Booklog: That Yellow Bastard

June 6, 2007

That Yellow Bastard
Frank Miller
Read: 6.6.07
Rating: Good

I have a head cold. I am in no mood to read scholarly essays on The Recognitions or learn about some fascinating culture’s fascinating beliefs by reading The Golden Bough. So when I went to the library earlier and saw volume 4 of Frank Miller’s Sin City series, I decided it would be a lovely way to spend an hour or so this evening. And so it was.

I own the first three volumes of the Sin City collection, so I’m a fan. I loved the movie, and I love Frank Miller (cf. 300, The Dark Knight Returns, etc.) The high-contrast black and white (mostly black) style he uses in Sin City is unlike anything else, and it’s a joy to behold. Miller’s storytelling is suitable, although not wildly imaginative, and his dialog has a rough, simplistic charm. But what makes the Sin City series truly great is its sequence and pacing.

I tend to read graphic novels and comics too quickly, pressing on with the plot instead of pausing to enjoy the art. The Sin City comics prevent this in too wildly dissimilar ways. In some cases, Miller will force me to slow down by packing a page with detail, so that a moment is needed to determine exactly what is happening before moving onto the next page. Even more impressive are the breathtaking two-page spreads that slam the narrative to a halt with their arresting beauty. When the execution is right, comics can depict the passage of time, even speeding it up or suspending it for dramatic effect, in a way that prose simply cannot match. Frank Miller has been doing this for a long time, and has reached heights few other artists can ever hope to match. I’m glad there are still three more volumes of Sin City for me to read.


One comment

  1. I am used to the word bastard, so when i look to to the pictures they are so funny.

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