Liz Monroe
Created by Kay & Mike Reynold and Colleen Doran

A planned series (although only one was apparently printed) of graphic novels collectively titled Fortune's Friends, relating the trials and tribulations of novice private eye LIZ MONROE and the rest of the staff at the Franklin Fortune Detective Agency in Norfolk, Virginia. Jeff Kapalka, of Four Color Magazine (see? I read 'em all!) described the agency as "the kind of place Mary Richards would have wound up if she hadn't gone into television news."

An apt comparision, although it also reminds me at times of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. Liz is young and ambitious. Having graduated in the top five percent of her class, with a major in business and a minor in law enforcement, she turned her back on a profitable career as a C.P.A. to go work as a private investigator at, in the authors' own words, a "fifth rate agency," much to the chagrin of Liz's brother Doc, a cop on the tactical squad. Besides Liz, the agency has the usual assortment of colourful and "lovable" characters, including Page, a flamboyantly gay fellow op, Franklin "Papa Bear" Fortune himself, the tough-as-nail owner, Junior, a snivelling, Dick Tracy wannabe and a father/son team of ops prone to practical jokes. And oh-so-pretty Page, with his long, flowing golden tresses, is just a bit too much to take as a detective, even at a fifth rate agency.

There were high hopes (and a pretty large press run-20,000 copies) for this series, but sales were rather dismal. Future volumes were announced, but never saw the light of day.

Illustrator Colleen Doran has written and/or illustrated about 400 books, comics and magazines. She's worked for Disney and Lucasfilm and has illustrated books by Anne Rice, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. She also did a series from Image called A Distant Soil, which she wrote as well as illustrated.


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Colleeen for clarifying a few points.

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