Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sam Noir

Sam Noir is a comic book miniseries written by Eric A. Anderson/Manny Trembley and illustrated by Manny Trembley, first published in September 2006. Rendered in grayscale, the comic is a fusion of hardboiled noir fiction and a samurai adventure tale. While originally a three-issue miniseries, the comic's popularity and critical acclaim caused it to continue, with another 3-issue "Ronin holiday" mini-series getting published by Image's Shadowline imprint.
Thats all Wiki really has on it. So let me take a step from the normal and talk a little bit about this character/comic.
This a fun read. Imagine Kuwabatake Sanjuro from Yojimbo, mixed with Sam Spade from the Maltese Falcon. Its one part detective story, one part samurai story, and maybe two parts revenge story.
Quick recap one the first three issue story. (I'm going by memory here and its been several months since I read it. Which reminds me I should dig it out and reread it.) Sam Noir is a gumshoe in the city. Hes been hired to follow around a woman named Jasmine. During this time he falls in love with her from a distance. Then one day she appears in his office wanting to hire him. Before she can she is killed by ninjas. They flee downstairs. Sam Noir jumps out a third story window to ambush them as they leave the building. He kills them. But not before discovering who hired them. A man named Fuyu. Fuyu is formerly a business man. That left the city many years ago. He now is head of a village. Well Sam's pissed and goes after him. To get to him he has to face one at a time his three body guards. A swordsman, a sneaky fighter, and a man mountain. He dispatches them one by one. Once he finally gets to Fuyu he finds out that he was tricked. Fuyus former business partner is the one that set all this up. So Sam returns to the city to deal with this person. He walks into the office building and the carnage begins. He literally cuts through a swath of guys to kill the former partner.
The second three issue mini is called "Ronin Holiday". Sam is relaxing on a tropical beech. When he is attacked. He fights them off and is on the trail of the perpetrators. During which he hooks up with the island cop/pirate. They encounter some big trouble. In the form of an assassin with a training rhino. They fend her off. They track her deep into the island. When they are ambushed by a voodoo priest. Sam wakes to find himself buried alive in a coffin. He escapes this only to find his buddy the cop/pirate being mind controlled by the priest. Sam battles his friend. Snapping him out of his trace and killing the bad guys.
This description I give doesn't do either of the mini series justice. This is a fun must read. Its not Shakespeare. But it is definitely a noir, samurai mash up of the highest caliber.

1 comment:

Bungee said...

You Betcha this comic isn't Shakespeare. You can tell because it doesn't drag on for hours and hours with nothing but incest to keep the audience going! Oh no! Sam Noir is hardcore!