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The Black Dahlia

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  51 reviews
What’s to Love: This gripping graphic novel adaptation of the highly acclaimed book by James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia, delves deeply into one of the most haunting unsolved crimes in American history. Award-winning filmmaker David Fincher (Gone Girl, Zodiac) and acclaimed storyteller Matz (The Killer) worked at length to preserve much of Ellroy's original dialogue while bri ...more
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by BOOM! - Archaia (first published November 13th 2013)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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 ·  239 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Ugh, I did nooottt like this one bit. I don't read a lot of noir/crime things, so I always forget how misogynistic and racist they are. I've never read James Ellroy before, so I can't speak to how faithful this adaptation is but I seriously can't even be bothered to care because everything about this grated on me, so I doubt I would like the original work anyway.

First off, I should mention that I thought this would be a non-fiction work about the Black Dahlia; I wasn't aware that thi
Dec 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this graphic novel "gripping" at all.

Instead of a crime fiction with mystery or intrigue, the plot was mainly about the detective. After about 30 pages where we learn about his boxing career, I settled in to try and enjoy something closer to a biopic. It worked for a bit, but then nothing else happened besides a guy having sex and the ending just turned me off completely.

Art wise, it's okay, but I have a major problem with the faces beingcompletely forgettable. I liked the colours and the art wabeingcompletely
Mateen Mahboubi
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Having recently been listening to the Hollywood and Crime podcast which has so far been focusing on the Black Dahlia deaths, I was interested in exploring the case from a different source and seeing this released made me interested in seeking it out. Unfortunately it left me disappointed. I didn't know about the original James Ellroy book but this just uses the death of Elizabeth Short to tell a fictional tale about two investigators. A bit too fiction for my liking and not particularly interest ...more
Derek Royal
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read the original Ellroy novel, but this appears to be a strong adaptation of that book. Despite any potential fidelity issues, the narrative presented (adapted by Matz and David Fincher) is compelling, highly textured, and enthralling. We're discussing this book on an upcoming episode of The Comics Alternative podcast.
I had a tough time following who was who because of the art. Too many people looked like someone else, plus the back and forth on first and last names made it difficult as well.

Also since the murder was never solved this is kind of a cop out.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a recently released graphic novel, and a really well-done one. I read it in one day, not wanting to put it down.

If you have read James Ellroy's novel, you will be familiar with the storyline, as this graphic novel is adapted from that novel. The Black Dahlia is narrated by a cop, who has his life turned upside down when he and his partner are brought in to help investigate the Black Dahlia murder.

Ellroy takes the true crime of the Black Dahlia, and puts his own spin on it. W
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
I did not enjoy this one. I tend to enjoy true crime graphic novels but this one...nope. Very little of the book was spent on the crime. Most was about blackmail and police corruption, sex and obsession.
Hm, I wonder how close to the movie/novel this was, because now I want to watch/read them.
David Schaafsma
An okay comics adaptation by Matz, David Fincher, and illustrator Miles Hyman of James Elroy's crime novel of the same name. There's also better film versions of the story, and better, more informative, non-fiction versions, and this one is a decent short story version but too short; a way in to the story, I guess, but I would just go long and read the novel or something else if you are interested in the sensational actual events, then see one or two film versions of the story.
Becky Loader
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in the artwork. I have read several interpretations of the Black Dahlia story, and I was looking forward to seeing the graphics.
Maggie Gordon
The Black Dahlia is based on the book by James Ellroy which is a fictionalised account of a real crime that occurring in the 1940s. If you are a fan of noir, this story may appeal. The graphic novel flows well for an adaptation, though I wasn't overly impressed with the artwork. While competent, it is rather stiff and the characters often look quite similar. Additionally, as with many noirs, your tolerance for misogyny, racism, and people generally sucking must be high as that comes with much of ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scintillating tale of Elizabeth Short. What's interesting is that story focuses on police officers assigned to case and like a detective tale the details gradually are uncovered. Blood swirling down a drain. Enjoyed the read and makes want to read more on the case. Sleazy true crime with a brutal icon. Black Dahlia becomes a symbol.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Could barely tell all of the characters apart, and there's a whole lot of "tell don't show" in the end. I really liked the first 2/3 or so, but then it had to catch up to the story and finish it with lots of tell tell tell. Needed 4 or 5 more issues.
Keelin Rita
Jul 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-own
The art is great but I didn't realize that this was basically just like the movie. I did not put two and two together and was disappointed that this was the fictional story of the Black Dahlia and not like an actual trying to figure out what happened to her. But that's on me, cuz I'm an idiot lol
Aug 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Doesn't quite translate to the medium

