By: Graham Webster
About halfway through watching last weekend’s box-office topper “Sin City,” the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s gritty, black-and-white graphic novels, Gerry Shamray, a comic artist who also reviews movies for Sun Newspapers in Ohio, decided he wouldn’t exactly write the review at all.
“I really thought it was great how the filmmakers of ‘Sin City’ tried
to capture the look of a comic book on film,” Shamray told E&P Monday in an e-mail. “I found that truly inspiring and wanted to do something different in my review.”
He decided to present the review as a comic — and since he holds another position at Sun as graphics editor, he was in the perfect position to do it. Shamray, who has worked with renowned comic book writer Harvey Pekar on the film “American Splendor,” set out to present his review just as stylistic as the film itself. But it wasn’t easy.
“I normally spend an hour or so on a review,” Shamray said. “This one took much longer. When I first got the idea, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, so I took it one step at a time.”
Accustomed to writing standard text-based reviews, Shamray said writing the dialogue came easily. The art, however, “took some experimenting to get the right look. I debated what I should exactly show in each panel,” he said. “It was also important to me to capture a strong, punchy black-and-white pattern to the entire piece.”
Shamray was out sick on Monday, so he hadn’t yet heard much
feedback. But he told E&P he’s seen some buzz developing online, some of it outside of the reach of Sun Newspapers’ 25 weeklies in northeast Ohio.