Another Wednesday, another cover and another obituary, sadly. Peter O'Donnell, creator of the legendary comic strip Modesty Blaise, passed away on May 3rd, just a week after his 90th birthday.
He’s best known for creating the classic newspaper strip Modesty Blaise with artist Jim Holdaway. The strip appeared in the London newspaper, The Evening Standard, beginning in 1963 and chronicled daily the adventures of the seductive adventuress for nearly forty years. In 1966, O'Donnell sold the rights to a feature film and wrote the screenplay. The producers changed it so much though, that, in frustration, O'Donnell turned his script into a novel. It was a huge success and led to a dozen or so Blaise novels and a couple of short story collections.
The paperback edition above features a striking image by the legendary Robert McGinnis, and was a tie-in to the film, which starred Monica Vitti and Terrence Stamp. The movie's a mess (though still kinda fun to watch), but the novel is a great adventure story. I only have about half of the books, and I'm always on the lookout for more.
R.I.P. Mister O'Donnell. You had a great run.