Humor in the midst of trouble. This comes to mind first when I sit down to schmanylize* what I mean by ‘Rabbit Noir’. Humor is the base. Noir is the tone.
In “Murkey’s, A Rabbit Noir,” the world surrounding Murkey’s Diner is not bright and cheery. The weather is bad, the fog terrible. Everything in the city is for sale to the new money pouring in. The lovely funk and depth of the city’s history is being sold off, wiped out by this money flood. But the Guys—Bunz and his intellectual spider pal Webbs, fight back. The story evokes the feel of a city that, in spite of all the destruction, retains some funky pockets of its past.
The day I came up with that tag Rabbit Noir, I laughed out loud. My main character, ex-Pie Inspector Bunz, is a rabbit with a dry sense of humor, and a serious love of pie. Murkey’s is old-school. It has been around for decades and that is exactly why it is still the best place in town for pie and coffee (and donuts!). The story becomes noir when the two bad Guys, Moose M’Boy and Smilin’ Moose, threaten Murkey’s. In the process of writing what became “Murkey’s, A Rabbit Noir,” the noir and the humor came together. In a dark, dark world, humor keeps us going.
While noir is not usually matched with humor, there are cases. If you haven’t watched these movies at least a few times, I can recommend: The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, and a personal favorite, Cry Danger.
*Schmanylize, v.: to come up with an on-the-spot theory about something without spending time investigating or analyzing; to smoosh together at-hand facts; the devising of theories before spending any time studying the numbers or doing actual research;
Note: sometimes no more facts are available and ‘schmanylizing’ is the best you can do.