Drawn to Bond – Michael Gillette expands on his Bond work
Amongst all the latest updates on the imminent ‘Skyfall’ premier – trailers, adds and whatnot – there is also the odd snippet on the literary Bond coming our way. And these days such news are connected largely to the name of one artist: Michael Gillette.
Fans will remember Gillette is the artist behind the cover designs of Penguin’s 2008 Fleming reprints, giving that edition a distinctive and unique look. Now Gillette is busy making German publisher Cross Cult’s new Fleming translations a definite collectors item. Not only is it the first complete edition of the classic canon in German ever; Michael Gillette also provided two all-new original covers for ‘Thunderball’/’Feuerball’ and ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’/’Im Geheimdienst Ihrer Majestät’.
In the case of ‘Thunderball’ Gillette had been unhappy with the original results of Penguin’s reproductions of his earlier design and decided to give the German version of the ‘Thunderball’ cover a completely fresh approach with a slightly different shade of green. And a new model that captures the tone of the novel even better than the first one (not that there was anything wrong with that lady, mind you). The new design now makes clever use of a wetsuit, and if anything is even more eye-catching than the first version.
For ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ Gillette was unsure whether his original model really impersonated the qualities necessary to get Bond to propose marriage.
“I felt the original girl looked a little too demure to take Mr Bond’s heart all the way up the altar, I thought she should could be much more alluring.”
So Gillette spent considerable time and effort on finding a new type of model for the remake, a process often taking much longer than the actual drawing, the artist confessed. As seen above, the result justified the endeavour. The look this model gives certainly could get a man thinking.
Both these new versions will be available in an English version as prints before Christmas here.
But this is not all the Bond-related work Michael Gillette has been doing lately. He’s also been commissioned to illustrate PLAYBOY’s ‘Being Bond’ feature that should hit newsagents within the next few days. We’ve got an exclusive sneak preview of this illustration. The PLAYBOY edition with this Bond feature should be available soon.
Images (c) Michael Gillette, used by kind permission.