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Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics

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The biggest names in comics crime fiction assemble here for an anthology of original tales of murder and deceit, presented in black and white! Aided and abetted by some of the most gifted slatherers of thick, black India ink in the field, this gang is headed straight for the bad parts of town, and you're invited along for the ride! The biggest names in comics crime fiction assemble here for an anthology of original tales of murder and deceit, presented in black and white! Aided and abetted by some of the most gifted slatherers of thick, black India ink in the field, this gang is headed straight for the bad parts of town, and you're invited along for the ride!


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The biggest names in comics crime fiction assemble here for an anthology of original tales of murder and deceit, presented in black and white! Aided and abetted by some of the most gifted slatherers of thick, black India ink in the field, this gang is headed straight for the bad parts of town, and you're invited along for the ride! The biggest names in comics crime fiction assemble here for an anthology of original tales of murder and deceit, presented in black and white! Aided and abetted by some of the most gifted slatherers of thick, black India ink in the field, this gang is headed straight for the bad parts of town, and you're invited along for the ride!

30 review for Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    This is a reissued collection I read years ago that I decided to read again because I know more about many of these folks and their work than I did then. I see that the collection is now missing Stray Bullets: Open The Goddamn Box by David Lapham, for some reason. Too bad. Possibly the tone/subject matter (trigger: kidnapping and rape)? Borrowing response format from Chad, ty! The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire - ★★★★ I am a fan of Lemire and had read this in a couple different places. The art is Lemire-t This is a reissued collection I read years ago that I decided to read again because I know more about many of these folks and their work than I did then. I see that the collection is now missing Stray Bullets: Open The Goddamn Box by David Lapham, for some reason. Too bad. Possibly the tone/subject matter (trigger: kidnapping and rape)? Borrowing response format from Chad, ty! The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire - ★★★★ I am a fan of Lemire and had read this in a couple different places. The art is Lemire-terrific and the story has a dark vibe running through it that is also fine. An older farmer with an invalid wife faces foreclosure, and finds a wounded bank robber in his barn and everything changes. . . so short it’s almost like a tone poem, where you get the story (as usual from the best of Lemire) mostly from the images. I like the one page where we see four images of a weather vane, the wind changing direction 180 degrees. Mister X: Yacht On The Styx by Dean Motter - ★★ Part of Dean Motter’s series about Mister X. This has a kind of futuristic, Fritz Lang’s M feel to it. With cold, bleak urban architecture, but the story as is is told more than shown, so left me a little cold. Maybe pre-noir, maybe? The Last Hit by Chriss Offutt, Kano and Stefano Gaudiano - ★★★ Fiction and memoir writer Offutt writes a hit man story with a twist, in grim black and white drawings. Fracture by Alex De Campi and Hugo Petrus - ★★ I like the fact that this story is told almost completely through images, mostly wordless. Thus, the art takes center focus. You have to slow down to see what is going on, as the story fractures and the corresponding art also fractures the narrative. So, the form is interesting, but the tale is still not all that compelling. The Albanian by M.K. Perker - ★★ An Albanian janitor encounters an ongoing mass murder, but steals the murderer’s sock puppet for his kid. Kane: The Card Player by Paul Grist - ★★★ Paul Grist’s Kane, in the case of a guy who leaves a calling card after his crimes. Story okay, with a little twist at the end; minimal art better Blood on My Hands by Rick Geary - ★★★ History of crime comics historian Geary’s contribution is a (as always, for him) finely drawn portrait of a man who hires an assassin to kill his cheating wife, but there’s a twist in the ending. (Do you begin to see a pattern in noir, where a twist is required?). I liked the way this turns out, though. A kind of comic surprise. Tru$tworthy by Ken Lizzi and Joelle Jones- ★★ Not a fan of blocks of prose in comics as occurs in this story, the best thing about which is the (few)full page illustrations of Jones. But okay, I read the story and that drive for cash the dude makes is okay. The New Me by Gary Phillips and Eduardo Barreto- ★★★★ The far-fetched but amusing story of chunky Susan who gets in shape with hunky personal trainer Chad. The ending is kind of a cross with Mad Magazine and (kind of) Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Made me smile. In this new edition, they cut Lady’s Choice by Matthew and Shawn Fillbach. Not sure why. Criminal: 21st Century Noir by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips - ★★★★★ One of the best pieces in the collection, by the best crime comics team in history. Okay, I’ll admit, as with others, there is very little character development in this piece, and it’s not the best work they will ever do, but in that we see the tale from three different perspectives, and given that the payoff is more and more satisfying with each turn of the screw, I have to give it full marks, especially in comparison with most of the others. The Bad Night by Brian Azzarello, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba - ★★★★★ My favorite. I guess the point of this one is that it tells a kind of origin story about a night most superhero comics readers know well, wherein the final frame reveals the identity of this superhero. And it’s a surprise, told from the perspective of the murderer, a theory about what happened.