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on 12 May 2012
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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on 8 April 2012
It is not very often that I say this but, in the case of Sin City, I am glad I saw the film first. I think the film gave a depth and a soul to this graphic novel that it struggles with on its own. Saying that, it is a fantastic comic and took an imagination of the highest, and rather demented, calibre to realise the murky underworld of Sin City.

Marv is an awesome character in every sense of the word; memorable, unapologetically and ecstatically violent, and huge in stature and presence. A tank of a man; almost impervious to pain and bullets, inhuman and with only one thought on his mind: Goldie the whore who gave him the only night of love in his lonely murderous life. I love him.

The dialogue is typically comic book; Marv sounds like a rougher and dumber Rorschach; economical with language but what he does say is meaningful and necessary. It sounds like the 40's and makes you picture smoky bars and flapper girls. Except much, much filthier.

I love the character if Kevin but I think I do more because of the film than his depiction in the comic. I love the way that in the film his glasses never really showed his eyes and how his silence was really unnerving. It is hard to portray sinister silence in a comic or a novel but a film manages it perfectly. I like the idea that he eats people's souls and it brings him closer to God. There's a message there somewhere.

The one silly reason why I knocked a star off the rating was because, for me, the art was a little disappointing. I know it fits really well with the dark and brooding characters and the sinister, grubby underbelly of Sin City as it is all dark and disjointed but, at times, it is really hard to make out what it being depicted. I felt that because of that the flow was interrupted and I had to look hard. Also the noises that are portrayed get kind of annoying and don't really add anything and are used too often.

This is such an amazing comic. If you like your comics and graphic novels violent and dark then why wouldn't you read it!?
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on 24 April 2008
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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on 24 June 2015
I tried watching the first film a few years back but I was only a kid and became relatively bored with it, now I'm nearly 18 and appreciate a good movie more. So I tried again and I loved the first film then went straight out to buy the second and watched it that night. I really enjoyed both films even if the second wasn't so critically acclaimed.

After seeing them I done a little research into the graphic novels and Sin City, and decided to buy the first one and give it a try. It arrived soon after I placed the order and in very good condition. I have only read a couple of graphic novels before but am getting into them more recently, this has become my favourite! It follows the story of one character in Sin City, Marv! This enormous brute smashes through each page in a plot full of mind altering twists and turns. We are also introduced to several other characters who the sequels follow the lives of. This particular novel is based on Marvs story in the first film, the story of Nancy is actually the 3rd graphic novel but the original movie incorporates that in with this book. (The second film is based of the second graphic novel.)

I would recommend watching the film before reading this graphic novel to truly understand how well the two interlink and follow the complex storylines, however if you want the story to unravel in your hands order this immediately and the 2nd and 3rd, then watch the two films and then read the other graphic novel.

In conclusion, just hit the order button!!!!!
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on 31 May 1999
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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on 28 August 2010
The sin city series is one of my favourite series out of all the graphic novels i've read. But sin city the hard goodbye is one of the best graphic novels you'll ever read.

It follows a character called Marv who finds himself in a bed next to a dead girl who was murdered while Marv was knocked out. He doesn't know anything about her except her name is Goldie because of her golden hair, but it doesn't colour in her hair in the book. So Marv goes out for revenge and all the way through it he's trying to find out who killed her. It's one of the best books you'll read about revenge.

The art work is excellent and it's coloured in black and white which really is suited for the book. There's 200 pages in this book but most of the pages are just pictures which I think is an excellent way to see how good the artwork is. But if you love reading graphic novels like me then you should finish it in about 2 hours non stop, but try not to just focus on the dialogue, take a good look at the pictures as well because the pictures really do help you to understand what's happening

Overall my rating for this book is 9.8/10 because the story line, use of characters, artwork and dialogue is very nearly superb.
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on 26 August 2012
Ok, lets start by saying this is a very good book. No doubt about it. The writing is so artistic that its a blessing to read a single line! Oh, and the art work is pretty damn brilliant too. Although I would recommend you going straight to reading volume 2 If you have already watched the Sin City film as volume 1 is exactly the same as the film. Hope this helped!
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on 22 September 2005
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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on 22 April 1997
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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on 22 August 1997
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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