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Titan's 007: The Inside Story


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#1 zencat

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 07:29 AM

Today James Bond art expert

#2 Simon

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:58 AM

An absolutely cracking article highlighting a perfect meshing of someone's dedication to the task and what access to the world through a popular specıalıst site can offer.

In a world where all the books released on James Bond are retrospective reviews on the whole canon, it is articles like this that really get into the nuts and bolts of the series and which provide real and fascinating detail; to wit, a panel missing because of a UK Bank holiday, not otherwise observed in Scotland - who'd have ever thought it?

Utterly thrilling, looking forward to next week.

I wasn't really going to bother with these books but just reading the work that was put into them is giving me pause for thought. You've probably tipped the balance Red Grant.

#3 Mister Asterix

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 01:08 PM

Fantastically interesting story, Red.

I love reading about fans being involved in these sort of projects for the love of the character. Keep up the great work. With both these sort of projects, and with The Art of James Bond.


#4 stromberg

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 06:01 PM

Absolutely fantastic. Can't wait to read part two.

As soon as I have my copy of GF, I'll give the article a matching typesetting treatment and add the pages to the book.

#5 zencat

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 06:36 PM

An absolutely cracking article highlighting a perfect meshing of someone's dedication to the task and what access to the world through a popular specıalıst site can offer.

In a world where all the books released on James Bond are retrospective reviews on the whole canon, it is articles like this that really get into the nuts and bolts of the series and which provide real and fascinating detail; to wit, a panel missing because of a UK Bank holiday, not otherwise observed in Scotland - who'd have ever thought it?

Utterly thrilling, looking forward to next week.

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I agree, simon, couldn't have said it better myself. I think you will find Part II just as fasinating. Part II should go up Monday, barring any big Bond news. :)

#6 Turn

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 06:44 PM

Good stuff. I always enjoy behind the scenes stories and this delivers. For me, this series of books being put out has been the best Bond product on the mass market since the remastered and expanded soundtracks.

#7 Qwerty

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:27 PM

A fantastic article Red Grant. Dedication and passion for this project show through completely. I've loved what I've seen so far and it looks like they can only get better.

Looking forward to reading the second piece.

#8 clinkeroo

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 12:10 AM

Wow.

Make that a double "wow".

Great stuff, Red, and not boring in the least. I can't wait for Monday's Thunderball adventure, and I'm now on pins waiting for my copy of Goldfinger to arrive. I have copies of Colonel Sun as well as the first 15 Lawrence originals along with Polestar, but I feel like a novice reading the work you've put into this. We are truly thankful for your time and effort, and be assured there are many of us, both old and new, that share your love for this amazing work that appears to finally be getting its due.

Edited by clinkeroo, 18 November 2004 - 12:11 AM.


#9 Simon

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 12:28 AM

Part II should go up Monday, barring any big Bond news. :)

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To be frank, the "big" Bond news can wait until Tuesday.

Cheers sir.

#10 Red Grant

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 03:35 PM

Thanks for the support folks!
I know a lot of this won't make sense until you actually see the book but it should all be clearer when you can compare the pages with what I'm talking about.
Part two is just as fascinating (even though I did it myself) and it is good to actually record all the steps in the process to actually see what is involved. So much information came to light that it wasn't until i started these articles that I could actually see how it all fitted together. It was rather like a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to work from and with some bits missing :)
The Thunderball saga had always bugged me as I could never really find out just what did appear in the original Express version - but on Monday the truth can be told! Watch this space........

#11 superado

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:30 PM

Does Titan plan to publish DAF, From FRWL and DN, the stories featured in the "The Illustrated James Bond, 007"?

Apart from those stories, Titan's Casino Royale completes the adapted Fleming stories, except TSWLM, which I don't think should count because of it's departure from the original story, right?

Edited by superado, 18 November 2004 - 08:31 PM.


#12 Red Grant

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:39 PM

Does Titan plan to publish DAF, From FRWL and  DN, the stories featured in the "The Illustrated James Bond, 007"?

