Graphic Novel/Comics Review


Sin City

(2005) Frank Miller, Titan Books, 12.99, trd pbk, 208pp, ISBN 1-84576-045-X

The film of Sin City is a perfect example of how to bring comics to the big screen. The comics themselves are pretty much the storyboard for the entire production, which is practically frame for frame, line for line. Naturally Dark Horse Comics would use this as an excuse to re-issue all the volumes of the comic. The film is largely based on volumes 1, 3 and 4, though there are seven over all: 1) Sin City, newly sub-titled The Hard Goodbye; 2) A Dame to Kill For (ISBN 1-84576-046-8); 3) The Big Fat Kill (ISBN 1-84576-047-6); 4) That Yellow Bastard (ISBN 1-84576-048-4); 5) Family Values (ISBN 1-84576-049-2); 6) Broads and Bullets (ISBN 1-84576-050-6); and 7) Hell and Back (ISBN 1-84576-051-4). The books have been re-formatted to a more manga/digest-sized volume rather than the normal comic/tpb size - annoying for people who like neat shelves but, hey, get a life. Other than that most of the 'extras' (sketches, promos and suchlike) are the same as in the former editions which, on the whole, I think have better covers and production values. I have to say that these new editions, especially at 12.99 each, appear a bit flimsy to my mind - I expect the spines to fall apart any minute. For those who really can't get enough of Sin City there is also The Art of Sin City (ISBN 1-84023-337-0) at a whopping 29.99, but I can't imagine that what's in it could possibly justify the price. Obviously the success of the film is driving all this, but it all feels a bit grubby. Sadly I can't say with any surety that the old editions of the graphic novels are any cheaper, and I wouldn't mind betting that most comics retailers have withdrawn them in favour of the new editions (whose spines build up to an iconic Sin City image, making it hard to mix and match the editions), but I'd think it would be worth keeping an eye out just in case (for comparison, my 1997 edition of Family Values was only 6.99 compared to the new edition's 12.99 tag. I know we have inflation over time here, but is a near-doubling of the price really justified...?). Anyway, the books are lovely and, if you're just discovering them through the movie or you've always fancied giving them a go, they're well worth having. Recommended, apart from the price.

Tony Chester


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