March 2012

James Bond: The Ultimate Spy

I don’t think when Ian Fleming decided to turn some of his counter intelligence experience into novels, he thought that his character would become the ultimate expression for the suave and debonair superspy.

Bond has humble roots. Fleming chose the name from American bird watcher James Bond because it was the most boring name had ever seen. Bond was never meant to be flamboyant, but a blunt instrument used by the British government.

It wasn’t Bond that was interesting, but the events that happened to him. He was an ordinary man that had extraordinary things happen to him. When Sean Connery turned this man into life, his image changed considerable. While Bond was always supposed to be handsome, Connery upped it to legendary levels.

Comics Are The Foundation For Adventure Literature

For as long as there has been pimply teenage kids dreaming of a better life outside of suburbia, comics have been providing the action and adventure they crave. Even with the creation of television, many of the action programs created were derived from comic books.

While the tended to mix the science fiction, horror and adventure genres, comic books started the a revolution in adventure literature. No longer did you have to suffer through long winded paragraphs describing action. You had panels with pictures and little text bubbles letting you know what was going on.

The primary problem with adventure literature before comics was their inability to flow. Action was described in too much detail and you ended up rereading paragraphs over and over again or completely glanced over so you weren’t really sure what was going on.

Turning the Mundane into Adventure: The Fish Out of Water Scenario

Many adventure stories involve characters that are already established in an adventure field. Jack Ryan was a CIA analyst, Allan Quartermain was an adventurer and Jason Bourne was programmed to kill. They are all packaged neatly and already possess the skill necessary to take on the bad guy.

 

You can focus more on the story and less on the characters with this type of scenario. They already have the access to weapons and technology. They already have friends and colleagues that they can call on when the time comes. Unless you have a character like Bourne, who is trying to regain who he was, then the story is more important than character development.

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson created the stereotype for pirates in his novel “Treasure Island” with Captain Long John Silver and one of the most thrilling children’s novels. Unlike many other novels crafted to children, Treasure Island was dark and filled with morale ambiguity.

The novel begins with young boy Jim Hawkins becoming friends with and taking care of the ailing Billie Bones. The man is sought after by the crew members of the dead pirate Captain Flint, but died before he can give them what they want.

Hawkins goes through the sea chest looking for money to pay his hotel bill, but comes across the log of Captain Flint, which contains a map to buried treasure. Hawkins and his well-connected friends charter a ship under the command of Captain Smollet. The ship’s cook, Silver, helps to hire the crew and they embark on the journey.