Apart from those stories, Titan's Casino Royale completes the adapted Fleming stories, except TSWLM, which I don't think should count because of it's departure from the original story, right?

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Although not yet officially announced I believe that the series will continue with DAF/FRWL/DN. I suggested some time ago that if they were to do all the Fleming stories then they should include TSWLM (which was released by Titan on it's own in 1989) but pair it with Colonel Sun which is the only other story that is vaguely Fleming related that could be included. Nothing is confirmed but that is the way I'd like to see the series progress.

#13 Genrewriter

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 05:48 PM

Fascinating article, very well done. I'm looking forward to part 2.

#14 Athena007

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:13 AM

Part 2 Now up on CBn's Main Page...

[CENTER]Posted Image
"Titan

#15 Qwerty

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:25 AM

A more than outstanding second article. I really enjoyed reading both of these articles because it sort of lets one see the process of the making of these great comic strips. Things like the exact number of strips and locating them. Then finalizing these projects.

Very nice job Red Grant.

#16 TheSaint

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:53 AM

Great article, Red. So, were you & Titan able to include all the artwork for Thunderball mentioned in your article in the reprint or ?

#17 Red Grant

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 03:04 PM

Great article, Red. So, were you & Titan able to include all the artwork for Thunderball mentioned in your article in the reprint or ?

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All the material available for THUNDERBALL is reproduced in the book but unfortunately the additional six panels (#1117 - #1122 that explain the ending of the story in a bit more detail were only available in Norwegian and Titan haven't translated them, merely adding them at the end as "rarities". The reproduction isn't great either which I find odd as the originals are of excellent quality when cleaned up! I plan to add all the missing panels to The Art of James Bond in the very near future and these will be restored translated back to English versions so they will complement the book version. It was also too late to include the very last panel to appear in the original UK version (#1117) which is a composite with text explaining the end of the story. This was added by the Express and has not been seen since 10th Feb 1962 as it did not appear in the syndicated versions as the story continued beyond this up to #1128. Once again, this will be added to the site with all the other missing bits and pieces. I've also acquired the original start of GOLDFINGER and hopefully all this will be ready in the next week or so. It takes a long time to restore, translate and composite all these panels...

#18 B007GLE

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:15 PM

Hats off to Red Grant for his excellent research and providing us (through Titan) with as much of these strips as possible.

I'm a big fan of these series whihc I know would have been much less withut Red's contributions.

I hope Titan follows your suggestions regarding putting TSWLM with Colonel Sun.

I noticed in a post above that TSWLM is different from the novel. Is it basically the same story leaving out Vivienne's back story or do they create a while new story?

I assume that it does not invlove stealing submarines.

#19 Red Grant

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 04:22 PM

I noticed in a post above that TSWLM is different from the novel. Is it basically the same story leaving out Vivienne's back story or do they create a while new story?

I assume that it does not invlove stealing submarines.

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It's really a story of two halves...with the first part being the new narrative featuring a secret stealth bomber and the reappearance of SPECTRE. The second half is more or less as the novel with Vivienne/Horror/Sluggsy but drops the first person narrative and injects Bond into the story more prominently. Not a bad adaptation as it goes and has some great Horak artwork which still looks modern today!

#20 stromberg

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:27 PM

A fascinating read once again, RG. Congratulations once again on this fine job.

A minor comment: Whatever the reason was for omitting background details, I highly doubt that this was done in order to save ink. Were it huge areas of black, then I'd say "probably", but the amount of ink saved by omitting a few details would be negligible. There must have been other reasons.

My guess is that they just had low quality source material to do the reproductions from, so they omitted the details because a proper restoration woud have cost them to much time and money (and leaving them as they were may have looked even worse). This was before the days of computers and Photoshop and a job like this was a lot of work that had to be done with brushes, scrapers, acid and a number of other materials. Things that can be done with just a few clicks on a computer today could have easily been a day's work (or maybe two) back then.

The reason was money, that's for sure. But it was not to save material but to save time and wages (a certain lack of high quality equipment and good craftsmen may be another reason).

#21 Simon

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:56 PM

What an absolute crashing shame that after all this work, Thunderball is stillnot quite definitve (depending on your definition of definitive).

