Sin City is a place, though that isn’t it’s true name. That’s Basin City, but everyone just calls it Sin City. It fits.
Sin City is the setting for a series of graphic novels by Frank Miller that do much to evoke the hard boiled Noir style of Raymond Chandler with the volume turned up to 12. They were made into a movie a few years ago and that did a passable job of capturing the style of the setting. I prefer the graphic novels themselves though; they’re a pure work of art and much more focused on the inner dialogs of the characters than the violence endemic to the genre.
For a while I’ve no brain and no body and that’s fine by me.
The artwork in Sin City is wonderful. It is stark, high-contrast black-and-white with few shades of grey, just like the city itself. It’s what you don’t see that makes Sin City to effective though. There’s shadows and unsaid words and whole scenes where it’s almost impossible to follow the action, like a strobe light directly into your brain.
Sin City is a place where the bad guys do truly terrible things, and the good guys (what few there are) strictly follow their own code of ethics. Marv (my favourite character in the series) is a great example. He’s every bit as harsh as the place he calls home, but lives his life by his own rules, and they’re the rules of a bygone era. He’s Chandler’s Marlowe wih bigger shoulders.
Sin City isn’t for everyone. It’s dark, nasty and brutal, but that makes what honour and goodness there are in the tales all the stronger. I love it.