Sunday, March 30, 2008

FEMME NOIR Review@Broken Frontier

Tonya Crawford of the popular Broken Frontier comics news site, just posted a nicely-written – and positive – advance review of the first issue of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries.
Mills obviously has a love of comic books, noir movies and books, and the supernatural as well and all of those loves are poured into his work here. Each of the three short tales (all totaling up to 28 pages worth of story) here are tightly woven and each illustrates a different aspect of the heroine – her dark sense of justice, her detective abilities, and her calm handling of the weird and strange. There is more than one tip of the hat to Will Eisner’s work on The Spirit but there is also a wittiness and sneaky satire that Raymond Chandler would have appreciated and slam bang action that Dashiell Hammett would have loved. Mills makes no bones about his sources of inspiration but the way his stories are told, his setting, and his tough, no nonsense heroine, all make it seem fresh and new and most of all, thrilling.

As with the web comic strips the penciler here is Joe Staton, a veteran of the industry. While many may remember him for his run with the character Green Lantern for DC, his work here deserves just as much praise. His action sequences literally explode off the page. If this were in 3-D it would need a warning label. His panel layouts are also wonderfully designed to increase the action and, at the same time, recall those great old noir movies of the 1940’s and 1950’s. His depiction of the nameless heroine can be smooth and sultry one minute and diamond hard the next; the perfect complement to the stories.
Aside from being pleased that she enjoyed it, I was also gratified to see that she seemed to "get" what I was going for with the introductory issue.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, a very nice review. Seems like it captures the Noir feeling.