Noir meets reality

The Long Halloween – Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale (Laurie Dix)

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The Long Halloween is one of the more famous Batman graphic novels.

The artwork is wonderful, and at certain moments it has ‘Flashback’ or ‘Aside’ segments, in which, occasionally, almost all colour is drained from the scene (as can be seen above and below).

At these moments, the lighting takes a turn for the darker, and the colour is kept to a minimum, using only red to highlight a body. I really like this effect, using one colour to highlight something and to only be used, in these instances, to wash over a corpse to either act as or to represent the blood.These two sections which I have offered up here are a wonderful example of the kind of style that I would like in the darker sections of my comics, using shadows to great effect and keeping the mood dark.

It is also worth noting that in both these sections, the panels run a simple two by three followed by a full page spread. This helps to tell the story clearly and concisely, but also highlights the importance of the murder. There are also no words, which allows the story to be told entirely through illustration. It is highly effective, in my opinion, and worth bearing in mind that, when writing for comics, you have the addition of an illustrator, and a lot can be said through pictures rather than just through prose or dialogue. This, compared to Alan Moore’s extremely wordy ‘Watchmen’  is an interesting comparison and one worth noting. Image

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