These were some images I created for an application for a contract with an ice cream company. The rude bastards didn’t even respond to me. I thought they were pretty good. If anyone out there sees any of these images pop up in advertising please let me know; it means they’ve stolen them off me. Don’t laugh; I guess it could happen, like a story ripped from the pages of Modesty Blaise herself. I remember her well from my childhood syndicated in Australia in daily tabloid Newspapers. She seemed sexy, smart and mysterious.
Modesty Blaise was a comic strip featuring a fictional character of the same name, created by Peter O'Donnell (writer) and Jim Holdaway (art) in 1963, the ‘golden age’ of espionage fiction. The Cold War era strip follows the adventures of Ms. Blaise, an exceptional young woman from parts unknown (suggested as the Middle East) with many talents and a criminal past, and her trusty sidekick Willie Garvin. Another staple of the era; the platonic professional male-female friendship based on respect, like John Steed and Emma Peel in The Avengers.
But let’s face it; they were built on the same sexual tension which had the punters tuning in to The X-Files thirty years later. Modesty Blaise was adapted into films made in 1966, 1982, and 2003 and a series of thirteen novels and short story collections beginning in 1965.
Many critics see the early years of the strip as a classic of adventure comic strips. The novels are regarded by some as being among the classics of adventure fiction. The hitman character Vincent Vega from Quentin Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction can be seen reading a Modesty Blaise novel (on the toilet) throughout scenes in the film.
I enjoyed doing this work, but it felt a little pervy. I think grown men who draw their sexual fantasy women are bordering on being very sad. Not to say I didn’t like her, I’m just a far cry from Robert Crumb I suppose. And every straight man IS attracted to a woman with more curves that Olive Oyl.
And I likes the lady so much I threws her into my current header/letterhead (see top of page). Ugh ugh ugh.