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11 July 2017

Modesty Blaise - the earliest ever drawing

Over on Comic Art Fans (here) to be precise, the earlist known example of Modesty Blaise art is up for sale and what's better is that it's drawn by that maestro of comic art, Frank Hampson

Here's what the seller has to say...

In 1962 Beaverbrook newspapers asked Peter O'Donnell to suggest a new strip idea. He thought long and hard and came up with MODESTY BLAISE. Kennedy Aitken, who was Beaverbrook's Strip Cartoons Editor, suggested they should invite Frank Hampson (creator of DAN DARE) to interpret O'Donnell's script.

Hampson accepted the offer, but took many weeks to return his strip, giving no reason for the delay. O'Donnell was dismayed at the eventual sequence of dailies, feeling Hampson had, "totally misunderstood the character" and suggested his former partner Jim Holdaway be given the strip to illustrate. O'Donnell and Holdaway had worked together very successfully on a previous newspaper strip, ROMEO BROWN.

Of Hampson's tryout dailies, which pre-date Holdaway's published strip, eight have survived. I owned all eight at one time. This one tryout daily I kept was, to my mind, the best example - and the only one to exist as pure pencils. Of the remaining seven surviving examples, Hampson part-inked those (possibly used for practicing on in later years, as I firmly believe all of Hampson's tryout dailies were submitted for approval in pencil stage).

This daily strip is the earliest MODESTY BLAISE to exist as it was originally illustrated and presented to Beaverbrook newspapers for consideration. I am making this rare gem available for sale for a limited time and am looking for offers at or above $5,000. Image size is about 18" x 5" and the artwork is in excellent condition.

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