April 16, 2014

JAMES BOND: JAPANESE EDITIONS

Continuing our look at unusual book designs this week, we turn the spotlight on Japanese editions of James Bond novels. As I mentioned in an interview for Artistic License Renewed, I started reading and collecting Ian Fleming when I was twelve. By twenty I was living in Japan as a college student and doing my first teaching internship. I'll never forget the thrill of discovering 007 books there. I was on a vacation with my host family and my brother and I stopped in an old bookshop. There were literally mountains of used books on every surface piled up to the ceiling. It was like a canyon of paper and ideas. My old Saturday routine suddenly kicked in. "Do you have any James Bond?" The owner searched around for a long time and finally came back with a stack of spy books from the 1960s. I'd found my collector's Nirvana!


The main publishing house for mystery (and Sci-Fi) in Japan is Hayakawa, a Tokyo company started by Kiyoshi Hayakawa in 1945. They printed paperback editions of the Ian Fleming books, using a variety of designs over the years that included illustrations and movie stills. Their main design concept for all of their books and series, however, was to place mystery and Sci-Fi in the world of modern expressionism through the use of abstract paintings. One of the coolest features of the early releases was the addition of slipcases- for paperbacks! I love that sense of detail and style (see first image). There were also early Fleming books printed with a blood-splatter motif, as seen in the Moonraker jacket below. These were published by Somoto-sha (est. 1954), who also specialized in mystery and Sci-Fi. Here are some samples of James Bond books from Japan.






Hayakawa also printed a number of Raymond Benson's 007 titles, including Man With the Red Tattoo, High Time to Kill, The Facts of Death, and Zero Minus Ten. As you can see, the company continued with their traditional abstract motif for the covers. The story in Raymond Benson's Red Tattoo takes place in Japan and  a museum was built on Naoshima dedicated to the book. I wonder how my Miki Zero novel will be received there? The character is quite stylish, so I'm hoping for a line of Mod clothing! Stay tuned tomorrow for more Hayakawa book treasures from Spy Vibe!




Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Fleming Chinese EditionChitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The 10th Victim German EditionUNCLE GunThe Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

April 15, 2014

THE 10TH VICTIM: GERMAN EDITION

Our spotlight on rare book designs continues today with The 10th Victim by Robert Sheckley. As many readers may know, the 1965 Elio Petri movie adaptation starring Ursula Andress and Marcello Mastroianni looms large here on Spy Vibe. Ever since I was a kid, I've been completely fascinated by the film's cocktail of groovy music, op art, pop art, space-age fashion, and modern design. I was fortunate to be able to contribute the entire poster/still gallery to the Blu-ray edition from Blue Underground (on sale now for $12.49!). My collection includes many original materials from the US, France, Belgium, and Japan. It was only recently that I cast a wider net and found this cool paperback from Germany, where the film was called Das 10. OpferIn addition to the book, collectors can find lobby cards and programs (see below) on the international market. Like tie-in products from other countries, the German materials focus on the erotic and sci-fi elements from the movie. If you haven't watched it, that's Ursula Andress in her silver gun-bikini!




There are new DVD and Blu-ray editions of The 10th Victim out now in Germany and the UK! The UK edition (DVD/Blu-ray) from Shameless Screen Entertainment was just released on March 10th and includes exclusive interviews with Paola Petri and journalist Kim Newman. Box are below. Related 10th Victim posts: Future ListeningSet Countdown #5SoundtrackfashionFear and FashionMods to Moongirls


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Fleming Chinese EditionChitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: UNCLE GunThe Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

April 14, 2014

RARE FLEMING: CHINESE EDITION

Spy Vibe is spotlighting rare book covers this week, and there's no better place to start than Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only. As I mentioned in my recent interview with Artistic License Renewed, this volume of James Bond short stories holds a special place in my heart- and on my collection shelf. The book starts with From a View to a Kill, one of my favorite 007 stories. In this thrilling opening passage, Fleming introduces an assassin on a motorcycle: "The eyes behind the wide black rubber goggles were cold as flint. In the howling speed-turmoil of a BSA M20 doing seventy, they were the only quiet things in the hurtling flesh and metal. Protected by the glass of the goggles, they stared fixedly ahead from just above the centre of the handlebars, and their dark unwavering focus was that of gun muzzles." Are you hooked? Here is a Chinese edition from 1993 with strong graphics and a retro vibe. I particularly like the bold colors, dynamic composition, and the stylized figures. The added shadow behind the illustrated gun reminds me of mystery paperbacks from the 1950s. Enjoy!


