Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: SILVER #1 – Finnigan


CARTOONIST/CREATOR: Stephan Franck – @stephan_franck
32pp, B&W, $3.50 U.S.

Stephan Franck has been a writer, director, and animator. The veteran filmmaker has worked for Disney, DreamWorks, and Warner Bros., among others. He was a supervising animator on The Iron Giant, contributed story to Despicable Me, and recently directed the upcoming movie, The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow for Sony Pictures Animation.

Now, Stephan Franck is creating comics and recently released Silver, a new 12-issue miniseries published by Dark Planet Comics. Silver extends the fictional world of writer Bram Stoker, the author of the Gothic novel, Dracula (1897), into the 1930s. Silver focuses on a con man who steals silver from the living-dead. He begins to assemble a crew to help him pull off the biggest heist of the last ten centuries.

Silver #1 opens in New York City, 1931. The Harker Foundation, founded by recently deceased Jonathan Harker and his late wife, Wilhelmina “Mina” (Murray) Harker, is holding an auction of rare silver pieces from the Harkers’ private collection. Tonight, there is an unwanted guest, con man and thief extraordinaire, James Finnigan. Finnigan’s “visit” is expected, however, which turns into a chase that covers practically every corner of the building.

Like Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle, Silver is a stylish urban-set comic book that is part Film-Noir and part Depression-era pulp fiction. James Finnigan is not quite in the classic heroic tradition of the pulps. He’s more like Indiana Jones, a hero styled in the pulp tradition: two-fisted, smart, wily, and a lucky bastard who always escapes in the nick of time.

Graphically, Silver is a classic black and white comic book, in which the artist uses positive and negative space to not only set tone and mood, but to also pace the narrative. When done with skill, a black and white comic book can create a sense of swiftly-moving action. Black and white comic book art can also present static images that convey danger, menace, and suspense with but a lone image or in a single panel. Franck does that throughout Silver #1.

In James Finnigan, Franck has created a character that will keep the series lively and funny, making Silver an adventure tale that mixes in other genres such as action, horror, and crime fiction. Silver is a gorgeous comic book that gets more entertaining with each page. Silver is the kind of comic book that has kept me in love with comic books since I was child.

Readers looking for classic pop comics will want Stephan Franck’s Silver.


Readers can purchase Silver #1 on ComiXology:

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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