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Most of these stories didn't really strike me as noir, per se, but they all have dark twists, similar to Twilight Zone episodes. As with most comic book anthologies, the stories are hit and miss, especially given the limited page count. Stray Bullets: Open The Goddamn Box by David Lapham The new edition is missing this triggering story of kidnap and rape. The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire - ★★★★ A farmer who is about to be foreclosed on has his luck change when he finds a wounded bank robber in his barn. Most of these stories didn't really strike me as noir, per se, but they all have dark twists, similar to Twilight Zone episodes. As with most comic book anthologies, the stories are hit and miss, especially given the limited page count. Stray Bullets: Open The Goddamn Box by David Lapham The new edition is missing this triggering story of kidnap and rape. The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire - ★★★★ A farmer who is about to be foreclosed on has his luck change when he finds a wounded bank robber in his barn. Mister X: Yacht On The Styx by Dean Motter - ★★★ Dean Motter's mysterious Mister X returns for this story of a millionaire whose party goers all died on his yacht while he was found dead in the corner stone of his building. If you at all like the art deco and retro futurism setting of this book, I suggest you check out some more of Mister X or Motter's even better series, Terminal City. The Last Hit by Chriss Offutt, Kano and Stefano Gaudiano - ★★★★ I liked this short story that reminded me of Looper without the time travel. Fracture by Alex De Campi and Hugo Petrus - ★ I wasn't sure what was happening in this almost wordless story of a woman pushing a man onto the subway tracks. After reading another review, it seems the story splits in two different directions after each panel. While Petrus is a good artist, I didn't get that at all from the panel structure of each page. The Albanian by M.K. Perker - ★★★★ An immigrant janitor walks into a mass murder in the office building he cleans. I liked this except for the oddball ending. Kane: The Card Player by Paul Grist - ★★★ Paul Grist returns to the character he's most well known for in Kane. It was a solid story of a burglar who leaves a calling card. I did find it confusing that two of the main characters looked almost exactly the same other than one was wearing a black shirt. This could have used a few more pages to flesh the ending out. Blood on My Hands by Paul Geary - ★★★ An unemployed husband believes his wife is cheating on him and hires a hitman. I liked the ending of this one. If you liked this at all, you should check out Geary's real life accounts of murder in his Treasury of XXth Century Murder series Tru$tworthy by Ken Lizzi and Joelle Jones- ★★★ Every time I see a prose story in a graphic novel, my eyes roll. It's annoys me to no end. This was a solid noir story with a few full page illustrations from Joelle Jones. The New Me by Gary Phillips and Eduardo Barreto- ★★★★★ I loved this story of an overweight woman who begins training with a horndog of a personal trainer. The Twilight Zone ending was perfect. Lady’s Choice by Matthew and Shawn Fillbach The other missing story from this re-release. Criminal: 21st Century Noir by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips - ★★★★★ You can never go wrong with new Criminal material from Brubaker and Phillips. The Bad Night by Brian Azzarello, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba - ★★★★★ Azzarello knocks it out of the park with this twist on a character we all know and love.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    When this showed up in the new graphic novels listing at my library, it seemed a familiar title. I was hoping it was a new installment of a collection I'd read a decade before, but this is just an abridged hardcover edition of that same book, omitting a Stray Bullets story by David Lapham and another story by the Fillbach Brothers. Of the eleven stories left, it still has a Mister X story by Dean Motter, a Kane story by Paul Grist, and a Criminal story by Ed Brubaker, and one-off tales by popula When this showed up in the new graphic novels listing at my library, it seemed a familiar title. I was hoping it was a new installment of a collection I'd read a decade before, but this is just an abridged hardcover edition of that same book, omitting a Stray Bullets story by David Lapham and another story by the Fillbach Brothers. Of the eleven stories left, it still has a Mister X story by Dean Motter, a Kane story by Paul Grist, and a Criminal story by Ed Brubaker, and one-off tales by popular writers Brian Azzarello and Jeff Lemire. I decided to read it again, but it wasn't really worthy of a second go-round. At eight to ten pages each, there is not much time for any of the tales to fully develop a noir atmosphere. So you end up with opaque stuff like the Mister X entry or simple assassin vs. assassin dreck like "The Last Hit." A couple resorted to stupid and jarring, out-of-nowhere science fiction twist endings. And -- always annoying in a graphic anthology -- there's a text story plopped into the middle that just seems to go on forever. One of the tales turns out to be a (view spoiler)[Batman (hide spoiler)] homage, but is sort of pointless even with that aspect.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    You can also read my review on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/02/2... Noir is a “genre of crime fiction that is characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity” and these black and white short stories definitely fit that definition. Chosen as this month’s pick from the Goodreads group, I Read Comic Books, I was intrigued and looked forward to reading the thirteen stories. However, the graphic novel got off to a very rough start and I almost put it down. Stray Bullets: Open The You can also read my review on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/02/2... Noir is a “genre of crime fiction that is characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity” and these black and white short stories definitely fit that definition. Chosen as this month’s pick from the Goodreads group, I Read Comic Books, I was intrigued and looked forward to reading the thirteen stories. However, the graphic novel got off to a very rough start and I almost put it down. Stray Bullets: Open The Goddamn Box by David Lapham and Clem Robins WTF- why is the first story? A teen girl is kidnapped by two males who plan to rape her. She manages to escape but not before another rape occurs, and she seems to perceive it as retribution, and in a joking manner. I've noticed trigger warnings in more stories nowadays, and this story needs one as the story is bleak and wildly inappropriate. I'm sure as a woman this story affected me more than it would a male, but I've heard newer editions omit this story and for good reason.  The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire Luckily the second story in this collection was among my favorites, and let me continue with this book. A farmer about to lose his farm finds a bank robber who was hurt in the getaway on his property. He makes a choice that enables him to pay off his mortgage. A perfect noir story by the esteemed Lemire. Mister X: Yacht On The Styx by Dean Motter The mysterious Mister X explains to a femme fatale what happened on a yacht when a tycoon went missing and whose body was later found hidden in his building’s cornerstone. There was a weird dystopian/sci-fi aspect to this story and it didn’t appeal to me. The Last Hit by Chriss Offutt, Kano and Stefano Gaudiano An older hitman is given one last job, but then discovers a younger hitman is after him. He thinks they have come to an understanding, but he underestimated his opponent. Fracture by Alex De Campi and Hugo Petrus I didn’t understand this almost wordless story. A woman on the subway witnesses an accident, or did she cause it? The story double-backs and then fractures. The Albanian by M.K. Perker An Albanian janitor witnesses a bloodbath in the office building he cleans, but he escapes unscathed. Why he gave his son the murder’s puppet escapes me. I actually wondered if the puppet was evil and would hurt the child later. Kane: the Card Player by Paul Grist A burglar leaves numbered playing cards behind and a crime lord seems to be mad about it. A cop is on the take and the burglar is killed. At the end, I felt a pivotal scene had been left out to explain things. Blood on my Hands by Paul Geary A husband who loses his job is worried about his wife cheating on him. He wants his wife and lover killed, but accidentally sends a hitman against the wrong couple. Whoops. This twisted confessional was strangely effective, and dare I say, sweet. Tru$tworthy by Ken Lizzi and Joelle Jones This story was mostly text, with only a few illustrations, so it was kind of jarring to include in this graphic novel, although it actually was one of my favorite stories. A woman tries to con her way out of a bad situation, by sleeping with a man she intends to make a patsy. But he turns the tables on her at the end. The New Me by Garry Phillips and Eduardo Barreto An out-of-shape woman goes to the gym whose trainer is known for getting results but also for sleeping with all his clients. Over the course of a few months, she becomes a hottie and she seduces him. But the whole time she had an ulterior reason, and in an out-of-nowhere sci-fi twist, she uses him to help her invalid husband. I liked this one, although the premise was kind of ridiculous. Lady’s Choice by Matthew and Shawn Fillbach A gangster’s moll is tired of her current asshole and wants to move on to a new shady character. 21st Century Noir by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips A woman seduces a younger man and reveals she is abused by her husband, and this man says he will help her. The lover goes to confront the husband, but there is a dark and perverted twist you won’t expect. The Bad Night by Brian Azzarello The story begins blandly with a man being sent out to commit a robbery against a rich couple, but the last page takes the story in a whole new direction, once you realize who the couple and their little boy are. Bravo for that last little twist that most people familiar with DC should recognize. All in all, an adequate anthology of stories, for as with any collection there are bound to be some strong entries but then some clunkers. I absolutely hated Stray Bullets, but Old Silo, The New Me and 21st Century Noir were excellent. My recommendation is to pick up a newer edition without the first story and I wish dearly that my Goodreads group had suggested that.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    This is an anthology of crime comics by some of the best writers and artists working in the comics field today. Like most anthologies it's got some good stories and some poor ones but I think it's a pretty decent roundup of crime noir and an enjoyable, if brief, read. "Stray Bullets" creator David Lapham contributes the story of a kidnapped girl stuffed into a box "to be raped later" by a couple of teenage nutcases, only it ends with the boys being tricked by the girl and their own stupidity. Je This is an anthology of crime comics by some of the best writers and artists working in the comics field today. Like most anthologies it's got some good stories and some poor ones but I think it's a pretty decent roundup of crime noir and an enjoyable, if brief, read. "Stray Bullets" creator David Lapham contributes the story of a kidnapped girl stuffed into a box "to be raped later" by a couple of teenage nutcases, only it ends with the boys being tricked by the girl and their own stupidity. Jeff Lemire contributes a story that feels like it came straight from the 50s and the pen of Jim Thompson with the story of an elderly farmer in need of cash being visited by a bank robber with a bag full of money and a body full of bullets. Rick Geary tells the story of jealous love, a man hires a private investigator to follow his wife and see if she's cheating on him. And then he hires an assassin, but somehow it all goes wrong. No anthology of noir would be complete without the current masters of noir comics weighing in and Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips contribute a short story from their amazing "Criminal" series called "21st Century Love" and manages to pack so much intrigue and story into a few short