O’Donnell’s catsuit-wearing Modesty, who fought a host of villains with her sidekick Willie Garvin, first appeared as a daily strip in the Evening Standard in 1963. The strips ran for almost 40 years, with O’Donnell also writing a series of novels starring his ass-kicking heroine, dubbed the "high priestess of pulp crime".
With fans including Neil Gaiman and Quentin Tarantino, O’Donnell revealed on his website that the proudest moment of his career was a letter he received from Kingsley Amis, in which the Lucky Jim author thanked and congratulated him for the Modesty Blaise books. "They are endlessly fascinating," wrote Amis. "I read them all for the second time recently when laid low by a very depressing bout of flu, and I’m sure they did quite as much as the doctor did to put me on my feet again."
This was my favourite comic when I was a kid and still have loads of the magazines around to read, great spy and thriller reading. Thank you so much Mr O’Donnell for all the happiness you have given me…