I liked it. I followed it for the most part. I felt like the tale was too big for comic books and the characterization was flat.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Women are only prostitutes, non-white people only drug dealers or pimps. Who feels the need to reproduce such a story in the 21st century is either ignorant or racist. Probably both.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
Beautifully executed graphic novel version of "The Black Dahlia" (1987), the first book in James Ellroy's neo-noir "L.A. Quartet" series which is best known for its third installation, "L.A. Confidential".

Of note, acclaimed director David Fincher ("Se7en", "Gone Girl", "Zodiac") was involved in adapting the book into comic form. He was actually supposed to be the director of the 2006 film version and his renewed engagement with the story may herald a Fincher directed film or televisi
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Having not actually read THIS Ellroy book I didn't know what to expect... what it was was basically Hollywood is corrupt and the Dahlia isn't really important to this story of two ex-boxer cops who are drawn so similarly that I had to use their tie colors to tell who was who. It's all wrapped up in all due haste and is totally unbelievable... Things that annoyed me, the women have no power, let's throw in some supposed incest, and how about exploiting some lesbians too? Just no.
Graphic novel adaptation (by French comic writer Matz and film director David Fincher [!]) of James Ellroy's crime classic. Pretty solid, thanks to the original story. The artwork is...interesting. Pencil illustrations that are different than the usual comic, but at the same time many of the characters looked alike which led to too many instances of flipping back to check what was going on.
Chrissy Busick
This is the first graphic novel I have read. Overall, it was a good story. It made me think of old black and white movies and TV shows like Dick Tracy. Having been my first graphic novel, and not being sure if I really like graphic novels I gave this 3 stars, because I just don't know. I am glad I read it though.
Sue  Gerth
The language was a little off putting, and the story was odd. Not quite sure what to think. Haven't read too many graphic novels; I'd really like to read a good true crime book about the Black Dahlia.
Chelsea Aburroman
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very captivating story, I enjoyed the different plot lines but I sometimes found myself confused and had to refer back several times to earlier passages
Jeff Nickel
Pretty average.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A gritty graphic novel true to Ellroy's voice.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Johnson
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Two boxers become cops for different reasons, but both to escape mafia corruption in fighting. Because of their celebrity status as boxers, they are both quickly promoted from the street into Warrants and former competitors are now partners. They happen to be in a neighborhood attempting to serve a warrant when the body of a young girl, later called 'The Dahlia' is found. The partners find themselves off of warrants temporarily and working the murder case.

This story is full of twists
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to April by: Marcus Deehan
Shelves: reviewed
When a beautiful young woman is found brutally murdered, Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard are set to investigate her death. What they find is an unsavory side of Hollywood, which doesn’t prove to be as stark a contrast to their “happy” lives as they originally thought. Their obsession with the case leads both men down dark roads from which they can never properly return.

I won’t lie, I had a lot of trouble telling a lot of the characters apart in this story, especially the two main d
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The main challenge of this book is to tell the characters apart!
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this, I was intrigued by how well this graphic adaptation adhered to the book, and to how details of the characters were brought out. I found the art made it difficult to tell some characters apart, which hindered the flow of the story, but forced a closet reading. I don't track the original book having such a rushed ending, but all the beats are here. I state at a 4 star, but ended at a 3 - so maybe a 3& 1/2 stars rating.
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"Matz" is the pseudonym for French writer Alexis Nolent. He has written scripts for video games, a novel, and as Matz, a number of comics including Triggerman by Walter Hill. His graphic novel, Du plombe dan la tete a.k.a. Headshot, was adapted into the 2012 film, Bullet To The Head.

See for a bio in French.
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