pages. This was definitely the highlight of the book and showed why Brubaker & Phillips are so successful. There's a Twilight Zone-esque tale of an out of shape housewife going to the gym to tone up and winding up with a new husband. I won't say anyone but it's kind of bizarre and was the only story here that I don't think was exactly "noir" but was still entertaining nonetheless. The story is "The New Me" by Gary Philips and Eduardo Barreto. Finally Brian Azzarello teams up with artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba to tell what seems to be a mundane crime story until the reveal on the final page. "The Bad Night" is a prelude to the origin story of Bruce Wayne. There were other stories in this collection but I decided to only highlight the ones I thought were any good. It's a good collection and certainly lives up to the title of "Noir". Crime comics fans will enjoy it and it's fun enough for casual comics fans to get into.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    It's not easy to jam a serial art story into so few pages and a lot of the entries suffer from claustrophobia. But given that limitation, I'm impressed with how well this anthology turns out. -------------------------------- Stray Bullets: Open the Goddamn Box by David Lapham [This story is sadly missing from the hardcover edition, perhaps for being too Lapham-ly bleak. Or maybe there was a rights issue? I'm disappointed, as I love the Stray Bullets series and Lapham was one of the reasons I bou It's not easy to jam a serial art story into so few pages and a lot of the entries suffer from claustrophobia. But given that limitation, I'm impressed with how well this anthology turns out. -------------------------------- Stray Bullets: Open the Goddamn Box by David Lapham [This story is sadly missing from the hardcover edition, perhaps for being too Lapham-ly bleak. Or maybe there was a rights issue? I'm disappointed, as I love the Stray Bullets series and Lapham was one of the reasons I bought this collection. Boo.] -------------------------------- The Old Silo by Jeff Lemire The bank is about to foreclose on an old man's farm and leave him unable to care for his invalid wife, when salvation turns up bleeding in his barn. Short, bittersweet, grimly upbeat. Feels like a good Two-Sentence Horror Story. Five stars. -------------------------------- Mister X: Yacht on the Styx by Dean Motter An investigative reporter follows an informant onto an abandoned yacht to investigate the mystery of a billionaire industrialist whose long dead corpse is found beneath a building despite him still being alive. This story is too big for the scant half dozen pages it inhabits. But it's elegantly introduced and condensed as well as can be expected. Neat worldbuilding and cool resolution. Four stars. -------------------------------- The Last Hit by Chris Offutt An aging hitman smells a rat on his no-for-reals-this-time last job. Another story that doesn't fit the cramped page count. And the author wasn't quite up to articulating the plot turns coherently. But I like the story beats. Three stars. -------------------------------- Fracture by Alex De Campi This was seriously ambitious. In a full page panel, a woman on a subway platform considers pushing an aggressive panhandler in front of the train. On the second page, she does it and she doesn't; the panel splits. On the third page the panels split again. The story/ies end in his death, her death, close calls, Bedlam, a trip overseas, romance, etc, until they merge into a final full page panel that's strangely reminiscent of the first. I'm not sure how "Noir" it was, and the tiny mid-story panels were awkward to follow, but the concept is just so damned neat I can't justify less than five stars. -------------------------------- The Albanian by M. K. Perker A cheerful Albanian office cleaner with little English stumbles into the middle of a mass shooting at work. He makes the most of a bad situation. That was not an ending I was expecting. Four stars. -------------------------------- Kane: The Card Player by Paul Grist Detectives hunt a serial burglar who always leaves a calling card. A man who looks identical to one of the cops pulls strings from the shadows. Quick, taut little crime story. Four stars. -------------------------------- Blood on My Hands by Rick Geary A cuckold hires an assassin to murder his wife and her lover but an innocent couple is murdered by mistake. So he lives happily ever after with his wife. Wait, what?? Weird and unconvincing. One star. -------------------------------- Trustworthy by Ken Lizzi and Joëlle Jones This is a prose short story rather than graphic, and the first truly noir entry in the book. A femme fatale spends the night with a rando she picked up at a bar. A drug dealer appears and demands she return his 200 grand, or he'll be back for both her and the rando. She convinces her new beau to deliver a bag of worthless paper to the drug dealer and then run away with her. Backstabbing ensues. Excellent. Characters, plot, delivery, all well done. And this affirms my suspicion that the only way to really deliver "noir" in six pages is prose not comics. Five stars. -------------------------------- The New Me by Gary D. Phillips And Phillips blows that position out of the water. The New Me has all the elements--the outsider, the femme fatale, the mystery, the sex and violence, the grimness--and it sings. A woman with an elderly invalid husband begins working with a trainer (who moonlights as a gigolo) to get in shape. But she has secrets. Strong five stars. -------------------------------- Lady's Choice by The Fillbach Brothers [Huh, another story missing from the new edition. :-/ ] -------------------------------- Criminal: 21st Century Noir by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips The Lover. The Wife. The Husband. There's an affair, a doublecross, and a grim ending. Brubaker and Phillips unsurprisingly get five stars. -------------------------------- The Bad Night by Brian Azzarello 'Sal's brother' is hired to rob a rich couple of an expensive necklace. While they walk down an old timey alley. With their impressionable young son. ...........Wait, I get it! Four stars. --------------------------------

