web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 17

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the first Sin City storyline, retroactively dubbed “The Hard Goodbye”…

Enjoy!

Frank Miller’s noir crime series, Sin City, debuted in the Fifth Anniversary Special for Dark Horse comics in 1991, then continued as a serialized story in Dark Horse Comics Presents #51-62 (interestingly enough, each chapter was a different length – so in one issue you might get a big chunk of story while in another issue you might only get a few pages).

The story is set in the desolate and corrupt “Sin City.” The plot of the first storyline involves a man named Marv (the best description of Marv that I’ve heard comes from his creator, Frank Miller, who called him “Conan in a trenchcoat”).

An attractive young woman named Goldie comes on to Marv in a bar (something that rarely happens for the brutishly unattractive Marv) and sleeps with him (clearly as a means to gain his protective abilities). When he wakes up, she is dead and the police are coming to get him.

That is basically the entire plot of the series – Marv striving to find (and punish, of course) Goldie’s killers while avoiding going down for the murder himself.

While the plot is simple enough, the execution of said plot is not, as Miller does a tour de force with the style of the comic, through his artwork and the characters he creates to populate this dingy, dark world of Sin City.

Characters speak like they just stepped out of a Raymond Chandler novel, but Miller manages to make it work.

Still, though, while the characters and dialogue are interesting, it’s the artwork that makes this comic such a much-lauded work.

Here’s a couple of early interactions from the comic, beginning with when Marv first vows revenge…

And a later shot of how determined Marv is…

And finally, an interesting interaction between Marv and some hit men sent to deal with him…

A very notable comic work by Miller.

23 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 18, 2010 at 5:06 am

And the movie adaptation, partly directed by Miller himself, was nearly a truly page-to-page adaptation.

Loved this series back in the ’90′s, too bad Miller pretty much stopped any more Sin City while he went Hollywood.

I believe there’s a second Sin City movie in the works, but nothing yet.

When it comes to artists who really use the medium to perfection in the storytelling department, I struggle to think of a better example than Miller. This and DKR are beyond exemplary.

Wuitely does really well with his panel arangements too though, especialy in We3 and ASS

one of millers best works shows his true style plus loved Marv sense of humor as he shows a couple hit man the price to mess with him. frank miller showing his genius

And then Miller went barmy and shat out DK2. What hurt that the most was the absolute lack of backgrounds in most of the art, and frankly the art that WAS there was not very good. The story was ok, i guess, and it did have it’s moments, but overall I was not impressed.

These are exceptionally told sequences, but there’s a theory that Sin City was where Miller’s work started to decline into seeming self-parody, especially the dialogue. Looking at these pages, I’m not entirely inclined to disagree; Miller started bringing the audacity of the Sin City comics to everything else.

I’ve had this (and volume two) sitting around for a few months, unread. Should get around to that sometime.

Oh, yeah!
This is from the time when Miller actually had all his beans in the same jar. It’s definitely among his best.
Side note: If his current work had a theme song, it would be “Wreck of the Old 97″.

I love the use of negative space in these panels.

Great art, though its overrated by folks all over the place. Too bad the story is the same misogynist juvenile macho fantasy as the rest of his work.

Still, if I was going to read something by Miller it would be either this or Ronin.

This is about WHY comics should be good, right? 1) The readers are really scary-awesome-smart. 2) We all deserve good comics. 3) We have all different kinds of comics to pick from

And in turn, comics deserve good readers. Mr. Cronin put this article together for us and we ought to show some gratitude because it’s a great piece. Really, he seems to have been thinking about what would get people TALKING about how comics are good.

From this point on I’m addressing certain people and you know exactly who you are:

TRASHING MILLER:…….IS IT LIKE AN INSIDE THING? LIKE SKULL AND BONES? — the way folks pounce so quickly, seem so eager to bitch, say really harsh stuff about him….. If you feel that way, fine. We share the right to opinions and free speech, and we share a responsibility for what we say.

HOWEVER, do you see how poor discourse is making us all look bad? AND It is disrespectful to all things comics? Seriously. This is getting to be a problem.

COMICS deserve the respect of constructive criticism, comments, and feedback from the readers.

Regurgitating a myriad of character slurs, faults and banalities about his work/style… Only a person NOT LOOKING at the work will do that. Or someone who doesn’t care about comic books.

So at least be a decent participant. Like, talking about why you think other comics are cooler, you know? Instead of this slandering; most of all, indulging attacks on the personal character of a comic book artist?

Hopefully, that’s enough on the matter. Discontinue reading as needed. Thank you for your time and consideration.

