I'm not disagreeing that comic books can't be noir, but I think
there's a BIG difference between (tragedy, gothic gloom, darkness) and
noir. Tragedy can involve a heroic act or simply inevitability. My
definition of noir involves a damning, a character giving into his
baser instincts and weaknesses and dooming himself either psychically
or physically. I look at The Dark Night (a movie that I thought was
great) as more of a tragedy. Batman/Bruce Wayne may feel conflicted,
but his motivations are still to do what he feels is the right thing,
and ultimately he sacrifices a large part of himself for what he feels
is the common good. You don't typically see self-sacrifice in noir.
-- In email@example.com, "Mark Finn" <markfinn@...> wrote:
> I usually lurk on this list, and do so because I enjoy the
> back-and-forth so much, but I really need to weigh-in on a few things
> said here of late.
> I personally know several of you folks on this list, and so please
> treat what I'm about to say as if we're at a hotel bar somewhere and
> I've just ordered what is about to be considered "one too many:"
> I think that the idea that a super hero story can't be noir simply
> because it's a super hero story is one of the most intellectually
> retarded things I've read in a long time. There's enough grief, loss,
> and ruin in The Dark Knight to give Cornell Woolrich geek-wood, and
> that's saying something. I would hate to think that someone on THIS
> List, of all yahoo groups, would be talking out of their ass, having
> not seen The Dark Knight, and perhaps worse, subscribing some archaic
> and 20 years out of date definition of "what comics are" in
> contributing to this discussion.
> Comics are a story telling medium. That's it. You can do anything with
> comics that you can do with movies or books. That the most prevalent
> story being told in comics is the super hero urban fantasy is beside
> the point. There are hundreds of examples of comics being just the
> medium to a story that doesn't have capes or people shooting lasers
> out of their eyes. If you're defining comics as Super Heroes only,
> you're doing it wrong. Personally, I can't wait for Cooke's Parker
> graphic novels. Talk about the right guy for the job. Can't wait.
> Noir, or the idea of noir, is literary convention, in my opinion. The
> downer ending. The death, the tragedy, the sense of gothic gloom, and
> above all, the sense of inescapable inevitability to it all. We are
> NOT in control. Bad stuff happens. That, to me, is the essence of noir
> writing and film noir.
> Your own definition may vary, but the fact is, you can apply that
> style-sheet to just about anything. Even comics. Even super heroes.
> That no one does this regularly doesn't mean that it can't be done, or
> hasn't been tried (Watchmen almost succeeds in this respect). Sin City
> may be third rate Spillane, but it manages to skirt the edge a few
> times. There's lots of examples of genre-bending, particularly in the
> last 30 years.
> Okay, I'm done. Sorry for the blurt-in, here, but the above just
> needed to be said.
> Mark Finn
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