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Short pieces, not all strictly noir, but on the whole entertaining.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathleen

    1 1/2 stars. A disappointment in multiple ways. The entries are so brief that the classic noir elements aren't given room to develop or to surprise. These are more vignettes than stories, and only a few have something fresh or original to offer. A collection of noir by definition will exploit seedy elements, but the first story of abduction and rape was a lot to confront as an opening experience. Categorizing it as noir, even modern noir, is a stretch. One of the appeals of any anthology is the 1 1/2 stars. A disappointment in multiple ways. The entries are so brief that the classic noir elements aren't given room to develop or to surprise. These are more vignettes than stories, and only a few have something fresh or original to offer. A collection of noir by definition will exploit seedy elements, but the first story of abduction and rape was a lot to confront as an opening experience. Categorizing it as noir, even modern noir, is a stretch. One of the appeals of any anthology is the opportunity to discover new-to-you talents and then explore their work, but the only art or narratives I admired were those of existing favorites Jeff Lemire, Rick Geary, Fábio Moon, and Gabriel Bá. At least I could enjoy new pieces by them. Keeping all the art in black-and-white had impact, though some illustrators used it more effectively than others. The collection as a whole seems such a missed opportunity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I had hoped for more with this collection...I'm a big fan of classic noir and at first glance, this looked impressive. Unfortunately, it didn't quite meet my expectations. This is not to say that some of the stories aren't good--there are a few that I really liked. However, as a collection, I think it fell short. Some of the stories are just too predictable, and some don't quite meet the characteristics of "classic noir." The artwork is varied, lending itself to story in some selections, and tak I had hoped for more with this collection...I'm a big fan of classic noir and at first glance, this looked impressive. Unfortunately, it didn't quite meet my expectations. This is not to say that some of the stories aren't good--there are a few that I really liked. However, as a collection, I think it fell short. Some of the stories are just too predictable, and some don't quite meet the characteristics of "classic noir." The artwork is varied, lending itself to story in some selections, and taking away from it in others. Overall, I was hoping to like this more than I did; it was ok, but not great...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ill D

