Not roleplay help but...

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Salsacookies, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. I'm wanting to write a detective comedy comic, and I'm not sure what would be a good source to look at. I describe it as s comedy disguising itself as a drama, and I think good sources of that would be Zombieland(Legit apocalypse, but the characters make it funny) or Monk(cases are realistic, but the detective is cuckoo).

    My basic idea is a parody of old noir films, like for instance, the main villains, The Villoni Crime Family, are legitimate mobsters, but on the other hand, they're clowns, and the Don has a completely shadowed face, except for his eyes, and his lips are massive. The comic itself will be monochrome, and the character design will be entirely unrealistic, with the main character, for example, looking like a Twinkie with arms and legs.
  2. Ok, so what do you need help with?
  3. What are good sources of material to help me learn the mood of your typical noir film, and maybe a source to help figure out how to make good, dry humor.
  4. I've always felt that the best way to learn to write something like a mood is to watch/read good examples of it in action and try to emulate that. I'm far from an expert on noir things though, so for that I'll have to suggest hoping for someone else to come along with a good answer or heading to Google and searching for "best Noir films" (or replace 'films' with the media of your choice) and checking out some of the results.

    As for humor, well, good humor is notoriously subjective. It's not really the same as writing a good example of a genre, because that's a matter of striking the right tone and using the right elements, and that's something you can easily improve via comparing your stuff against good examples of that genre. For humor it's all about matching your content to your audience's humor preferences (meaning it's very malleable) and using good comedic timing.

    Luckily though, dry humor is a style in the same way that a genre is a style, so that's something you can definitely learn. Again, I'd suggest checking out examples of it in action to see how it operates, but this time I've got specific suggestions. This might also help with the quality of your comedy, but who knows. Some stand up comedians known for their dry delivery style are Mitch Hedburg, Demitri Martin, Jimmy Carr, and Steven Wright. Some books with a lot of dry humor are the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett and the novel Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I'm drawing a blank on other media, but British comedy is often very dry so maybe try searching for comedy films and shows of British origin.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  5. Noir-wise, you should definitely check out The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and Casablanca. They're pretty much everyone's go-to for film noir.

    Others noir and gangster films to check out include Night and the City, The Naked City, Cry of the City (yeah, a lot of City titles), various James Cagney films like The Public Enemy (not the Depp film, though, hey, there's that, too), Angels with Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties, Kiss of Death with its iconic giggling hood Tommy Udo (played by Richard Widmark, also the star of Night and the City), the uniquely point-of-view Lady in the Lake, The Asphalt Jungle, Key Largo and The Petrified Forest (both also starring Bogie), postwar film noir such as The Third Man, and you might also try a few comparatively lighter but relevant films like The Thin Man and His Girl Friday, both featuring fast-talking couples on the case. There's also later movies in the noir and gangster traditions, like Chinatown, The Untouchables or Miller's Crossing.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  6. Some others that came to mind: Murder, Inc. and the more contemporary films L.A. Confidential and Gangster Squad (in a similar vein, the video game L. A. Noire).
  7. Well, all I can offer is a source of Noir-inspired comedy, so you can see what kinds of things your peers have done.

    Good luck on your efforts.