November 30, 2011
Ronni Chasen murder becomes comic strip
A dashing blonde. A fancy car. A movie premiere followed by a midnight murder...
A cartoon sketch?
In a very odd memorial tribute to the murdered publicist Ronni Chasen, who was killed in Beverly Hills while driving home from a movie premiere more than a year ago, arts meme blogger Debra Levine has posted a cartoonish sketch rendering of the murder story that gripped a nation. Artist Benoit Le Pennec drew a series of sketches depicting the chain of events leading up to the Chasen murder—not in the noirish style of the events as they really happened, but as a kind of trippy comic book storyboard: There’s the murderous gun-toting bicyclist blowing the smoke out of his gun, with his big puffy cheeks, while Chasen’s car smokes after its crash into a tree.
Levine’s instinct to spotlight a re-telling of the story makes sense—it was the most spellbinding crime of the year. And she aptly refers to it as an “exquisite, undiluted brand of L.A. noir…gripping, priceless, stranger than fiction” but its darkness and iniquity are diluted in caricature. A stormy graphic novel full of color and terror would have been more mystifying in movie-land.