    More like Noir meets stupid quasi-science fiction twists take to make for a unpredictable endings that the poor reader couldn't have forseen. Meh. More like Noir meets stupid quasi-science fiction twists take to make for a unpredictable endings that the poor reader couldn't have forseen. Meh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benji Glaab

    Decent compilation from the best creators in the genre circa 2009 I didn't realize this was a reprint from. 12 years later Lemire and Brubaker are some serious talents for sure. I'm familiar with some of the others creators but many I haven't read before. It's not a must read by any means but I enjoyed it. Decent compilation from the best creators in the genre circa 2009 I didn't realize this was a reprint from. 12 years later Lemire and Brubaker are some serious talents for sure. I'm familiar with some of the others creators but many I haven't read before. It's not a must read by any means but I enjoyed it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lenny

    I'm not a fan of crime/noir and while there are some huge creators, I left with about the same interest in noir as when I started it. My favorites were The Old Silo, The Last Hit, and The Bad Night - you'd think a certain origin story can't be flipped on its head, but, well done Azzarello. Otherwise, it all felt pretty standard and a few stories introduced weird scifi stuff at the end that didn't seem believable. Ironically the collection might have been better if some stories were twice as long, I'm not a fan of crime/noir and while there are some huge creators, I left with about the same interest in noir as when I started it. My favorites were The Old Silo, The Last Hit, and The Bad Night - you'd think a certain origin story can't be flipped on its head, but, well done Azzarello. Otherwise, it all felt pretty standard and a few stories introduced weird scifi stuff at the end that didn't seem believable. Ironically the collection might have been better if some stories were twice as long, if only to give creators the room to build out the stories a little bit. (My favorites didn't need to be longer.) At some point the black and white art is what kept me around. While that isn't a surprise when it comes to noir, I love how artists used black and white so differently in each story. Also have to mention that there's only one woman creator in this whole book, Joëlle Jones - who doesn't even fully illustrate a story, just a few pages for the prose one. (Where is Nicola Scott??) Even though there's a lot of talent in this book, it's a lot of white male talent - and that was disappointing to me. Maybe that's a part of why so many of the stories felt standard. (Note: I read the new edition without Stray Bullets - had I read that story first, I probably wouldn't have finished the book.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    KaitLphere

    I enjoyed a few of the stories, but mostly the crime genre in comics isn't really my thing. I enjoyed a few of the stories, but mostly the crime genre in comics isn't really my thing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    I'm not a big crime/noir fan, so I didn't expect to like this going in. It's short, at least, and I ended up liking four out of the eleven stories. They were four good stories, at least, but less than half is a bad batting average. The Brubaker/Phillips story is my main highlight, because of course it is. But the Lemire story, the Azzarello/Moon/Ba story, and the Offutt/Kano/Gaudiano/Robins stories were all good too. The problem is that some of these have random sci-fi plot turns that don't make I'm not a big crime/noir fan, so I didn't expect to like this going in. It's short, at least, and I ended up liking four out of the eleven stories. They were four good stories, at least, but less than half is a bad batting average. The Brubaker/Phillips story is my main highlight, because of course it is. But the Lemire story, the Azzarello/Moon/Ba story, and the Offutt/Kano/Gaudiano/Robins stories were all good too. The problem is that some of these have random sci-fi plot turns that don't make sense for how grounded the rest of the story is, or were just plain generic crime stuff that if you're the type of person to seek out a noir anthology you're probably not going to find anything revoltionary here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Riley

