UPDATED AND CORRECTED: 007 book cover archive


Faux "Signet" paperback cover designed by Paul Baack

From the “Things We Found While Looking for Something Else” Files…

While looking for a good-sized picture of a particular James Bond novel (Benson’s Zero Minus Ten), Google pointed us to graphic created by our own Paul Baack. Running back through the link, we discovered a 1,594-pictures gallery of James Bond book covers on Flickr!

Compiled by Londoner Gary Cook, this visual feast for literary Bond fans can be found at Gaz1961’s photostream, under the name James Bond Archive: Book Covers. This is a pretty damn terrific treat, so take a moment to let Mr. Cook know your appreciation.


Design by Gary Cook

We discovered after the fact that we have screwed up the link to Mr. Cook’s Photostream; it’s hereby corrected. While doublechecking our links, we also discovered — to our delighted astonishment — that Mr. Cook has a separate archive (hundreds of pictures!) of James Bond book covers he personally designed! Many are done in the style, and appropriating the artwork, of the great paperback cover illustration from the 1950s and 60s, making lists a singularly beautiful experiment in “what if.” Check out James Bond Book Cover Designs for a fantastic trip down alternative-memory lane.

Tell 'em HMSS sent ya!

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.