Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries is a four-issue, full-color miniseries featuring the popular webcomics mystery woman from the now-retired Supernatural Crime online comics site.
Femme Noir is about a nameless female vigilante/detective who stalks the mean streets of Port Nocturne, the Dark City of every film noir and hardboiled crime pulp; a city of cold, gray fog, unrelenting rain, and deep, ominous shadows.
It’s a town populated by duplicitous dames and grim gunmen, ruthless racketeers and greedy gangsters, corrupt cops and parasitic politicians. It has more than its share of hardboiled private eyes and enemy spies, plucky girl reporters and pug-nosed ex-boxers, mad scientists and crackpot inventors, cunning cat burglars, slick grifters, stone-cold hitmen, killer robots, vengeful jungle girls, walking corpses and even a talking gorilla or two.
Port Nocturne: where each night seems to last forever, the sharp scent of gunpowder lingers in the air like cheap perfume, every black alley comes to a dead end… and justice is blonde.
Written by yours truly, with art by Joe Staton, inks by Horacio Ottolini and Mark Stegbauer, and colors by Melissa Kaercher, Matt Webb and Michael Watkins, The Dark City Diaries was published in 2008 by Ape Entertainment, with variant covers by Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Matt Haley and Mike Wieringo. The miniseries was extremely weel-received and collected in trade paperback in 2009. This collected volume includes two additional Femme Noir stories and a behind-the-scenes art gallery.
Critical Acclaim for Femme Noir:
“It hits you like a kick to the solar plexus, or a pistol shot hours into your worst hangover.”
– USA Today
“For those who love old movies, radio shows, pulps, or simply crime & detective dramas … A city on the edge of darkness has an angel of hard justice.”
– Tonya Crawford
“…a serious comic, but serious fun, of a kind you don’t see anymore on the shelves… giving the reader dark mysteries and action with a feminist and contemporary twist on a retro backdrop.”
– Andrea Speed
“…a hard hittin’, tough talkin’ dame who’s nobody’s sweetheart. If you like your thrills hardboiled and your action neat, then check this out…”
– Chuck Dixon
Writer: Nightwing, Birds of Prey, El Cazador, Iron Ghost
“FEMME NOIR: THE DARK CITY DIARIES is a .45 caliber fueled ride into the dark heart of the city in the arms of a nightmare blonde who’d just as soon kill you as boink you. Christopher Mills and Joe Staton have given us a stunning new take on the noir landscape. Femme Noir is as hard hitting as a psycho wielding a baseball bat”
– Paul Bishop
Author of the Tequila Mockingbird, Chalk Whispers
“Christopher Mills and Joe Staton’s FEMME NOIR is a tasty stir fry of pop culture touchstones: The Spirit, Batman, The Shadow, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Raymond Chandler and about a zillion RKO B-films; the perfect meal for those of you not getting enough good old high-fiber pulp in your diet.
“You want it? They got it: mean streets, treacherous back alleys, cold blooded bad guys, slimy gang lords, killer robots, big city corruption, and a mysterious crime-fighting avenger who definitely knows how to fill out a pair of fishnets, and isn’t above serving up her own kind of justice. Blonde justice.”
– Kevin Burton Smith
Thrilling Detective website
“FEMME NOIR, as the name would imply, is solid gumshoe-goodness filled genre entertainment. The book and style clearly pay homage to Will Eisner, but it doesn’t get lost in that feel. Writer Christopher Mills has clearly found his own back beat as the characters rampage through witty dialogue, fun action and the occasional elements of suspense. Here, there are loads of atmosphere and I found myself enjoying the hard boiled storytelling panel after panel.”
– Chuck Moore
“Like Rick Veitch’s Greyshirt, what could easily become pastiche is instead rendered as something unique that can stand on its own. Port Nocturne is indeed a city enveloped in darkness. Crime does run rampant. The cops are on the take, or inept. It rains. A lot. Women like Laurel Lye and Dahlia Blue inhabit it. But in Mills hands, it’s not simply a façade; this is a lived-in city with some real backbone to it.”
– Joe Hilliard
“The story is great. The writing is dark, yet possesses just a hint of sarcasm. [Artist] Joe Staton is a master of his craft.”
– Tim Lasiuta