In July of 1987 I was visiting Washington D.C. when I stumbled upon a copy of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS comic strip, published by Titan Books. Being a Bond fan I snapped it up as quick as I could. The next day I went back and bought the OCTOPUSSY collection. I'd known that these strips existed but I had no idea that they had been collected in published form (other than THE ILLUSTRATED JAMES BOND, 007 released by The James Bond Fan Club). I found a copy of CASINO ROYALE on Ebay. Then, for over a decade, we had no new releases from Titan.
In the last year Titan has graciously resumed publishing these classic strips. My first purchase was the release of ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. I will post a review there soon. Just yesterday I received GOLDFINGER- and I cannot be more pleased!
The adaptations by Henry Gammidge, with art by John McLusky are fantastic. I've read and reread these novels but some aspects of the story resonate so much better than Fleming's amazing novels.
McLusky had, by this time, really hit his stride with the strip, doing work that was light years ahead of when he began with CASINO ROYALE (which is still worth a peek!). His mastery of shadow and light comes through in some great atmospheric ways.
My introduction to the strips were through Yaroslav Horak's art, which has a distinct, Gil Kane-like style. When I first saw McLusky's work in CASINO ROYALE it seemed very basic in comparison. But now I actually prefer it- and I that's no slight on Horak!
GOLDFINGER also includes the adaptations of the short stories, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, RISICO, FROM A VIEW TO A KILL and the abreviated THUNDERBALL. Along with THE ILLUSTRATED JAMES BOND, 007, I have every Fleming story adapted except MOONRAKER. The upcoming release of CASINO ROYALE is 96 pages compared to the previous 60 page release. maybe it will finally be included.
For my money, GOLDFINGER may be the most satisfying book in the lot. It is 128 pages of James Bond fun. The text articles are all welcome material as well. Well done Titan Books. Feel free to continue publishing the non-Fleming stories as well!