Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pink Saturday - Kick-butt heroines

Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you!

When I was about 14, the newspaper in my hometown ran a comic strip called "Modesty Blaise" for about 6 months, and then discontinued it.

But I was smitten. She was exotic, beautiful, European, and led a life of thrills and danger. Her back-story was that of a nameless orphan, a war-time refuge, forced to live by her wits, learning to survive in a harsh world. She'd run a criminal enterprise of jewel thieves, gained a fortune, and then gave it all up. She was then persuaded to turn her talents to good, helping the British secret service.

At 14, I wanted to be just like her.

I cursed my ill luck to be born an affluent, well-fed suburban Ohio teenager, and wished I had been born a nameless orphan. Oh, and that I were also gorgeous, with great tits, lips like Angelina Jolie, and knew martial arts well enough to kick some serious butt.

Modesty Blaise was created by writer Peter O'Donnell and cartoon artist Jim Holdaway in 1963 as a comic strip in the London Evening Standard. The cartoon strip eventually became syndicated world-wide, although sometimes it was censored in come countries due to the racier scenes where Modesty used her feminine beauty to distract the bad guys.

She was tough; a fighter trained in martial arts and backed up by a trusty sidekick, Willie Garvin, a Cockney ladies' man with a criminal past. Modesty and Willie have a platonic relationship, of course, and always back one another up in tight situations.

O'Donnell wrote the first novel based on the character in 1965, and followed with twelve more books. Although the strip made its last appearance in 2001, volumes have been reissued as graphic novels. Several attempts have been made to bring Modesty Blaise to the big screen, but none have been very successful. You can buy the novels today, and thrill to her adventures. The first novel, titled "Modesty Blaise" is pink!

The paper I read discontinued the strip, and I grew out of wanting to be like her. But I wonder if her example might have inspired me, all unknowing, in my early career, working as a stagehand. I didn't have to know karate, but I did have to perform feats of daring-do, climbing high ladders and conquering my fears. I didn't have to fight bad guys, but I did have to come up against some pretty rough characters. I wasn't a criminal mastermind, but I sure did see some the dark side of things at times.

So maybe there's a little Modesty Blaise still in stirring in my soul. Even at my age.

I kinda like to think of her as a combination of Angelina Jolie, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. Except she kicks butt.

What about you? Do you have a secret longing to be a fearless adventure heroine? Or hero?

25 comments:

mythoughtsmyvoice said...

What a fantasy that would be :-) I did wanted to know martial arts (does that count?), but I wanted it to be innate in me LoL Silly me.

Happy PS.

Li

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Nope - though I admired them, no kick-butt hero for me.

I wanted to be Cary Grant.

shhhhhhhhhh

I still do.

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Happy Pink Saturday ~ I hope you have a great weekend ~ Susan

kcinnova said...

Wow, she was really somethin'!

In my mind, I am all that. Then I wake up. Pffffft.

My rhododendrons are blooming bright pink. Happy Saturday!

KarenHarveyCox said...

OMG Modesty Blaise, I loved her too! I loved the illustrations because I loved to draw faces when I was a young girl.

Happy Pink Saturday and a very enjoying Memorial Day Weekend.

Karen

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

she is HAWT

someplace in thyme said...

I think one can only hope, happy pink saturday, Char

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I actually remember this heroine and found her to be exotic and exciting. Great post!

♥Mimi♥ said...

What a l♥vely Pink Saturday blog entry. This is the one day of the week when I get to sit for a couple of hours and soak in my favorite color. Thanks for being a part of that day☺

Wishing you and yours a wonderful family weekend. I will be remembering my father who served in WWII, and praying for all of our military who are in harms' way.

Claudia said...

I remember Modesty Blaise! Such fun to see her again! I would love to have lips like hers - ah well. Happy Pink Saturday!

KBeau said...

They must not have carried this cartoon in the paper I read. I'd never heard of Modesty Blaise until I read your post. She sounds like quite a "lady."

CC said...

I loved your story..and I would have loved to be a kick butt heroine.
Happy Pink Saturday...

Briget said...

Emma Peel. MRS. Peel (with no Mr. gumming things up, apparently).

I thought Diana Rigg in the original "Avengers" was IT. I wanted to be just like her. I eventually accepted that I would never look like that (especially in a skintight catsuit) or have her unshakeable cool or unerring aim, but I DID realize, and still do, that I can drink champagne like her, dammit.

So occasionally I do. With a Maloxx chaser, these days...

Mrs. Petrie said...

I am ALL about the kick butt heroines: Anita Blake, Rachel Morgan, etc. Those pictures would be great in a teenage girl's room. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Terri said...

I wouldn't mind being like one of Angelina Jolie's kick butt heroines she plays. Thanks for the welcome. Happy Pink Saturday. Hope you had a great one.

maidenshade said...

Happy Pink Saturday! Ty for visiting me today. Please come back and visit me again, it is so nice to meet new friends.

I wanted to be a singer, or writer, but wasn't tempted by being a super hero; artists, singers, novelists - those were my thing.

xJennifer
MaidenShade.wordpress.com

Beverly said...

It's never too late, Glennis. ;-)

Happy Pink Saturday.

Queenly Things said...

I only saw the movie but it shaped my adolescence. I wanted her life, her clothes, her apartment and her Cockney lady's gentleman. But then again, Audrey in "Charade" was a pretty amazing role model, too.

Shirl said...

Hello, Happy Pink Saturday. Adorable pink post!
Bless you, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

She is fantastic.

I would have loved her too.

Here's my comic heroine:
http://www.brokenfrontier.com/img/2008/jun/Starfire.jpg

phd in yogurtry said...

Cat Woman. Purrrrrrrrr, Batmannnnn!

Beansieleigh said...

I don't think I ever imagined being quite so adventurous. I'm the one who's very content at home, bundled up in my afghans on the couch, with my kids, my coffee, cookies, and crochet nearby.. I guess that's pretty boring in a good many people's minds, LOL... and sure, I like to go out for fun doing whatever now and then; but home is best, and that's what makes me happy the most! (0;

San Diego Momma said...

The name Modesty Blaise is now my favorite of all time.

As for me, I never wanted to be a heroine, rather I set my sights on wan, weakish, neurotic author types like Sylvia Plath, sans the killing oneself.

cactus petunia said...

Funny, I started reading Ian Fleming's 007 novels when I was about 11 or 12...I always wanted to be Bond. Jane Bond.

Life with Kaishon said...

If I had to be a kick butt heroine I think I would like to be GI Jane. I always thought GI Joe was the coolest so I would LOVE to be his woman. At least I think : ).

What a great pink post!