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Comic Book / Albany & Sturgess

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The biography of Olivia Sturgess.
Albany & Sturgess (1977-) is a French-Belgian comic book series by Jean-Claude Floc'h and François Rivière, and considered the best contemporary example of the use of the ligne claire style popularized in the 1930s by Hergé (creator of Tintin).

The series is in fact a loose collection of stories—mostly murder mysteries—whose common thread is the appearance, as supporting characters or narrators, of two fictional figures of the British literary world, writer Olivia Sturgess and critic Francis Albany. It's eventually revealed that all said stories were in fact written by Sturgess herself.

Contains examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: In "A la recherche de Sir Malcolm", Albany and Sturgess know each other as children and are among the passengers onboard the Titanic. But in "Olivia Sturgess 1914-2004", it's explained that they met as adults in 1938, and in any case Sturgess's date of birth is two years after the sinking of the famous ship.
    • Not to mention that Francis himself was born soon after said sinking.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Both main characters, and other one-shot protagonists.
  • Continuity Porn: Apart from the aforementioned exception, "Olivia Sturgess 1914-2004" is one long exercize in Continuity Porn. And it works beautifully, too.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Forbes in "Le Dossier Harding".
  • Dream Sequence: A suitably nightmarish one in "Le Rendez-vous de Sevenoaks".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Subverted. Albany and Sturgess are very much in a non-romantic lifelong relationship, but that's because each of them is in fact homosexual.
  • Mind Screw: "Le Rendez-vous de Sevenoaks" has a narrative structure inspired by the works of Jorge Luis Borges.
  • Mockumentary: "Olivia Sturgess 1914-2004" takes the form of a documentary about Sturgess's life.
  • Shout-Out: An Alfred Hitchcock lookalike briefly appears in "A la recherche de Sir Malcolm", the way Hitchcock liked to do in his own films. And a page of "Black Out" is a reference to a collaborative project by Hergé and Edgar P. Jacobs (of Blake and Mortimer fame).
    • Actually, Hitchcock also appears in "Le Dossier Harding" and "Le Rendez-vous de Sevenoaks".
  • Show Within the Show: "Underground" depicts the shooting of a movie. And the entire series was retroactively presented as so many stories within the story in "Olivia Sturgess 1914-2004".
  • Special Guest: In "Le Dossier Harding", the two heroes have a cup of tea in the company of Agatha Christie. And in "Olivia Sturgess 1914-2004", various other literary figures and artists have cameos: NoŽl Coward, W. Somerset Maugham, Charlotte Rampling, etc...
  • Tap on the Head: Happens to Albany in "Le Dossier Harding".
  • '20s Bob Haircut: Sturgess spends her entire adult life sporting a haircut inspired by Louise Brooks.
  • World War II: The "Blitz" trilogy takes place in 1940.