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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marv introduces you to the comic noir of Miller's "Sin City"
In a note in the back of "The Hard Goodbye," Frank Miller explains that this one got away from him. What was supposed to be a 48-page crime thriller turned into a 200-page graphic novel, all because Marv, the story's brutal misanthropic protagonist, started bossing Miller around. If you have seen "Sin City" the movie where Mickey Rourke steals the film as Marv, then you...
Published on 2 May 2005 by Lawrance M. Bernabo

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I miss something?
This book won awards? Did I miss something? Sure, the black and white art is incredible. And there is a central mystery that is intriguing. But where is the subtlety in the storyline? It's one bloody fight scene after another. Frank Miller has come a long way from his days of the Dark Knight, Daredevil, and Ronin, and it hasn't always been an improvement. Where is...
Published on 19 Jan 1997


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marv introduces you to the comic noir of Miller's "Sin City", 2 May 2005
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sin City: Hard Goodbye (Paperback)
In a note in the back of "The Hard Goodbye," Frank Miller explains that this one got away from him. What was supposed to be a 48-page crime thriller turned into a 200-page graphic novel, all because Marv, the story's brutal misanthropic protagonist, started bossing Miller around. If you have seen "Sin City" the movie where Mickey Rourke steals the film as Marv, then you can understand Miller's explanation. You will understand it even more when you read the graphic novel, the first volume in the Miller's comic noir saga.
For me Frank Miller began the road that ends in "Sin City" with "Daredevil" #164, which retold the hero's origin. There is a series of panels in which Daredevil is chasing down the Fixer, the man who arranged the fight that Battling Murdock refused to throw. In each frame Daredevil gets closer to his quarry and cutting across the panels is a line representing the Fixer's heart beat, which goes from blind panic to full cardiac arrest before flatlining. It was at that point that I knew Miller was starting to think of what he could do with art in a comic book. After his work on "Daredevil" there was "Ronin" and "The Dark Knight Returns," and eventually Miller gets to Marv.
There is no doubt that Marv is the walking path of destruction that dominates this narrative. He is extremely violent, deeply disturbed, and whatever medication he is taking is just not doing the job. Still, he is a sympathetic figure because pretty much everybody he is maiming and killing are the real scum of the earth and he is on a mission to avenge the death of Goldie, the beautiful blonde who gave him a toss in the hay. He falls asleep in bed with her, having one of those moments of true happiness that never bodes well, and wakes up with her dead and the cops on their way. Marv is being set up, but that is incidental in his mind to the fact somebody killed Goldie, so somebody has to pay along with everybody else who stands in his way. The grand irony here is Marv and his interior monologues are the voice of sanity by the time he finds the killer.
The characters and the dialogue are easy to characterize as Mickey Spillane types on steroids. Then there is Miller's artwork as he explores what can done with just black and white on a page. The result is wildly experimental and sometimes you can a sense of how rough Miller's ideas are by the time he finishes a page. The first page of the story is more black than white, with Goldie's lips, the outline of her hair, the white skin exposed by the strapless gown and gloves etched out in seductive folds sets the tone for the artwork. The second page is the opposite with more white than black and offers a more conventional view of Marv and Goldie, and already you like the first page better. The third page offers a synthesis of the first two and it is like Miller is laying out the new ground rules. There are figures reduced to silhouettes except for hair or teeth (or bandages), and others reduced to white images against a field of black. Then we get to Marv standing in the rain in Chapter 8 and looking at the statue of Cardinal Roarke, at which point Miller is trying something completely different from the rest of the book.
I have no doubt that if Miller was to do "The Hard Goodbye" today that there would be significant changes in the artwork that would provide a refinement of the raw energy displayed here. There are times when the justification for the artwork seems to clearly be that it is different from the pages Miller has just drawn as opposed to be the best way of illustrating that part of the narrative. But this is the first story in an ongoing series, so allowances can be made if Miller really did decide to do a page a certainly way for no other reason than he had not done one that way yet. After all, it is not like he was coming up with 200 different pages of artwork and by the time you get to Chapter 8, which I think is artistically far and away the best of the entire graphic novel, it is equally clear Miller knows exactly what he is doing and all of the pieces are falling into place. The joy of watching the art evolve in this story makes up for the rough patches.
These stories were originally published in issues #51-62 of the Dark Horse comic book series "Dark Horses Presents" and in the "Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special." This second edition has come out with the rest of the extant "Sin City" collection in term to be gobbled up by fans of the movie version and those who come from the theater to the graphic novel will probably be surprised how faithful Robert Rodriguez was to Frank Miller's story and vision. Then again, that was the whole point of doing the film the way it was done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING., 22 April 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Sin City (Paperback)
Get dark. Get bloody dark.

