This is the latest in my series of sponsored KO-FI blogs, which I’ve opened up again till the end of the week, so if you wan me to write about something, feel free to go for it.
For a pop culture phenomenon that is approaching its 70th birthday, the history of James Bond in comics has not been a great one.
It does have one iconic series, in the Daily Express newspaper strip that ran from the 1950’s till the early 80’s (after jumping around a few other papers) that stands out for being the first visual representation of the character and for being the first exposure many of the people who worked on the films had to Bond. It’s especially notable for artist John McLusky ignoring Ian Fleming’s suggestion for the look of the Bond and coming up with something that looks exactly like a non-copyright infringing take on Sean Connery, a decade before he played the part. It’s entirely possible this was a major influence on his casting by shaping the public perception of what Bond looks like.
Otherwise though, it has been slim pickings. There have been a few film adaptations, starting with Dr. No, though the unfinished Goldeneye is the most infamous, and a series of very 90’s miniseries from Dark Horse comics. But that was about it.
There is also one particular curio of the Bond licence. Unless it is specifically a film adaptation, the licence comes from Ian Fleming publications rather than EON, and is very specifically in relation to the books rather than films. For which EON are very protective despite having an ownership stake in the literary Bond.
And the films are of course the major influence on writers.
This stands out in the non-Fleming Bond books as though, through the fact that though Major Boothroyd appeared in the book of Dr. No, the idea of him being called Q is an invention of the films. So you will often get what is clearly a Q scene with what is clearly Desmond Llewellyn, where the character is repeatedly and carefully called “The Armorour Major Boothroyd, Head of Q Branch”.