Diane Trap (
Wed, 19 May 1999 10:06:27 -0400 (EDT) > We think we have the first two areas covered, but we need some guidance
> concerning art and music. Are there any particular artists whose work seems
> to fit in with the hard boiled mode? Hopper comes to my mind, but I've not
> really looked into his works thoroughly. I'm guessing some forms of jazz also
> fit in. Doesn't Elroy do a lot with it?

Hopper was the first artist I thought of, too, but I'm thinking his
paintings may be more noir than hardboiled. They show a lot of quiet
alienation--you'll notice his characters never make eye contact--but
not crime or violence.

You may want to talk about pulp fiction covers or detective comics. has lots of pulp fiction covers posted to sell or
send as e-postcards. The Crimeboss web site,,
has many covers from detective comics--not much analysis, but lots
of pictures to look at.

For music, the soundtrack to Devil in a Blue Dress is composed of
period jazz and blues pieces. The soundtrack to LA Confidential is
also period pieces--I remember reading, maybe in the liner notes, that
the numbers were chosen to contrast the Eisenhower optimism of the
time with the dark events of the picture.

You might also want to look into some of the new swing bands, like
Indigo Swing, Blue Plate Special, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, or Royal
Crown Review, which touts itself as "hard-boiled swing" (hard-boiled
swingers or martini-swiggin' poseurs? You decide).

Your question makes me think you might want to make critical
distinctions between history and nostalgia, and hard-boiled and
noir (not to bring that up again).

-----Diane Trap

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