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: UNCLE GunThe Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

April 13, 2014

U.N.C.L.E. GUN

Spend the day with your uncle. From the Spy Vibe collection: rare Japanese Man From U.N.C.L.E. magazine clippings depict agent Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) assembling the famous U.N.C.L.E. gun. The original prop was a modified Walther P38 with shoulder stock, scope, long clip, and silencer. As they mention in the special feature below, the U.N.C.L.E. gun was so popular with fans that it was seen as a character in the show- it even received its own fan mail! If you're interested in finding a replica, check out Samaritan Arts here.





Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

April 11, 2014

APPROACHING A MILLION

Our Spy Vibe community has passed 900,000 visitors and we are racing toward a million! Spy Vibers, thank you for joining this adventure to celebrate 1960s Style in Action. I look forward to sharing some exciting interviews with you in the coming weeks! Best, Agent J. 


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

BOND EXHIBIT ENDING

James Bond exhibit by photographer Taryn Simon ends this weekend. Simon's new book, Birds of the West Indies, is a series of portraits focussing on cinematic Bond girls, vehicles, and weapons. From Spy Vibe's original announcement: The development of the arts, like language itself, is an ongoing dynamic process of the rearrangement of elements and the redefining of signs and symbols. Whether we are looking at the use of found objects and ready-mades among the Dadaist and Surrealists, the borrowed imagery of artists like Warhol, Rauschenberg, Johns, and Lichtenstein, or the reuse of David Bowie's Heroes design for The Next Day, appropriation has been an integral element in the history of the arts. Photographer Taryn Simon has recently taken this step of appropriation by focusing her lens on icons from the James Bond movies. 


Ian Fleming wrote his first spy novel in the early 1950s, mixing a potent cocktail of fantasies and war-time observations. When he needed a name for his hero, Fleming famously appropriated one from the book Birds of the West Indies by James Bond. Recounting the process in an interview Fleming said, "I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, and 'James Bond' was much better than something more interesting, like 'Peregrine Carruthers.'" Taryn Simon's new series borrows the structure of Bond's original book, creating her own taxonomy of the three major elements in the James Bond films: women, weapons, and vehicles. Her images include contemporary portraits of actresses in their original costumes and formal studies of cars and props. Simon's work is on exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery through April 12th and her book is available here: Birds of the West Indies.



From the Gagosian Gallery press release: "In 1936, American ornithologist James Bond published the definitive taxonomy Birds of the West Indies. Writer Ian Fleming, an active bird watcher, appropriated the author’s name for his own now famous novels. He found the name “flat and colorless,” perfectly suited for a character intended to be “anonymous…a blunt instrument in the hands of the government.” This co-opting of a name was the first in a series of substitutions and replacements that would become central to the development of the Bond narrative."




"Conflating Bond the ornithologist with Bond the secret agent, Taryn Simon uses the title and format of the ornithologist’s taxonomy for her own two-part body of work, Birds of the West Indies (2013–14). The first element of the work is a photographic inventory of the women, innovative weaponry and luxury cars of Bond films made over the past fifty years. The resulting images comprise an index of interchangeable variables used in the production of fantasy. Testing the seductive surfaces of popular cinema, Simon continues her artistic process of revealing infrastructures of previously impervious cultural constructs.  Simon also created a film that takes as its subject Nikki van der Zyl, the most prolific agent of substitution in the Bond franchise. From 1962 to 1979, van der Zyl, an unseen and uncredited performer, provided voice dubs for over a dozen major and minor characters throughout nine Bond films. Invisible until now, van der Zyl further underscores the interplay of substitution and repetition in the preservation of myth and the construction of fantasy."



