This week we welcome ‘Retro’ the eminence gris behind the very erudite website Retroculturati, which includes an appreciation of James Bond. Quite right!
What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
A difficult choice but I would say Thunderball as it was my favourite film as a young boy, I have the original stills promo poster for the film, I had a thing about underwater exploration back then and it all seemed very glamorous. I was, however, tempted to say Jan Pienkowsi’s cover for The James Bond Dossier 1st edition as you get a snippet of all of them!
Do you own any 1st editions?
Yes, everything From Russia with Love onwards including continuation authors and all of the major Fleming/Amis etc related works in first editions. I also have the Pan paperback firsts and Book Club editions.
What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
Apart from the first three as 1st’s, nothing really! I look out for variant’s if the covers appeal but I have most of them.
When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
I remember siting in a book room reading parts from a Bond novel in the early 70s as a boy but my first proper read was The Man with the Golden Gun. It was a Book Club Edition which I found in a dusty antiques shop, it seemed so exotic in that moment that I had to read it.
That spurred me on to collect them properly, so in many ways it would be that but in terms of quality of writing I would say From Russia with Love.
Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
My favourite Bond paperback is a Portuguese copy of Live and Let Die from 1965, classic 1960s damsel in distress style along with Bond in a diving suit which ticks the boxes!
There is a French first edition paperback of Diamonds are Forever from 1957 which I bought years ago which is very simple but effective.
I also like Bill Botten’s cover for Icebreaker with the skeletal hand from Thunderball and Trevor Scobie’s cover for Nobody Lives Forever. The UK first of Colonel Sun also takes some beating.
This is not an easy choice to make! It is easy to fall in love with any of Chopping’s covers as indeed with a number of the Book Club editions.
Retroculturati is an online magazine for lovers of music, cinema, photography, social, political and military history. A cultural escape for those living in the present with a lingering look at the past.