Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sad News About A Bond Cover Artist

I heard some sad news last week from Tim at the Pan Paperback Collectors Website.  Sam Peffer, the cover artist for many of the early James Bond paperbacks published by Pan, passed away on March 14, 2014 at the age of 92.

Tim told me that "The Times" newspaper in London published an obituary on his life and art that included several book images.

From what Tim has told me about Mr Peffer, and also from what I've read about him on the web, he seemed like a really nice and down to earth guy.  I particularly liked this blog entry I recently discovered written by Manuel Bouw where Manuel had written to Mr Peffer back in 2006 asking for an autograph and Mr Peffer had responded with not only an autograph but also a full letter.

On my website I have attributed several series of book covers to Mr Peffer.  While not all of the covers were Mr Peffer's work, he no doubt had a large effect on the style and design of many of the early Bond covers prior to the films and Sean Connery becoming Bond.  His covers are easily distinguishable by the familiar "Peff" signature.

Here's four well known Bond book covers featuring the "Peff" signature:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Annual University Visit (And Book Stalls)

Annually my work colleages and I visit La Trobe University in Bundoora, about 30 minutes from the City, for a work related seminar.  At lunch we disappear off to the campus pub for a few ales, although this year we shared a bottle of Moscato.  During our walk there I stopped at the book stalls which are part of the Thursday Market.  Last year at the same market I managed to find a rare-ish Bond paperback for sale.

This year there were still a large number of books for sale at the stalls, almost all in very good condition and well priced to cater to what are probably the limited finances of students. 

The first stall I visited appeared to be the same one that had a Cape hardback copy of "The Man With The Golden Gun" for sale last year.  After a quick scan of his stock I asked the owner if he had any Bonds for sale but he replied "No", explaining that it was hard to source good condition Bond novels nowadays.  He appeared to be very knowlegeable about books and even asked about early Pan Bond cover art when I mentioned why I wanted to take photos of his stall.

The second stall had just as many books as the first, and after asking the owner if I could take some photos I then asked if he had any Bonds to which he pointed out a 60's Pan copy of "Goldfinger".  He also had a movie tie-in copy of Fleming's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".  Unfortunately I had them both so I let them go, despite how cheap they were priced.

Overall my visit this year wasn't as successful as the previous, however I now feel I should visit more often as I fear there could be a major turnover of Bond stock at this market and I've been missing out.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Feeling Of Deja Vu

Today my wife and I were walking along Chapel Street with grey clouds in the sky.  Just before the rain started falling an RAAF F1 Fighter Jet suddenly flew low overhead at incredible speed.  It was unbelievably loud and appeared to startle everyone.  Immediately my wife and I were hit with a feeling of deja vu.

A year ago (and one day) my wife and I left the The Astor Theatre having just watched "North By Northwest".  We walked outside, grey clouds in the sky and rain starting to fall, and suddenly an RAAF F1 Fighter flew low overhead causing the same massive sound.  Only last year the jet was so fast I couldn't snap any pics.  This time I managed to grab a few.

Like last year the fly-over was part of the Melbourne Grand Prix celebrations.  The main race is held tomorrow just down the road from Chapel Street at Albert Park Lake.  And like last year I visited Penny Syber's Books while on Chapel Street.  This time there were less Bond's on the shelves so the books are still turning over which is good to see.

We also visited the Chapel Street Bazaar and found three Bond's (one the same as last year) in a book stall.  I didn't purchase any though.

Nearby a comic shop, Comics R Us, was selling this action figure.

The street has several Op Shops too.  This Salvation Army Store is new and had heaps of books at great prices but unfortunately no Bonds.

And finally, some photos of The Astor Theatre when I picked up the latest film calendar.  "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" was being shown tonight but we passed on it.