"In the second element of the work, Simon casts herself as the ornithologist James Bond, identifying, photographing, and classifying all the birds that appear within the 24 films comprising the James Bond film franchise. Often the birds are incidental; they function as background for the sets they happened to fly into. Simon analyzed every scene to discover these chance occurrences. The result is a taxonomy of birds not unlike the original Birds of the West Indies. In this case, the birds are categorized by locations both actual and fictional: Switzerland, Afghanistan, North Korea, as well as the mythical settings of Bond’s missions, such as the Republic of Isthmus and SPECTRE Island. Simon’s discoveries often occupy a liminal space—confined within the fictional space of the James Bond universe and yet wholly separate from it. In their new static form, the birds often resemble dust on a negative, a once common imperfection that has disappeared in the age of Photoshop. Other times, the birds are frozen in compositions reminiscent of different genres from photographic history. Some appearing as carefully conceived still lifes, while others have a snapshot quality.  Many look low-res or obscured, as though photographed by surveillance drones or hidden cameras that might have been used by MI6 within the context of the films.

"


"Simon also collected papers, correspondence, awards, study skins, and personal effects of James Bond the ornithologist, displaying them in vitrines alongside the photographic works. The character James Bond is so embedded in public consciousness that it is difficult to disengage from the fiction and view the ornithologist’s letters and effects independent of the cinema persona. In Birds of the West Indies, Simon creates a space in which fiction and reality collide and disappear, opening up a black hole that belongs to neither realm." Learn more: Series essay by Daniel Baumann, Tayn Simon websiteNew York Times page.


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters Mystery, The Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton, DC Fontana Prisoner Video, Edward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designsGloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of Batman, Wonderwall comes to Blu-ray, Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff Girls, Fu Manchu history panel, Mod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

April 9, 2014

THE SAINT RETURNS

Amazon imprint Thomas and Mercer will publish a whopping forty-nine Saint novels by Leslie Charteris this summer. The new Amazon Saint library will arrive in two waves, releasing books on June 24th and July 29th in paperback. Kindle editions already came out on March 18th. The jacket designs are quite cool, sporting an early 1960s vibe with simple black-and-white imagery radiating from a dynamic ellipse motif, muted color palette, retro typeface, and the original Saint stick figure by Charteris. Click cover images below for a closer look. In addition, Mulholland recently published thirty-five of the Saint titles in the UK with more modern cover designs. It's a great time to be a Saint fan! Charteris wrote fifty novels and collections about his character Simon Templar. The Saint also appeared in many continuation stories, films, radio shows, comic strips, and notably a 1960s TV series starring Roger Moore. As I've mentioned, I loved reading these novels as a kid. And the Moore series imprinted a wonderful image in my mind of the ideal jet-setter- a well-dressed adventurer with a Volvo, plane tickets to anywhere, and that perfect hair. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that "Jet-Setter" wasn't a possible career choice! I was also intrigued to learn there were Saint Clubs for boys during the mid-century. In my imagination, groups of good-hearted Bowery Boys met in cellar gymnasiums to read the exploits of Simon Templar and to practice boxing, archery, and billiards. I was never one to join clubs as a kid, but this image of brotherly Saint fans really appealed to me. Learn about the real Saint Club at the Leslie Charteris website. I'm excited to see this library of novels return to bookshelves and win over new readers. Learn about The Saint: Leslie CharterisThe Saint: A Complete HistoryGeorge Sanders Saint Collection, The Saint seasons 5 and 6 streaming on Amazon, The Saint radio show starring Vincent Priceand The Saint.org websiteAre you a book collector? Check out our recent posts: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50th anniversary, my interview about collecting Ian Fleming, and other links below.


Spy Vibe is having a spring sale on eBay. New items added very few days and include rare Beatles autographs, James Bond, rare books, music, and comics. Details here

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Ian Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell Japan, Collecting Fleming, Live and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: Jason interviewed hereSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Ian Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell Japan007 Audio Books UpdateSylvia AndersonAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton,  Solar & Bionic Man ReturnThe Saint Library ReleasedDC Fontana Prisoner VideoJames Bond Comic EventTurkish James Bond DesignEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designsGloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of Batman, Wonderwall comes to Blu-ray, Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsSherlock ExhibitFu Manchu history panelStriped Light NudeBuckminster Fuller, Jane and SergeThe Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewDavid Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtShane Glines Batman.
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