As someone above says, to have these books and the text from this article to put the research in context with what you've just read is certainly the way to go.

Perhaps once the panels have been completed Red, this article plus the panels could be put into a Word doc or PDF file for download for just those people interested in the background story.

Well done sir - what's your next project?

#22 TheSaint

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 03:28 AM

Great article, Red. So, were you & Titan able to include all the artwork for Thunderball mentioned in your article in the reprint or ?

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All the material available for THUNDERBALL is reproduced in the book but unfortunately the additional six panels (#1117 - #1122 that explain the ending of the story in a bit more detail were only available in Norwegian and Titan haven't translated them, merely adding them at the end as "rarities". The reproduction isn't great either which I find odd as the originals are of excellent quality when cleaned up! I plan to add all the missing panels to The Art of James Bond in the very near future and these will be restored translated back to English versions so they will complement the book version. It was also too late to include the very last panel to appear in the original UK version (#1117) which is a composite with text explaining the end of the story. This was added by the Express and has not been seen since 10th Feb 1962 as it did not appear in the syndicated versions as the story continued beyond this up to #1128. Once again, this will be added to the site with all the other missing bits and pieces. I've also acquired the original start of GOLDFINGER and hopefully all this will be ready in the next week or so. It takes a long time to restore, translate and composite all these panels...

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Shame those extras won't be in the collection but, very cool that you will be displaying them on your website. I guess we'll just have to print it out & stick the pages in the back of the Titan book.

#23 TheSaint

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 03:48 AM

Hats off to Red Grant for his excellent research and providing us (through Titan) with as much of these strips as possible.

I'm a big fan of these series whihc I know would have been much less withut Red's contributions.

I hope Titan follows your suggestions regarding putting TSWLM with Colonel Sun.

I noticed in a post above that TSWLM is different from the novel. Is it basically the same story leaving out Vivienne's back story or do they create a while new story?

I assume that it does not invlove stealing submarines.

View Post


The comic strip TSWLM is, I think, better than the book.

#24 Red Grant

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:05 PM

What an absolute crashing shame that after all this work, Thunderball is stillnot quite definitve (depending on your definition of definitive).

As someone above says, to have these books and the text from this article to put the research in context with what you've just read is certainly the way to go.

Perhaps once the panels have been completed Red, this article plus the panels could be put into a Word doc or PDF file for download for just those people interested in the background story.

Well done sir - what's your next project?

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Well the bottom line is unavoidable really - Thunderball can never be definitive because such a version never existed. John McLusky never finished drawing the full story and what was added to the syndicated versions was purely just so the ending of the story made sense. McLusky had completed a weeks worth of material that was unseen in the original Daily Express version but theis was merely another five days of the pane hijacking.
I suppose trying to add collect all this stuff together for the book so it formed a complete story is really a cheat as it never really existed in this form in any version. The book contains all the panels ever drawn for Thunderball (although Titan didn't bother to translate the extra six syndicated panels - they are there in Norwegian :) ).
I will be putting all this stuff on the site at some point so it all makes sense in English together with these articles I suspect. I just wanted to give CBn first crack at seeing them before I finish the updates to the site. I am still ploughing through hundreds of scans from all the stories that have been restored and look a hell of a lot better than the existing ones on the site.
As for the next project - who knows? The remaining Titan volumes have all been released before so barring any mishaps they should appear as before as nothing was missing (apart form one panel in TSWLM)....although this story isn't confirmed as yet.

Edited by Red Grant, 23 November 2004 - 04:07 PM.


#25 David Schofield

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:16 PM

I think peoples "disappointment" at Thunderball not being complete stems from the fact that they are so much more Fleming - here is the most accurate reproduction of Fleming, the images he described, created - than anywhere else. While we are deprived of any more of the "real" Bond since Fleming's death any reproductions of the McLusky/Horak work is the best we can get. Though, Red, get Titan to do Colonel Sun as Amis is the next best to Fleming in terms of "real"...

