Monday, March 7, 2011

La Machine part 1

Modesty Blaise is a justifiably celebrated comic strip; it seemed ahead of its time, introducing a female as the heroine in the days when women in thriller fiction were mostly sex objects. Not that Modesty wasn't sexy, because she was, and used her sex at times to get her job done.

Peter O'Donnell conceived the character and wrote her from her introduction in the sequence, "La Machine," until the strip's demise in 2001. He also wrote several novels featuring Modesty. Jim Holdaway did the artwork until his death in 1970, setting the illustrative standards for other artists to follow. The primary artist after Holdaway's death was Enrique Romero, although he left the strip for a time, when it was drawn by other artists until he returned and drew it until the end. After the last strip appeared the strips began appearing again in sequence, with "La Machine."

O'Donnell died in 2010. I showed a 1973 interview with him from the British fanzine, COMIC MEDIA. It includes a sequence about Modesty's early days in a refugee camp, not part of the regular newspaper continuity.

This is part 1 of "La Machine." Come back Thursday for part 2.

Modesty Blaise Copyright © 1963 Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.

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