Robot 6

Frank Hampson was almost the co-creator of Modesty Blaise

Frank Hampson's Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blaise, the tough young adventuress with a criminal past, is the creation of writer Peter O’Donnell and artist Jim Holdaway, but before Holdaway came on board the gig originally went to Frank Hampson, creator of British space hero Dan Dare. According to the Hampson website, he turned in his pages weeks late with no reason for the delay, and O’Donnell wasn’t at all happy with them. O’Donnell said that Hampson “totally misunderstood the character.”

As you can see from the samples (that’s Hampson’s above and you can see Holdaway’s version of the same panels below; there are many more comparisons on the Hampson site), Hampson’s version of Modesty Blaise was softer and prettier than what Holdaway eventually created. While her appearance could have made an interesting contrast with the way she talked and her ruthless character, O’Donnell wanted her to look as tough as she was. He recommended Holdaway, with whom he’d collaborated on Romeo Brown, and the rest is history.

Jim Holdaway's version


One Comment

Knut Robert Knutsen

August 28, 2012 at 5:28 am

That Hampson version isn’t Modesty at all.

This makes me even more grateful that Holdaway was the defining artist on that strip. He really was a genius at characterization, the details in the body language, the refined linework…

Hampson was a great artist but obviously not a great match for Modesty.

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