Graphic Novel Noir

Graphic Novel Noir

Graphic Novel Noir

Slate's guide to consuming culture.
June 21 2010 9:55 AM

Graphic Novel Noir

The human toll of World War II has been well-documented in just about every artistic medium, including graphic novels . But what of the plight of art itself? Moving Pictures , a graphic novel out tomorrow from Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, tells the story of Ila Gardner, a young Canadian curator working at the Louvre during the Nazi occupation of France. (More info on the Louvre during the war here .) She’s tasked with trying to preserve the museum’s cultural treasures. Black-and-white images, full of clever angles and dramatic shadows, make for a cinematic effect, like the storyboard for a never-made film noir—an effect heightened by the clipped dialogue and Ila’s doomed-from-the-start romantic entanglement with a German officer. But the distinctive, spare frames are occasionally illuminated by more intricate sketches of the Louvre’s art, reminding the reader what’s at stake.

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Noreen Malone is a senior editor at New York magazine.