14 thoughts on “Fleming and Other Editorial Phlegm

  1. Women have come such a long way, and the typewriter is quite responsible! Thanks for sharing the covers. I have never read a James Bond novel before. Then again, I have never seen these particular editions.

  2. Looking at this complete collection, I have to say that they are my least favourite of the Bond paperback covers. I understand that they were aiming for a “pulp” look, but let’s face it, America did hard-boiled fiction better than anyone, and Bond has never struck me as pulp fiction, even though I suppose it is viewed that way these days. I was planning a post showing some of the classic Bond covers of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, but all of my Bonds are in storage and I can’t be bothered unboxing them to find ’em. Rich Fahey (the artist who did these covers) did good work, but I find the layout a little messy. And don’t even get me started on the new covers being released this year!
    Nice post, Mr B!

    • You’re certainly right insofar as Bond doesn’t begin to approximate true hard-boiled pulp fiction, however, my appreciation for these covers isn’t related to how well they match the subject matter.

      I also know what you mean by “messy”; upon analysis, they really don’t have strong compositions, but for some odd reason they seem to work for me. I don’t know if it’s the color schemes, or the little collages of items, but something about them pushes the right buttons.

  3. There’s a new edition of covers to be released this year. Not sure if they are for the US or European market only, but the artwork (or rather, the photography- actually, no, it’s the composition that bugs me) just seems poorly done. Check them out at;
    http://www.thebookbond.com/2012/06/vintage-reveals-there-is-only-one-bond.html .
    The “Dr. No” cover is particularly irksome. Makes Bond look like a stockbroker who’s landed on Dr No’s island and is improperly dressed. I mean, buttoned-up shirtsleeves on a Jamaican island. Come on!!
    There was a great range of covers done in the late Sixties/early Seventies which were still-life photos utilising items that were mentioned in the books themselves. The copy of “For Your Eyes Only” that I used in my Fisher Space Pen post is one of them. And the cover of “Thunderball” is positively stunning if you’re a Bond…James Bond fan.

    You’re right about the colour schemes of your collection, though. Very vibrant and eye-catching. Which I guess is the whole point of trying to help introduce a whole new audience to a sixty year-old franchise.

    • I see what you mean about those covers. Actually, the background photography is quite nice, but the way they dropped in the figures doesn’t work. The figures are stiff and not very intriguing. Overall, those covers lack everything that would make me want to pick up a book. Let’s face it, people often do buy books for their covers.

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