I love reading new noir comics from new noir creators! Girl & Boy by UK artist Andrew Tunney is beautifully elegiac; a fresh riff on an archaic theme. His art is wonderfully fresh, and his use of light and shadow (unlike many noir artists) seems to illuminate the work rather than obscure. At 36 pages in entirety, the comic reads like swift hip hop or beatnik poetry– rhythmically haunting and emotionally charged.
Girl and Boy are essentially the only characters in the story. I had the impression that Manchester had melted around them, a vacant playground for their exploits. Their relationship is the focal point of the comic, and is composed of a broad spectrum of emotions; lust, love, fear, depression, and anger among them.
“The crime was love and you made me the victim.”
Girl’s central crisis is in embracing solitude; learning to not only accept herself but to become empowered in the accepting. Thematically, trust and redemption move the plot into intellectually stimulating territory, and beg questions of the text. Tunney’s work is daring, because casting a woman as the lead invites a plethora of complications for the male author. Notoriously, the noir genre has a habit of defining females by male expectation, which reduces them to rote regurgitations of sexually stimulating yet emotionally shallow puppets. Initially, I was afraid that the author was making the same mistakes, (which however noir they may be, don’t coincide with the newest movements in the genre which rejects these notions) but he develops Girl nicely, in a way that I feel many women will find both relate-able and empowering.
Girl & Boy is a brief noir comic with layers; in the way even a small onion may leave your eyes wet. You can purchase or preview Girl & Boy here.