• Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection (Limited Edition Hardcover)



    Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection (Limited Edition Hardcover)
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics/Kitchen Sink
    Released on: August 25th, 2016.
    Written And lllustrated by: Frank Miller
    Purchase From Amazon

    Back when the Big Damn Sin City collection came out two years ago, The Hard Goodbye (and every other story in that book) was reviewed thoroughly by the mysterious Nolando. We’re going to recycle that review of the actual story here, and then get down to what makes this new Curator’s Collection Limited Edition hardcover unique and interesting.

    For those who haven’t read this storyline, be advised that spoilers abound.

    THE STORY:

    “The Hard Goodbye - The big, bad first story that started it all. You get the gargantuan psychotic Marv, for whom violence is just his first response. But he’s not without a sense of humor or a sense of honor/duty, in his own way. When he’s given the night of his life by the stunning Sin City-breed of hooker named Goldie, he knows he can’t believe his luck and that something else must be going on. But he enjoys the moment, which seems to be the way to survive nobly in that place.

    When he awakens next to her corpse he realizes the killer must be someone extra special, to be able to sneak in on him and do that to Goldie. And when Marv hears the cops already outside he knows this is all a setup. He brutally escapes and immediately sets about investigating this setup, “for Goldie.” This takes him to what will become a series of familiar places with recognizable characters in the Sin City world. He meets with his caseworker, the curvy Lucille, who gets him more of his meds and tries to talk him down. But once Marv’s blood is up, he knows this is big and for good this time. He next heads home, to where he shares a place with his sick mother, to retrieve Gladys, his .45 automatic. Then Marv heads to the club where Nancy is dancing and Shelley is slinging drinks. Here, he gets a toadie to spread the word that he’s out hunting for Goldie’s killer, trying to lure them out into the open.

    It doesn’t take long for the bad guys to respond as two of them corner Marv and make him leave the bar. Outside, the fight is over shortly as Marv takes one of them out with the wall and then takes his time with the other, getting both information and the hitman’s nice trench coat. As he leaves with his new coat and a new destination he’s tailed by a stunning blonde, one that bears a near-perfect resemblance to Goldie, swearing revenge on him…

    The next bit involves Marv chasing down any lead he can; the problem with his condition, though, makes this all in flashbacks featuring a series of violent, bloody interrogations that are still amusing as they’re so extreme. All this leads him to a church, in a confession booth with a priest. Marv has a lot to confess and he does, laying it out as more a way of exposition as to why he’s here, the path leading to this priest. The padre gives him the name of Roark and tells Marv to check out a farm north of town. He then asks Marv if a whore is worth all this effort. Marv responds in his own way, blowing a hole in the priest’s head and ending with an “Amen.”

    Marv’s inner dialog takes over then, explaining who the Roark family is and what they mean to Sin City. His target is not just a big fish - he’s THE big fish in town. And there’s no end of resources and obstacles in his way to get to him. Plus, he swears he sees Goldie when she tries to shoot him AND run him over. He shakes off the damage, takes his pills, and heads to that farm. After taking down a guard dog he tries to stake the place out; it’s only at the last second that he’s aware of someone coming for him. Marv is caught by surprise and he knows someone that quiet could’ve snuck in and killed Goldie. But this assassin proves too much for Marv and sends him to sleep with a sledgehammer.



    He comes to in a cell whose walls are lined with the heads of prostitutes. Lucille’s there, too, having also been grabbed. She also had to watch this killer eat her hand that he’d severed while she was unconscious. Marv catches her up to speed and she says she’d been doing her own investigation, discovering that Goldie was a very high-class call girl. And that her killer is a cannibal. As Marv works on the bars on the window he finds that the killer’s been watching them. A car pulls up and summons him, leaving Marv with a look at his face and his name, Kevin.

    After he departs, Marv can put his considerable bulk to work and, miraculously, smash open the barred door of their cell. He and Lucille make their way out, only to hear an approaching helicopter. Taking safety in the nearby woods, Marv readies Gladys to put up a fight. But Lucille knocks him out with a rock, not wanting him to get them killed. She approaches the heavily-armed police surrendering, giving them Gladys. But they have no interest in bringing in anyone that knows anything about what’s happened and they kill Lucille. Marv grabs a hatchet and goes to work, eliminating the squad down to Lucille’s killer who happens to also be wearing a nice trench coat…

    Pouring rain nearly obscures Marv as he tries, in his limited way, to process all that he now knows. The cop with the coat, before he died, confirmed Roark as being behind it all, leaving Marv to connect the dots: Namely, that Goldie knew something she shouldn’t, knew she was gonna die, and went out and found the biggest, nastiest goon she could for protection. He curses himself for failing her but, despite the overwhelming odds, promises her soul justice as he comes face to face with a statue to Cardinal Patrick Roark, the most powerful man in Sin City.

