I love libraries, and the things you can discover while roaming the shelves. While helping the kids find Peanuts cartoon books, I stumbled across this little number in the cartoons/ comics section:
Drawing Crime Noir for Comics and Graphic Novels by Christoper Hart.
What a fun book! Let's face it, I'm never going to have the time to draw a graphic novel, although I do the odd sketch, but I had a great time reading through this, admiring the art and enjoying the entertaining text.
The introduction describes the Crime Noir comic book style as... 'This genre focuses on the slick, rainswept streets of the city, shadowy figures, heartless women, men without conscience, reluctant heroes, and boulevards of fear. It's the desperation of ordinary men, and the loneliness of the action hero.'
It's all about the mood, atmosphere and style. So I loved that the captions comparing traditional and noir drawings describing noir men with a 'predatory' tilt to the head, or women with 'kiss me before you die' lips.
You don't mess with a noir woman, as the chapter headed 'Goodbye, Johnny Boy' states. 'Breaking up is hard to do. A bullet is one way to end things. It's messy, but at least it prevents all that 'it's not you, it's me' crap. Plus, now she can get into his computer files and steal the password to his Swiss bank account. And that's a nice salve for a broken heart.'