The week has rolled around again, and the weekend has finished- so its back to the grind stone for many of us that is a working week. And with the start of another working week comes another recommendation from myself and this we make a welcome return to the world of comic books and graphic novels with Frank Millar’s amazing Sin City series. This is easily some of the best work produced by Frank Millar, and despite being released first in 1991 holds its own with stories of the modern day- without question.
Sin City is a collection of separate stories- all of varying lengths with the first being 13issues- that all take place in ‘Basin City’ and follow a variety of characters, many of whom who reappear throughout the series. Basin City is loving known as ‘Sin City’ and is the host for all the tales- and the city itself is a key component in the stories with its humid and hot environment containing large woodlands, an industrial district, a waterfront some desert space and a huge amount of mountain ranges. Add into this sprawling city scape a police force that is more like the paramilitary (shoot first question later) and the huge crime rates within the city and you can really start to see the kinds of mixed up and violent characters that the book could present to the reader.
Many of the characters within the tales will become instant favourites of any reader- like Marv who is a real hard nosed brute of a man that always tries to do the right thing and ends up not quite getting what he deserves for it. There’s John Hartigan the cop, who is so loyal and incorruptible- an odd trait for a police officer in this world- that you cant help but feel everything he goes through and hope that he gets a truly happy ending. Add to these hero type characters some of the big villains, such as the Yellow Bastard who is a truly scary sight and a gruesome individual all the way through his tale- along with Kevin the silent cannibal and you have a rogue gallery that truly fits the feel of the city and the tales being told. But both of these villains pale in comparison to the Rourke family who own most of the business both legal and illegal in the town and run everything from smuggling to prostitution to illegal gambling and mayoral campaigns and you truly get a good feel of the whole up hill battle that any ‘hero’ type character has to face in this wretched city.
Most of the stories told involve crime, murder, prostitution, betrayal and down right scum- and that’s what makes this such a good read- that even in the noir tales there are still characters that fit the bill of heroes and that you can truly route for and get engaged with despite their gruesome circumstances (Nancy for example) or the fact that your never really sure that your supposed to route for them (Dwight is the best example of this) but you just cant help yourself as the tales and characters and so well written.
If you’ve never read these you really must- especially as the next movie is due to arrive soon and a good background knowledge will really help you get the most from the film. And lets be honest who doesn’t want to read a mature comic that is easily some of the best work of the last 20years.
As a small bonus here is the new trailer for Sin City: A dame to kill for