Famous Players: The Mysterious Death of William Desmond Taylor

Rick Geary

It’s the early days of Hollywood, movies are just starting to come of their own and gain in popularity. New Stars are made. The movies are still silent but their stars certainly are not, in the scandal sheets. Amidst this new boiling cauldron, William Desmond Taylor, a successful director at the ‘upscale’ Famous Players Studio is found shot in his home.. Could it have been the star Mary Miles Minter or a former butler? But then, what about that strange past Taylor had? Another delectable mystery as only Geary can tell ‘em!


“Geary shows how the real people living the Hollywood dream might not have always been what they wanted others to believe. Clothing, hairstyles, and architecture give readers a “you are there” sense, as does the action, which is seen by a somewhat distant observer. An excellent way to introduce teens to the establishment of pop-culture iconography.”
School Library Journal

“No one does murder like Rick Geary. He is one of the quiet treasures of comics, and Famous Players is another great book – a wry, thoughtful, meticulously researched investigation into an intriguing historical mystery, enlivened by his always perfectly-worded narration and his wonderfully evocative art.”
-Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix; picked up by IMDb

“A compelling tale full of jealousy, hatred, loyalty and a murderer who walked away from the crime.”

“His quirky b&w ink drawings are full of expression, recalling the melodrama of silent films.”
Publishers Weekly

“Geary’s detailed pen-and-ink line provides a wonderful sense of nostalgia and time gone by."
-Johanna Draper Carlson, 
Comics Worth Reading

“He knows how to tell and show a tale that will captivate your interest. 5 out of 5 stars." -Jazma Online

"Geary understands that the real pleasure of reading history, criminal cases, and comics is that we aren’t rendered passive. And he recognizes that the discomfit we feel from not knowing all the answers can be assuaged only by knowing more, always more. Geary’s mastery—as both artist and storyteller—is allowing us to feel comfortable in our uncertainty by describing it with precise detail. Brilliantly captures the historical moments he records."

“Batting a thousand, so to speak, Geary gives us another ideal first look on a legendary homicide.”

Read his interview at Comic Book Resources' Robot 6

6x9, 80p., B&W, jacketed hardcover, $15.95
ISBN 9781561635559

Trade paperback: 6x9, 80pp., B&W, trade paperback, $9.95
ISBN 9781561635597