    Soon, though, he’s knocked out by that vision of Goldie and he awakens, surrounded by some of the Sin City women. He’s bound to a chair as Goldie pistol-whips him, trying to get answers out of him for Goldie’s murder and those other missing ladies. Marv is a bit confused as to why this one is called Wendy when she reveals she’s Goldie’s twin sister. He’s then able to get them up to speed with what’s happened, the frame job and who’s behind it all. He then gets up, showing he could’ve escaped at any time but didn’t want to as he might’ve had to hurt the gal with the gun. He takes a long, good look in the mirror, thinking about his life and where it’s lead him now and what he’s capable of.

    Marv and Wendy head out then, to get back to Kevin first. On the way, as she’s driving, Wendy details that the clergy were Goldie’s specialty. He’s still a bit confused by this living version of his angel, stating that her tenderness is the main reason behind his commitment to right her wrong. They crash out at Wendy’s place with Marv on the couch, still getting confused, slapped, and put back into his place by Wendy. The next day, they go shopping, Marv getting his checklist filled out for his plan to deal with Kevin in his own unique way.

    Explosions, razor wire, well-timed handcuffs, rubber tubing and a hacksaw later, with Kevin’s dog getting his fill of his owner’s guts, Marv’s finally “done” with Kevin, taking his head as a souvenir. He had to knock Wendy out when she wanted to just shoot Kevin so he drops her off at Nancy’s with a promise to get her safely out of town. One last stop, then, and that’s to Cardinal Roark’s place.

    Marv dispatches the security and is soon face to face with the man himself. Roark freaks when he sees Kevin’s head then explains what Kevin truly did and how it allowed them to converse with the divine. Once Marv’s had enough he takes his time killing Roark, giving the opportunity for more cops to show up and shoot him. But, even full of bullets, surgeons are able to save Marv so there can be the spectacle, the show of a confession, trial and execution.

    And on the night before his date in the chair, Marv gets one last, special visit, from Wendy who lets him think she’s Goldie, just one last time. After that, he’s in the chair, complaining how long their taking and, after the first jolt of electricity, if that’s the best they can do. But after the second jolt his grinning death’s head is all that’s left of the mighty gladiator of vengeance...The Hard Goodbye - The big, bad first story that started it all. You get the gargantuan psychotic Marv, for whom violence is just his first response. But he’s not without a sense of humor or a sense of honor/duty, in his own way. When he’s given the night of his life by the stunning Sin City-breed of hooker named Goldie, he knows he can’t believe his luck and that something else must be going on. But he enjoys the moment, which seems to be the way to survive nobly in that place.

    When he awakens next to her corpse he realizes the killer must be someone extra special, to be able to sneak in on him and do that to Goldie. And when Marv hears the cops already outside he knows this is all a setup. He brutally escapes and immediately sets about investigating this setup, “for Goldie.” This takes him to what will become a series of familiar places with recognizable characters in the Sin City world. He meets with his caseworker, the curvy Lucille, who gets him more of his meds and tries to talk him down. But once Marv’s blood is up, he knows this is big and for good this time. He next heads home, to where he shares a place with his sick mother, to retrieve Gladys, his .45 automatic. Then Marv heads to the club where Nancy is dancing and Shelley is slinging drinks. Here, he gets a toadie to spread the word that he’s out hunting for Goldie’s killer, trying to lure them out into the open.



    It doesn’t take long for the bad guys to respond as two of them corner Marv and make him leave the bar. Outside, the fight is over shortly as Marv takes one of them out with the wall and then takes his time with the other, getting both information and the hitman’s nice trench coat. As he leaves with his new coat and a new destination he’s tailed by a stunning blonde, one that bears a near-perfect resemblance to Goldie, swearing revenge on him…

    The next bit involves Marv chasing down any lead he can; the problem with his condition, though, makes this all in flashbacks featuring a series of violent, bloody interrogations that are still amusing as they’re so extreme. All this leads him to a church, in a confession booth with a priest. Marv has a lot to confess and he does, laying it out as more a way of exposition as to why he’s here, the path leading to this priest. The padre gives him the name of Roark and tells Marv to check out a farm north of town. He then asks Marv if a whore is worth all this effort. Marv responds in his own way, blowing a hole in the priest’s head and ending with an “Amen.”