This tale of twisted love and satisfying vengeance breaks the mold of comic art and plot.

Sin City comes at you with pummeling force. In pure Film Noir tradtion, the characters are gritty and tough. The females aren't women but dames. The Scenes are rendered in pure black and white that adds to the clear distinction between good and evil set by the story.

You wont find subleties here. The plot is straightforward, just like the dialogue. The action is quick and inventive. The violence gruesome (barbed wire laced with razor-blades to begin with).

The true subtlety of this book is its very existence. Nothing is quite like it. No one will even dare. Except maybe Frank Miller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan-bloody-tastic!, 4 Jun 2000
This review is from: Sin City (Paperback)
I have just bought this and read it and I can honestly say, without doubt, that this is one of the greatest comic book series ever conceived.
It's a dark, down & dirty and often funny noir tale of revenge. We follow Marv, a near psychopathic mountain of a man who, after one night of passion, wakes up to discover that someone has killed the new and only love of his life, a woman by the name of Goldie. Marv immediately sets out to punish whoever committed the crime, with very bloody results.
Sin City really shows both how great an artist and storyteller Frank Miller is, mind you so does most of his work. Its humour comes as fast as the violence and you really feel for Marv throughout the story, no matter what he does. The art is simply gorgeous in parts and a joy to behold, while the plot has the odd slick and unexpected twist in the tale to surprise the reader. I will not, however, reveal any more, as I do not want to spoil it for you.
Buy this book now, if you want a top quality read, comic fan or not. This is truly amazing piece of work and is one work to be treasured by all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, disturbing, and completely spellbinding, 19 Dec 2005
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sin City: Hard Goodbye (Paperback)
Having fallen under the gritty, mesmerizing spell of the Sin City motion picture, I was very interested in exploring the original graphic novels from which the movie was drawn. The Hard Goodbye is by far the most impressive sequence in the movie, so it was a real treat to be able to sit down and go through the original story and artwork. This is especially the case since the film brings the story to life almost frame by frame. In a sense, if you've seen the movie, you've seen the graphic novel – yet there is more depth and atmosphere on these pages than any movie can reproduce.
Marv is just a fantastic character, a big, ugly lug of a guy who grew up hard and never experienced anything real in his interaction with his fellow human beings – not until the night he met Goldie, a beautiful woman who was kind to him and made him feel truly alive for the first time in his life. When Marv wakes up to find Goldie dead and the cops closing in on him in what is obviously a frame-up, he basically devotes his life to finding Goldie's killer and making him pay – long and hard. We watch as he beats up and kills his way to the truth, on a pathway that takes him to the highest echelons of Sin City society and power. Marv's a funny guy, in his own way, and you can't help but root him on with all your might.
This book, like every Sin City offering, is very dark and full of violence. Miller has a very distinctive artistic style that fits his subject and his film noir-ish genre perfectly – although I must admit that I sometimes have a hard time really seeing what I'm looking at in certain frames. A lot of people can write excellent stories, and quite a few can produce unique, stunning drawings, but it's rare indeed to find a man who has mastered both arts and combined them in such a magical way. The book is filled with stereotypical characters who defy their stereotypes, unabashedly bold, striking black and white artwork, and a dark, noir-ish atmosphere that completely draws you in not only to the story but also to the city itself. Sin City is about much more than "booze, broads and guns," and The Hard Goodbye is a remarkable achievement in an underappreciated genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thats one damn fine coat your wearing, 16 Jun 2005
This review is from: Sin City: Hard Goodbye (Paperback)
The first of the sin city novels and possibly the most entertaining due mostly to Marv the main character. what a quality bloke, hard as they come but still seems like he could be your mate. he likes nice coats and 50's cars. the story is simple revenge but the its anything other than predictable. the art is amazing, really strong contrast and hard lines which really sets the tone of the novel. great humour and damn scary characters. Kevin is wrong. Miller has one hell of a twisted mind. its great. buy this book. then buy all the other sin city novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Miller proves that his best work is yet to come., 22 Aug 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Sin City (Paperback)
Frank Miller, the man who masterminded The Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, and Elektra, once again shocks audiences with Sin City.
Marv, a guy who couldn't afford a hooker with all the money in the world because he's so ugly, gets one amazing night with his dream girl. When he wakes up the next day to find her dead, Marv vows to get back in a big way on the people that did in the only person who was ever nice to him.
The artwork is phenomenal, and it creates a perfect atmosphere for the setting Miller creates. Marv is as close to real as a fictitious character can get. With excellent narrative, Miller combines great art and a great story together and creates some of his best work yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the only comics I still read, 31 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Sin City (Paperback)
