Monday, July 4, 2011

Frank Miller's Sin City

The Sin City Series is what made me a believer in graphic novels, hard boiled fiction and all things cool. When Frank Miller wrote it, he had Mickey Spillane whispering in his ear as well as the ghosts of many sci fi and horror writers. What I like most about the series is the setting.

It takes place in a ficticious locale called Basin City, nick named  Sin City because of all the crime and corruption that exists. The city is made to look like a dark noirish art deco futuristic world.

The characters in the stories are a mix of hard-boiled cops, hoods and sword weilding chop socky prostitutes.

My favorite story of the bunch is The Hard Goodbye which features the most hardboiled noirish character of them all:Marv. Marv is Mike Hammer after he has had too many punches to the head and is now a half wit. He is big and lumbering and has a face that a mother could only not love, she wouldn't be able to look at it without screaming. But buried deep inside all of that tangled muscle and scar tissue, is Marv's good heart.

 In The Hard Goodbye Marv wakes up in the morning and finds Goldie, the woman he met the night before lying dead in sheets caked with her own blood. Marv manages to get out of there before the police break down his door and has a brain still functional enough to figure out that someone may have framed him. The rest of the story consists of him hunting down Goldie's killer and uncovering a political conspiracy. Even though the tale is derivative of Mickey Spillane's I The Jury, it still works.

The other story that I like isA  Dame to kill For. This features a sleazy private eye who gets into all sorts of trouble when a woman from his past shows up and needs his help.

Sin City has many attributes that I like. The artwork is great in that it is black and white and has an expressionistic feel. I also like the fact that the stories have different main characters but they interact with chraracters from previous stories. For instance, the main character Dwight briefly encounters Marv in a bar beating someone senseless. He remarks about Marv always attracting needless trouble.

I like this because it gives the reader a chance to see characters from other character'spoints of view. It is something that I will do in future stories of mine.

This is a series that I wish I wrote but didn't. So, instead, I wrote Huey Dusk to make up for that fact. Frank Miller has written other graphic novels but this is his best.

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