Saturday, 18 February 2017

Interview with artist Paul Mann

Artist Paul Mann kindly gave me an interview about his work and recent commission.

Q: What inspired you to become an artist?
Answer Paul Mann:I feel I was born with the desire to be an artist. As a small child I was always drawing and very much encouraged by my family. As I grew that desire in me grew.  My family and friends gave me such positive support and praise that I knew this was my calling in life.

Q: You mention on FB that you collect art yourself. What fascinates you about pop culture art?
Answer PM: As a young child I remember seeing Frank McCarthy's Thunderball movie poster.  The poster showing the underwater attack scene with Bond in his orange wet suit struggling with another diver. 

That image inspired me and I knew that someday that would be the type of art I wanted to do.  Throughout my life I have collected some of the original artwork of my favorite artists, of the fifties and sixties. I love the images of rugged men and beautiful women. Two of my favorite artists are Robert McGinnis and Frank McCarthy who also painted the early Bond posters. That era fascinates me because of the quality of artists and the work they were able to produce. Unfortunately it is becoming a lost art. There are very few artists around that can produce such work.

Q: What is your preferred painting medium?
Answer PM: I work in oils, gouache, and acrylic, I'm comfortable with all three mediums but my favorite would be gouache and acrylic. There is no wait time for the paint to set up as with oil because of that I can paint very fast with them and control the paint which gives me the results I want.

You recently completed a commission for a McCarthy-style “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” artwork, please tell us about that.
Answer PM: Yes, I've been working with a client who is a big Bond collector in Germany. It's really neat to get to paint anything dealing with the early Bond movies.I'm a huge fan of the artist Frank McCarthy and Robert McGinnis. They were the guys who painted the best of the early Bond art movie posters. To get to illustrate "On Her Majesty Secret Service" in a Frank McCarthy Style gives me a new appreciation of how darn good he was. These are hard illustrations to do there is a lot happening in them, lots of figures and lots of action. To be able to catch the flavor of McCarthy's poster work is a real challenge but very rewarding when I see the end product.

Q: How do you interpret the briefing and communicate your ideas to the client?
Answer PM: The client had a pretty good idea of what he wanted the art to consist of, I did my best to put together on paper what the client is seeing in his head.  I sent the client images of my sketches. The client then communicated back to me if there were things to change or move.  Such as angles, colors, and so forth.  I  then incorporated those ideas back into my sketch until we had figured it all out.  Again these illustrations are not easy to put together and it can take some time to come up with a good sketch that works.

Q: What is your process?
Answer PM: I always start with some simple doodles to get a basic design working and the placement of people and objects.

Next I will call in models and do a photo session, with those photos and any other scrap I have I will put together a simple but accurate line drawing.  Sometimes I may have to draw this out several times before I can get everything to fit nicely and work as a design.  Once the client okay's the sketch I go to a full color comp. This is where I want to make sure everything is working, that everything is sized right and that the color comes together.  I do take time to do a nice and finished color rough.  

Once okayed by the client I go to the finished art which will be much larger than my colored sketch.  I grid off the board I will be painting on and also my color sketch so I can make sure all objects will line up exactly the same on my final painting board as they did on my color sketch.  My finished art is usually done on illustration board or Masonite panel. Using my color rough as a reference I will start blocking the larger color masses in.  Knocking in the background color first and working from background to foreground. I will begin painting in all objects one by one, people, cars, helicopters, buildings until it all comes together.

Q: The artwork features a lot of different elements. What do you use as a reference?
Answer PM: That's always a challenge; first I look at all photos that I can find on the internet from the movie.  I do this to see if there is anything I can use as a good reference.  Usually there is very little I feel that will work for me.  I have to have the best reference material I can find or photograph my own figure scrap.  
I will bring into the studio models in costumes to pose and photograph.  It might be someone in a dark suit I will photograph him in the position that I need and then add the real Bond's head onto the body or my model will be wearing a military style outfit that is close to what was worn in the movie. This may mean a trip to the army surplus to find costuming.  I will hand my model a toy machine gun that I spray painted black to make it look authentic.  

I then have him stand on a large sheet of plywood with one end elevated about two feet off the ground so he is standing on a slanted surface.  It’s a lot of work which the client is not aware of but it does give me the material I need to do the art.

