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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Titan Books: Modesty Blaise - Ripper Jax

Modesty Blaise - Ripper Jax

Peter O’Donnell , Enric Badia Romero
Paperback: 144pp
Black and white
Dimensions: 296 x 220mm
Publication date: 4 March 2016
Illustration detail: b/w newspaper strip 
 ISBN: 9781783298587
RRP £11.99

Continuing the only complete collection of Modesty Blaise adventures! The return of the "ass-kicking femme fatale." Full of classic action and adventure and dripping with '60's chic.

This edition collects four rare stories in one volume for the very first time - Ripper Jax, The Maori Contact, Honeygun, and Durango - the latest volume in the best-selling series by the popular and sadly-missed British crime writer,Peter O'Donnell, continuing Titan's commitment to reprint each and every Modesty Blaise story in order!

I think there are three more volumes after this one which will then make the series complete. The production and packaging of these books -I've only seen four volumes including this one but they are all similar- is excellent.  I've noted before that the newspaper versions were not that great when it came to quality -having done some  newspaper searching recently I came across the daily strips...good but they were cheap newsprint.  The Titan Books are crisp and clean and show Romero's work off beautifully.

The stories are typical Blaise - the build-up then the story proper with action and twists and, considering these were daily strips so designed to be read and thrown away (or bundled up as the next morning's fire-lighters) they are full of character.

Romero.  The name says it all.  With Axa and even weekly UK comics, he proved that he could draw the sexiest women possible.  With his work on Modesty Blaise I think he hit his peak. I love how in one panel Modesty is taking off her bra and next panel she has a top on -pure tease but there were many a teenage boy (possibly girls, too) who got to the public library to check out the Bristol Evening Post...or Modesty Blaise to be exact.  Pure tease but you had no doubt that the character was no push-over. I have many fond memories of, other than Garth, two main strips in the newspapers -Scarth in The Sun and Modesty Blaise in the Bristol Evening Post.

A true comic strip pop icon of the 1960s and 1970s and as the series from start to finish has never been collected before these will be ones to just need to buy the previous 26 volumes!

But it is a book and series I would recommend -especially because of Romero's art.

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