Ian Fleming’s James Bond: The Illustrated 007 by Brian Berley

Brian Berley is an illustrator, new media consultant, and sometimes-contributor to HMSS (he covered the 2002 London James Bond exposition for us in 007 Exposed). He’s also a lifelong James Bond fan, and a way-cool guy. Some years back, he showed us some illustrations he’d been working on based on Ian Fleming’s novel Thunderball. We were knocked out by his dynamic and colorful artwork, and by his faithfulness to the original book — while avoiding the iconography of the Eon film. His take on the physiognomy of James Bond was simultaneously unique and exactly correct. Very exciting stuff.

© Brian Berley

As it turns out, that first chapter of the Blofeld trilogy wasn’t all Brian was working on. Picking out interesting scenes from most of the rest of the Fleming canon, he put his imagination and art tools to work to bring them to amazing life. We have a feeling there’s a book somewhere in the future, for which we can’t wait, but in the meantime we (and you all) can get a taste of this unique take on Ian Fleming’s world on YouTube. Check out Ian Fleming’s James Bond: The Illustrated 007 by Brian Berley for a looksee. We’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!

Ian Fleming’s unhappy artistic collaborator

The UK Daily Mail has posted today an interesting story concerning a frequently unexamined sector of James Bond history.

The name “Richard Chopping” may be somewhat unfamiliar to most James Bond fans, but, to aficionados of Ian Fleming’s novels, it should be as the artist who created striking covers for the British Jonathan Cape hardcovers, starting with Diamonds Are Forever and continuing through Octopussy And The Living Daylights.

Chopping's FRWL cover for Jonathan Cape

Sadly, the story of late artist’s association with 007 history is not an entirely happy one. The paintings he created — which each took a month to paint — were sold outright to the publishers, with no establishment of royalties to be paid to the artist. This despite the fact that Fleming himself considered Chopping to be his “totally brilliant artistic collaborator,” and the paintings going on to be worth thousands (pounds sterling or dollars… either way, they’re now quite valuable).

Mister Fleming was not a nice man to work for. He was mean.

The whole story, cleverly titled The Man with the Golden Grudge, is at the Mail Online website.