Q: Did the artwork change while you were painting it?
Answer PM: Yes, I was not happy with the Bond head I had, so I changed to a different head which worked much better.  You can let some things slide a little bit but never on a head.  It has to be right on and look like the character. The client also had one change he wanted a little surprise in it.  If you look close in the upper windows of the Piz Gloria you will see it.

Q: What are the finishing touches for the artwork?
Answer PM:The client asked me to add more fighting figures in the painting and to have snow blowing up from under the helicopter.  Adding the blowing snow worried me a little because if I over did it my people at the bottom of the art would disappear.  I tried to add enough to make the client happy but not too much that I lost the figures.  The snow was a good call on my client’s part it helped Bond pop out more.
Big thanks to Paul for his interview and Thomas from the Nixdorf Collection for sharing the commissioned artwork!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Femme Fatales Cover Artwork

Cover artwork for the January edition of "Femme Fatales" magazine.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Mystery Dr. No Lobby Card - Help, please

Help, please: I found this image a while ago and I'm not sure what it is. It looks like a French "Dr No" lobby card but does not resemble any French or Swiss lobby cards that I know (see below). 

Does anyone know where this is from? Thank you.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

From Russia With Love Lobby Cards from South Africa

Lobby cards for "From Russia With Love" from South Africa by Kinekor. Set of 8.

I've never seen these before. Does anyone know more and maybe how the missing card looks like?

I found these on the net and can't remember where. Thanks and credits to the person who originally posted these!

Comic Cover Art from Chile

Cover and interior page from issue 57 "El Rallye de la Muerte" of the South American James Bond comic series published by Zig Zag in 1971. Artist: Germán Gabler

Monday, 23 January 2017

24 Sheets of the Moore Years

US 24 Sheet posters for "Live and Let Die", "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker". 

I have never seen a 24sh for "The Man with the Golden Gun" so the image below is a guess how it could look like. Does anyone know more?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Goldfinger Book Cover Artwork

Sketches and final book cover for the hardcover edition of Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger" by Penguin. 

Sketches and artwork by Michel Gillette.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Comic Cover Artwork for Eidolon

Cover artworks for the James Bond comic series "Eidolon" Dynamite Comics 2016.

Comic Cover Art For Your Eyes Only

1983 Comic cover artwork from Yugoslavia(?) for the comic version of "For Your Eyes Only". Artwork clearly inspired by the poster campaign.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

From Russia With Love Folio Edition

2016 Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming's "From Russia With Love" with illustrations by Fay Dalton.

US Cover for Trigger Mortis

Cover artwork for the US 2015 paperback edition of Anthony Horowitz' "Trigger Mortis" The cover was designed by Patrick Leger. Below are the various design and concept stages. has the full interview with Patrick.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Skyfall Art Tribute

Tribute artwork for "Skyfall" by Mark Raats. Check out his page and other works here.

I'm very glad to see painted artwork for a Craig Bond, very rare in the days of photo posters.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Scalextric Box Artwork

Box artwork for the 1968 Scalextric James Bond 007 racetrack set.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Audio Book Covers

 Audio book cover artwork for various James Bond novels from Blackstone. Featured on the Ian Fleming Publication  Instagram website.

Pan Cover Art Tribute

Happy New Year! 

I always had a weakness for the "what if?" scenarios, so I could not resists to toy around with a Thunderball retro cover in the old Pan paperback style.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and a great start for 2017 to all my readers. Thank you for all the kind emails and help!
(Artwork by  Gregory Manches from Jan 1997 Playboy magazine illustrating Raymond Benson's "Blast from the past")

Daily Express Artwork for You Only Live Twice

In February and March 1964 the UK newspaper ran a serialisation of Ian Fleming's "You Only Live Twice" with illustrations by artist Robb.

Roger Moore Magazine Cover Artwork

1972 cover artwork for UK "Look In" magazine featuring Roger Moore as the new Bond. Artist unknown (to me).

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Book Covers from Russia

Various book cover illustrations from Russia (I assume). Sadly I don't speak Russian so I have no idea which is which.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Moonraker Tribute Artwork

Tribute based on the book "Moonraker
Artwork by Gerald WadsworthWatercolour, 17" x 12".

Sunday, 4 December 2016

You Only Live Twice Tribute Art

Tribute artwork for "You Only Live Twice" by Paul Mann. 60 x 90 cm, oil on illustration board. 
This artwork was comissioned by Thomas from the  "The Nixdorf Collection"
Artist Paul Mann in his studio.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Thunderball Art by Ciriello

Recently discovered the record by Ray Martin on the left. Which made me wonder: Did Ciriello paint the Thunderball artwork without the white box in the middle or not? Does anyone know?

