Murder is Suicide is a film noir-style narrative presented through animation, still images, sound, music, and interactive elements.
"It's not every day you investigate your own murder."
When the cops find a body that looks a lot like private investigator Joe Garrison, it's time for Joe to find out who did it and if he was the intended victim.
Follow Joe through a world of dirty thugs, dirtier cops, and treacherous dames - a world where morality might be black and white but the truth is always a shade of gray and where Joe may find out along the way that Murder is Suicide.
The inspiration for Murder is Suicide is generally the film noir genre of movies and the hardboiled detective stories of such authors as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Mickey Spillane, but there are a number of other sources that have contributed to my pursuit of this artistic project.
The initial inspiration for the project involved the artistic style of the animated movie Renaissance. After watching the movie and loving its style, I read an article about how it was made and decided to apply my experience with 3d modeling, graphic, and multimedia design to creating a 3D animated film noir movie in a similar style. After working on elements of the production for a few months, I realized that a full movie might require too much time and effort to perfect and require the involvement of many more creative people than I had access to. After a discussion over drinks with the Girl at one of our favorite gin joints, I decided to make a web comic instead, given that such a medium would allow for the utilization of multimedia and interactive elements that a mere film could not offer.
My favorite sources of inspiration include:
The first 20 minutes of the film The Big Sleep, though the rest of the movie is also worth watching.
Murder, My Sweet
The Maltese Falcon
The clever male-female dialogue in films such as His Girl Friday and The Thin Man
Neo-Noir films such as Dark City, Give Em Hell Malone, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, Hotel Noir, and Chinatown.
The music of a seemingly infinite number of jazz musicians and other musical artists, including, but not limited to:
The Charlie Barnet Orchestra
Bohren & der Club of Gore
Where possible, I strive to include historically accurate representations of social and technological conventions in the Murder is Suicide story. A certain amount of artistic liberty is necessary where research material is unavailable, inaccessible, or impractical to apply. Regardless of how much historical research is conducted and my best intentions, there will inevitably be anachronistic and/or inaccurate elements that seep through.
Some of the resources that I have used in researching historical material for Murder is Suicide include:
archive.org - for public domain works from the 1930s, such as newsreels, radio play recordings, and music.
Google Books Ngram Viewer - for checking the historical accuracy and context of the use of certain phrases.
PDX History - for learning about prominent topics relating to the history of Portland, Oregon.
Vintage Portland - for historical photographs from the relevant era and the associated history with various locations around Portland, Oregon.
Portland Maps - for researching the history of particular buildings in the Portland area, including the names of owners and businesses.
Multnomah County Library - for access to historical newspapers from the era.
All writing, graphics, multimedia, and web design created by Michael Moss, unless otherwise noted.
Music used for the Radio is:
The Lambeth Walk by Artie Shaw
57th Street Drag by The Bob Chester Orchestra
I'm Prayin' Humble by the Charlie Barnet Orchestra
all in the public domain and found at Archive.org.
Special thanks to:
Crazy Eddie for napping on my lap while I worked on this project
Karri Pasteris Garaventa - for support and feedback