Created by Brian Schirmer
Every fantasy epic ends with a war. But what happens when the war is over?
All set for a female comic book private eye in an ongoing fantasy series that pitches itself as “Magnum P.I. meets Fables”?
That’s the concept behind Fairlady, a 2019 Image Comics fantasy offering.
The war is finally over, and the JENNER FAULDS, who posed as a man to join the army, is coming home to The Feld. With jobs increasingly scarce, she decides to become a “Fairman,” a specially licensed private investigator whose duty is to insure that justice (ie: fairness) is served. But it looks like that fairness doesn’t extend to sexual equality, and as the only Fairlady around, Jenner gets stuck with the loser cases nobody else wants. She’s aided in her investigation by Oanu, a giant and extremely buff-looking creature that’s half cat and half human.
“I realized that there wasn’t a fantasy series that focused on a female private detective,” explains creator Brian Schirmer, “and then I realized how much I needed that to be a thing… I took a love of ’70s and ’80s shows like Magnum, P.I. and The Rockford Files, poured that into a big bowl of Middle Earth, and added dashes of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Mignola, and Barbarians Conan and Thundarr. Then we dropped in a tough outsider in the form of our protagonist, Jenner Faulds, the land’s only female private investigator. Let the limitless stories begin!”
As an added bonus, Image promises each issue will contain a complete 30-page story.
But be forewarned! Here there be monsters. And dragons and evil wizards and fairladies who know how to use a crossbow…
So far, it’s been a hoot, and every glance at “the land” that Schirmer has created seemingly raises more questions, like the city that seems to be built on top of the remains of a giant corpse, which gives neighbourhoods such endearing names as East Ankle and Right Elbow.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world didn’t think so, and the series was cancelled by Image after five issues. As creator Brian Schirmer explained in a Twitter thread,
The book came out swinging back in April & #1 even got a 2nd printing. And while issue 2 had less of a sales drop than average, orders for 3-5 fell steadily, to a point where the series is no longer financially viable….
@Claudia_Balboni, @marissadraws, & I thank all of our readers for your love & support. I personally delighted in meeting so many of you over the past few months. And to all the stores who stood tall for us, a mighty THANK YOU to you as well.
I hope to one day return to this crazy fantasy world. I hope to write more tales of the land’s only Fairlady & her big, sexy cat man. I hope that we made even a tiny impact on some readers along the way. I hope.
(2019, Image Comics)
Writer: Brian Schirmer
Art: Claudia Balboni, Marissa Louis
- The Case of the Blue Rock” (April 2019; #1)
- “The Dead Fairman Mystery” (May 2019; #2)
- “The Case of the Barbarian’s Secret” (June 2019; #3)
- “The Case of the Missing Page” (July 2019; #4)
- “The Case of the Missing Murderess” (August 2019; #5)
COLLECTIONS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
- FAIRLADY: VOLUME ONE (2019) | Buy the book | Kindle/ComiXology it!
The first collection rounds up all five issues.