The Lipstick Chronicles (where the Book Tarts talk love, laughter, laundry and the mysteries of writing life) has just published a nice essay by William Simon on Black and White Heroes that has provoked a lot of excitement and response. The basic premise is that in the days of old, heroes were heroes and you could tell them from the bad guys without too much effort. Nowadays, in an effort to be dark and realistic, all the good guys are much darker shades of grey and not that much different than the evil that they are fighting.
This will be a bigger issue when the Saint returns to TV in the near future on TNT. How will a modern-day Saint still retain the gentleman touch and yet still be able to relate to the new darker side of the underworld with the good humor and aplomb we have come to know and love?
William's essay ends with:
Back to the point, look around today and we have no heroes on television. We have sociopathic psychos with badges who ram guns down people's throats and yell "Suck THIS, pal!", and they are usually some sort of recovering addict, be it alcohol/drugs, sex, or gambling. We have characters who kill as easily as they sneeze. Stealing is perfectly acceptable, as long as no one gets caught. No damsel needs rescuing, and if she does it's usually a setup to try and kill the protagonist. It is entertaining for him to slap/hit/threaten her, usually while screaming her marked resemblance to a female canine at the top of his lungs. Lie, cheat, steal, hurt, no matter; it's okay, the end justifies the means. Results are what count, not the methods to achieve them, and if you don't believe that, take a close look at the Business World today.
Heroes should be above the crowd; polished but not effete, superior but not snide, capable but not arrogant, strong but not uncaring.
Today, we have no Bogart, or Gable, or Cooper. We don't have a Gardner, a Bacall, a Hepburn.
The Saint by Leslie Charteris was published in Japan as セイント by レスリー・チャータリス.
The book pictured here is a 1966 Japanese (Kanji) edition of Nazo no kaito Saint of which the original English title is unknown. The cover artwork of this particular edition is fairly reminiscent of the Dutch editions that were done by Dick Bruna around the same time.
Much like Volvo did with The Saint movie in 1997 with Val Kilmer, Volvo continues to use movies as a cross-promotional vehicle for their advertising team. This time, in a movie-tie-in with Pirates of the Caribean, Volvo hired a deep sea exploration company to retrieve a treasure chest filled with $50,000 in gold doubloons and a key to a new Volvo. The funny thing is, the deep sea company found a real treasure worth $500 million, and now that the Spanish government has gotten involved this simple contest has become horribly complicated. So complicated that perhaps only The Saint could solve the case, and bring the treasure up to the rightful owner? The Pirate Saint, Saint Overboard, anyone?
Controversy Sparked by $500 Million Real-Life Treasure Find Adds New Mystery and Intrigue to Final Leg of Volvo's Online Hunt
(IRVINE, Calif.) June 22, 2007-In a twist worthy of any great pirate story, Volvo Car Corporation today upped anchor--at least temporarily--on the last crucial leg of its global online treasure hunt: the retrieval of a prize treasure chest filled with $50,000 in gold and a key to a new Volvo from the sea floor. The retrieval of the chest will hang in the balance until controversy dies down over the discovery of real life treasure by Volvo's Hunt partner, Odyssey Marine Exploration.
Earlier this year, Volvo selected Odyssey, the world leader in deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, to sink a treasure chest with one goal: to create an authentic, exciting treasure hunt to promote Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.' Veiled in secrecy, Odyssey scouted locations in the Western Mediterranean, finally zeroing in on a perfect spot off the coast of Gibraltar. They had planned to take the winner of The Hunt, 23-year-old Alena Zvereva from Ekaterinburg, Russia, out to retrieve the treasure from its secret location when the operation hit an unprecedented snag: Odyssey found real treasure. And a media storm ensued.
"We thought sinking a real treasure chest, filled with $50,000 in gold doubloons and a key to a new Volvo, and creating a global treasure hunt for 22 markets was challenging," said Linda Gangeri, national advertising manager, Volvo Cars of North America. "But that was, quite literally, a drop in the ocean compared to the storm our attempted retrieval process has stirred up."
While thousands of would-be treasure hunters from around the globe battled it out to find Volvo's prize booty, Odyssey struck gold and silver of their own in the Atlantic Ocean with the discovery of an estimated $500 million in coins from a deep ocean site the company has now code-named the 'Black Swan.'
