Monday, April 26, 2021


Writer: Stephen Desberg | Artist: Alain Queireix | Colorist: Kattrin

You may recall that when I looked at MISS OCTOBER book one a few weeks back, I noted that the opening scene was set at UCLA in 1963, as Viktor attempted to steal some artwork but triggered an alarm and was cornered outside by Detective Clegg Jordan. The action then jumped back two years to 1961, which is where we spent the bulk of book one, as well as all of books two and three. Well, book four opens on that night in 1963 once more, as Clegg lets Viktor go just before Ariel and several officers show up. Clegg then places Ariel under arrest for... the murder of Clegg's own wife, Margeaux! And with that, we're off and running into the final MISS OCTOBER installment.

We learn, in short order via flashbacks and exposition, that four months ago, Margeaux called Ariel, begging to see him again. They met and got it on, and then a photographer burst into the room and snapped several photos of the pair in coitus. Margeaux didn't really want Ariel back; she wanted to humuliate and blackmail him for the way he had treated her. It is based on this that Clegg arrests Ariel, but the LAPD chief knows the evidence is flimsy -- but, hating Ariel nearly as much as Clegg does, he gives Clegg one week to find concrete proof.

Meanwhile, during the four months since Margeaux's murder, Viktor and Clegg have been carrying on an affair. Clegg wants to marry her, but Juanita, who has carried a torch for Clegg for a long time, finds out that Clegg is in love with Viktor. Knowing about Viktor's secret life as a thief, Juanita makes plans to frame her -- but Clegg finds out. And this is where the story, which seemed more-or-less neatly wrapped up in the previous volume, takes some very dramatic turns as it careens toward its conclusion.

Monday, April 19, 2021


Writer: Stephen Desberg | Artist: Alain Queireix | Colorist: Kattrin

Puzzle pieces finally fall into place in this third MISS OCTOBER volume. It opens with the serial killer striking again, this time taking the life of Miss April. Meanwhile, Detective Clegg overhears some officers discussing Ariel's affair with his wife. Clegg confronts her at home, but before he can bring up her indiscretions, she mentions his dalliances with the hooker-turned-detective, Juanita Jones. She then tells Clegg that she either wants a divorce, or wants to leave Los Angeles.

Elsewhere, Viktor's father withholds new of Maddie's murder from her, and Viktor soon receives a note from the letter-writer/killer, informing her she has been selected as Miss October. At UCLA, Juanita questions a young man named Laurel Finch, who used to have a thing for Viktor, while Viktor sneaks into her father's office and finds photos of a girl named Audrey (who the letter-writer reminded her in the previous book to 'remember.'" The pictures trigger some memories in Viktor, and she begins to recall the night of her assault. She went to a party with her friends, and Laurel was there as well. Viktor chose the occasion to tell him to stay away from her, leading to an altercation.

Following a lead from Laurel, Juanita visits Jill and Mason Corton, the hosts of the party, while Viktor leaves the photos of Audrey out to let her father know she's figuring things out, then she leaves her house to go meet her friend Lana, who was also in attendance at the party, at a café. After a brief chat, Viktor leaves to find her tires slashed and a note on her car informing her that the "issues from May to September have been canceled." She's then attacked by the killer, but escapes with the aid of a taxi driver.

Monday, April 12, 2021


Writer: Stephen Desberg | Artist: Alain Queireix | Colorist: Kattrin

The second installment of MISS OCTOBER opens with our heroine, Viktor, having received a second note from the mystery person who claims to know about the night she was assaulted and rendered deaf. The letter-writer wants one hundred thousand dollars in order to reveal the secret. So naturally our ameteur cat burglar concocts a scheme to extort the cash from a friend of her father's, Hogan Harley. At the same time, Inspector Clegg's investigation finds the car he's been seaching for, abandoned in a parking lot -- and registration reveals it to be owned by Hogan as well.

