Comic: The Fade Out: Act One by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, 2015, 9781632151711.
When I put these on hold I knew I would forget how I heard about them.
Compilation of four issues.
1948 Los Angeles and screenwriter Charlie Parish wakes up hungover in a bathtub. The bathtub is in a bungalow. The Bungalow is in Studio City. The bungalow belongs to the dead blonde actress in the other room. Uh-oh. Charlie sees that the actress, the lead in the picture Charlie 'wrote', has been strangled. Charlie removes all evidence of his presence and slips away.
Charlie has had trouble since the war ended. He is unable to write and is teaming up with a pal whose been blackballed since the HUAC hearings. His pal, Gil, does all the story and dialogue and Charlie types it up.
Things happen. Charlie saw obvious signs of murder. But, the police rule actress's death a suicide by hanging. Charlie was at a show business party the night of the murder and tries to piece together his black-out drunk. Charlie doesn't want her murder written off. Charlie wants to know what happened.
Lots of characters based on real actors and studio execs. An Errol Flynn playboy. A Montgomery Clift. Dime a dozen blondes. Scuzzy studio execs working the casting couch. Studio security willing to beat and kill to keep scandal under wraps.
The artwork is excellent. This is some of the best work I've read in a while.