    Marv’s inner dialog takes over then, explaining who the Roark family is and what they mean to Sin City. His target is not just a big fish - he’s THE big fish in town. And there’s no end of resources and obstacles in his way to get to him. Plus, he swears he sees Goldie when she tries to shoot him AND run him over. He shakes off the damage, takes his pills, and heads to that farm. After taking down a guard dog he tries to stake the place out; it’s only at the last second that he’s aware of someone coming for him. Marv is caught by surprise and he knows someone that quiet could’ve snuck in and killed Goldie. But this assassin proves too much for Marv and sends him to sleep with a sledgehammer.

    He comes to in a cell whose walls are lined with the heads of prostitutes. Lucille’s there, too, having also been grabbed. She also had to watch this killer eat her hand that he’d severed while she was unconscious. Marv catches her up to speed and she says she’d been doing her own investigation, discovering that Goldie was a very high-class call girl. And that her killer is a cannibal. As Marv works on the bars on the window he finds that the killer’s been watching them. A car pulls up and summons him, leaving Marv with a look at his face and his name, Kevin.

    After he departs, Marv can put his considerable bulk to work and, miraculously, smash open the barred door of their cell. He and Lucille make their way out, only to hear an approaching helicopter. Taking safety in the nearby woods, Marv readies Gladys to put up a fight. But Lucille knocks him out with a rock, not wanting him to get them killed. She approaches the heavily-armed police surrendering, giving them Gladys. But they have no interest in bringing in anyone that knows anything about what’s happened and they kill Lucille. Marv grabs a hatchet and goes to work, eliminating the squad down to Lucille’s killer who happens to also be wearing a nice trench coat…

    Pouring rain nearly obscures Marv as he tries, in his limited way, to process all that he now knows. The cop with the coat, before he died, confirmed Roark as being behind it all, leaving Marv to connect the dots: Namely, that Goldie knew something she shouldn’t, knew she was gonna die, and went out and found the biggest, nastiest goon she could for protection. He curses himself for failing her but, despite the overwhelming odds, promises her soul justice as he comes face to face with a statue to Cardinal Patrick Roark, the most powerful man in Sin City.

    Soon, though, he’s knocked out by that vision of Goldie and he awakens, surrounded by some of the Sin City women. He’s bound to a chair as Goldie pistol-whips him, trying to get answers out of him for Goldie’s murder and those other missing ladies. Marv is a bit confused as to why this one is called Wendy when she reveals she’s Goldie’s twin sister. He’s then able to get them up to speed with what’s happened, the frame job and who’s behind it all. He then gets up, showing he could’ve escaped at any time but didn’t want to as he might’ve had to hurt the gal with the gun. He takes a long, good look in the mirror, thinking about his life and where it’s lead him now and what he’s capable of.

    Marv and Wendy head out then, to get back to Kevin first. On the way, as she’s driving, Wendy details that the clergy were Goldie’s specialty. He’s still a bit confused by this living version of his angel, stating that her tenderness is the main reason behind his commitment to right her wrong. They crash out at Wendy’s place with Marv on the couch, still getting confused, slapped, and put back into his place by Wendy. The next day, they go shopping, Marv getting his checklist filled out for his plan to deal with Kevin in his own unique way.

    Explosions, razor wire, well-timed handcuffs, rubber tubing and a hacksaw later, with Kevin’s dog getting his fill of his owner’s guts, Marv’s finally “done” with Kevin, taking his head as a souvenir. He had to knock Wendy out when she wanted to just shoot Kevin so he drops her off at Nancy’s with a promise to get her safely out of town. One last stop, then, and that’s to Cardinal Roark’s place.

    Marv dispatches the security and is soon face to face with the man himself. Roark freaks when he sees Kevin’s head then explains what Kevin truly did and how it allowed them to converse with the divine. Once Marv’s had enough he takes his time killing Roark, giving the opportunity for more cops to show up and shoot him. But, even full of bullets, surgeons are able to save Marv so there can be the spectacle, the show of a confession, trial and execution.

    And on the night before his date in the chair, Marv gets one last, special visit, from Wendy who lets him think she’s Goldie, just one last time. After that, he’s in the chair, complaining how long their taking and, after the first jolt of electricity, if that’s the best they can do. But after the second jolt his grinning death’s head is all that’s left of the mighty gladiator of vengeance...The Hard Goodbye - The big, bad first story that started it all. You get the gargantuan psychotic Marv, for whom violence is just his first response. But he’s not without a sense of humor or a sense of honor/duty, in his own way. When he’s given the night of his life by the stunning Sin City-breed of hooker named Goldie, he knows he can’t believe his luck and that something else must be going on. But he enjoys the moment, which seems to be the way to survive nobly in that place.

