The exhibition title is a nod to the influence that McLusky's vision of Bond had on the film-makers: it was no coincidence that Sean Connery bore at least a passing resemblance to the cartoon version. According to McLusky, when Connery auditioned for Dr No, "The agent made him up to look like my drawing - improved his hairline, in other words".
At the time, the strips were phenomenally successful - they were launched with a massive advertising campaign, and syndicated all over the world. McLusky reckons that the attention to detail was the selling-point: working as an artist for bomber command in the Second World War had given him a background in drawing technical subjects, and he was meticulous in his research, visiting locations, and collecting a huge photographic reference library of guns and other props.
The attraction of the strip for him was that it was regular work: McLusky was never an admirer of Fleming's novels - "It occurred to me that Bond wasn't very bright." All the same, he admired Connery, and is looking forward to Goldeneye: "I think the new Bond looks absolutely splendid. He looks very much like my later drawings, with the hair longer. I'm hoping they'll give me a free ticket."
'The Face of James Bond', Barbican, London EC2 (0171-638 8891) Sat 25 Nov to 14 JanReuse content