I’ve been a fan of these books since I first stumbled across THE MYSTERY OF MARY ROGERS a few years ago at Once Upon A Crime bookstore in Minneapolis. I recognized the artwork right away as Rick Geary and that alone was enough to make me pick it up, and then I saw that he was doing graphic novels based on true crime stories and I was hooked.

NBM/ComicsLit has a whole series of these books, listed on the website.

The latest is FAMOUS PLAYERS and is a true Hollywood mystery surrounding the still unsolved case of William Desmond Taylor’s murder. Taylor was a director back in the golden age of cinema and was making a real name for himself at the time the studios were just becoming powerful and forming companies we still know today. He was found dead on his living room floor by a man servant and from the beginning it looks like the case was destined to be unsolved. Suspects are plentiful, but sloppy police work and a lack of authority over the studios and the minions of Hollywood doomed the case from the start.

Geary in FAMOUS PLAYERS, like his other works in this line does his homework. He takes facts from numerous sources and gels them into a single narrative to give us as coomplete a picture as he can. I appreciate that he doesn’t seem to pick any foavorites as to who may have actually done the deed.
The artwork, also by Geary has a comfortable feel to it and no one looks really sinister, hich aids in the who really done it appeal of the book. It’s all line art and he brings a depth to the wrok that is easy to get lost in.

Comics artist Rick Geary and NBM publisher Terry Nantier. Photo by J. Culkin
Photo from article in PW Weekly

These books are all wonderful and they are books that I have re-read a number of times. I also think that they would really appeal to fans of Max Allan Collins series with Nate Heller.

If you enjoy true crime, mysteries, or just great comics, check these out, and start with Famous Players.

Buy Famous Players, the Mysterious Death of William Desmond Taylor (Treasury of Victorian Murder (Graphic Novels))
Also available :
Buy Jack the Ripper
Buy The Mystery of Mary Rogers
Buy The Lindbergh Child
Buy The Fatal Bullet
Buy The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett
Buy The Borden Tragedy