So… someone tell me what I just read.

Because, if you ask me, it was about a dude that was way too into a chick after a one-night stand, after which he happened to sleep through her murder… in the same bed.

Just another day in Sin City, eh?

[Comic Virgins is an ongoing feature where Mike and Ben make Amanda read comics.]

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye follows Marv, a ruthless, grizzled motherf***er that only wanted to have a friend named Goldie. Goldie, a high-priced call girl, ends up dead in his bed after a night of pure sex magic, so Marv here is on a rampage to find the bastard responsible.

This sex better be good - it triggers a bloodbath that Spartans would be proud of.

This sex better be good – it triggers a bloodbath that Spartans would be proud of.

What stands out first for me is the art. It’s strange how much detail Frank Miller can provide by not providing details. His drawing is, well, not the most detail oriented. He often puts a focus on exactly what he wants you to see, background be damned (or just covered in black ink). This probably makes for an easier drawing process, but also a more powerful one. I mean, you can’t look anywhere else in the frame, and Miller gets you to see exactly what he wants you to see.

May not have a background, but you sure as hell know what's going on.

May not have a background, but you sure as hell know what’s going on.

The black and white is powerful – so powerful that I almost forget everything is without color. In fact, I think adding color might detract from the story. Taking away the color lets you focus on Marv’s hunt for Goldie’s murderer, as strange as it may be.

And can I talk about Marv for a minute? Because I love that guy. I think he’s amazing. He’s a doofus, but he’s a tank and dedicated to whatever he seems to fixate on. The ending does make me fearful for Marv’s future, but I’m pretty sure nothing can kill him. He’s like a gun-toting Hulk-variant and I love him. He’s genuine. Stupid, but genuine. Actually, I have to say that I enjoyed all of the characters Miller created. They’re all extreme – completely unbelievable. Not unlike the black and white palette, there’s no in between with these characters. They are all some extreme representation of something, whether it be anger, devotion, murderous anger, vice or sexuality, among others. Miller basically puts these emotions/mindsets into characters and sees what happens in the land of sin, which is the playground for Marv’s vengeance.

Loyalty and sex: the foundation civilizations are built on.

Loyalty and sex: the foundation civilizations are built on.

Ah yes. Marv’s strange hunt. I’m not sure I understand it. As with every Comic Virgins, I haven’t looked up any history of this comic, Miller or whatnot. I did see the Sin City movie, but it was only once and so long ago that I really only remember images. What I do remember seems like a pretty close translation, at least visually, from comic to movie screen. Anyway, it comes down to the fact that I really, really don’t get why Marv cares about Goldie, a woman that he knew for one night. Miller does a fair job explaining everything else, but this is something that I just don’t get.

That’s not to question Miller’s writing style. I appreciate it greatly – especially knowing that he did not only the line work and lettering, but the storyline. I appreciate that he kept everything under his control, which shows by how cohesive the images and plot are. I also like how it’s very easy to understand. If you’ve read any of the other Comic Virgins posts, you know that I have beef with comics that think their readers know everything. Miller came up with a plot line, made it simple and bloody and then returns to it frequently, echoing the chief point (must find Goldie’s killer) often enough for it to almost become annoying, but not quite.

GRIZZLED. MOTHERF***ER.

GRIZZLED. MOTHERF***ER.

Now, unlike the other comics I’ve read, this one was broken into “episodes,” not individual issues. These episodes were really short (compared to issues) and didn’t have traditional covers. I kinda liked this. It was refreshing to have a short item to read that focused on just one thing. Many of the issues of the past comics I read have multiple story lines, chief characters and whatnot. Too much to keep track of. These single episodes were refreshing and, once again, easy to follow.

Overall, did I like it? I liked Miller’s style. I liked the plot. I liked Marv. But I don’t feel like I got Marv, which makes it difficult to say that I loved it. I really liked all of the parts, but I’m not sure I was the ideal recipient for the grand project.

Amazing what Miller can convey with just black ink.

Amazing what Miller can convey with just black ink.

So, once again, we come to the conclusion – will I continue reading? I don’t even know if Sin City continues on. I would like to read more Frank Miller though – perhaps another one of his works would fit me a little better. I would hope so, because I do greatly appreciate his work and think he’s a fantastic creator.

About The Author

Hey there! I'm Amanda, and I'm the managing editor for DetroyTheCyborg! I come to the job with a background in journalism, English, American culture and all-around interest in what makes up our site.

For a living, I'm a government reporter for a newspaper my hometown. Seeing as that can be a bit monotonous, I welcome the opportunity to write occasional book (and other) reviews for DTC. If you see a book coming up I should review, let me know!

My interests are many and varied. I love table top games, bad movies (and good films!), music of all genres and the occasional graphic novel. Ben P. is trying his hardest to increase my interest in comic books - stay tuned for the outcome of THAT adventure. When it comes to books, I've yet to find a genre that I won't read. I have a particular affinity to Lord of the Rings and non-fiction first-person explorations - see Mary Roach's Stiff or Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals for examples.

My other abilities? I find that I make a mean batch of cinnamon rolls, and I can (most of the time) keep the crayon inside the lines.

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