So Viktor steals Hogan's "little black book" -- containing information on all the young women with whom the respected Christian music producer has carried on affairs -- and sends him a note demanding money in exchange for the book's return. The same day Hogan reads the letter, Clegg stops by to tell him his car has bene located. Hogan claims his daughter, Maddie, had the car when it was taken, and Maddie tells Clegg that she was with Viktor in order to get him off her scent. She then goes to visit the serial killer, who murders her (and who has also added Viktor to his list of upcoming victims as Miss October).

The weird thing is, Maddie doesn't seem to know the guy she's visiting is the killer; she's just there to tell him the police are on to them over the stolen car. It's only later, after he's stabbed her and taken some nude photos of her, that she realized the truth... just before he finishes her off.

Monday, April 5, 2021


Writer: Stephen Desberg | Artist: Alain Queireix | Colorist: Kattrin

Set in the early sixties, MISS OCTOBER is an entry into the "hard-boiled crime noir" genre -- but unlike many such stories, its main protagonist is a beautiful young woman named Viktor Scott, the deaf daughter of a wealthy couple in mid-century Los Angeles. The story opens in 1963, as Viktor breaks into a UCLA museum to steal a priceless artifact. The police, led by one Lt. Ariel Samson arrive, alerted by an alarm, and Viktor is caught by an Inspector Clegg Jordan -- but he and Viktor share some past, and Clegg lets her go.

The story then jumps back two years, as the L.A. police struggle to solve a series of murders. Beautiful women are being raped and stabbed, with the killer labeling each victim as if she were a Playmate -- "Miss January" and "Miss February" have already died, and Inspector Jordan is on the case to prevent further such killings. Meanwhile, Lt. Ariel Samson, Clegg's rival, has been assigned to investigate a string of art thefts in the area -- which, of course, are being perpetrated by Viktor for reasons unknown.

In short order, we learn that Viktor was recently assaulted in her parents' home while they were away, and that she suffers partial amnesiam of the event, which is also what caused her deafness. Meanwhile, there's a sordid soap opera going on in the LAPD, where Ariel is having a secret affair with a female officer, but is also getting it on with Clegg's wife, Margeaux -- while Clegg spends his time banging hookers when he's not on a case or at home with Margeaux and their young daughter. It's like MAD MEN if they were all detectives instead of advertising executives!

(Oh, Ariel is also Clegg's superior, and while early on we see them nearly get into a fistfight at the office, later, Ariel says he would take a bullet for Clegg -- and he feels really guilty about all that sex he's having with Clegg's wife.)

Friday, April 2, 2021


Writer: Zidrou | Artist: Van Liemt | Colorist: Cerminaro

There are revelations galore in the opening pages of our latest RIC HOCHET installment! First off, the book opens with Ric and Nadine, who I had previously believed to be his platonic friend, in bed together. Not long after, we learn that the couple is engaged! Now, their relationship was not in any way a factor in either of the previous two stories, but still -- this seems like something that might have been mentioned once or twice.

But Commissioner Bourdon is apparently unaware of the fact that Ric and his niece are sleeping together (or possibly even unaware that they're engaged; it's hard to tell), because when he shows up to speak with Ric about a case, Nadine goes out her way to hide from him. The case, a recent string of murders rocking Paris, leads to our second unexpected revelation, as Ric goes to seek help from his father, Richard Hochet -- a "gentleman burglar" who hands out at a burlesque club with his cronies. Ric mentions that his dad showed up in ton "a few months ago," and that up until that point, he had believed himself an orphan. Not even Nadine knows about Ric's father until he tells her.

Again, this had no bearing on either of the prior adventures, and unlike the relationship between Ric and Nadine, is not something I would've expected to be commented upon in those tales. The only thing that confuses me here is -- when did this happen? As noted when I looked at volume one a couple weeks ago, that book was packed with footnotes referring readers to older RIC HOCHET stories. The second book had no such notes, but it also didn't make many (or any) references to past adventures, so I figured that was why. But if our protagonist learned at some point that his father was alive and he was not, as he had always believed, an orphan, you would think that might rate a note here!