    When he awakens next to her corpse he realizes the killer must be someone extra special, to be able to sneak in on him and do that to Goldie. And when Marv hears the cops already outside he knows this is all a setup. He brutally escapes and immediately sets about investigating this setup, “for Goldie.” This takes him to what will become a series of familiar places with recognizable characters in the Sin City world. He meets with his caseworker, the curvy Lucille, who gets him more of his meds and tries to talk him down. But once Marv’s blood is up, he knows this is big and for good this time. He next heads home, to where he shares a place with his sick mother, to retrieve Gladys, his .45 automatic. Then Marv heads to the club where Nancy is dancing and Shelley is slinging drinks. Here, he gets a toadie to spread the word that he’s out hunting for Goldie’s killer, trying to lure them out into the open.

    It doesn’t take long for the bad guys to respond as two of them corner Marv and make him leave the bar. Outside, the fight is over shortly as Marv takes one of them out with the wall and then takes his time with the other, getting both information and the hitman’s nice trench coat. As he leaves with his new coat and a new destination he’s tailed by a stunning blonde, one that bears a near-perfect resemblance to Goldie, swearing revenge on him…

    The next bit involves Marv chasing down any lead he can; the problem with his condition, though, makes this all in flashbacks featuring a series of violent, bloody interrogations that are still amusing as they’re so extreme. All this leads him to a church, in a confession booth with a priest. Marv has a lot to confess and he does, laying it out as more a way of exposition as to why he’s here, the path leading to this priest. The padre gives him the name of Roark and tells Marv to check out a farm north of town. He then asks Marv if a whore is worth all this effort. Marv responds in his own way, blowing a hole in the priest’s head and ending with an “Amen.”

    Marv’s inner dialog takes over then, explaining who the Roark family is and what they mean to Sin City. His target is not just a big fish - he’s THE big fish in town. And there’s no end of resources and obstacles in his way to get to him. Plus, he swears he sees Goldie when she tries to shoot him AND run him over. He shakes off the damage, takes his pills, and heads to that farm. After taking down a guard dog he tries to stake the place out; it’s only at the last second that he’s aware of someone coming for him. Marv is caught by surprise and he knows someone that quiet could’ve snuck in and killed Goldie. But this assassin proves too much for Marv and sends him to sleep with a sledgehammer.

    He comes to in a cell whose walls are lined with the heads of prostitutes. Lucille’s there, too, having also been grabbed. She also had to watch this killer eat her hand that he’d severed while she was unconscious. Marv catches her up to speed and she says she’d been doing her own investigation, discovering that Goldie was a very high-class call girl. And that her killer is a cannibal. As Marv works on the bars on the window he finds that the killer’s been watching them. A car pulls up and summons him, leaving Marv with a look at his face and his name, Kevin.

    After he departs, Marv can put his considerable bulk to work and, miraculously, smash open the barred door of their cell. He and Lucille make their way out, only to hear an approaching helicopter. Taking safety in the nearby woods, Marv readies Gladys to put up a fight. But Lucille knocks him out with a rock, not wanting him to get them killed. She approaches the heavily-armed police surrendering, giving them Gladys. But they have no interest in bringing in anyone that knows anything about what’s happened and they kill Lucille. Marv grabs a hatchet and goes to work, eliminating the squad down to Lucille’s killer who happens to also be wearing a nice trench coat…



    Pouring rain nearly obscures Marv as he tries, in his limited way, to process all that he now knows. The cop with the coat, before he died, confirmed Roark as being behind it all, leaving Marv to connect the dots: Namely, that Goldie knew something she shouldn’t, knew she was gonna die, and went out and found the biggest, nastiest goon she could for protection. He curses himself for failing her but, despite the overwhelming odds, promises her soul justice as he comes face to face with a statue to Cardinal Patrick Roark, the most powerful man in Sin City.

    Soon, though, he’s knocked out by that vision of Goldie and he awakens, surrounded by some of the Sin City women. He’s bound to a chair as Goldie pistol-whips him, trying to get answers out of him for Goldie’s murder and those other missing ladies. Marv is a bit confused as to why this one is called Wendy when she reveals she’s Goldie’s twin sister. He’s then able to get them up to speed with what’s happened, the frame job and who’s behind it all. He then gets up, showing he could’ve escaped at any time but didn’t want to as he might’ve had to hurt the gal with the gun. He takes a long, good look in the mirror, thinking about his life and where it’s lead him now and what he’s capable of.

