Graphic Novel Friday: Hannah Berry's Britten and Brulightly

As a huge fan of noir fiction, I was delighted to receive the nuanced, pitch-perfect Britten and Brulightly, a graphic novel by Hannah Berry. What every great noir needs is the right atmosphere, and the sepia tones of Berry's creation set that mood perfectly. The subtle shifts in those tones, from gray to brown to green work well with panels that contain an amazing amount of texture and detail, without ever seeming crowded.

The second thing every great noir needs is a compelling detective, and in the person of Fernandez Britten, a serious and somewhat troubled Ecuadoran private eye, Berry has this next piece of the puzzle in place. The brooding Britten is known as the "Heartbreaker" for bringing clients bad news. Throw in the mysterious and witty Stewart Brulightly as a partner, and you've got the perfect context for the third thing every noir needs: an interesting and twisty crime to solve. In this case, it's the death of Berni Kudos, ruled a suicide--but not by his fiancee. Of course, Kudos is connected to the rich and powerful because a private eye noir in the tradition of Ramond Chandler isn't complete without Our Hero having to rummage through the garbage and secrets of People Who Matter.


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