As soon as the discovery was made public, having been spotted depositing Volvo's treasure in an entirely different area, questions started circulating as to the real provenance of the 'Black Swan.' Was it a Spanish shipwreck? Had Odyssey been working on shipwrecks in Spanish waters? Unable to reveal the exact location of the 'Black Swan,' in the Atlantic Ocean because of obvious security reasons, and under a non-disclosure agreement with Volvo to protect the location of its treasure chest, Odyssey found itself in the eye of a media storm that has yet to abate. Reports have been widely circulated that a court in the Spanish coastal town of La Linea has issued an order for the Spanish Guardia Civil to detain any Odyssey vessel should it leave the port of Gibraltar, putting Volvo's retrieval plans on hold.
"When we discovered the 'Black Swan,' international interest in the find was amazing," said Greg Stemm, real-life shipwreck explorer and co-founder of Odyssey. "Even though we have been very clear that it's in the Atlantic Ocean, outside any country's territorial waters, when Spanish authorities saw that we'd been out near Gibraltar in March, some unfortunately jumped to the wrong conclusion. Until very recently, we were contractually bound not to reveal our arrangement with Volvo, so without a real explanation of why we had deep-sea exploration equipment out there, it's easy to see how imaginations could run wild."
Whatever happens, Zvereva will receive $50,000 and a new Volvo XC70. Volvo, however, is not giving up on its retrieval plans yet and is committed to exploring every avenue possible to reclaim the chest from its watery depths.
"We wanted an adventure, and we certainly got one," said Gangeri. "Real-life shipwreck exploration is uncharted waters for us, and Odyssey did warn us that you never know what will happen out on the high seas. They have been an excellent partner throughout all this, and they helped make this contest one of the most authentic, exciting promotions of the year. Now, pirate story or not, we're putting everything we have toward raising a thrilling--and happy--ending."
About the Hunt The wildly popular Hunt, a month-long multi-media campaign developed as part of Volvo's promotion of the theatrical release of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, attracted more than 32,000 online contestants from 22 markets around the world. Participants solved a series of puzzles that led to a semi-final puzzle, Puzzle 21: World's End, posted May 31. The first contestant from each country to submit the correct answer then went on to compete in one final online puzzle to decide the winner. All participating markets were represented in the final with the exception of Italy, who didn't have a participant submit a correct semi-final answer within the time limit.
Finalists were Andreas Aigner, Austria; Konstantin Popov, Bulgaria; Erin Chock, Canada; Dennis Leifheit, Germany; Cheuk Fung Leung, Hong Kong; Andreas, Indonesia; Yukio Takai, Japan; Siew Hang Teh, Malaysia; Patricia Gabriela Medrano Picon, Mexico; Liss Johansen, Norway; Aaron Joseph N. David, Philippines; Jarosaw Nowakowski, Poland; Ciprian Constantin Grosu, Romania; Alena Zvereva, Russia; Wilson Teo, Singapore; Jungtae Ahn, South Korea; Maria Qvick Faxa, Sweden; Shih-En Chen, Taiwan; Geranun Jiraboonyanon, Thailand; Karyn Burgess, United Kingdom; and Deborah LaValley, United States.
About Volvo Cars of North America Volvo has been building cars with Safety in mind for 80 years. The current 2007 model line-up of Volvo Cars includes: the award-winning S40 and its wagon counterpart the V50; the award-winning XC90; the sporty S60 sedan; the all-new S80 luxury sedan; the versatile V70 wagon and rugged XC70 (Cross Country); and the new C70 convertible with the innovative retractable hardtop.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration and "ZEUS." Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. is engaged in the exploration of deep-water shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive deep-ocean search and recovery operations around the world. The company was founded by industry pioneers John Morris and Greg Stemm. The ZEUS remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is the centerpiece of an advanced robotic archeology system. It is rated to operate at depths to 8,200 feet and is driven by eight powerful hydraulic thrusters. The system's cameras feed high-definition video signals through advanced fiberoptic telemetry to the surface.
Ian Dickerson reports that LeslieCharteris.com is temporarily down due to another hacker spam attack much bigger than one that occurred earlier this year. His ISP is working on the issue, and Ian is taking this opportunity to update and upgrade the website. The site should be back up within a couple of weeks with new grand re-opening. We'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, you can always view past versions of LeslieCharteris.com that have archived in the Internet Wayback Machine.
From: Bill Krzastek Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 23:12:24 -0400 Subject: ST1's Trip To Canada Part 2
Hello to All,
Welcome to Part 2 of "ST1"s trip to Canada. While at the Fleetwood Country Cruize-In at London, Ontario, ST1 was visited by another legend, Mr. George Barris, the "King of the Kustomizers". Mr. Barris is known worldwide for the many custom, film, and TV cars he designed and built since the 1950's such as the TV Batmobile, Munsters Coach, the Ala Kart, and dozens of others. Several of Mr. Barris's creations were on display but even he was interested in seeing "ST1", the Roger Moore "Saint" Volvo.
