Jul 16, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Decoder Ring Theatre – The Best of Light-Hearted Noir Takes to the “Air”

Decoder Ring TheaterThey lurk in the shadows of Toronto and travel by rooftop, protecting the innocent citizens of Canada’s brightest city from the darkest threats villainy has to throw at them.

They collect clues and analyze evidence to bring evildoers to the harsh light of justice, and along the way manage to make time for a sarcastic throw-away line or the odd cup of lightly-roasted Ethiopian Harrar.

They are the characters of Decoder Ring Theatre, and twice a month, their stories brighten any traffic-laden commute.

Decoder Ring Theatre first saw light in 1999 as a six-part mini-series of comic adventure radio programs. Led by writer Gregg Taylor, the troupe produced the original Red Panda series as satirical takes on World War Two pulp heroes. In the early series the Red Panda was partnered with a young male sidekick called The Flying Squirrel, who would later be changed to his female chauffeur. The original series was engaging and lighthearted, but sillier than the later versions and never made it to air.

As a complement to the Red Panda series, half of Decoder Ring’s broadcast season is devoted to Black Jack Justice, a podcast in old-time radio show detective format.
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Jul 2, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Know It When You See It! What Makes A Noir Story A Noir Story?

Peter LorreWhen asked to describe pornography, Justice Potter Stewart described his threshold test for obscenity in a famous speech, saying that he “knew it when he saw it.”

That’s also a pretty good method of describing Noir.

There’s a femme fatale and a fedora wearing detective except when there’s no femme fatale and fedora wearing detective.

It is black and white, except when it isn’t, and most importantly, it involves murder. Or it doesn’t.

Who really knows?

The best description of Noir is that it is a feeling, a style of telling a story. It is dark in nature, hence the name, and the outcome, even on the rare occasion when it is positive, is not positive for all.

I could attempt to go into further detail, but others have already done so, in a better fashion than I could do so myself.
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Jun 27, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Make a Million Dollars Overnight – 6 of the Most Successful Jewel Thieves Ever!

Noir FactoryWhen you think of Jewel Thieves, images of Cary Grant sporting a black turtle neck and leaping from building to building while the French police follow in futility come to mind.

Or maybe that’s just me.

At any rate, few things in the criminal world bring the WOW factor as the international jewel thief!

The truth about any good enterprise is that you need to have a good plan and the ability to execute it in order to achieve success.

Below are some examples of dedicated individuals who planned, worked, and most importantly, ran, all with the expectation of making crime pay.

A lot.
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Jun 22, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Plan Your Noir Summer Getaway – 10 Great Prison Breaks

noir factorySummer is a great time to consider hitting the beaches and escaping from everyday life. From the office to the boardroom, sometimes you just have to get away from it all, and some of us are better at it than others.

Below are ten of the most spectacular prison breaks in modern history, teaching us that only occasionally do four walls a prison make and where there’s a will there’s a way!

Alcatraz (1962)

Known as the Rock, Alcatraz withstood fourteen escape attempts in its 29 years as a prison and officially the prison went undefeated.


Unofficially Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers conspired to make their way out of the world’s most notorious prison. On June 11, 1962 they put a brazen plan into action.

The three men chipped away at the walls of their cells with spoons over the months, eventually making their way onto the top of their cell block, and managed to cut their way through the bars and into an air vent that led them to the roof of the prison.

From there they made their way down a drainpipe, over a chain link fence, and to the shore where they fashioned a raft stitched together from rain ponchos. The three boarded the raft and set out to navigate the treacherous San Francisco Bay towards freedom.

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Jun 11, 2013
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Drink Like a Hard-Boiled, Noir Shamus – 11 Cocktails to Serve Your Inner Detective


boozegunI don’t want to shock anyone, but there is drinking in this establishment.

For noir fiction, booze is as much a staple to the gumshoe’s identity as cigarettes, femme fatales, or cynicism. Drinking doesn’t necessarily DEFINE the detective’s identity, but a tee totaling gum-shoe is a rarity indeed in the dark worlds of hard-boiled, noir pulp fiction.

Beer and straight whisky is the gumshoe’s stock-in-trade, but they are by no means the limits to their alcoholic repertoire. Wines, house blends and varietals alike, come into play depending on the company they keep and environment, and most noir sleuths would never turn up their nose at a hearty ale or a thick stout.

Cocktails on the other hand, require a bit of consideration.
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