May 12, 2010

The man who created one of the most kickass female characters ever has passed away

Last Wednesday I lost yet another piece of my childhood. Peter O'Donnell passed away aged 80.

I can't do justice to him right now. I know he was an old, ill man but... damn.

Sure, Modesty Blaise is a pulp heroine but she is a well-rounded believable character... well, okay, her skills are incredible but she is still a human being, and I love her. I've loved her since I was a kid and read Taste for Death. The first English language novel I ever read was I, Lucifer. I hunted the used books stores for the books and the comics. (Now, thanks to and eBay, I've managed to collect all of the 13 novels & short story collections, but am still working on the comics.)

Even the historical romances (more like adventure stories) O'Donnell wrote under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent are much more feminist than many of their like, and this from a British man who was born in 1920. I had been reading them for years before I found out they were written by him. (Yes, I'm old. This was before Wikipedia.)

Thank you for giving us the stories I can read over and over again, Mr O'Donnell. Thank you for giving us characters whose fates still make me laugh and cry (I might never forgive you for Cobra Trap, though, you old bastard).

Rest in peace.

Modesty: "No villains, no victims, no blood sweat and tears... We'll take a little break, Willie love, just you and me."

Willie: "Best bit of it all, Princess."

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