Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Reads You Review: SILVER #3


CARTOONIST/CREATOR: Stephan Franck – @stephan_franck
COVER: Stephan Franck with Alan Bodner
32pp, B&W, $4.50 U.S. (2014)

Silver is a 12-issue miniseries created by Stephan Franck (a filmmaker in the American animation industry) and published by Dark Planet Comics.  Silver extends the fictional world of writer Bram Stoker, the author of the novel, Dracula (1897), into the 1930s.  The series stars con man James Finnigan, a thief extraordinaire who plans to steal silver from the living-dead.

Act 1 of Silver focuses on Finnigan's mission to assemble a crew that can help him pull off the biggest heist of the last ten centuries.  The series opens in New York City, 1931 at the Harker Foundation, a creation of the recently deceased Jonathan Harker and his late wife, Wilhelmina “Mina” (Murray) Harker.  That is where Finnigan crashes an auction of rare silver pieces from the Harkers’ private collection and accidentally stumbles into a crypt where he finds an ancient bar of silver.  He loses something during the heist-gone-bad, displeasing his partners, Ed Mullins and Brantley, but he sells them on a bigger heist, the Harker silver.  He recruits a new member of his heist team, Rosalynd Van Helsing a.k.a Rosalynd Sledge.

In Silver #3 (entitled “Curse of the Silver Dragon”), Finnigan continues to assemble his heist team.  He adds Mister Moineaux a.k.a. Maitre Moineaux the “French Touch,” and Hamilton “Ham” Morley, a washed-out actor who has become an “In n' Out” guy.  Now, Finnigan tells them the part of the story of Dracula that is not well known.  It is the story of “The Dragon,” a work of art that is a pyramid made of silver bars.  Not all of his team is buying this story.

I loved Silver after only reading the first issue.  I am always looking for comic books that remind me of the reasons why I love comic books so much:  the sense of adventure, of new worlds to discover, of strange new places to visit, and of peculiar new people to meet.  Of course, the most important reason is that they are fun to read.  When I find a comic book like that, I want to convince other readers, as both a comic book fan and reviewer, to try it, hoping that they will like it – even if they don’t like it as much as I do.  Silver is the kind of book I want to convince others to read.

In Silver, Stephan Franck recalls both the work and storytelling of such legendary comic book creators as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, and Harvey Kurtzman.  As the second issue did, Silver #3 has striking page layouts and imaginative storytelling.  Silver is a gripping narrative and a comic book series worth repeated readings.


[Silver #3 contains a behind scenes look at Franck's artistic process for this issue and also an interview/preview with sculptor Troy Saliba.]

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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