Thursday, 18 August 2016

Ask George Lazenby anything you want!

On September 1st there will be a big party held in Oslo, Norway celebrating James Bond and especially ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.
And as special guest there is no other then the lead himself George Lazenby.

I am sure this will be an amazing evening with first a screening of the film (in 4K with an amazing picture quality like you have never seen the film before) and then a Q& A with George Lazenby and then a gala party all night long.

I am sure you have heard of Morten Staingrimsen. He is the Norwegian James Bond fan who have made this evening possible.

I will attend this evening and have been granted a one on one interview with George Lazenby. But I do not wish be the only fanatic, able to ask him whatever I like. I want the readers of this blog to come up with most of the questions. This is truly rare opportunity for us fans that no Bond fan can miss out on. If I know George Lazenby correctly he is the one actor to tell us the truth

So please comment below or on Facebook with your questions for the "One time Bond" and hopefully your question will be asked by me on September 1 st.

I know two questions I have for him: 

1. Do you still get paid in some way for your appearance in OHMSS by Epn Productions or Danjaq?

2. How does it feel to have your body swooped on official DVD/BD covers where they use your face but not your body. 

Below is a official but still very heavy photoshoped picture of Lazenby as Bond.

If you wish to attend this event and meet other James Bond fans as well there are just a few tickets left. You can buy them right here and also read more about the gala itself.

Friday, 12 August 2016

My visit to Ian Fleming's grave

August 12 is not a day to celebrate since most of us know that on August 12, 1964 Ian Fleming passed away at age 56 after having his second heart attack the day before. At age 56 Ian Fleming passed away way too early.

So today I will honour his memory by sharing with you my trip to his grave that I made in May this year.

I woke up at a hotel in Whitstable, England after I had attended the Whitlit festival and there special Ian Fleming evening, A great event that I am glad I did not miss. I was in a hurry from early on that day. I had planed a trip to Ian Fleming's grave on the other side of England. I also had a plane to catch to take me back to Sweden later that day.

From Whitstable I took a bus to some other town due to a train station restoration taking place and from there I continued my trip to London. In London I changed trains and continued my journey to Swindon.
In Swindon I asked a cabdriver what it would cost me to first find a florist and then go to Sevenhampton. He said that he wanted to keep the taximeter running during our trip but insured me that it would not cost me over £55.

It took some time to actually find a florist that could provide me with great flowers. When we finally found a shop I decided on pink and white roses, nine of them.The pink colour meaning gratitude and white colour meaning sympathy. and then we were of to Sevenhampton.

The graveyard is not easy to find and there is actually no road all the way to it. It seems to be on private property. So I decided not to make a run for it but to ring the doorbell on the closest residence and ask for permission.
An older women opened the door and I was fortunate because her husband had been the British ambassador in Sweden and they had loved our country. I was therefore granted to go to the church and tomb where Ian and his wife Ann and their son Casper is buried.

The surroundings was totally quiet and in the background I could see a lot of cows enjoying their lunch. It was a very peaceful place and I was lucky to have good weather also. 

On the tomb there is one plaque for each member of the family.

Ian Fleming was the first to pass away, in 1964 and on his plaque it reads "In memoriam Ian Fleming" and on top of that it says "Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia, marces" which is a line by Titus Lucretius, a Roman philosopher and means according to the BBC "You are rotting away now after having had a good life". A bit to harsh if you ask me but Ian seems to have been just like that.

The second to pass away was Fleing's son Casper who suffered from mental illness and committed suicide in 1975 only 23 years old. Even more to early then his father.
On his plaque it reads "Casper Robert Fleming 1952 - 1975" and the quote used says "To cease upon the midnight with no pain". It is a poem by John Keats and is called "Ode to a Nightingale"

The last person in the family to pass away is Ann Fleming who passed away in 1981 after she had lost both her husband and son.
On her plaque it reads "Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming 1913-1981" the quote borrowed reads "There is none like her, none" This line comes from the poem "Maud" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

So to honour them all I placed seven flowers below Ian's plaque and one each on Casper's and Ann's plaque.

And then it was all the way back to London and Heathrow to catch my flight back to Sweden. I arrived to the gate just seven minutes before take off.

