Frank Miller's "Sin City" (1991) undoubtedly was the book that triggered this new crime boom. His loosely connected stories stood out because of their shocking content and highly esthetic violence, as well as Miller's great storytelling and his tendency towards vigilantism and suspiciousness towards the police. His Sin City characters are all nasty, yet at the same time – human. Another well known independent comic series is 1995s "Stray Bullets" given the Eisner Award in 1996. Published by El Capitan Books David Lapham has created 40 issues of a complex story of tragic (anti) heroes and criminals. It ran until 2004. In 1999 Brian Azarello's and Eduardo Risso's awarded "100 Bullets" joined the comics club. Vertigo published this suspenseful series' 100 issues until 2009. Here a mysterious loner shows up in the first issue offering his services as "avenging angel": in the form of a gun and 100 untraceable bullets. Lateron a great conspiracy theory dominates the storyline.
Ed Brubaker may well be one of the most talented creators of crime comic books of modern times. He has offered us a number of very convincing works like his 1999 series "Scene of the Crime". Detective Jack Herriman – another anti hero – is set up in a tpical film noir style and deals with everything you would expect from a real thriller: missing persons, murder cases, family scandals, and new age cults. And of course a life threatening situation of some sort. "Criminal" by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips started in 2006 and is considered the high point of the two artists' cooperation.
In 2010 another innovative and stylishly expressionistic work of newcomer Kody Chamberlain hit the scene: "Sweets" is set in New Orleans right before Hurrican Katrina hits the town. A serial killer with a weakness for chocolates is hunted by a drunk detective. "The Last Days of American Crime" (2010) by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini shows us how crime will look like in a future America. And our very personal no. 1 among this year's new books: "Mind the Gap" (2012) published by Image Comics. Writer Jim McCann and artist Rodin Esquejo have created a great film noir murder mystery, telling Elle Peterssen's story who is the victim of an assasination, but survives the attempt on her life. While she is in a coma her "ghost" sets out to find her attackers.