This was actually a lot of fun to work on. As someone who doesn't do a lot of high contrast, black and white pieces like this nor a lot of crime noir, hard-boiled stuff, it was entertaining to me. I even had fun at the conceptual level and as you'll see in my preliminary work was working with a Question kind of character. Also, I think I finally got the hang of Manga Studio EX4 with this piece, although the ruler and ellipse tools are still a tad confusing and I didn't enjoy having a billion layers for my brick guides but oh well.
The project was to do a "gallery piece" following a "film noir" theme so I set out to do a pulpy crime cover, even taking the "Murder by the Dead" title from an old Shadow radio serial. I think it fits the project well.
Some personal criticisms: I actually have very few. I wish I would have shown a little more action in the piece and the figure looks a tad stiff. The wall and the jacket might be too close to being a really bad tangent as well. Also, I still don't know how I feel about the blood on the foreground arm but nothing was looking better or worse when I would redo it and I couldn't handle my "gunshot arm" Google image search for reference. But overall, I enjoy it.
Here's some preliminary work for this piece: