The above strip reintroduces a critical character to the BELLIGERENT PIANO story – Vera, the accordion playing entertainer who sings French songs at Ruby Ray’sParisian Cabaret. The truth is (and I might as well confess it here), the entire BELLIGERENT PIANO story is not exclusively my invention, but instead a kind of creative elaboration on a story that a fellow told me about while I was living in San Piablo in the early 1990′s. The man, who I met while I was working at a job sand-blasting car engines when I was twenty-two, told me about a triple murder and robbery that had taken place in 1947. The man, who was an old-timer (probably dead now) claimed that the main suspect in the murder, whose name he couldn’t remember, had shown up in a variety of pop culture venues, including daily strips by a collection of obscure cartoonists, and some not so obscure. At the time, the idea seemed absurd, but later I discovered that cartoonists of daily strips, most famously Chester Gould, regularly used real-life incidents as material for their stories. Nevertheless, I took the old-timer’s story to be merely the fabrication of a fruitful and bored mind, but always remained curious about the tale’s authenticity. All of the information this old-timer gave me was very vague, and much of the specifics I’ve since forgotten, but, thanks to the internet, I’ve recently stumbled across a few artifacts that give some verification to the old man’s tale. I recently stumbled across a whole selection of obscure celebrity photos on Ebay of a girl named Vera. Nothing else is mentioned about her; the Ebay post is simply a general search for 1940′s celebrity pictures. Here are a couple of those photos:
These are just a few which I was able to purchase off a seller in Ohio. But, although I’ve tried contacting the seller directly to get information about this “Vera’s” story, no information has been gained. The seller didn’t know anything about her – he’d found the portfolio in the proverbial suitcase in his deceased father’s attic under a bundle of old clothes. If anybody out there recognizes the woman in the pictures, please let me know. I’m very anxious to find out about her.