Work for a Million is a novel by Eve Zaremba which was first published in 1986. It was written by an out lesbian author and is described as being the first pulp novel to feature an out lesbian detective, Helen Keremos, as its protagonist.
To celebrate their five-year anniversary, a Canadian publisher, Bedside press, are reprinting the original novel with a new cover by Sami Kivelä, finally bringing this work back from its long out-of-print stint.
Alongside this, in a Kickstarter, backed by the great Margaret Atwood, Bedside Press has also launched a project for a new graphic novel based on Eve Zaremba’s crime fiction, Work for a Million.
In an essay provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Bedside Press Founder and Publisher, Hope Nicholson, describes how this project first came about. “When Margaret Atwood emailed me one day, to ask if I could assist some friends of hers with advice, I had never heard of the detective Helen Keremos. I did some quick research online and could see why she thought of me instantly for help. A character who premiered in an era I dearly love, the 1970s, set in Canada, starring the first openly lesbian PI, and written by an out lesbian woman?? This is the type of literary history I adore, forgotten but absolutely essential and groundbreaking.”
Nicholson also adds, “This book, both in its original prose, and in this new graphic novel (both of which are part of the Kickstarter), is an important part of crime fiction history, LGBT history, feminist literature history, and Canadian literature history. And yet, even though it’s set decades in the past, the energy sparkling between our leads feels very fresh and exciting. This is the perfect gift for those who love pulp and crime comics, with a Bogart-esque tough PI lead who still has a soft spot for vulnerable people to protect.”
The graphic novel adaptation will be written Amanda Deibert, with art from Selena Goulding, and lettering by Ed Dukeshire. The cover is by artist Sean Phillips and the novel will be edited by Hope Nicholson and published by Bedside press.
This exciting project has the original author, Eve Zaremba’s full approval, “and we couldn’t make this project happen without the wonderful organizational skills of her wife, Ottie Lockey,” adds Nicholson on their Kickstarter page.
So far, the team have, “finished the character designs, plot outline, dramatis personae, page breakdown, and the first 10 pages of the book are drawn & lettered.” The funds from their Kickstarter project will go towards completing the production on the graphic novel.
To support this project and find out more about the team involved, you can head to the Kickstarter. By pledging just CA$ 10, you will be rewarded with a digital version of Eve Zaremba’s original work, republished with its new cover. While for CA$ 15, you will receive an e-book of the Graphic novel, once it is published, as your reward. As always with Kickstarter projects, the more you pledge, the better the reward.