Driving rain and noir


I found this from Brian Michael Bendis my Tumblr this morning. Before he started doing all his superhero stuff, he used to do crime/noir tales using the same color scheme as Sin City. Some might remember that we used his book, Torso, in our True Crime class way back when. The art is by Michael Avon Oeming.

The thing I found striking about this image was the number of noir tropes that it packs in. The city at night, the shadows, the rain, the world-weary character. Janelle noticed that driving scenes are something of a noir trope, even if TV Tropes doesn’t acknowledge it. There’s also the oblique angles – that filmstrip-like band running through the image both creates and contains them.

As many people in this course have noted, noir is more of a style than a genre. I think we can see that here – while the image exudes style, it doesn’t tell us much of anything of the story. We don’t know about the characters or the plot, other than the guy with tired eyes is driving somewhere at night in the rain. Come to think of it, that might make an interesting writing assignment – tell the story of the scene.

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