The James Bond comic strip was a syndicated daily and Sunday British comic strip based on the work of Ian Fleming, and written by Anthony Hern, Henry Gammidge, Peter O'Donnell and Jim Lawrence. The series was illustrated by John McLusky and Yaroslav Horak. Starting in 1958 and continuing to 1983, 007 appeared in 52 comic strips that were syndicated in British newspapers, 7 of which were published abroad.
Daily Express strips
Art by John McLusky
In 1957 the Daily Express, a newspaper owned by Lord Beaverbrook, approached Ian Fleming to adapt his stories into comic strips. Ian Fleming at the time was reluctant to allow this because he felt the strips would lack the quality of his writing and could potentially hurt his series while he was still authoring them. Ian Fleming wrote:
- "The Express are desperately anxious to turn James Bond into a strip cartoon. I have grave doubts about the desirability of this... Unless the standard of these books is maintained they will lose their point and I think there I am in grave danger that inflation will spoil not only the readership but also become something of a death-watch beetle inside the author. A tendency to write still further down might result. The author would see this happening, and disgust with the operation might creep in."
Regardless, Fleming later agreed and the first strip Casino Royale was published in 1958. The story was adapted by Anthony Hern who had previously serialized Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia with Love for the Daily Express. The illustrations of the strip were done by John McLusky who would later go on to illustrate 12 more James Bond comic strips with partner Henry Gammidge until 1966.
To aid the Daily Express in illustrating James Bond, Ian Fleming commissioned an artist to create a sketch of what he believed James Bond to look like. John McLusky, however, felt that Fleming's 007 looked too "outdated" and "pre-war" and thus changed Bond to give him a more masculine look.
The majority of the early strips were adapted by Henry Gammidge, however the adaptation of Dr. No was handled by Peter O'Donnell, a couple of years before he launched his legendary strip, Modesty Blaise.
In 1962 the Daily Express abruptly cancelled their agreement with Ian Fleming when a dispute between Lord Beaverbrook and Fleming erupted over the rights to the short story The Living Daylights. Fleming had sold the rights to the Sunday Times, a rival newspaper which upset Beaverbrook to the point of terminating his relationship with Fleming. The dispute caused the comic strip adaptation of Thunderball to come to an abrupt end. Thunderball was actually never finished; however, a few additional panels were later added for syndication in other newspapers to expand and conclude the story. Lord Beaverbrook and Ian Fleming would later work out their differences and the comic strip serial would continue in 1964 with On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
|Casino Royale||Anthony Hern||July 7, 1958 - December 13, 1958||1-138|
|Live and Let Die||Henry Gammidge||December 15, 1958 - March 28, 1959||139-225|
|Moonraker||Henry Gammidge||March 30, 1959 - August 8, 1959||226-339|
|Diamonds Are Forever||Henry Gammidge||August 10, 1959 - January 30, 1960||340-487|
|From Russia with Love||Henry Gammidge||February 1, 1960 - May 21, 1960||488-583|
|Dr. No||Peter O'Donnell||May 23, 1960 - October 1, 1960||584-697|
|Goldfinger||Henry Gammidge||October 3, 1960 - April 1, 1961||698-849|
|Risico||Henry Gammidge||April 3, 1961 - June 24, 1961||850-921|
|From A View To A Kill||Henry Gammidge||June 26, 1961 - September 9, 1961||922-987|
|For Your Eyes Only||Henry Gammidge||September 11, 1961 - December 9, 1961||988-1065|
|Thunderball||Henry Gammidge||December 11, 1961 - February 10, 1962||1066-1128|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||Henry Gammidge||June 29, 1964 - May 15, 1965||1-274|
|You Only Live Twice||Henry Gammidge||May 17, 1965 - January 8, 1966||275-475|
Art by Yaroslav Horak
In 1966 Yaroslav Horak replaced John McLusky as the artist for the Daily Express comic strip series and adapted six more Ian Fleming James Bond novels and short stories as well as Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun with partner Jim Lawrence. The Living Daylights was also republished in the Daily Express after first appearing in the first edition of the Sunday Times magazine on February 4, 1962 and in the American magazine Argosy in June of the same year under the title "Berlin Escape."
With the success of The Man with the Golden Gun Horak and Lawrence subsequently went on to write and illustrate twenty original James Bond comic strips for the Daily Expressafter being granted permission by Ian Fleming's Trust.
|Title||Writer||Date||Serial no.||Main Villain|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||Jim Lawrence||January 10, 1966 - September 9, 1966||1-209||Francisco Scaramanga|
|The Living Daylights||Jim Lawrence||September 12, 1966 - November 12, 1966||210-263||"Trigger"|
|Octopussy||Jim Lawrence||November 14, 1966 - May 27, 1967||264-428||Maj. Dexter Smythe; Yat Foo; Kim Foo|
|The Hildebrand Rarity||Jim Lawrence||May 29, 1967 - December 16, 1967||429-602||Milton Krest|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||Jim Lawrence||December 18, 1967 - October 3, 1968||603-815||Horst Uhlmann; Madam Spectra; Mr. Sanguinetti|
|The Harpies||Jim Lawrence||October 10, 1968 - June 23, 1969||816-1037||Simon Nero|
|River Of Death||Jim Lawrence||June 24, 1969 - November 29, 1969||1038-1174||Dr. Cat|
|Colonel Sun||Jim Lawrence||December 1, 1969 - August 28, 1970||1175-1393||Col. Sun Liang-Tan|
|The Golden Ghost||Jim Lawrence||August 21, 1970 - January 16, 1971||1394-1519||Felix Ignace Bruhl|
|Fear Face||Jim Lawrence||January 18, 1971 - April 20, 1971||1520-1596||Ferenc Kress|
|Double Jeapordy||Jim Lawrence||April 21, 1971 - August 28, 1971||1597-1708||Fritz Kumura; Pujar|
|Starfire||Jim Lawrence||August 30, 1971 - December 24, 1971||1709-1809||Luke Quantrill|
|Trouble Spot||Jim Lawrence||December 28, 1971 - June 10, 1972||1810-1951||Baron Sharck|
|Isle Of Condors||Jim Lawrence||June 12, 1972 - October 21, 1972||1952-2065||Niccolo Uccelli|
|The League Of Vampires||Jim Lawrence||October 25, 1972 - February 28, 1973||2066-2172||Xerxes Xerophanos|
|Die With My Boots On||Jim Lawrence||March 1, 1973 - June 18, 1973||2173-2256||Benny 'the Barber' Pignelli|
|The Girl Machine||Jim Lawrence||June 19, 1973 - December 3, 1973||2257-2407||Sheikh Harun El-Adar|
|Beware Of Butterflies||Jim Lawrence||December 4, 1973 - May 11, 1974||2408-2541||Attila|
|The Nevsky Nude||Jim Lawrence||May 13, 1974 - September 21, 1974||2542-2655||Sir Ulric Herne|
|The Phoenix Project||Jim Lawrence||September 23, 1974 - February 18, 1975||2656-2780||Kazim|
|The Black Ruby Caper||Jim Lawrence||February 19, 1975 - July 15, 1975||2781-2897||Herr Rubin|
|Till Death Do Us Apart||Jim Lawrence||July 7, [[1975 - October 14, 1975||2989-2983||Stefan Radomir|
|The Torch-Time Affair||Jim Lawrence||October 15, 1975 - January 15, 1976||2984-3060||Carmen Perez; Ricardo Auza|
|Hot-Shot||Jim Lawrence||January 16, 1976 - June 1, 1976||3061-3178||Mr. Huliraya (Dr. No)|
|Nightbird||Jim Lawrence||June 2, 1976 - November 4, 1976||3179-3312||Ferdinand Polgar|
|Ape Of Diamonds||Jim Lawrence||November 5, 1976 - January 22, 1977||3313-3437||Hartley Rameses|
Other James Bond comic strips
In 1977 the Daily Express discontinued their series of Bond comic strips, although Horak and Lawrence went on to write and illustrate several other James Bond adventures for syndication abroad in Europe, for the Sunday Express (the Sunday edition of the Daily Express), and the Daily Star. Additionally, John McLusky returned to team up with Jim Lawrence for five comic strips.
The 1983 strip Polestar was abruptly terminated by the Daily Star midway through its run and was not completed, although the complete story did appear in non-UK newspapers and was followed by several more complete serials before the James Bond comic strip officially came to an end.
|Title||Artist||Writer||Date||Serial no.||Main Villain|
|When The Wizard Awakes||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence||January 30, 1977 - May 22, 1977||1-54||Attila Toth|
|Sea Dragon||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence|| ||55-192||Magda Mather|
|Death Wing||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence|| ||193-354||Matteo Mortellito|
|The Xanadu Connection||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence|| ||355-468||Kubla Khan; Tekla Brent|
|Shark Bait||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence|| ||469-636||Col. Yurogin|
|Doomcrack||Harry North||Jim Lawrence||February 2, 1981 - August 19, 1981||1-174||Madam Spectra|
|The Paradise Plot||John McLusky||Jim Lawrence||August 20, 1981 - June 4, 1982||175-378||Gabriel Starovsky (Father Star)|
|Deathmask||John McLusky||Jim Lawrence||June 7, 1982 - February 2, 1983||379-552||Ivor Nyborg|
|Flittermouse||John McLusky||Jim Lawrence||February 9, 1983 - May 20, 1983||553-624||Dr. Cat|
|Polestar||John McLusky||Jim Lawrence||May 23, 1983 - July 15, 1983||625-719||Robert Ayr|
|The Scent Of Danger||John McLusky||Jim Lawrence|| ||720-821||Madam Della Rosa (Madam Spectra)|
|Snake Goddess||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence||822-893||Vidyala|
|Double Eagle||Yaroslav Horak||Jim Lawrence|| ||894-965||Wulf Ehrnt|
Titan Books reprints
Since first publication in the Daily Express, the comic strip adaptations have been reprinted several times. First by the James Bond 007 International Fan Club, in the early 1980s. Then annually, from 1987 to 1990, by the British Titan Books company in anthologies, beginning with The Living Daylights to tie-in with the release of the eponymous James Bond film.
First Titan Books series
- The Living Daylights (June 1987) — includes: The Man with the Golden Gun and The Living Daylights
- Octopussy (March 1988) — includes: Octopussy and The Hildebrand Rarity
- The Spy Who Loved Me (June 1989) — includes: The Spy Who Loved Me
- Casino Royale (July 1990) — includes Casino Royale and Live and Let Die
Second Titan Books series
Beginning in 2004, Titan reissued these anthologies in larger, revised editions, and also began reprinting stories that hadn't been featured in the earlier books. With a more frequent publishing schedule than the first series, to date seven books have been released with more scheduled. These volumes include new introductory chapters on the history of the strip and the Bond novels, and most of the books have also included special introductions written by Bond film actors, specifically Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me), George Lazenby (OHMSS), Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger), Eunice Gayson (Dr. No), Roger Moore (Casino Royale), Maud Adams (Octopussy) and Britt Ekland (Colonel Sun). Titan's comic strip reprints were not initially published in the strips' original publication order; this changed as of the release of the The Spy Who Loved Me volume.
- The Man with the Golden Gun (February 2004) — includes: The Man with the Golden Gun and The Living Daylights
- Octopussy (May 2004) — includes: Octopussy and The Hildebrand Rarity
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (August 2004) — includes: On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice
- Goldfinger (November 2004) — includes: Goldfinger, Risico, From A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only, and Thunderball
- Casino Royale (February 2005) — includes: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, and Moonraker
- Dr. No (May 2005) — includes: Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia with Love, and Dr. No
- The Spy Who Loved Me (August 2005) — The Spy Who Loved Me and The Harpies
- Colonel Sun (December 2005) — River of Death and Colonel Sun
- The Golden Ghost (April 21, 2006) — The Golden Ghost, Fear Face, Double Jeopardy, and Starfire
The Harpies, included in The Spy Who Loved Me, is the first non-Fleming-based Bond comic strip to be reprinted as well as the first original story. River of Death, in the Colonel Sun collection, is the second original story to be published (Colonel Sun itself being an adaptation of the first post-Fleming Bond novel). The Golden Ghost, announced for an April 2006 release, is the first collection comprising all-original stories.