Tag Archives: Noir Comics

Noir Comics Giveaway | Vertigo Crime Bundle

Noir Comics Giveaway Vertigo Crime Bundle

3 Vertigo Crime Hardcovers and 1 Trade Paperback

 UPDATE December 12, 2011:

Congrats to our giveaway winner: Stephen Porter! Thanks to everyone for participating! Please keep checking NoirWhale.com for future giveaways! 

It’s that time again! The noir loving community has given so much to me that it’s time to give back. So I’m giving away some excellent noir comics absolutely FREE. Here’s whats included:

The Chill by Jason Starr and Mick Bertilorenzi (hardcover)

Dark Entries by Ian Rankin and Werther Dell’edera (hardcover)

Filthy Rich by  Brian Azzarello and Victor Santos (hardcover)

and a bonus:

Scalped: The Gravel in Your Guts by Jason Aaron, Davide Furno, and R.M. Guera

The entire bundle will be shipped free of cost to the winner. Want in? Here’s what you do:

“Like” the NoirWhale Facebook Fan Page anytime BEFORE midnight December 11th and you will automatically be entered into the drawing. (YES, if you have already done so, you are already in the running). 

The winner will be announced on Monday December 12th, and the bundle will be shipped out to them the following day!

CLICK “LIKE” ON THE RIGHT TO ENTER!

Good luck to all the participants, I’m sure you will enjoy these noir comics as much as I have!

Noir Comics Giveaway Vertigo Crime Bundle

...a great starter library for any noir comics collector...

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Noir Comics | Sin City by Frank Miller

Noir Comics Sin City Collection

my collection, forgive the grainy photo

Instead of pursuing this review in my normal fashion, which is to analyze each volume of a noir comic with its own posting, I have determined to mix things up; Here I will provide one paragraph on each of the seven volumes of the Frank Miller classic Sin City. This review will not be a regurgitation of plot lines or summary, instead it will focus on the noir aspects of the work as a whole both pleasing and displeasing. Having freshly devoured the entire series within a span of two weeks, I feel qualified to approach Sin City with a critical and subjective eye.

1) The Hard Goodbye

Frank Miller’s series begins with ferocity. Immediately the reader is immersed in a world where sexual ecstasy and violence drip off the walls like wet paint. Within this seedy underworld our first anti-hero, Marv, staggers angrily out of the inciting incident; the murder of the only woman who ever loved him. Marv’s strengths are as impressive as his weaknesses are redeeming. He is on heavy prescription medications because he is prone to confusion and hallucination, his brutal strength makes him the frequent victim and perpetrator of horrific trauma, and he is as gentle as a kitten when dealing with the fairer sex. He is the most perfect anti-hero in any of the noir comics I have read.

Noir Comics Sin City Hard Goodbye

via digitalcomicnews.com

2) A Dame To Kill For

The second volume of Sin City paints a beautifully cruel portrait of the femme fatale archetype. The reader watches Dwight, a clean-cut, reformed alcoholic, slowly lose his self-control and self-respect to the subtle and conniving influence of the wicked Ava. Her goddess like beauty coupled with her luciferic sexual rhetoric eventually dominates Dwight, and leads him to commit the irreversible sin of murder. An intensely entertaining and frighteningly dark noir plot.

Noir Comics Sin City Dame to Kill For

via mk-goldenmoon.com

3) The Big Fat Kill

Volume three is most memorable for its sudden plot twist, where a dead grabby goon in Old Town turns out to be a hero cop and a death knell in the shaky truce that keeps the working girls safe. Sweat, desperation, and fear drive the story and tie the seedy underworld of this volume together. Most interesting are the references to the Spartans memorable battle at Thermopylae, it seems that Frank had the seeds of 300 in mind even as he was early into his Sin City saga. Also, the dialogue was near noir perfect between Jackie Boy and Dwight on the ride to the Santa Yolanda Tar Pits.