    Marv and Wendy head out then, to get back to Kevin first. On the way, as she’s driving, Wendy details that the clergy were Goldie’s specialty. He’s still a bit confused by this living version of his angel, stating that her tenderness is the main reason behind his commitment to right her wrong. They crash out at Wendy’s place with Marv on the couch, still getting confused, slapped, and put back into his place by Wendy. The next day, they go shopping, Marv getting his checklist filled out for his plan to deal with Kevin in his own unique way.

    Explosions, razor wire, well-timed handcuffs, rubber tubing and a hacksaw later, with Kevin’s dog getting his fill of his owner’s guts, Marv’s finally “done” with Kevin, taking his head as a souvenir. He had to knock Wendy out when she wanted to just shoot Kevin so he drops her off at Nancy’s with a promise to get her safely out of town. One last stop, then, and that’s to Cardinal Roark’s place.

    Marv dispatches the security and is soon face to face with the man himself. Roark freaks when he sees Kevin’s head then explains what Kevin truly did and how it allowed them to converse with the divine. Once Marv’s had enough he takes his time killing Roark, giving the opportunity for more cops to show up and shoot him. But, even full of bullets, surgeons are able to save Marv so there can be the spectacle, the show of a confession, trial and execution.

    And on the night before his date in the chair, Marv gets one last, special visit, from Wendy who lets him think she’s Goldie, just one last time. After that, he’s in the chair, complaining how long their taking and, after the first jolt of electricity, if that’s the best they can do. But after the second jolt his grinning death’s head is all that’s left of the mighty gladiator of vengeance...”

    THE PRESENTATION:

    The Hard Goodbye has been reprinted more than a few times, but never like this. As per the press release, this edition “showcases the entire graphic novel scanned from the original artwork in Frank Miller’s archives and reproduced at full size.” As such, the artwork is bigger, and more ‘raw’ in the sense that you can see the blacks as they were originally laid down, not as they appear (as pure, corrected and inky deep blacks). It’s an interesting way to look at some very familiar pages. As the original pages were used here, we notice some yellowing and some dirt here and there, but it’s all part of the original material. The level of detail here is fantastic. Miller’s shadowy, noirish visuals really suck you in, clearly paying homage to the film noir cannon that so obviously influenced this and every other Sin City story, but somehow making it all his own. If there are some pages that show more ruler lines than others or some pages that show what look to be Liquid Paper or white out marks, so be it, this gives us a chance to see this classic story in its original form and for those who geek out over such things, it’s quite a treat. Some of the text has been cut from other pieces of paper and applied here with glue. Occasionally you can see earlier versions of differing text peeking out from underneath it. A few ink smudges here and there are visible – really, anything you would expect to see on inked original art pages is here, but it’s a remarkable look into how all of this came together.



    In addition to that, we get some sketch/pencil pages, comments on the storyline from the likes of Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Geof Darrow and Paul Pope, a single page introduction by Robert Rodriguez, some notes from John Lind that explains the important of capturing Miller’s creative process during this stage in his career with this endeavor. That’s before the story itself is even presented.

    Once we finish the story, there’s a cover gallery showing all of Miller’s work in finished form for the Sin City run that happened in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. From there, Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson contributes an essay called ‘A Turning Point’ that talks about the impact that Sin City had on the company and on creator owned material hitting the spotlight in a world and at a time where Marvel and D.C. still ruled supreme.

    Further pages include reproductions from Miller’s archive showing off original art pages for some of the Dark Horse Presents covers that he did along with covers for various trade editions on The Hard Goodbye.

    Scripting, Sweating And Bleeding is an interview conducted by John Lind with Frank Miller about his creative process. Conducted in Miller’s Manhattan art studio, here they discuss how and why the property wound up at Dark Horse Comics, the art style that Miller employed in the series, working on Bristol Board, the sizing of the art, paper stock, inking his own pencils, the kind of brush he used to do it, how much time it took to do this, how much of the dialogue he wrote before paying out the book and more. Anyone who wants to know more about what goes into creating artwork the way that Miller did for this project will appreciate this. Throughout this lengthy interview there are a few unlinked penciled pages displayed as well as some character sketches that were used as inserts on the DHP run.

    This is a ridiculously comprehensive collection well worth seeking out for any Sin City fan, particularly those who want the story behind the story. Dark Horse and Kitchen Sink are also offering this as a limited signed edition of five hundred pieces that includes an alternate cover and autographed tipped-in piece with Miller’s signature on it.


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