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FRAN FRAZER

 
Full Name: Fran Frazer
Nationality: American
Organization: Strife Magazine
Occupation Photographer

Creator: Irving Novick , Joe Blair
Time Span: 1940 - 1942

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Fran Frazer is a photographer for Strife Magazine.
       The year is 1940 and this highly experienced, dedicated, and extremely resourceful woman is a wizard when it comes to getting terrific photos of exciting action and important events. Her exclusives have resulted in nations having to drastically alter their plans and more than one would-be alliance has been sundered by what she uncovered.
       We learn nothing about her life before the first recorded adventure except through extrapolation. She already has her job with the magazine and seems quite established there letting us conclude she has been there for some years. Her knowledge of and skill with the camera lets us know she has been a shutterbug for quite a long time. Since she freely travels to all parts of the globe even before the hat drops, she has little or no ties to hold her back at home.
       She appears to be in her late 20's or early 30's and is in terrific shape considering the things she does not hesitate to do and manages to pull off. She is very good looking but does not waste any time with makeup or dressing up which shows she does not concern herself with such things any where near as much as she does getting that next shot.
       She sports shoulder-length red hair on the first four stories, then is a blonde for one, back to being a red-head for one more assignment, then a blonde again for the remaining 11 adventures.
       In addition to being so versatile with the camera, Frazer is comfortable and capable behind the controls of a plane. She also demonstrates on one occasion that she is well versed in underwater diving. She is also very skilled in fighting either with her fists or with any weapon that comes to hand.
       Frazer is a woman dedicated to getting the picture no matter what or who stands in her way and she has the equipment and the foresight to be prepared. At various times she has shown she has cameras all over the place. She has a "needle" eye lens camera in her belt buckle. She has a tiny one on a bracelet. She also has a hidden camera in her purse. She has a broach with a tiny camera inside, not to mention a miniature camera hidden in her garter.
       Tagging along with her on all her adventures is reporter Hal Davis. He is always referred to as her rival and they certainly do have a fun competition going. At all times it is he that is trailing her knowing she has the knack for getting the best stories. He is not into photography for we never see him with a camera; he writes, she snaps. Later they do collaborate on stories with her getting top billing. While we see him outside her employer's office a time or two, it is made clear that she works for a magazine and he for a newspaper. One important factor in their relationship - he is usually the one needing saving. It is not that he is inept or bumbling; it is just that she is better.

Interesting promos starting the first two adventures:

"Fran Frazer, beautiful girl photographer, lives in a constant whirl of romance, excitement and danger ... caught in a maelstrom of Europe-at-war, Fran is given a roving assignment, by the famous magazine 'Strife", to cover the tumultuous events of future history!"

"Fran Frazer, girl photographer, has faced many weird adventures in foreign lands, and always she has proven that, in spite of her sex, she is a better man than any of her male rivals."

Interesting quip:
Fran: "I'm anxious to get some real good shots, Hal."
Hal: "What kind - rifle or camera?"

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:17
First Appearance:1940
Last Appearance:1942

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Note: None of the stories had actual titles. The ones listed without quotes were given in brackets by comics.org. The ones in quotes are my invention.

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MY COMMENTS

       I have often complained about the quality of spy stories in comic books in the late 30's and early 40's as rushed and poorly written or with terrible plots or not taking the time to flesh out an adventure.
       This is NOT the case with this series. I was stunned at how well the writers and artists did in just 4 pages for each adventure. Each tale was intelligent and well crafted with the reader seeing the situation right away and the characters having to go through some effort to get the job done. Of course there was a ton of poetic license but it was not used to ridiculous extremes.
       I also was impressed at how they started out using imaginary European country being threatened or attacked by another imaginary nation as was very common in comics. But after that, the enemies became real with Germany and Italy and then Japan being specifically named and this was before the U.S. actually entered the War.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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