I have never seen great pictures from this place and therefore I took it upon me to try and change that. I therefore hope you enjoy the photos below. You can click on them to make them bigger.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Blog post number 100 in less then 10 months with over 35 000 pageviews

Who would have thought that today the blog celebrates its one hundred blog post.

Ten month ago I decided to start a blog about the literary James Bond that so often feels to be forgotten. The blog was an attempt to get James Bond fans to explore the books written by Ian Fleming. You would be amazed at how many fans out there have never ever actually read the books.

I myself read them a log time ago in Swedish and am now re-reading them in English for the first time. and it is a blast.

During these ten months the blog has been a great success according to me with over 35 000 page views. I have received much praise but also critic for my spelling and grammar and that's fine. I have always had a difficulty in spelling and English in not my main language so please bare that in mind when reading a blog post.

The blog is also on Instagram showing pictures of books with great artworks or pictures of things associated with the literary world of James Bond. The Instagram account can be found here.

I myself is also on Twitter were I try to spread links to articles I read about James Bond. So if you have a link or wish to read others work about James Bond come join me here!

The same goes with Pinterest where I collect pictures from the blog and also pictures of books and others that are connected to the literary world of James Bond. See the pictures here!

The Blog also have a small You tube channel with more to come. You can follow it here!

And last but not least the blogs Facebook page have now past over 500 followers which is amazing in my world. Make sure not to miss any post by joining the page here.

Just for the fun of it I created the below picture to mess with the fans who have yet to read an Ian Fleming novel. All fans should try him out. Please share the picture if you wish to.

Thanks for your kind support to this blog. I am enjoying every minute of running it and read your comments on it.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Ian Flemings YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE script sold for £47.500

A few days back I wrote about a first edition of Casino Royale being sold at Sotheby's for £40 000. You can read that blog post here.

At that very same auction a oner of a kind James Bond collectable was also up for sale.

This very unique item was 255 pages of Ian Flemings typescript of of his thirteenth James Bond novel YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. 65 of these pages seems to have not made by Ian Fleming.

This is what the auction firm wrote about the lot up for sale:

WORKING TYPESCRIPT OF FLEMING'S TWELFTH BOND NOVEL, THE FINAL INSTALMENT OF THE 'BLOFELD TRILOGY'. It was also the first novel to be conceived and written after the beginning of the film franchise. Fleming had become fascinated with Japan on a 1959 visit. In 1962 he returned to the country, having decided that it would be the setting of his next Bond book (his research notes from the tip were sold at auction in 2002), and he began writing the novel shortly thereafter. By April 1963 the manuscript was completed and ready to be typed. His typist, Jean Frampton (who had typed all Fleming's manuscripts from For Your Eyes Only of 1959) produced eight copies for distribution to the editorial staff at Cape. The novel was printed in December 1963.

with extensive corrections and proof markings by a copy-editor in purple ball-point, the corrected text then checked by the author in blue ball-point WITH SUBSTANTIVE AUTOGRAPH REVISIONS TO APPROXIMATELY 65 PAGES, mostly single words or short phrases but including one eight-line textual addition (p.228), further textual revisions added in a second editorial hand (presumably representing additional authorial revisions made in another typescript) in red ball-point, and also with occasional editorial queries in green ink (pp.26, 192, 197), the first four pages (contents, dedication, divisional title, and first page of text) supplied in contemporary photocopy from another copy of the typescript, the remainder being carbon copy typescript, 255 pages, post quarto (260 x 206mm), March-May 1963, punch holes, held together by a prong fastener in a blue folder labelled "You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming", lacking title page, some abrasion at punch holes, light marks, tears to folder 

The typescript sold for no less then an amazing £47.500. No way near what I myself could ever spend on a James Bond Item. Lets just hope that the buyer was an institute that excepts visitors.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

CASINO ROYALE signed first edition sold for £40.000

When CASINO ROYALE was released in 1953 it cost 10 shilling to buy and only 4 728 prints were produced.

On July 12 Sothebys London had a book auction containing six lots connected to James Bond author Ian Fleming. In the end only two of them got sold.