I remember getting the USA Bond fan club Diamonds/From Russia/Dr No reprints in the early 80s, comparing them with the novels and being stunned by the imagery.

For the next James Bond? The closest embodiment of the Bond drwan by Horak.

#26 Red Grant

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:54 PM

I think peoples "disappointment" at Thunderball not being complete stems from the fact that they are so much more Fleming - here is the most accurate reproduction of Fleming, the images he described, created - than anywhere else. While we are deprived of any more of the "real" Bond since Fleming's death any reproductions of the McLusky/Horak work is the best we can get. Though, Red, get Titan to do Colonel Sun as Amis is the next best to Fleming in terms of "real"...

I remember getting the USA Bond fan club Diamonds/From Russia/Dr No reprints in the early 80s, comparing them with the novels and being stunned by the imagery.

For the next James Bond? The closest embodiment of the Bond drwan by Horak.

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I couldn't agree more. Despite having overdosed on the McLusky stuff in recent weeks I find it hard to get his image of Bond out of my head. His portrayal of 007 remained very constant throughout his entire run of stories. Like I mention in the article - I cannot believe that this strip wasn't referenced by the film makers in the early sixties as so many panels bear a very close resemblance to images in the finished films. Even as I read the very brief dialogue and text in the panels - a vast majority of it is pure Fleming - just go to the novels and check it out. Like you say - this is the 'real' Bond in a visual format and one that has never been equalled in my opinion. Actors come and go but the strip remained faithful and consistent throughout (with the Fleming stories anyway) and is a perfect way to enjoy the authors work if you don't want to read a book!
Do yourself a favour this Christmas - buy the Goldfinger collection, crank up the John Barry soundtracks and enjoy the real 007 in the settings described in the books. :)

#27 zencat

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:58 PM

I think peoples "disappointment" at Thunderball not being complete stems from the fact that they are so much more Fleming - here is the most accurate reproduction of Fleming, the images he described, created - than anywhere else. While we are deprived of any more of the "real" Bond since Fleming's death any reproductions of the McLusky/Horak work is the best we can get. Though, Red, get Titan to do Colonel Sun as Amis is the next best to Fleming in terms of "real"...

I remember getting the USA Bond fan club Diamonds/From Russia/Dr No reprints in the early 80s, comparing them with the novels and being stunned by the imagery.

For the next James Bond? The closest embodiment of the Bond drwan by Horak.

View Post


Well said, Mr. Schofield. And welcome to CBn. :)

Great job, Red. This is a real treat for Bond fans. Thanks for letting CBn be the site to first publish this. :)

#28 David Schofield

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for the welcome, Zencat.

I'm only too delighted Titan have had the encouragement to release the strips again. I remember my disappointment when they stopped publishing the strips after Casino Royale/Live and Let Die in 1990.

Still prefer Horak to McLusky, though. Red, you say McLusky was constant throughout: not too sure. If you look at Casino/LALD/Moonrake/Diamonds (as new readers will I hope thanks to Titan) Bond is at times - and particularly in Casino - closer to the "tradional" upper class "chinless" individual Fleming himself drew when he was asked to contribute his vision of Bond which have been in some publications. It is only in From Russia - I think, anyway - that McLusky nails the "Conneryesue" (though well before the films) image we are used to seeing (and which McLusky himself drew for me at the British Fan Club convention at Wembley in, I think, 1982). Horak had the challenge of the Connery Bond of the movies being so well established by the time he took over and yet manages to create a dynamic, rugged Fleming Bond that is his own and has no hint of Connery. Shame he didn't have more Fleming to adapt.

#29 Simon

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 10:32 AM

As for the next project - who knows?

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Well, I've been updating the lobby card article from the days when it appeared on Spyguise through correspondance with Movie Poster Talk forum board members - also picking up of more lobby cards, I now have 42 UK/US sets and only missing 32 of the total 76 MGM 1984 festival cards. (I say, "only". These last being an absolute pain to pick up due to scarcity etc)

So, just let me know and I will pick up an 11x14" scanner....

#30 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 10:45 AM

Ohhh!

I see a possible colaboration being formed here.
:)




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