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Adventures of Blanche Hardcover – March 24, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Adventures of Blanche + The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans (Treasury of XXth Century Murder) + Lovers' Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery (Treasury of XXth Century Murder)
Price for all three: $39.81

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before becoming known by his Treasury of Victorian Murder historical true crime series, Geary published the occasional (fictional) adventures of an intrepid young woman named Blanche, since gone out-of-print. Collected by Dark Horse in a single volume, with a new introductory episode, these three chapters (structured as the heroine's letters home to her patient parents) have an American Gothic tone that won't surprise Geary's older fans, and a sense of rip-snorting fun that comes as something of a shock. Blanche is a bright and proper young lady who comes to New York in 1907 to study music, but gets caught up in horrific conspiratorial doings in the city's underworld of subway construction and secret cults. Later episodes follow the scrappy musical ingénue to Hollywood (bursting at the seams with big personalities, crime and labor unrest) and Paris (redolent with early 20th-century bohemian glamour and criminal undertakings). Geary's penchant for mixing historical education with bold and daring adventure makes for a winning combination that will likely have readers new to his series asking for more. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Casually intrepid Blanche Womack’s pianism propels her from her Kansas home to depths and heights the prairie does not know, and if she never plays Carnegie Hall, she also never complains. Arriving in New York in 1907 to further her studies, she boards in her new teacher’s Greenwich Village home, discovers the building sits atop immense underground caverns, and winds up jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge to escape the guardians of the caverns’ secret. For a while thereafter, she is the toast of the town, but in 1915 she takes a position in Hollywood. Though her employer soon closes shop in the wake of labor agitation, D. W. Griffith shows an interest in her skills—luckily, since her derring-do is essential for her and his rescue from a runaway balloon. By November 1921 Blanche is in Paris and, eventually, escaping dangerous pursuers from the exterior girders of the Eiffel Tower. Getting into the pickles that her courage and pluck, more than any of the interesting young men she encounters, get her out of is well more than half the fun here, for her creator is historical-ambiance specialist Rick Geary, who makes Blanche’s three cities as captivating and drolly amusing as any of the settings of his Treasury of Victorian Murder volumes. --Ray Olson
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Originals (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595822585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595822581
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,492,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rick Geary is best known for his non-fiction graphic novels dealing with 19th Century crime. So I assumed this was the same.

I was wrong, but I'm still happy.

Geary's takes a stab at fiction in this volume, & wanders somewhat into the Addams/Gorey territory, with spies, monsters & sinister forces abounding. Even HP Lovecraft is given a nod.

Still, it IS entertaining, & his illustration is quite up to his usual good standards.

The Hipster gives it a Big Thumbs UP!
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Format: Hardcover
Like George MacDonald Fraser and his Flashman series, Rick Geary pretends that he found a series of letters from his grandmother Blanche and that he is publishing them for the first time in book form. The letters are different from Geary's usual subject of murder, instead telling extraordinary stories through the eyes of an innocent.
Blanche goes to New York in 1907 to study piano. The house in which she lives with her fellow pupils and teacher is a new tenement with corridors underneath the house that lead to locked doors. Then she hears strange noises in the dark and begins to investigate...

8 years later Blanche is in Hollywood in 1915 and we see the attempts of the workers in the fledging film industry striking in order to unionise and the brutal efforts from studio heads to stop this from happening. A number of famous people from the time pop into the story as well.

6 years later now and it's 1921 when Blanche, a successful concert pianist, is booked for a European tour starting in Paris. However a sudden murder and a mysterious figure from her days in Hollywood leads Blanche onto a new adventure with government agents hot on her tail!

I think I liked the New York story best as it had a nice Lovecraftian bent to it and balanced the line between drama/horror/comedy well. The Hollywood years were told well too and you get an insight into these times, and the Paris story was good too with a sci-fi element added to the story.

Geary's drawings are their usual high quality, in particular the New York story where the page looks to be bulging with detail! If you're a fan of Geary's and are wondering if he can pull off original fiction with the flair in which he deals with crime non-fiction, wonder no more. "The Adventures of Blanche" is a great comic book from a great comic artist, and a wonderful read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A compilation of three previously published short works, perhaps in comic format, though it is not made clear. What a fun book and I'd love to see Blanche back in action. especially to see a conclusion to her story. I had no idea what I was reading as my copy has the front flap giving a bio of Rick Geary and the back flap a list of his true crime series, while the back gives little summary of Blanche going on historical adventures in New York, Hollywood and Paris. So it was with great excitement I read the first story finding out (supposedly?) that these stories are based on adventures of the author's grandmother and then with greater excitement I realized these stories were not all on the up and up. Blanche's adventures are beyond the scope of reality, meeting up with the mythical, derring-do intrigue and mad scientists. These three short stories were wonderful fun written in an historical "true" format similar to Geary's Murder Series. As an ardent fan of Rick Geary, the artwork is just wonderful and as expected. Though, I think I'll always love Rick the best when he is writing non-fiction, it is wonderful to see he has the imagination and can carry fiction just as successfully.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a great fan and collector of Rick Geary's series of bizarre murders from the last two centuries. His beautifully delineated panels are deceptively calm and thoroughly researched. This volume has a lighter look at the same time frame with a touch of Lovecraft instead of Tobe Hooper. The tongue-in-cheek look at a "modern" woman shows how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. Rick Geary is an American treasure. This is a fun introduction as to why he is so highly regarded.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 1907, Blanche leaves her small town for New York City, where she'll be boarding and taking piano lessons from a renowned professor living in Manhattan. The letters she sends home to her parents downplay how easily Blanche blossoms in the city. A bright young woman, Blanche quickly becomes a favorite of a variety of personalities, including painters, musicians, and intellectuals. But it isn't until she is forced to explore the subterranean tunnels of the newly built subway--and meet the things living in those tunnels--that the story begins to get exciting.

In the second story, Blanche moves from New York to Hollywood, where she is hired to compose music for one of the new moving picture studios. In addition to learning about the movies, Blanche learns about the labor movement firsthand, as she works to expose the truth about a group of antilabor strikebreakers who turn a peaceful demonstration into a riot.

Rounding out the collection is the story of Blanche's arrival in Paris, where she is to perform a series of concerts, only to learn the concerts have been canceled and her promoter has disappeared. Mix in a murder, avant-garde artists, and a science experiment involving the Eiffel Tower, and Blanche is sent running for her life.

All three stories take place in a romantic time in history, when life and technology changed as quickly as they do today. Those changes happened on a much grander scale, and the excitement and buzz surrounding the building of the New York subway system was as momentous to them as nanocomputers are to us.
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