I could never understand what the rave about Frank Miller's work was until I read Sin City. I read the entire book in one sitting, and reread it again and again the the same fashion. Miller has placed well used crime story formulas in comic books and made them fun again. It is great to look on the shelf and see someone who looks like someone I know, and not just another Superman clone dressed in cheap spandex and corporate marketing. He has given me inspriation to try new things in my own comic book Metro City's Finest. Thanks Frank!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't know about you, but I'm having a ball!", 22 Sep 2005
By 
James Kilgour "JimboOfTheShire" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sin City: Hard Goodbye (Paperback)
being totally honest here, this the only Sin City graphic novel I've read. I would'nt have read it, had I no seen the film, and the only reason I watched the film was because I like R.Rodriguez and Q. Tarantino. And boy, I'm glad I watched it!
Basically, if you've seen the film, you've already pretty much read the book (and vice versa), but don't think it's a waste of time viewing both - I advise both, to truly experience SIN CITY
Anyway, about "The Hard Goodbye". You're probably familiar with the basic story, but in a nut shell, its about a criminal Marv, who at the beginning of the book, is having a real good time with Goldie, a Goddess as he describes her. Anyway, after their 'ahem' good time, Marv wakes up to find her dead. This sets up the rest of the story, with Marv working his way through the scum of Sin City, trying to find the main guy responsible for Goldie'' murder. And if you think The Bride's (Kill Bill) rampage of revenge was violent, you ain't seen nothing yet! Marv makes one hell of an impression of everyone who gets in his way!
As well as the violence, "The Hard Goodbye" has quite witty dialogue, and some truly memorable lines ("Worth dying for. Worth killing for. Worth going to hell for. Amen")
The art, while black and white, and soaked in blood, is strangely beautiful (Something they translated very well into the film)
If you're a fan of graphic novels and crime, and don't mind a spot or two of blood, I' check these books and the film out asap, coz they're worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour guide of hell, 12 May 2012
By 
Jack Heslop - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sin City: Hard Goodbye (Paperback)
The Hard Goodbye is an elegant and harrowing crime novel with overtones of horror. Some panels are graphic and disturbing, but the worst violence is only hinted at, which is good because otherwise I might have found this book unreadable. I liked the fatalistic tone Frank Miller establishes throughout. The hero seems doomed from the beginning. Even if he escapes the adventure unharmed, to what does he return? A city still rotten from selfishness and greed.
Marv is a wonderful, mysterious character. His personality is a composite of various noir heroes', from Philip Marlowe to Mike Hammer. His flamboyant appearance echoes Ben Grimm, The Thing, from Fantastic Four. He towers over most characters and shows a lot of scars.
The story works because it doesn't go on any tangents. Marv sleeps with a beautiful woman who by morning is dead, murdered while he was passed out. He then goes looking for her killer. In a sort of author's note Miller explains that The Hard Goodbye was supposed to be forty-eight pages at first. I suspect the simplicity of his original vision lent to what became a crisp and focused novel.
Marv's discoveries are surprising and horrific, as the story leads to its natural conclusion. The ending is a million miles from happy, yet it feels weirdly cathartic.
The panels are black-and-white and like the writing there's no waste. Miller draws only what we need to see, not spending much time on extraneous details.
The Hard Goodbye isn't light comic book reading. It's dark, gritty, downbeat and gruesome. In Miller's notorious All-Star Batman and Robin comics those elements felt unnecessary, but here they're integral. Sin City is an original place, a haunted urban nightmare that'll eat you alive if you don't watch your step.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic start to a classic series....a must have!, 24 April 2008
This review is from: Sin City Volume 1: The Hard Goodbye (3rd Edition): Hard Goodbye Bk. 1 (Sin City (Dark Horse)) (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite graphic novels. Utterly fantastic and visually stunning. Even if you are not a reader of graphic novels, any traditional crime fan would be pulled into Frank Millers world of hard cases, hitmen, dames and hookers. The men are big and burly, the women are so hot and curvy, and its all conveyed perfectly in harsh black and white artwork. Its like traditional film noir on the page.

This is the first in the series of Sin city, and the protagonist is the incredible Marv, hulking street fighter and tough guy with a "condition." He can't believe his luck when he meets a beautiful woman called Goldie...But it's not to last, and she ends up murdered. Then Marv is hot on the trail of her killers, and blood splattered vengeance will be his!! Kevin is truly one of the creepiest baddies I've seen, and Marv makes sure he gets what he deserves. Some of the characters are just amazing and recur throughout the Sin City series, like Gail, the fiery hooker, and Nancy, the angelic strip club dancer. This is a great crime story, as well a thrilling personal drama. I found it kind of romantic too, in a tragic way.

A welcome change from traditional superhero comics. Frank Miller is a genius! Read the rest of series now, and have a look at the art book! A great adult read indeed!
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