Noir Comics Sin City The Big Fat Kill

via barik.net

4) That Yellow Bastard

Frank Miller’s best comic, hands down, is Sin City volume four. Although the previous three volumes were excellent, he hits his high point in That Yellow Bastard and then never returns to it (more on that later). The reason that the story sails is because of how endearing Detective Hartigan is and how detestable Roark Junior’s pedophilia is. Additionally, the plot seems to be the least recognizable of any noir crime fiction or noir comics that I have ever read. This originality coupled with the uniquely detailed characters and dialogue makes That Yellow Bastard the black laces on the corset of Sin City. 

Noir Comics Sin City That Yellow Bastard

via mk-goldenmoon.com

5) Family Values

The fifth volume is an homage to the “Miller-boner” that Frank has for the deadly female assassin Miho. I will be the first to admit that Miho is really cool, but upon closer inspection she is much more of a caricature than a character. She is a product of Asian martial art stereotypes in the same vein as Tarantino’s O-ren Ishii, and has as much depth as a cinder block. The premise of the story delivered on intrigue, but was ultimately predictable and fell flat in comparison with volume 4. Its at this phase that Nancy has completely faded from the setting, and new characters are being introduced in rapid succession. It only gets worse.

Noir Comics Sin City Family Values

via mk-goldenmoon.com

6) Booze, Broads, and Bullets

Train-wreck. Volume six of Sin City is comprised of a collection of “one-shots” and it was horrid reading. It felt like Frank Miller was completely tired of the series; it showed in the dialogue and it showed in the artwork. Very few pages were crafted with the lust for detail of the earlier volumes, and the stories felt forced or contrived. The only redeeming aspect was the introduction of Delia, AKA “Blue Eyes.” She’s a bada**.

Noir Comics Sin City Booze Broads and Bullets

via mk-goldenmoon.com

7) Hell and Back

I’m met with uncomfortable and mixed feelings as I contemplate this last volume of Sin City. It had several noir aspects that I was impressed with, but again I felt like the artwork and the attention span of the author was slipping. That, coupled with the worst closing lines to any story ever (“they talked about many things.”) made me extremely sad. He seemed to introduce new characters with reckless abandon and little care paid to back story or real development. Hell and Back is as sloppy as it is disappointing. What a sorrowful dirge to such a promising canon of noir comics.

Noir Comics Sin City Hell and Back

via mk-goldenmoon.com

I will always be a fan of Sin City, even if I feel it is an unpleasantly lopsided. If you are only going to read one of them, read That Yellow Bastard.

protip: you can see EVERY page of the entire Sin City saga at http://www.mk-goldenmoon.com/Comics/Sin%20City/

 

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Noir Art | Niagara Detroit

Noir Art Lips Niagara Detroit

Lips by Niagara Detroit

Each week I spend a few hours cruising tumblr blogs and the various gritty reaches of the internet in search of images for the noirWHALE.tumblr.com site. This exercise has taught me quite a bit about film noir and the other noir genres, but ultimately it has taught me that I need to expand noirWHALE by adding a new category: “Noir Art“. For example: A week ago, I published a post about Noir T-Shirt Designs, and I put it in the Noir Comics category because I didn’t really have any idea where it should go; That post was the spiritual predecessor to this category, and now I expand upon it by adding the second “Noir Art” post titled: Niagara Detroit

Niagara was born August 23rd, 1956. I have no idea if that’s her real name (and neither does wikipedia). She was a lead singer of the punk rock bands Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival. Her bio says that she attended the University of Michigan in the 70’s, and that she has some art school experience which led her to design album covers for the various rock groups she was singing with. Eventually she started to do small galleries and displays in coffee shops in Detroit, and overnight she became a pop art sensation. Her local fame garnered her the title, “Queen of Detroit” and thus it has become her surname. Her noir art style seems to revolve entirely around the femme fatale archetype, with an especially brutal take on gender issues. Sharply contrasting colors and sarcastic/elegiac captions array these dames with venom aimed at misogyny. They simultaneously seduce and kill, with each image hanging on a potent moment in time. I’m no art critic, but it seems that the unseen narratives behind these paintings grant them life. Ultimately, I feel that Niagara Detroit’s work is some of the very best noir art I’ve ever seen. You be the judge:

Noir Art Baby Doll (Double Trouble) Niagara Detroit

Baby Doll (Double Trouble)

Noir Art Double In A Black Dress Niagara Detroit

Double In A Black Dress

Noir Art Got Guts Niagara Detroit

Got Guts?

Noir Art I'm Pretty When I'm Angry Niagara Detroit

I'm Pretty When I'm Angry

Noir Art I'm Waiting For My Man Niagara Detroit

I'm Waiting For My Man (Rita Hayworth Reference)

Noir Art I Lied Niagara Detroit

I Lied

Noir Art Kill Him Niagara Detroit

Kill Him

Noir Art Lipstick Traces Niagara Detroit

Lipstick Traces

Noir Art Or Are You Just Happy To See Me Niagara Detroit

Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Noir Art Run (Blonde) Niagara Detroit

Run (Blonde)

Noir Art Silencer (A Long Shot) Niagara Detroit

Silencer (A Long Shot)

There are literally DOZENS of prints that I didn’t list here, visit niagaradetroit.com for the full gallery.

Niagara has a clothing line for sale at pinkpump.com and prints for sale at niagaradetroit.com

Here is a picture of Niagara: (looks a bit like Lady Gaga no?)

Niagara Detroit Pop Art

Niagara Detroit

by Chad de Lisle

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Film Noir | Sin City (2005)

Film Noir Sin City Movie Poster

via impawards.com

Overtly-stylized film noir fetish satisfaction rushed over me in shuddering waves as I viewed Sin City last week. I could not have been more overjoyed and overwhelmed by the intensity of the film coupled with its adherence to the graphic novel story-lines. It benefited immensely from its unwavering dedication to accurately following the comic (which is rare in a film version of any comic book). Of course, this accuracy is obviously a direct byproduct of the author/creator Frank Miller’s personal involvement and direction.  Add Robert Rodriguez and a dash of Tarantino to the mix and you have one hell of a film noir flick. Once again I fall victim to Quinton Tarantino’s seductive direction, I’ve got problems. Before I lose myself in lengthy comparative analyses of noir definition, let me thank Stephen P. for loaning me the film (and sticking around to watch it).


1) The Seedy Underworld

Frank Miller’s invented playground of devilish behavior, Sin City is indeed a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Grit, blood, sweat, tears, and piss stain the monochrome streets and characters who walk them. Often it feels as if the city itself is a living beast rapt in the taut anticipation of cruel violence. The seedy underworld of this film noir sets the standard for the genre.

2) The Anti-Hero

The anti-heroes of Sin City are incredible. They ride that perfect balance between horridly flawed and perfectly lovable. Dwight (Clive Owen), Hartigan (Bruce Willis), and Marv (Mickey Rourke) fit this character archetype with ease. Each man battles his own demons, for Dwight: his addictions, Hartigan: his heart condition, and Marv: his madness. All I can say is holy shiz Mickey Rourke, who wins immeasurable applause for this deft performance. Each of these anti-heroes, despite their disparities, won me over easily.

3) The Femme Fatale

Sin City is loaded with femme fatale archetypes; the seductress (Goldie/Wendy, played by Jaime King), the snitch (Becky, played by Alexis Bledel), the deadly (Gail and Miho, played by Rosario Dawson and Devon Aoki), the law (Lucille, played by Carla Gugino), and the victim (Nancy and Shellie, played by Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy). Each woman executes her role perfectly, and showcases Frank Miller’s astounding understanding of film noir themes and character types. The most important femme fatale in the story is the exotic dancer Nancy. Just as in the comic book, she lingers in the background of every chapter, her seductive lasso tying Sin City in knots.

