Re: RARA-AVIS: Super Heroes, Comics, and Noir

From: Steve Novak (Cinefrog@comcast.net)
Date: 24 Jul 2008

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    I just tried to juxtapose two sentences together and didn╣t get anywhere..??/Hopefully one of you will be able to shed some light into this dak abyss...

    Sentence 1: │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 intellectuallyretarded things I've read in a long time.╣ Sentence 2: │Noir, or the idea of noir, is literary convention, in my opinion. │

    Montois puzzled and drinkin╣...

    On 7/24/08 12:13 PM, "Mark Finn" <markfinn@texas.net> 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 and 20 years out of date definition of "what comics are" in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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