Sunday, 19 September 2010


Moonstone Books have over the years given us many new comic stories featuring classic characters from the worlds of comic strips, pulp magazines and TV. The Green Hornet, The Avenger, Captain Action, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Saint, Boston Blackie among many others have all appeared under the Moonstone imprint. Now they have turned their attention to a short-lived 1960s TV show, "Honey West".

Originally created by G.G. Fickling (a psuedonym for husband and wife Forest and Gloria Fickling) in their 1957 novel 'This Girl For Hire', Honey would appear in nine novels between 1957 and 1964, with two more in 1971. In 1965, television producer Aaron Spelling, bought the rights to the character and used her in an episode of Burke's Law, 'Who Killed The Jackpot' which aired in April that year. Played by Anne Francis of Forbidden Planet fame, Honey proved popular and was quickly spun off into her own show. A few changes were made to the format. It was 1965, James Bond was one of the biggest things on the silver screen, and spy shows ruled the TV airwaves. There was The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers, The Wild Wild West and even Burke's Law suddenly became Amos Burke, Secret Agent. So it was no surprise that Honey and her right hand man Sam Bolt (Johnny Doom in the original books) were private detectives with the latest in secret agent gadgets - lipstick microphones, earrings full of teargas, exploding compacts and, of course, a fully equipped mobile crime lab cleverly disguised as a TV repairman's van. Another addition to the TV show was Honey's pet ocelot, Bruce. Well, every show needs it's gimmick!

It was a fun, light-hearted show though and Anne Francis played Honey West to perfection.

So, how does Moonstone's new comic book stand up? Quite well, actually. The inaugral issue is the first part of a story entitled "Killer On The Keys", written by Trina Robbins and illustrated by Cynthia Martin. Set circa 1967, at the height of the 'flower power' craze, Honey goes undercover as a go-go dancer at the nightclub 'The Purple Pussy' to investigate the murder of a cocktail waitress. Needless to say, it's not a simple case and very soon one of the other dancers at the club is hospitalized after an attempt on Honey's life.

Robbins seems to be trying to strike a balance between the original novels and the TV show. There are no sign as yet of lipstick mikes and exploding compacts, although Bruce the Ocelot is present and correct. There's no sign either of Sam Bolt or his novel counterpart Johnny Doom. Whether or not he/they turn up, we'll have to wait and see. I'll be along for the ride for the foreseeable future, as long as sales support the title.

I'll be back soon, with more Secret Agent stuff.

Until then, take care,


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