Mr. Barris has a website where he interviews people and talks about their cars. He chose "ST1" to be part of this and in the attached photos, we see Mr. Barris interviewing me (and vice-versa) about the car. During the interview, I found out that Mr. Barris has a connection to Roger Moore: turns out that Mr. Barris built a car for Sir Roger's first Bond film "Live and Let Die" and had actually met Mr. Moore during filming. "A real gentleman" is how Mr. Barris described Sir Roger.
Also on hand was Tony Davey, restorer of "ST1" who had flown over from England for the show. Tony is seen being interviewed by Mr. Barris in one of the photos. Plus, Irv Gordon, owner of the 2+ million mile Volvo can be seen in the backround of the first photo being interviewed from the folks from Old Cars Television. Small world indeed.
I have recently found a number of new Leslie Charteris foreign language editions of The Saint, and have therefore expanded that area of this site quite substantially. Look for the new Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, and Portuguese editions on the main foreign language page!
Then look at the growing collection of artwork for the following languages:
From: Bill Krzastek Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 09:19:48 -0400 Subject: ST1's Trip To Canada Part 1
Hello to All,
What an amazing weekend in London, Ontario at Steve Plunkett's Country Cruize-In. Not only did we have a great time but over $150,000 was raised for charity. We are glad that "ST1" was chosen to help participate in this "Saintly" endeavor. While at the show, I had the opportunity to meet and greet many fans of "The Saint" and Sir Roger Moore. It always surprises me to hear that people come to the show to specifically see "ST1" when there are so many other attractions. One family had each of their 5 family members take turns behind the wheel for photos! It's nice to know that this car meant so much to so many people.
We were interviewed several times about the car and it's history but two interviews really stand out: the first was by Rick Walker of Old Autos Television. In the photos that follow, we decided it would be fun to try to recreate the original publicity photos of Sir Roger and "ST1". I posed for the boot shot then persuaded Rick to please take over for the others. As you can see, the photos definitely improved by my absence!
In Part 2, we have a very special interviewer so... "Watch for the car of The Saint, it will return".
Barbra Paskin, a British yet Hollywood-based, journalist has been commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to create a radio show celebrating the 100th year of Leslie Charteris. Barbra, who is most recently noted for her fine biography of Dudley Moore, is an excited Saint fan who has been looking forward to making a show like this for many years. As noted on LeslieCharteris.com, she's a life-long Charteris fan who grew up enraptured with Simon Templar. Her brother Simon (not actually named after Simon Templar), from earliest memory, has always called himself 'ST' and signs all his personal letters with a stick symbol and a halo.
The 30-minute show is in production at the moment and will feature contributions from such notables as Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy, Patricia Charteris, Dan Bodenheimer, Ian Dickerson, and Burl Barer. More details, including a broadcast date and time, will be posted here as and when we know them.
Book and Magazine Collector's June 2007 issue features, "Leslie Charteris: 100 Years of The Creator of The Saint."
The long 13-page article was written by Norman Wright, begins on page 36 of the issue. The article discusses Charteris' creation of the Saint and is printed in full color with some marvelous illustrations of Roger Moore, George Sanders, Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Louis Hayward, magazine appearances, various dustjackets, and paperback editions.
A three-page annotated bibliography of the British editions is included, along with some current pricing guidelines within the UK; the highest price is, of course, for a British first Ward Lock edition of Meet The Tiger with dustjacket, at over £3000+ ($6000+)!
The issue went on sale May 10, 2007.
While thanking Book and Magazine Collector for doing a piece on The Saint and Leslie Charteris, Ian Dickerson has also posted a number of factual content errors to the news page of LeslieCharteris.com for you to enjoy -- see how many of them you found yourself!
From: Bill Krzastek Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 14:12:59 -0400 Subject: ST1 goes to Canada!
Hello to All,
This coming weekend, June 8-10, "ST1" has been invited to participate in Steve Plunkett's Fleetwood Country Cruize-In located in London, Ontario, Canada. This show attracts over 2,500 vehicles and is a world class event. This year "King of the Customizers" George Barris will be there with some of his creations. Also appearing will be Irv Gordon and his 2+ million mile Volvo and Guy Lombardo's antique boat!
Peter Noone of Herman and the Hermits will be there to entertain (so "ST1" will not be the only classic "Brit" there) as will Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell.