Monday, April 20, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Comics That Shaped Me (Part 8)

SIN CITY (1991-2000)

Frank Miller's extreme noir was a bit of a departure from my normal comics, and I came to it a little late - I completely missed the original Sin City before the trade paperback collection came out. But when I did finally check it out, I was blown away. It was super minimal in its art, with pure black and white - with sometimes a hint of a single colour if necessary.

The first volume was a tale of a very heavy handed thug called Marv, who goes on a violent spree to track down the killer of his "girlfriend" Goldie. He whittles his way through various criminal lowlifes before finally uncovering a serial killer. It was cool, but when the second storyline started, A Dame To Kill For, I was particularly taken by the way it weaved into the timeline of the original story.

A Dame to Kill For is a typical tale of a beautiful woman tricking a gullible guy into killing her allegedly abusive husband, and the guy finding out he was fooled and looking for justice.

By the time the third storyline, The Big Fat Kill, started I was in my second year of my university degree specialising in animation and storyboarding. I decided to increase the weighting of the theory on my grade, and increased the size of my dissertation opting to compare comics narrative language - how the reader interprets the story progression from panel to panel, and comprehends what's going on by framing - with film language. I picked Sin City as the comic I'd look at as it is particularly filmic, and compared it to 1940's film noir - focusing on Double Indemnity. Double Indemnity is an excellent movie, about a beautiful woman tricking a gullible guy into killer her allegedly abusive husband... you know the rest.

If only I'd gone to university about ten years later I could have incorporated the Sin City movie into my dissertation.

Anyway, I loved the style, and the really cool art. Sin City opened my eyes to some of the cooler black and white comics that would come to heavily influence my own art for years to come.

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