Friday, February 22, 2008

At the Heart Of It

I love noir.

It’s something that only struck me in the past three or four years, but it’s unquestionably ingrained in a lot of things I write. Somehow gangsters, femme fatales and hard as nails, morally grey protagonists seem to slip into even short stories that I write.

Now I’m writing a comic that allows me to really sink my teeth into what’s become somewhat of a fascination.

I wanted to include all the popular noir themes and most certainly the emotion, but I felt that in order to make Snow Angel something slightly different I had to come at it from a new perspective. Most often it’s about the struggle between the hard boiled detective and the mysterious, sexually fired dame, or some gangster tale about revenge. And, like I mentioned, these themes have worked in many titles almost universally.

However, I didn’t want to create a story that walked down these roads already so well travelled by massively successful stories like Scarface or The Maltese Falcon. Snow Angel’s perspective came from a long hard look at how one creates an identity. We show Angela, the lead character, at the height of her power; strong, confident and in total control. Then we deconstruct her very nature and look back to how she became who she is.

It’s these details that will become the very focus of the story. Sure, drugs, money and sex are all interesting points along the way, but at its heart, Snow Angel delves into the mind of a young woman trying desperately to understand who she is.

I wanted Angela to be strong, yet have insecurities, just like all of us do, born from some event in her life that, looking back, set everything into motion. I want the reader to be able to see the impact of those events and fully understand why Angela, despite being the top dog in the Cocaine Cowboys era, is falling apart. All of this, as will become obvious in the first issue of Snow Angel, centers around one man. Her father.

All of us, at some point in our lives, have questioned the love our parents have shown us. Most people can identify with trying to find themselves a place within their own families. Strong emotions are tied to memories of the people closest to us. I wanted very much to capture that and explore what it would be like for a young woman to never feel the love from her father.

And when it comes down to it, these themes are the heart of Snow Angel, and I hope to make it a wild ride even if it is caught up in a little bit of sentimentality.

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