The first item to get sold was lot 159: Fleming, Ian CASINO ROYALE. JONATHAN CAPE, 1953. The book was estimated to sell for between £40.000 - £50.000.

The book was by Sothebys described as below:

8vo, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY FROM THE EARLY BOUND STOCK, INSCRIBED ON FRONT ENDPAPER ("To | Ralph. |We have now both | reduced our remainders | by one copy!"), together with note of explanation by recipient beneath ("I having told Ian, from the depths of my publishing experience, that he would be lucky if he made £200 out of this, his first thriller!! R.A."), original black cloth lettered in red on spine and with heart design on upper cover, some browning and spotting, head and foot of spine very slightly bumped.

Seeing these prices one can be sure that there will not be many of us fans who will own a true first edition of Casino Royale. Do you have one? 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

VARGR the hardback version. Here is my review

It has been a very long time since the last time I read a comic book. Not that I do not like them. I just got older and started to enjoy books even more. As as Swede and being in my late thirties there was one comic that everybody read when I grow up and that was THE PHANTOM. I had roughly 700 The phantom comics, 300 James Bond Comics and 200 The Saint comics when my collection was at its peak. A few years back a friend of mine (he is now 78 years old) gave me the 23 first issues of SUPERMAN (in Swedish) as a gift. They are amazing to own.

What I am trying to say is that I really loved comics growing up. 

That is why I was so exited to hear that there was a new James Bond comic series coming out. I had never heard of either Warren Ellis or Jason Masters but I did understand that they could pull this of in a great way.

I started collecting all the comics but decided to wait and read them until I had them all at home. Of course then it was decided that the VARGR series were to be released in a hardback so I ordered that as well.

So now I have finally read the entire series and there is many things I like about it and some I am not too fond of. I will not write a review of the actual story but all I will say is that I like it. 

The beginning of the comics is more like the film version of James Bond and its trademarked pre credit sequence. I like that a lot, especially since it takes place in Helsinki that is close to Sweden where I live. You have to understand that we, the Scandic people, is not used to having Bond visiting us in any way or form. It is also nice to notice that Bond in the end goes to Norway. Another Scandic country. A country where Bond committed his first kill according to Ian Fleming.

I also enjoy that the story is set in present day. There are many scenes within the story were I react to the strips showing Bond with something modern, like a mobile phone that does not work for instance.

What I also liked about this story is that there is no Bond girl. We always have that and it feels good that for once she is not present.

Some of the pages by Jason Masters are fantastic. Especially the spread in the end of the series where Bond is sneaking around in a big ship hunting down the villain. I also enjoy a page where Bond is exhausted and needs to stand still and rest with his hands on his knees. We have never seen that in 50 years and that makes him more human in this story.

But there is one thing that I think was overdone and not needed. It was the amount of head shots with exploding heads  or dead bodies whit blood all over the place. Maybe I am just weak but this has also never been visible before in a Bond film and I like it that way. But I think that this might be just what is Warren Ellis and Jason Masters speciality. Dark and gore.

I also get the feeling that at least Jason Masters must have been a fan of Tintin or maybe it is Guy Major who has done the colouration of the book that likes Tintin. For some reason I think of Tintin when I read the strips.  

I am happy that I bought this book and I will buy the upcoming book as well but I guess it will be out for Christmas or right after. I have already noticed that Felix Lighter will feature in that story.

As a special treatment to the fans the book includes all the different cover artworks that was produced for the comic series.

What did you think about the VARGR comic? I would love to read your comments below!

Warren Ellis and Jason Masters VARGR hardback can be bought here.

You can see my other blog posts regarding VARGR here.

The hardback cover is shown below.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Today we remenber Cubby Broccoli!

Today we remember Albert "Cubby" Broccoli. The first James Bond producer who together with Harry Saltzman tock James Bond to the silver screen.

"Cubby" Broccoli, as his friends called him, sadly passed away 20 years ago today.

In 1998 Cubby Broccolis autobiography WHEN THE SNOW MELTS was released by Boxtree.

This is a great book that I read when it came out and surly will reread when I have the time. If you do not have this book in your collection I highly recomend that you get it.

Book cover

 My signature together with the book.