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Becoming Honey Ryder – the visual politics informing the first Bond Girl

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This comparative study focuses especially on the prior visual representation of the first Bond Girl, Honeychile Rider, in comic strip form in the Daily Express in 1960, and aims to negotiate how the visual politics of her screen character was mediated through and influenced by this and other earlier iterations of James Bond’s female companions in popular printed media. I also problematize the claims that the pornographic influences on the visual politics imbuing these images result from Fleming’s graphic writing. In this way, I have accomplished three things: to locate graphical reiterations (texts) of James Bond’s female companions that can act as a possible matrix to future studies of them; to introduce a more nuanced and complex view of the development of the Bond Girl prior to the first Bond film; and to critically investigate the random and often simplified use of the notion of pornography in relation to studies of the Bond Girl.
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Keywords: Bond Girl; book covers; comic strip; popular media; sexualized narrative; visual politics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Gothenburg

Publication date: 2017-04-01

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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