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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fortune's Friends: Hell Week (Crime) (Graphic Novel)

by Kay & Mike Reynolds (Writers) & Collen Doran (Illustrator)

Publisher: Starblaze Graphics (1987)

Softcover, 64 pages


 Continuing with my obscure 80s throwback series here we have Fortune’s Friends: Hell Week, the first in a planned three graphic novel series, of which only the first has seen the light of day. This is the origin story of a spunky young lady, who could have gone into a much more lucrative line of work but wanted to make it on her own terms, joins a low rent P.I. firm and spends much of the time at the beginning forcing her male co-workers to take her seriously.
Sound familiar? It’s basically the structure of every drama centered around a female protagonist in the 1980s, 90s, and so on. If it wasn’t for the somewhat interesting mystery, the intelligent way it’s resolved, and the other gay P.I. (I guess that makes her the hag) then there would be nothing to recommend this book. This wasn’t a bad comic, it just wasn’t really a breakthrough one. The art by a young Colleen Doran doesn’t help much. It’s okay, maybe a shade amateurish, but she definitely has come a long way. This isn’t Troll Bridge art, it’s the first issues of A Distant Soil.
The publisher, StarBlaze Graphics, went out of business about a year after this book’s publication. They were celebrated in some circles with printing the collected color versions of Elfquest, Myth Adventures (if you were into RPGs in the 80s then you must’ve stumbled across this at some point), and illustrated Thieves World stories from the shared world books of the same name. They went out of business after various artists sued for the company claiming to have greater rights over their (what was believed to be) creator owned content. The whole shebang went down in flames in 1989.
 For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

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