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Goldfinger Advertising from Brazil

Goldfinger flyer called "Cartazete" used for advertising in cinemas in Brazil, The back has photos and information about the film. 30 x 23 cm.

Thanks to Yuri for sharing these!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Interview with Bond Poster Model Cindy Wirth

Model Cindy R Wirth modeled for the poster artwork for “Never Say Never Again”, painted by Rudy Obrero. In this interview she shares her memories of her time as a Bond girl.

How did you get involved in posing for the Never Say Never Again, James Bond poster? Were you recommended by a casting or modeling agency ?
At the time I was with the Wilhelmina agency in Los Angeles working as a top fashion model. I was losing my designer clients due to my passion for my daily gym workouts. It was the time of the anorexic size “00” models. I no longer needed shoulder pads, I had muscles. 

Alternatively, I started working as a fitness model. The photographer, Bernard Boudreau who shot the stills for the  Never Say Never Again poster was a credited Weider Muscle and Fitness Magazine photographer. Bernard asked me to come in for the castings for Never Say Never Again.  The Advertising Agency was New York West in Hollywood.  Their offices were near the famous Capital Records Building. Bernard cast me as the body double for Domino played by Kim Basinger and Fitima Blush  played by Barbara Carrera.

Did the photographer or advertising agency provide wardrobe for the shoot?
No, I arrived at the shoot in a hot pink  leotard, a scissored cut t-shirt  ( no bra ) leg warmers and high heels.  But everyone in LA ran around in leotards and high heels, it  was the 80’s.  At the time, I was designing a bodywear line called Bodyrapp which I later sold to REEBOK in 1987.  The hot pink leotard was a new tanga style with suspenders similar to a man’s wrestling suit. I designed Bodyrapp in 1983.    

Therefore, there is no doubt that my photos were used by Rudy Obero in the final poster.  The movie, Never Say Never Again was still filming at the time of my photo shoot and often the ad agency for the film company does not have access to the  actual film as the advertising campaigns are done sometimes even before filming.   

New York West advertising artist Rudy Obero could have only worked from the photo stills from the poster shoot.  Never Say Never Again  was the return of Sean Connery as 007 after a 12 year absence.   A few years later I met Sean Connery at the home of a journalist from Paris Match and challenged him to a game of billards and won!!!  With his wife Micheline in the wings and friends in common, I felt it was best to stop at one victory!! However bragging about beating James Bond in billiards isn’t nearly as exciting as bedding James Bond.

Are there any other photos from the  photo shoots with Bernard Boudreau?
The only reason I have the photo used for the Never Say Never Again poster is that I asked Bernard to take a few shots of me in my tanga leotard for my fitness line.  Otherwise the agency is given the rolls of film and they process them and select apart from the photographer. The agency selects what photos to give the artist.  The artist creates his designs from the different poses in the photo stills and creates a composition layout for approval.  It’s rare that any of the original photo stills would be available.

Did posing as a James Bond girl change your life?

Well it certainly improved my billard game!!  The irony is that Bernard Boudreau was hired that same year to shoot the photo stills for the poster for  another James Bond film, Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Both films were being released in 1983.   Bernard cast me again for the body double this time as Octopussy played by  Maude Adams.  In this shoot Bernard provided Frederick’s of Hollywood gold stillettos and a long red satin negligee with thigh high slits on both sides.  I had to stand behind a mannequin wielding various toy weapons, a ball and a martini glass keeping the now famous “Angelina Jolie extended leg pose” in view.  There are no existing stills from this shoot.  Usually we shot Poloroids as a light test but we never thought to keep them.  Dan Goozee’ did the final art on Octopussy.  I don’t remember what advertising agency handled the Octopussy campaign.

Did you ever dream of being a Bond  girl?
Well since the last James Bond movie, SPECTRE cast 50 year old Monica Bellucci and Kim Basinger just signed a modeling contract at age 60 we can always still hope.

Model Cindy R Wirth lives in Italy.  In 2014, a  photo series of Cindy; Dames des Dunes taken by Italian photographer Azzurra Piccardi won the PX Prix de La Photographie Paris People’s Choice Award.   Her past work includes photo sessions with Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and Harry Langdon. Cindy continues to work as a body model in 2016.

Thank you to Cindy and Thomas from the Nixdorf Collection for sharing this interview!