy is online at www.gulacy.com | Follow Paul on Twitter @gulacyart

For more of Gulacy’s fantastic spy artwork, check out Spies, Vixens and Masters of Kung Fu by Michael Konenberg, published by Vanguard in 2005

Paul Gulacy’s work on Master of Kung Fu gets deserved attention in The Way of the Warrior: Marvel’s Mightiest Martial Artists, by Alan Cowsill, released in 2021 by DK

Spotted and documented with reference to the Paul Gulacy official site, and an old post by Los Angeles-based screenwriter Matthew Bradford, on his highly recommended Double O Section blog

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: Art and Illustration, British Comics, British Comics - Newspaper Strips, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Links

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1 reply

  1. Yeah, it’s just an adaptation of the 1966 movie poster – that’s the only time Modesty has ever had a leg tattoo; it’s not in the comics or novels. Nicely done, still, and an interesting glimpse as to what a Gulacy Modesty would have looked like. The fact no one has attempted to do a new version of Modesty Blaise – in films, comics, or novels – since Peter O’Donnell’s death makes me think he might have left instructions that the character was to be retired when he died. I hope not because with all this talk of people wanting a female James Bond (some literally), this would be a perfect time for a proper film or TV adaptation or new comic series. Someone like Gulacy could do it justice.

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