Friday, April 2, 2010

Woggy #28: Modesty Blaise

Sometime last year, I was browsing the staff picks shelf at my favorite local bookstore when I came across Modesty Blaise, the original 1965 novel based on a comic of the same name and written by the comic's creator. I had about a year previous enjoyed the movie, which was (I've since realized) based on the novel. I was just in the mood for some good fun fiction, and it turned out to be amazingly better than I had even expected. Oozing with fab 60s style and awesome spytastic butt-kicking action I had expected. An amazingly progressive cultural attitude and extremely well-developed, truly feminist heroine I did not.

As the book mentioned on the jacket it was based on a popular newspaper comic series from the same era, I instantly wanted to read not only all of the remaining novels in the series, but also wanted to find out if in fact one could get any of these comics in readable form.

It turns out that there is not one, but a whole series of graphic novel compilations of all the various storylines of the comic. My husband got me the first of the series as a gift, and I tore through it right away. It was different storyline-wise from the novel, but all the basic elements that I enjoyed were the same, plus in graphic novel form, it was all the more interesting and stylish. I couldn't wait to read more but wasn't sure where I'd get the books. Turns out, my husband said, he got it at the comic book store.

I have mentioned before in this blog my ambivalent feelings regarding comic book stores. These feelings were not assisted by a pre-Christmas shopping trip to a large comic book store in the Charleston, SC area in search of some suitable age-appropriate comics for my husband's young teenage cousin. The owner of that establishment, as well as the establishment itself, reinforced all of my old collegiate memories and stereotypes (did I mention the giant chain-mail costume that was also on sale there? Or the cockroach crawling around on the bookshelves, or the COMPLETELY inappropriate comic the guy recommended for our young giftee... but I digress...)

As it happens, I do have a small comics shop right in my neighborhood. It's presence has been known to me since moving to Seattle. It is in fact one of the pleasingly "old-Seattle" establishments remaining in my neighborhood that leave me in a general way, enjoying the interesting cultural mix of grub-meets-fance that is present all around my neighborhood. I have even thought of going inside. And yet I have remained always outside the door.

So, it was with some relief that I agreed the other week to join my husband for a weekend outing to the shop, since he knew I wanted more books, and he also had a book he wanted to get. But fate was not in our favor. That weekend as it happened, was our local Comicon, which I realized would be probably the worst weekend for me to attempt visiting the local store, if it in fact was even open. So we made a rain-check for a future weekend.

Prejudgments notwithstanding, my desire to read these books is high, and I've got someone to help me with moral support, so I'm confident that I soon will have the next few books in my hands. And after that, there are many, many books remaining in the series, not to mention all of the remaining novels in the newly republished novel series, and I intend to someday read them all. This, I swear!

Things To Complete this Woggy Project:
  • plan a visit to the comic store
  • actually go to the comic store
  • buy the next couple books in the comic series
  • read the next couple books in the series
  • repeat, repeat, repeat, until all have been read
  • buy the next novel in the novel series
  • read the next novel in the series
  • repeat, repeat, repeat until all have been read
  • kick mental butt with my fabulous breadth and depth of Modesty Blaise fan knowledge