Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and things are about to get freaky around here. Our sponsor today is the comic book, Empress written by Brian Barr and Chuck Amadori.
My guest today is a private detective named Niles. “Welcome to the show Niles.”
“Thank you, Lisa. It’s a pleasure to speak to you from my office, not too far from Hollywood.”
“My bio says you were hired by a motion picture company to find a missing silent movie actress. What can you tell me about the circumstances leading up to her disappearance?”
“Well, I’ll try to speak about this without divulging too much confidential info, out of respect to the movie company that’s hired me. Apparently, there were a couple of issues with Zia and her company, in relations to the changes in the movie business. As we’ve noticed in the past few years, more and more movies are being produced with sound. Zia came to prominence in the silent movie era, and that time is gone. It’s all about the talkies now. Zia felt a lot of limitations with that… she was hitting the bottle pretty hard because of it. Also experimented in some marijuana, coke, other drugs.
“They say she was getting a little… unraveled. Seeing things. Talked a lot about little green men. Yeah, I know, typical, sounds weird, but… she talked about that with the producer and staff more and more. I think she was just feelin’ a lot of pressure, and it was breaking her down. Didn’t feel comfortable with all the new changes in Hollywood, and I’m trying to find out if any thing else in her private life was leaking into her work as well, giving her a psychotic breakdown.
“The movie company that’s hired me has been pretty helpful so far with all the information they gave me. They insisted I take this actress of theirs along with me. Rose. She’s the company spy. Don’t know how I feel about that. She’s pretty, almost like Zia was. Just don’t want to get into anything… inappropriate on this trip. Trying to stay focused.”
“See, that’s the part that intrigues me. You found her diary, and it seems like some kind of dementia runs in the family. What can you tell us about that?”
“Not much. The furthest evidence of dementia I can find in her family is with her mother. I found a diary Zia had, and she goes into detail about her mother committing suicide at a mental institution. Aghori Asylum was it’s name. Yeah, that’s it. The mother apparently had a frontal lobotomy before she died as well. Heavy stuff. Besides that, I know little about Zia’s background. Can’t find anything about her grandmother or grandfather on her mother’s side… and her father’s side seemed pretty normal. No signs of dementia there.
“Seems the mother’s suicide shook Zia up pretty bad. But yeah… with all of the stress Zia went through, her movie studio was pretty insistent that she get some psychiatric assistance. She was stubborn but they did the best they could. She ended up in the same asylum as her mom, and from what I researched, it wasn’t the best place for her. Pretty bad, the way they treat their clients, if you ask me, just drugging them and throwing them in rooms with no real human interaction.”
“That’s horrible. No wonder the studio wanted to get her some help. It was mean of them to lock Zia away in the same place, but it might have helped. Zia escaped though didn’t she?”
“Yeah. It’s still a mystery how she escaped though. The asylum’s pretty sturdy when it comes to security, and it isn’t easy to break out.. without divulging too many important details to the case, we gathered enough information about a potential location Zia may be at from her diary. We’re pretty confident that she’s on an island in the pacific. Pretty small, not well known. We’re already preparing to get a boat to visit there, me and Rose. I had to… talk to a captain about getting a decent ship. Okay, coerced may be the right word.
“Don’t know how this will all go. Traveling with Rose, I mean… that’ll be interesting. It would be better if I could just travel alone, without the distraction… but she’s smart, and resourceful. She knows more about Zia and this whole movie business than me. Just don’t know if it’s safe sending an actress along with a P.I.”
“So you bribed the captain to drop you off at an Island. You hired a guide and headed into the forest. Do you have any hope you’ll find Zia there?”
“Wow. Bribe is a harsh word. Anyway, once I get to the island, I have a few ideas of how I may be able to find Zia. I’ll definitely have to hire a local as a guide. Someone that knows the island frontwards and back. Someone that may have seen Zia and had a clue as to where she is. I’m sure it’s easy to spot an American woman in a small island community. Either way… I hope we find Zia. I don’t know, it could be a complete waste going out there. But this is all that we’ve got.”
“Thanks for being with us today, Niles. Pick up Empress today to see if Niles can find poor Zia before she harms herself.”
You can check out Empress at the following locations:
ComiXology (owned by Amazon) – https://www.comixology.com/Empress/comics-series/28377?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9zZXJpZXNTbGlkZXI
Empress is put together by these talented people: Chuck Amadori, Marcelo Salaza, Brian Barr, Matheus Bronca, and Geraldo Filho.
You can catch up with Brian Barr at the following locations: