The volume has been edited by Bond and spy-fiction expert Michele Brittany, a book reviews editor for the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, a correspondent for Bleeding Cool, a comic book news site, and the author of Spy-fi & Superspies, a blog about all things spy-related.
The book sounds like a essential reading, although I must declare an interest: I'm responsible for one of the essays. 'Modelling Bond: The Cultural Perception of James Bond on the Eve of the Eon Production Films' focuses on a Bond-themed marketing campaign for men's clothing. In 1961, six advertisements for Courtelle, a UK-based clothing company, was placed in the Daily Express and Daily Mirror. Prefiguring the use of product tie-ins and the appearance of Bond actors as 'brand ambassadors', James Bond himself (as drawn by an artist) modelled the clothes and received a plug for his latest adventure, while the content suggested in no uncertain terms that these were the clothes to wear if you wanted a James Bond lifestyle.
|One of the Courtelle advertisements to feature James Bond. Image copyright Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd|
In addition, the essay compares the 'Courtelle' Bond with contemporary depictions similarly uninformed by the Bond films and examines the impact of the film series on the expression of Bondian iconography. Finally, the essay discusses the proposition that different Bonds have emerged as a result of ever-evolving cultural environments.
The book, priced at $40, is available to order now from the publisher McFarland, or through Amazon (currently priced at £23 in the UK) and other retailers. The perfect Bondian Christmas present!