Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events by Brent Spiner

Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events by Brent Spiner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley for a free e-arc of this book.

Despite the legitimately scary subject matter of violent stalking, this was enormous fun to read. Brent Spiner’s sense of humor and wryly comedic voice shine through. His all-in-good-fun skewing and skewering of his Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates added another flavor to a blend already including noir, old Hollywood bedroom comedy, and absurdism. On the whole, this is more Who Framed Roger Rabbit than Raymond Chandler, so if you’re coming for some straight dark noir with the “inspired by true events” memoir shading, you’ve got another thing coming. But if you like a good mash up and want some deftly-written Real Person Fic, this is the book for you.

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The Complete Pistolwhip by Matt Kindt and Jason Hall

The Complete Pistolwhip by Matt Kindt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I love about Matt Kindt’s work, that also appeared in Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crime, is the connections between characters and story threads. These connections are not always deep, and in some cases tangential, but his exploration of the way people in cities are (often unwittingly) connected, lives colliding in strange and small ways, is a wonderfully subtle subversion of the isolation and loneliness that are hallmarks of the noir genre. Mitch Pistolwhip has a small circle of friends and acquaintances, although none of the characters are truly intimate with each other, and hold each other at arm’s length. And yet, they are connected, they seek each other out. Kindt’s art style is so good at expressing the loneliness and sadness these characters feel, and even though they do not end up in positive, hopeful places, they all get answers and closure to their tragedies.

Another intriguing aspect is the backwards storytelling in the first set of Pistolwhip comics/episodes. I really liked the way the narrative unfolded in reverse, each segment walking me back through the timeline to set up the otherwise inexplicable climax at the start.

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