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Friday, October 30, 2009

Famous Players. Rick Geary ( Writer & Art). NBM Comics (2009)

A true crime story told with wonderful care and detail. On the 2nd of Feb 1922 the body of William Desmond Taylor was found at his home in Hollywood. William Desmond Taylor had been a successful director at the Famous Players studio, he had know all the first wave of film stars and his murder was a sensational affair. Rick Geary explores the story in a very clear and detailed fashion, including the unexpected and fascinating life of William Desmond Taylor.
Rick Geary places the murder very firmly in the context of the early establishment and development of Hollywood and the film industry. The process was being established, film stars were becoming a new breed of celebrity and the the enormous amount of money that films could create was beginning to have an impact. At the same time films were pushing at the boundaries of what was publicly acceptable in American society of the time. The murder along with the sensational trial of Fatty Arbuckle gave great impetus to moves to restrict the content of films and disguise the activities of those working in the industry.The case was never solved, Rick Geary follows the activities of the police and others as they tried to establish what happened and to identify any likely suspects. William Desmond Taylor proved to be as fictional as the films he directed, his real life and activities prior to arriving in Hollywood and reinventing himself are fascinating. No solutions are offered and speculation is held on a very tight leash. The art is very distinctive and full of detail without ever being crowded or busy. Rick Geary portrays the situations with clarity and depth and the cast are very well portrayed. An interesting topic dealt with sympathy, clarity and care, excellent work.

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