    It was okay book just disappoint with most of the stories.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    I pick this one mainly for the Jeff Lemire story, which was good but not very original. Same could be said about the others, most of them are okay but lack originality or the big final punch to knock me of my seat. The Noir thematic is well respected but in the art and story which was fun. The Brian Azzarello story as a nice twist at the end that I really like. Overall it was okay, but nothing really outstanding or worth noticing, it lacks the little magic work!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shana Darabie

    Sadly, a majority of the stories are quite mediocre. I did enjoy Lemire's The Old Silo, Offut's The Last Hit, Brubaker's Criminal and Azzarello's Bad Night. Lizzi's Trustworthy was also alright. The Old Silo and The Last Hit could definitely work as much longer stories. A couple of the stories did have a fun scifi spin not used enough in noir. If you're a noir fan, definitely check this out of the library. Otherwise, it's alright if you miss this. There isn't really anything special here. Sadly, a majority of the stories are quite mediocre. I did enjoy Lemire's The Old Silo, Offut's The Last Hit, Brubaker's Criminal and Azzarello's Bad Night. Lizzi's Trustworthy was also alright. The Old Silo and The Last Hit could definitely work as much longer stories. A couple of the stories did have a fun scifi spin not used enough in noir. If you're a noir fan, definitely check this out of the library. Otherwise, it's alright if you miss this. There isn't really anything special here.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Denno

    A few gems, but the stories were so short the good ones leave you wanting more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rikin

    stories and illustrations were all pretty boring

  20. 4 out of 5

    Highland G

    Mixed bag, I really enjoyed some of the stories and the twists, others didn’t work so well.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Simon Pressinger

    There are some thrilling stories in this collection. The artwork of Dean Motter and M.K. Perker stood out for me especially. I've enjoyed Motter's work on the character Mister X and Perker's collaboration with G. Willow Wilson on their excellent series 'Air'. One of the strips I read was really interesting and strangely moving in it's absence of dialogue. It plays with the reader's perspective and it's called 'Fracture' by Alex De Campi, who also, incidentally, was the director of the most popul There are some thrilling stories in this collection. The artwork of Dean Motter and M.K. Perker stood out for me especially. I've enjoyed Motter's work on the character Mister X and Perker's collaboration with G. Willow Wilson on their excellent series 'Air'. One of the strips I read was really interesting and strangely moving in it's absence of dialogue. It plays with the reader's perspective and it's called 'Fracture' by Alex De Campi, who also, incidentally, was the director of the most popular video on Youtube back in the Dark Age of 2007. I like the black and white noir aesthetic and the sensational stories that unravel, almost invariably in urban areas. Someone's always owing someone money, someone's a psychopath, the underdog either gets his way or is thwarted in the attempt. There's blood and martinis and cigarettes. There's so much sex and inexplicable violence. There's the unashamedly macabre and sometimes there's just plain, unadulterated cynicism. It's a feast. I'm new to noir, so I'm well aware the seasoned pundit is like, 'Well, duh,' right now. But my god, I haven't seen so much misogynistic content in one anthology since, well, ever. There are so many dubious morals to draw from certain of these pieces. And the collection was first published as late as 2009, too! For all it's faults, which I don't think are worth getting into for the purposes of keeping in with the timeless spirit of latter-day pulp noir, I enjoyed it, and the collection is very eclectic, which is great. I want more. If anyone knows of some good noir for the 21st century, let's chat.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Orrin Grey

    Like pretty much any anthology, this one's a mixed bag, but it's mostly pretty good. I picked it up for the Gabriel Bá/Fabio Moon/Brian Azzarello story, which was pretty great, though I wonder how it'd play to someone unfamiliar with the mythology of Batman (if there is such a person). Like pretty much any anthology, this one's a mixed bag, but it's mostly pretty good. I picked it up for the Gabriel Bá/Fabio Moon/Brian Azzarello story, which was pretty great, though I wonder how it'd play to someone unfamiliar with the mythology of Batman (if there is such a person).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    A collection of noir short stories. However, the best of the stories were just okay, while the majority were either puzzling or pointless. Even the stories by otherwise reliable authors (such as Ed Brubaker) were disappointing. A collection of noir short stories. However, the best of the stories were just okay, while the majority were either puzzling or pointless. Even the stories by otherwise reliable authors (such as Ed Brubaker) were disappointing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

