“This was created for my PhD chapter on noir comics and has been adopted onto the film noir course. It is a silly anthropomorphic romp in a sci-fi/ noir world. It has suggestions for films to watch in order to understand the references in the comic, so that could be good boredom busting during lockdown if you want to watch some noir films.”

Abstract for the Comic
I’d been teaching the film noir course for a few weeks, searching for the unfindable: a comic that referenced the critical films on the course. My feet dragged me from the closet I called an office and I headed south towards the Tay. I found myself sitting in the Dundee Comics Creative Space, surrounded by comic artists, academics and enthusiasts. Inspiration struck. I didn’t know if it was the Dr. Pepper talking or if it was Raymond Chandler himself who spoke to me. I realised, the best way to prove film noir is a style rather than a genre is to make a comic that combines all of these elements and throws them in your face.

In this, the last week of the film noir module, I give you The Big Sheep. It’s chock-full of noir and comics references, interspersed with some bad puns and an anthropomorphic twist. Hopefully, this isn’t goodbye, because according to Chandler, “To say goodbye is to die a little.” But what most people don’t remember is that after that he said, “unless you study comics in which case you’ll live forever, probably.”

You can access the full final published comic by clicking this link!

Hailey Austin is a PhD student in Comics at the University of Dundee. Hailey’s main research is in anthropomorphism, animal comics, and trauma. However, her other research interests include female agency, film noir and comics, music in comics, comics and the archive, and transmedia.

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