Sin City Gail and Dwight

Gail and Dwight via jestersreviews.com

Film Noir Sin City Nancy and Hartigan

Nancy and Hartigan via filmdogsonline.com

Film Noir Sin City Lucille and Marv

Lucille and Marv via thereviewbin.com

4) Misogyny

One aspect of the plot that was wrought by old-school noir misogyny occurred when the women in “Old Town” needed Dwight to save them. Some would argue that the women of “Old Town” are a great symbol of empowered femininity, but if examined closely you’ll see that it is not as empowering as initially perceived. First, they dress like prostitutes (which is pandering to a man’s desires). Second, as soon as they accidently kill a cop, they need Dwight (a man) to save them. Finally, they’re entire way of life is male defined. They were allowed to grow powerful in “Old Town” by the mob men and cops who condoned the event. Not nearly as female-forward as many would think.

5) Redemption

Every single plot-line revolves around the noir theme of redemption; Dwight must redeem “Old Town,” Hartigan must save Nancy from the Yellow Bastard and redeem the broken legal system in Sin City, and Marv must take vengeance on Goldie’s killer. Redemption as a story motivator always works (and it works WELL in this film noir).

6) Loss of Innocence

Loss of innocence as a theme definitely plays a role in Sin City. Nancy is almost molested as a little girl by the Yellow Bastard (Nick Stahl), and it’s revealed that he has raped and killed hundreds of young girls. Also, Kevin (Elijah Wood), plays a psychopathic killer who eats the women he kills and mounts their heads on his wall. Coincidentally, he’s also an avid reader of the Holy Bible. How’s that for a loss of innocence?

Film Noir Sin City Goldie

Goldie via dvdactive.com

Film Noir Sin City Yellow Bastard

Yellow Bastard via jestersreviews.com

Film Noir Sin City Kevin

Kevin via villains.wikia.com

7) Eroticism

Sin City is buoyed up by some of the most riveting portrayals of eroticism I have ever seen. The nudity may appear wanton, but the passion evoked by the Marv and Goldie sex scene, and the dancing of the singularly clothed Nancy, ignite the pulse of this entire film noir. Those with more modest sensibilities should avoid Sin City; Even though nudity is very openly displayed, there are never any genitals shown(unless you count Hartigan tearing an individuals manhood off in a grotesque clump).

8 ) Blaxploitation

Gail (Rosario Dawson) is basically the “madam” of “Old Town,” and she rules it with an iron fist (or a sharpened stilleto). Also, Manute (Michael Clark Duncan) shows up as muscle for the mob. Race is never brought up as far as I can remember.

9) Smoke

The opening scene and the closing scene are both centered on a cigarette. It’s as if Sin City offers you a smoke before and after it passionately makes love to you. Breathtaking film noir. Pick it up now on blu-ray or dvd at Amazon.com.

by Chad de Lisle

PostScript: Rumor has it that the script for Sin City 2 has just been completed. I’m drooling with anticipation.

 

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Noir Comics | Calvin and Hobbes Part 4

My favorite noir comics parody continues with Calvin and Hobbes part 4:

Noir Comics Calvin and Hobbes Part 4

the goon...

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Noir Comics | Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Noir comics have recently found even wider audiences on the clothing of its connoisseurs. The reason that these images make great t-shirt designs is because of their dramatic and artistic nature (which the noir genre and the pulps have in spades).  I’m in love with the noir t-shirts available at Threadless.com and am using this post as an excuse to share them. Being the owner of several of these shirts, (I’m actually wearing “The Time Has Come” as I write this) I couldn’t be happier with their quality and comfort.

PLEASE NOTE: I only display the close-up, high-quality, detailed images of these noir t-shirt designs. If you would like to see these shirts on a model, or if you would like to see how much scratch ($) they’ll set you back, click on the images below. Enjoy:

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 by Eduardo Risso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 1, Vol. 2 (back) by Eduardo Risso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 by Lee Bermejo

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 2, Vol. 2 (back) by Lee Bermejo

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 3, Vol. 2 (back) by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 by Dave Johnson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sorry, Babe... Issue 4, Vol. 2 (back) by Dave Johnson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

The Time Has Come by Francis Minoza and Laurence Minoza

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Suspense by Matheus Lopes

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

A Study in Scarlet by Alice X. Zhang

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Rose Marry by Adrindra Prakoso

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Doin My Best by Thomas Chosson

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Judith + Holofernes by Frank Barbara

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Raven Haired by Matheus Lopes Castro

Noir Comics Noir Inspired T-Shirt Designs

Sin City by Andy Farrell

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Noir Comics | Calvin and Hobbes Part 3

raising the noir comics bar:

Noir Comics Calvin and Hobbes Part 3

say hello to my little friend...

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Noir Comics | Scalped: Dead Mothers

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Cover

Scalped: Dead Mothers Cover

The third installment of the Scalped series was as powerful and heart-pounding as the rest. Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra once again show their deft hand at crafting incredibly emotional noir comics.

The Prairie Rose reservation becomes the scene of two murders: One, a junkie found strangled, leaving behind a handful of orphans with more similarities to Dashiell then he’d care to admit. The other is Dash’s own mother, Gina, who has been brutally scalped and slaughtered.

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Dashiell Badhorse and Orphans

Dash tells the orphans their mother has been murdered.

“…gritty and honest, it’s a new type of noir and the best word to describe… [SCALPED]…is brilliant.” – Crimespree Magazine

The real beauty of this volume of Scalped is how the plot weaves the psychological torment of an estranged son craving redemption (estranged not only from his mother Gina but from his people). J. Aaron and R.M. Guéra are so incredible at speaking volumes without saying anything at all. Poignant emotions hang just beyond our reach as Dashiell and others act out in destructive ways and attempt to cope in unhealthy ways. Noir comics like these are one in a million.

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Chief Red Crow Acts Out

Chief Red Crow coping in unhealthy ways...

 

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Dashiell Badhorse Acts Out

Dash coping in unhealthy ways...

My favorite scene occurs near the end of Dead Mothers, so brace yourselves for spoilers. [SPOILER] Dashiell goes to a bar to drink himself into oblivion, and he purposely picks a fight with a huge group of locals. They drag him outside and beat him to a pulp, and then he wanders off in a drunken stupor down the highway. Cars swerve to miss him as he walks down the middle of the road and mutters obscenities to himself. After several hours, he collapses. Crawling in confusion, he finally stops to gather his bearings and realizes that he has walked to his mother’s house. Her front porch is covered in flowers from friends and mourners, and the most prominent wreath reads “We Miss You Gina.” Dash sits motionless for many long moments, and then violently weeps. The scene ends as he stands up and walks inside, finally home. [SPOILER]

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Chief Red Crow Mourns Gina

Chief Red Crow mourns Gina Badhorse

 

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Dashiell Badhorse Mourns Gina

Dash mourns his mother.

After this moment in the comic, I finally realized that the central theme of the entire story is Dash’s journey home. His journey to redeem himself and reconcile with his mother and his people. He’s lost the chance to make things right with his mother… will he lose the chance with his people as well?

If you haven’t picked up these noir comics yet, please, please, please, please come to your senses and get it. You won’t be disappointed.

Noir Comics Scalped Dead Mothers Indian Land Page

"You are on Indian Land."

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Noir Comics | Calvin and Hobbes Part 2

Part 2 of the one of my favorite noir comics from Calvin and Hobbes:

Noir Comics | Calvin and Hobbes Part 2

the patsy...

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Noir Comics | Sally the Sleuth

The following noir comics strip is a classic example of the misogyny that permeates the genre. This page is from Spicy Detective November 1936 by Adolphe Barreaux.

Noir Comics Sally the Sleuth Adolphe Barreaux

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