Tuesday, August 05, 2014

"Risico": The Comic Strip

Starting with the "From Russia with Love" strip, there's an upturn in the quality of the Bond comics and the series excels even more at adapting Fleming's short stories. The length of the "Risico" strip isn't much shorter proportionally than those adapting full length novels, so Henry Gammidge is able to take his time and build scenes instead of rushing through them. Reading the comic strip "Risico" is a lot like reading the prose "Risico," only with pictures.

And the pictures are pretty great. John McLusky has really found his stride and the art looks totally relaxed and confident. His Kristatos has a laid back, slimy quality that makes me smile and Bond looks a lot tougher and more serious than the smirking character in some of the earlier adaptations. Lisl Baum feels like a real person as opposed to some of the pinups McLusky was using for previous women.

"Risico" is so good that it represents a strip I'd look forward to reading even if it wasn't about one of my favorite literary characters. It's not only an excellent adaptation; it has enough great qualities to stand as its own thing. It has a mature feel to it, like it's not dumbing down the story, and that even extends to some of the language. Gammidge lets Bond say "hell" quite a bit, which isn't indicative of quality, but does seem like he and/or his editors are willing for this not to be seen as a kids strip.

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