1. What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
That’s a tough decision, but I think it has to be From Russia With Love. The flower motif that he used on all the covers makes most sense to me with that one and I love the juxtaposition between that and the gun. The Spy Who Loved Me has a similar thing going on, but the gun feels more Bond to me. I also appreciate the absence of flies, giant toads, and human bones. Must be getting squeamish in old age..
2. Do you own any 1st edition?
3. What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
I grew up reading Bond in paperback, so my favorites are in that format. Would love to have complete runs of the 2006 Penguins with the Richie Fahey covers and the 2012 Vintage editions. I love Vintage’s black and white photo covers with Bond looking at or walking towards iconic locations from the book.
4. When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
I don’t remember the date, but I was in high school. My parents thought the Bond films were too racy for kids, but we were allowed to read whatever we wanted, so I read the whole series before seeing any of the movies.
Casino Royale will always have a special place in my heart, but my absolute favorite is Dr. No. It’s the pulpiest of them, Honey is kickass, and it’s also a turning point in Bond’s character development over the course of the series.
5. Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
I more or less answered this above, but I also dig the Berkley series from the ’80s, because those were the ones I grew up reading and collecting. They’re falling apart on my shelf though, so I recently bought the Thomas & Mercer editions as reading copies and I do enjoy Archie Ferguson’s minimalist covers on those. They’re not especially exciting, but they’re clever designs.
Michael May writes the comic Kill All Monsters https://www.facebook.com/killallmonsters (drawn by Jason Copland) and other cool adventure stories. He’s also a life-long Bond fan and writes about the spy and other adventure heroes at http://www.michaelmayadventureblog.com/. Michael lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife, son, and a bearded dragon named after a Liam Neeson character.