Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Phoebe in troubleland

 I first saw some of these strips in the Evergreen Review in the sixties. I had no idea they were reprinted until I came across this paperback while browsing in a second-hand bookshop sometime in the mid-eighties and discovered that there were additional adventures by O'Donoghue and Springer included, no doubt to bulk out the book. Phoebe seems to be sought out by a bunch of the world's ne'er-do-wells who inflict on her plenty of cruel and unusual punishments but luckily our heroine manages to escape each time, ready for a new adventure.

O'Donoghue's writing is just right with plenty of sixties cultural references. Episode ten Pain and ink, starts with the following:
MACAO Sprawling city of 2 million! Fleshpot of the enigmatic East!
MACAO Where every narrow, twisting alley leads to an unmarked grave and a man's shadow is seldom his own!
MACAO Where pestilence, famine and carnage are not disasters but a way of life!
MACAO Where a woman costs less than a cigarette and there is no word for virtue!
These statements are illustrated with four panels with Frank Springer's brilliant artwork. It's his artwork that I enjoy most about the book, he's a master at packing panels with detail and getting the most out of O'Donoghue's story line.

The prices for the title seem excessive to me so I think it's worth searching the net for a reasonably priced copy.

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