Is That All You Got, You Pansies?
Milo here, getting excited because of reasons that I’ll keep from you because a-haha a-hahaha.
The Sin City series of books are a series of books I’ve intended to get my meaty paws on for a good while now. The famed art direction of the books and films has always intrigued me, even though it is the opposite of what I loved, monochrome, as well as the noir-like storylines. So I wriggled at the opportunity to get my hands on this number a few weeks ago.
Written, drawn and lettered by Frank Miller, of 300 & The Dark Knight Returns fame, the first of seven in the Sin City series is a brutal, gripping tale of vengeance and all round badassery.
The story opens with some sexy sex going down, the perfect way to grab the attention of a 15-year old boy, then cuts to Goldie, prostitute and the recipient of the aforementioned sexy sex, dead in a bed, I did a rhyming, oh boy. The other partner in the sticky tunnel of love, Marv, a big, brutish, Mickey Rourke-looking character, is, obviously pinned with her murder. However, convinced he didn’t do it, Marv goes on the assault, hunting down Goldie’s murderer.
The characters are all quite complex and engrossing. Marv, around whom the story revolves, is an interesting individual, especially considering how simple he is in his value and philosophies. Though he fancies himself as quite the detective, he never thinks twice about escalating to violence, which leads to some sweet ass moments in the book. We also have Marv’s parole officer, Lucille, who acts as Marv’s safe haven and, at points, voice of reason. He also comes across Wendy, Goldie’s twin and fellow prostitute, who joins Marv on his mission of revenge for obvious reasons. We are also introduced to Cardinal Roark, a member of the Roark family and main antagonist of the book, as is Kevin, who is a nasty piece of work.
The artwork (WHOOOOOOOOOP), also by Frank Miller, has been revered as being unique and supremely stylish, two claims I cannot deny in the slightest. Extremely aiding the noir feel of the story, the art is completely in black and white, which you wouldn’t think would be particularly special. However, it’s how Miller utilizes shadows and light which gives the book it’s trademark look, with the lines being both white on black background and vice versa, creating striking images in each panel which, though take some deciphering at times, are undoubtedly sleek. The paneling is mostly standard apart from points where Marv’s narration runs along the side of the page and the lettering, again by Miller, has a very distinctive style, with the narration being pretty normal and the speech looking handwritten and quite almost Burton-esque.
Overall, Sin City Vol 1: The Hard Goodbye is an excellent and engrossing read. The artwork is as stylish as the story and the action comes thick and fast. However, though the ending may have had a meaningful purpose, it was a bit too bitter for me and some of the panels were a bit hard to decipher thanks to the aforementioned art style.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations