Two words define what makes a crime story ‘noir’ to Italian comic creator Enrico Marini, “Femme fatales.” His latest graphic novel is titles Noir Burlesque, set in the heyday of slick gangsters and sexy molls, a caper goes wrong for a hood named Slick as he falls down a slippery slope of bullets, blood, and beautiful dames.
During an interview with Marini at New York Comic Con he described it as a “classic triangle crime love story.” He drew inspiration from the classic crime films of the period as well as the novels of Elmore Leonard. “I also did a series called The Eagles of Rome which was full of muscled legionnaires and barbarians, so I needed to draw something more elegant and glamorous which gives me the opportunity to draw beautiful women in nice dresses.” He describes Caprice, his leading lady, as “nice looking and intelligent and empowered. She plays by her own rules and so she’s kind of dangerous on her way.”
Marini admitted a bit of nostalgia for period pieces, even his work on Batman has a something a 50 or 60s vibe. “Contemporary stories have to have all the new technology which is constantly evolving. So it is annoying when everybody who is holding a phone that is already outdated by the time the book comes out.”
An art collector himself, Marini said he enjoys the chance to come to American shows such as NYCC to meet other artists as both a fan and a colleague as well conducting business with publishers. He has a growing collection of Zorro sketches and commissions which can be seen on his Facebook page.
He occasionally will sell his own original art as well. In the last Heritage Signature auction his double sized cover cover for The Scorpion: Mark of the Devil sold for over $57,000. “I cried for like about 5 seconds and then was very happy with the results,” Marini recalled. “Also it was really cool that Heritage put my art on the cover of the catalog. I sold a few things in the last few years. I usually sell through a gallery in Paris or directly so if someone wants if they can contact me of course. But when you have to have the opportunity to exhibit in a gallery or it’s a great opportunity.”
Noir Burlesque is now available in English through comic shops and bookstores.