    Probably a 2.5 rating, but I always round up. The artwork was closer to the feeling of noir than the writing in most of these. You could see the endings to most of these stories coming a mile away. In a sense a lot of these felt more "Tales from the Crypt" than noir. Probably a 2.5 rating, but I always round up. The artwork was closer to the feeling of noir than the writing in most of these. You could see the endings to most of these stories coming a mile away. In a sense a lot of these felt more "Tales from the Crypt" than noir.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I'm not a fan of Brian Azzarello's writing, but his story alone is worth the price of this collection. I'm not a fan of Brian Azzarello's writing, but his story alone is worth the price of this collection.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Moore

    Great collection of short stories by some great writers and drawers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Z

    Some okay. Some bad. The last is the only one of any worth. Oh, and if you are looking for noir, it isn’t here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Doctor Moss

    This is a collection of short, twisted (some more than others) crime stories. I’m unsure what boundaries we should give to noir, so I’m not going to worry about whether they are truly noir. They do have the atmosphere and the despondency. And I think the graphic novel format is well suited for conveying those things. It’s a quick read, about an hour. The art is clear and bright in black and white — none of that “what the heck is going on in that frame” thing that modern comics so often fall into. This is a collection of short, twisted (some more than others) crime stories. I’m unsure what boundaries we should give to noir, so I’m not going to worry about whether they are truly noir. They do have the atmosphere and the despondency. And I think the graphic novel format is well suited for conveying those things. It’s a quick read, about an hour. The art is clear and bright in black and white — none of that “what the heck is going on in that frame” thing that modern comics so often fall into. The storylines are pretty easy to follow, although some are heavier on atmosphere and feel than plot, especially the skewish but well-done Fracture by Alex de Campi and Hugo Petrus. Like I said, the stories are short — 11 stories in about 100 pages. So there’s a kind of economy of impact. The stories provide a punch, and that’s it. Very little complication, although of course at the cost of developing involved plots. But, for what they are, they are entertaining and sometimes provocative. This, along with what I’ve read of Velvet and the classic EC Archives Crime SuspenStories, inspires me to what to get more into the genre.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)

    You'd think a collection featuring Brubaker, Phillips, and Geary would have come to my attention sooner, but now that I've read it I can see why it didn't, also why it's out of print. Gathering some of the "great" comic writers to explore Noir I'd at least expect it to reach the level of mediocrity, but instead, aside from a few, meaning three, passable stories, they just straight up suck. There's no playing with the Noir medium, instead they all go for the pitfalls of typical Noir, focusing on You'd think a collection featuring Brubaker, Phillips, and Geary would have come to my attention sooner, but now that I've read it I can see why it didn't, also why it's out of print. Gathering some of the "great" comic writers to explore Noir I'd at least expect it to reach the level of mediocrity, but instead, aside from a few, meaning three, passable stories, they just straight up suck. There's no playing with the Noir medium, instead they all go for the pitfalls of typical Noir, focusing on sexual abuse, untrustworthy women, and death. There's nothing new here, just the same old tropes made almost more explicit and exploitative with the same written patter that anyone could imitate. And as for the prose piece? WTF this is a graphic novel. I would have forgiven this lapse if it had been well written, but it wasn't. The only piece I thought was a little clever was the very last one with a little twist on the Batman origin story... but it was too little too late to save this collection of murder and rape.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Salem

    I don't think the point of any anthology work is to be seen as a work to be rated or... or criticized. But more of an enjoyable ride through different minds and perspectives. And here, it collects different but well-experienced writers and artists to deliver their ways of crime noir in short stories. Some are really great, some are not. And always... since I'm fond of Ed and Sean, the masters always leave you hanging, scared or disturbed. And for a second, I imagined seeing a story by Darwyn Cooke I don't think the point of any anthology work is to be seen as a work to be rated or... or criticized. But more of an enjoyable ride through different minds and perspectives. And here, it collects different but well-experienced writers and artists to deliver their ways of crime noir in short stories. Some are really great, some are not. And always... since I'm fond of Ed and Sean, the masters always leave you hanging, scared or disturbed. And for a second, I imagined seeing a story by Darwyn Cooke in here, as if he shared one of the excerpts of Parker... I mean, that would be something, right? It certainly would ...

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