**

When the criticism is nasty or lazy, it reflects poorly on you, the critic. Basic fact: You’re not saying anything new! It is so obvious when a person is not paying attention and not EXPERIENCING the work at all. You’re not coming up with your own subjective reactions, comparisons, criticisms….Realize someone said it all before and you’re just repeating it again and again. IT’S FREAKIN BORING PEOPLE! None of these posts go outside the comfortable rhetoric of Miller Bashing. Whatever points were valid are lost, rendered useless.

Citizen Scribbler

January 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Huh?

Um, Snarky? People are entitled to their opinions and, if that opinion is critical, you have no say in the matter. Anybody is welcome to make whatever praise or criticism they like- otherwise, they’d close off the comments. The remark doesn’t have to be new, just because that would please you. There are many elements of Miller’s work that are lame or unsavory and, whenever his name comes up, these elements will also rear their head.

Many people read his work and don’t like it- is your position that none of those people care about comics or were paying attention? So…thousands of people are wrong and you are right? You are the sane genius among us! Either that, or a self-absorbed jackass suffering from arrested development.

Maybe you’re not paying attention and EXPERIENCING the criticism at all. ;)

-Citizen Scribbler

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

January 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

Look, in terms of art, Miller really is laying a strong claim to being a visual successor to Will Eisner. If you stripped out all the dialogue in these pages, it arguably tells the story with remarkable innovation, brio, and efficiency.

The problem for a lot of people is that the already-superfluous dialogue attempts to match the power and boldness of the art, and Miller can’t quite do that without lapsing into parody. In Sin City, that actually works wonderfully, since it turns into a kind of self-satirical noir for the reader (ignoring Miller’s comments about being largely in earnest). But against the expectations of his Batman work, self-parody takes a beating from readers anticipating something more in the vein of his older work and rapidly runs out of steam as a cheeky justification from those who stick with him.

This, above, is good comics. But the same tricks applied in other contexts have brought a significant amount of criticism, and that understandably affects retrospectives of the Sin City material where those tricks were first seen.

Alternately, I suppose CGSB could enforce a “happy comments only ” policy with unstinting and zero-tolerance comment deletions.

I LIKE PUPPIES!

I also like early Sin City – the art is beautiful, it seemed to decline as the series went on and just got shakier and looser.

Great stuff

This one translated beautifully in the movie.

I’ve only read a couple of other stories in the Sin City run, as they started to get a bit too same-y for me, but this one has always stuck with me.

I also like early Sin City – the art is beautiful, it seemed to decline as the series went on and just got shakier and looser.

I can go both ways. The first book had some lovely fine lined work that was completely lost in the later stuff, but at the same time it shows that the style was still forming, and some of the panels (though none in the above example) do look dodgy.

Over-all the best art in Sin City (to my mind) was in the first book, That Yellow Bastard and Silent Night. Some of the looser stuff doesn’t work at all for me. I thought the art in Family Values was quite poor (and the story come to think of it).

Whoah there. Why has this page autonomously decided to show my second paragraph above as a quote?

Whoah there. Why has this page autonomously decided to show my second paragraph above as a quote?

You haven’t been closing your blockquote tags.

This is the second comment in as many days where you left off the / in the closing tags, leaving the comment looking like that (it’s not a big deal as I just close it for you, just letting you know that’s what is happening).

Oops. I guessed that was the case the other time I did it (it’s tricky when I’m doing it from an iPhone), but in this case my second paragraph was block-quoted, but my first wasn’t which made no sense to me.

BTW thanks for fixing it.

Good points by Citizen Scribbler. I came out with guns blazing but there’s method in the madness. You blazed back and thanks for your response and taking the time. But the rhetoric could’ve used some tweaks, especially at the end, ya know?

“Many people read his work and don’t like it- is your position that none of those people care about comics or were paying attention?”

HECK NO!

NO WAY did I want to insinuate this towards people who don’t like his work. We’re all entitled to our opinions. If you don’t like his work, that’s cool! To see something interesting aside from the usual, “This guy just sucks,” that some people were saying….THIS is what I was driving at.

These forums should be open and people should be able to say what they want. If folks want to stand up in defense, they have just as much of a right to do that as the person who says, “That guy just sucks and I hate his sh*t.”

What Omar Karindu wrote was awesome and got me thinking, “The problem for a lot of people is that the already-superfluous dialogue attempts to match the power and boldness of the art, and Miller can’t quite do that without lapsing into parody. In Sin City, that actually works wonderfully, since it turns into a kind of self-satirical noir for the reader (ignoring Miller’s comments about being largely in earnest). But against the expectations of his Batman work, self-parody takes a beating from readers anticipating something more in the vein of his older work and rapidly runs out of steam as a cheeky justification from those who stick with him.”

That helped me understand a lot more about what people were talking about. Thank you Mr. Karindu.

ps. I like puppies too.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives