Sin City

Dark Horse Presents 62 (May 1992)

35873.jpg
Maybe what Miller needs for Sin City is a full issue.

This issue, dedicated to Marv finishing up all the villains–I wonder if Miller intentionally gave his psychotic cannibal a harmless name like Kevin or if there’s some backstory to it–and getting executed, is nearly reasonable.

The opening is a disaster, with lots of the Miller narration, but there’s actual humor in the issue, like when Marv crawls into bed with the girl. Miller has some extra lazy moments with art here, though no more than usual.

The issue works because of Marv’s likability. It’s all contrived and really stupid, but he’s genuinely likable. Not too sure it’s believable he’s a virgin until this point.

The conclusion also requires Marv to be unreasonably stupid (to leave his mom in danger, unbelievable)….

But it’s not as bad as I would’ve assumed a full issue of Sin City to be.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Thirteen; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 61 (April 1992)

35872.jpg
Sin City has gotten useless to the point I’m not even sure I should talk about it. It’s sort of interesting in regards to Miller’s terrible plotting. One might think he’d adapt Chandler or even Hammett, just amping it up, but he doesn’t. He figures out his own “hard boiled” structure and it’s awful. I guess he draws a little bit more this entry than usual. Not much though.

It’s the longest Earth Boys story so far and the extra pages don’t help the writing. But Story’s back inking Johnson, so it definitely looks a lot better.

The Creep is a continued delight. Eaglesham gets in some more street scenes, which look great, and Arcudi has a few surprise developments. It’s just a fantastic series.

Not fantastic is O’Barr’s Frame. He seems to think making his subject as horrendously awful means I should read it. Actual writing doesn’t matter. Boo.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Twelve; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Earth Boys, Homeward Bound; story by Cliff Biggers and Brett Brooks; pencils by Dave Johnson; inks by Karl Story; lettering by Mike Heisler. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Frame 137; story, art and lettering by James O’Barr. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 60 (March 1992)

35871.jpg
Oh, lucky me, Sin City isn’t over yet. Instead, Miller spends most of his pages with one image, a lot of white space and even more terrible narration. I think I hate this entry the most. Not sure if it’s because I’m subjected to more of Miller’s writing or if it’s because I thought I was actually done with Sin City for now.

Geary has two different strips this issue. One’s two pages, the other is one. Neither is particularly good, but the second one is pretty bad, actually. Nice art, weak sentimental nonsense.

The Creep starts its second story arc and Eaglesham is even better than he was on the first. It’s nice to see Arcudi able to write something well, considering he’s always got a decent plotting sensibility.

Earth Boys closes the issue. Johnson’s art (probably the Story inks) is better. Maybe Biggers and Brooks’s writing is too.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Eleven; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Murder Tour, Beautiful Homes; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Earth Boys, Invasion of Privacy; story by Cliff Biggers and Brett Brooks; pencils by Dave Johnson; inks by Karl Story; lettering by Mike Heisler. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 59 (February 1992)

35870.jpg
Wow, I really don’t know what’s the best thing in the issue.

Geary’s one page entry is a failure. It’s his solid art, but the writing doesn’t work here. It’s just too much forced sentiment.

Alien Fire seemingly comes to an end this issue–some very nice space frog art from Vincent–but Smith’s writing is just addlebrained. I can’t believe more attention would make it make any sense… I also can’t imagine giving it any more attention. It’s been one of the biggest wastes of time in Dark Horse Presents in a while.

I think Sin City‘s first arc ends here. It’s twenty-one mostly lazy pages from Miller, who apparently discovered back in the nineties all one needs to do is use full page action spreads to pad out the page count. There’s one or two slightly amusing lines, but it’s really just idiotic.

It’s a lousy issue.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Ten; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Alien Fire, Pass in Thunder, Part Three; story by Anthony Smith; art and lettering by Eric Vincent. In the Baggage Coach Ahead; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 58 (January 1992)

35869.jpg
Well, the first installment of Alien Fire might have been good but this one is not. It’s apparently some sci-fi thing about a car and Native Americans and homophobes. Or something along those lines. It’s got a lot of quirky details, which Vincent draws well enough, but it’s useless.

The Creep finishes (hopefully not for good). Arcudi has a nice close, but the real sell in this installment is Eaglesham. He does this lengthy dialogue-free sequence and it’s beautiful. A very pleasant surprise.

Duffy’s Fancies continues. It’s cute (I think Fancies is a play on fantasy), though I’m wondering what I’m supposed to be reading into all Chacon’s boys wanting to be beautiful.

Sin City closes the issue. I guess it might have Miller’s best design work (the decapitated heads on the wall) of the series, but it’s still pretty lame. Lots and lots of bad narration here.

CREDITS

Alien Fire, Pass in Thunder, Part Two; story by Anthony Smith; art and lettering by Eric Vincent. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Fancies 2, Mikiö O; story by Jo Duffy; art by Joven Chacon; lettering by Gaspar Saladino. Sin City, Episode Nine; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 57 (December 1991)

35868.jpg
Not much to recommend Next Men this time. Byrne handles his violent action sequence well, but he’s also selling a U.S. senator killing a federal agent. Who knows, maybe it’s all a Tea Party thing. Regardless, no longer interested in the series.

The Creep is, again, excellent. I can’t believe Arcudi’s writing it. And Eaglesham’s artwork is great. He’s doing this unfinished finished look, hard to explain.

Geary does one page. It’s fine. His longer work’s better.

Alien Fire is this excellent sixties piece about a Vietnam vet. It’s very quiet, lovely writing from Smith. Vincent’s artwork is good, with some caveats.

Campbell’s Alec story–about traveling the globe for a couple comic conventions–is astounding. It’s the best thing in Dark Horse Presents to date. He puts autobiography into this narrative device (numbered stills) but also scrapbook-like design work.

Sin City is awful. I hope Marv dies soon.

CREDITS

The Next Men, Nativity; story, art and lettering by John Byrne. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Grampa Speaks; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Alien Fire, Pass in Thunder, Part One; story by Anthony Smith; art and lettering by Eric Vincent. Alec, Around the World in Eighty Frames; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Sin City, Episode Eight; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 56 (November 1991)

35867.jpg
This oversized issue opens and closes with an Aliens two-parter. Loose art from Guinan and Akins doesn’t help Arcudi’s script. It’s absolutely incomprehensible if you don’t read the Aliens series.

Byrne finally produces a Next Men I’m not interested in. It’s two government guys revealing all. The art’s really, really mediocre. It’s like even Byrne doesn’t have any interest in this part of the story, which really makes one wonder why he’s bothering tell it.

Duffy and Geary both have nice stories. Duffy (with Chacon art) has an amusing fantasy story, Fancies about a tavern fight, while Geary does the history of Eldgytha. She was British royalty who had a lot of husbands. It’s fantastically concise and engaging work from Geary.

Sin City is crap, but not as mean-spirited as Earth Boys.

Arcudi and Eaglesham’s The Creep is good. It’s maybe the best thing I’ve read from Arcudi.

CREDITS

Aliens, The Alien; story by John Arcudi; pencils by Tony Akins; layouts and inks by Paul Guinan; lettering by Willie Schubert. The Next Men, Prelude; story, art and lettering by John Byrne. Fancies; story by Jo Duffy; art by Joven Chacon; lettering by Gaspar Saladino. The True Chronicle of Eldgytha; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Sin City, Episode Seven; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Earth Boys, The Trouble with Kiib’Bllz; story by Cliff Biggers and Brett Brooks; art by Dave Johnson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 55 (October 1991)

35866.jpg
Sin City is really bad this time. The amount of white space suggests Miller didn’t spend a lot of time drawing it. It also doesn’t seem like he spent much time writing it. Even with his terrible narration, this installment is a new low. Though I guess some of it does sound a lot like the Spirit movie narration, which doesn’t seem appropriate.

Johnson’s art is a little better on this installment of Earth Boys. He clearly worked at it more. But the story itself is still terribly written (by Biggers and Brooks).

Byrne continues his Next Men with a decent entry. It’s better than I expect from Byrne, but not as good as the first part. Especially not since he starts using a new character here with no introduction.

And Arcudi’s back to the crap with Homicide, Morrow or no Morrow. Decent last page reveal, but absolutely terrible dialogue.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Six; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Earth Boys, The Big Schlep; story by Cliff Biggers and Brett Brooks; art by Dave Johnson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. The Next Men, Interlude II; story, art and lettering by John Byrne. Homicide, The Long Rode to Truth; story by John Arcudi; art by Gray Morrow; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

dhp54.jpg
The big surprise this issue is Byrne’s Next Men. It’s actually pretty solid (though I think it features all four Byrne faces). The art’s great–nice flow of action–and the story’s intriguing. I think it’s the strongest narrative structure I’ve ever read from Byrne (though it might just be because it’s a prologue).

Geary’s got a few Transgression Hotline strips. They’re solid, amusing and unremarkable. Geary’s a professional though and they’re well-produced.

The Homicide closer from Morrow and Arcudi is fabulous. Morrow transforms the strip from Arcudi’s regular bore to something out of a film noir. During this installment, Arcudi even manages to insert something subtle, which I didn’t realize he was capable of doing.

Finally, Sin City. Miller uses almost this entire installment to promote violence, torture and cruelty. Wait, can you torture without cruelty? Anyway, he throws in some terrible dialogue and narration as a bonus.

CREDITS

Homicide, The Creep, Part Two; story by John Arcudi; art and lettering by Gray Morrow. The Next Men, Interlude; story, art and lettering by John Byrne. Transgression Hotline; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Sin City, Episode Five; story, art and lettering by Frank Miller. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 53 (August 1991)

skitched-20101218-085358.jpg
It turns out all I need to like Homicide is a good artist. I think Arcudi fashioned the story to fit Morrow’s sensibilities, but it’s easily the best dialogue Arcudi’s written on the series. Morrow really shows how important an artist is in making a mediocre (at best) script work.

Geary’s got a single page again. It’s a little more profound than usual and not entirely successful.

Paley’s got a crazy cat strip and it’s simply lovely. She breaks the comic strips panels and lets loose this swash of ink. Even with Morrow in the issue, it’s the best art, just because she’s doing so much on each page. It’s a great comic.

Not great (or good) is the Biggers, Brooks and Johnson entry, Earth Boys. It’s two wasted pages.

As for Sin City? The only thing worse than a regular Sin City entry is one where Miller does filler.

CREDITS

Sin City, Episode Four; story and art by Frank Miller. Secret Places of My Shameful Past; story and art by Rick Geary. Kute Kitty Kartoon; story and art by Nina Paley. Earth Boys, Wheel to Power; story by Cliff Biggers, Brett Brooks and Dave Johnson; art by Johnson. Homicide, The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art and lettering by Gray Morrow. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Scroll to Top