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Silver Vol. 1 TPB Paperback – November 12, 2014
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With Silver, Stephan Franck shows how much excitement can be packed into a fast-moving, thrill-filled story...dynamic, unfussy, black and white art, all in the service of speed and momentum...a really, really fun ride. --Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween; Batman Dark Victory)
Rama Rating: 10 out of 10 I'm usually apprehensive when I hear that a book has a classic like Dracula as its backdrop, for it typically portends a revisionist take on the accepted canon, and I have yet to find one that significantly improves upon the original. But just asThe Walking Dead is a zombie tale only in the sense that the undead accessorize a compelling narrative about the human condition, Silver is a character-driven, pulpy adventure where vampires are the MacGuffin. As a result - and with no pun intended - this trade paperback collection of the first three issues of Silver shines. It's 1931, 50 years after Jonathan Harker has written his account of visiting the Romanian noble, Count Dracula. During a heist, James Finnegan thief and con man extraordinaire, has gotten his sticky fingers on Harker's musty journal, and it's within those pages and passages that Harker reveals the existence of a massive treasure located in the bowels of Dracula's castle: a pyramid of silver that was supposedly last seen in 2800 BC Mongolia. The Chinese government has a $20 million bounty on the mythical silver, and with Finnegan's crew strapped for cash after the dogged FBI raining on their early retirement plans, Finnegan sets his sights on the castle to do what he does best. There is, of course, a catch: the only window of opportunity is a few days in May when the castle opens up to what essentially amounts to vampire homecoming. It's daring yet suicidal, but Finnegan's a man perpetually armed with a plan, further emboldened by the addition to his entourage of a child psychic and the katana-wielding vampire exterminator, Rosalyn Sledge, who is also the granddaughter of Abraham van Helsing. Writer and artist Stephan Franck comes from the feature film world where he was a supervising animator on The Iron Giant, and a story artist on Despicable, and it shows. Silver was initially born as a script, and it s not hard to believe given how cinematically the story flows from panel to panel. Mr. Franck is not only able to tell an intriguing story, but he populates it with characters that are defined through dialogue and appearance; the book is a terrific example of the writer's mantra, show, don't tell. It's something of a requirement of the pulpy adventure genre that the main protagonist voice-over his innermost thoughts, but Mr. Franck doesn't overdo it, judiciously doling out Finnegan's efforts to help the reader better see through his eyes. Finnegan is a likeable character, and it's refreshing to see him a member of a thieving crew where everyone's in it together and not out to stab one another in the back at the first opportunity. The other standout, Sledge, is tough and strong, a woman standing on her own in wiping out the vampire scourge until Finnegan drafts her into his cause. Hers will be the voice of reason for this motley crew in the coming chapters. Where this book really impresses, though, is the artwork. Mr. Franck acknowledges Kirby specifically The Eternals as a large influence on his style, but in reading this book, I was struck by notes of Mike Mignola and Tim Sale that echo across the pages. It s exquisite in black and white, and the dotted gray scale shading lends something of a Lichtenstein feel to many panels. The behind the scenes feature affords the reader valuable commentary on how panel layouts were imagined and ultimately changed in places to accommodate better visual focus on characters or action, all efforts that let the story breathe without every feeling visually repetitive. There are several terrific full-page splashes that a reader could spend several minutes appreciating, in particular the flashback scenes beneath Finnegan s telling of the silver's origin. This is a book that's worth every penny, a great first act to a larger story. --Newsarama
I like a good strong female character. If she's surrounded by a bunch of dudes, especially old forgers and fences, I want her to be able to kick some ass. I like it when a male character will call a female character something like sweetheart or doll and the girl wipes back a 'Say that again and I ll kill you.' Because that's how I feel every time some ass says that to me. I work in customer service so I can't bust out death threats. But I live vicariously through people like Rosalynd. So yay. --Tatoo Girl Reads
About the Author
Stephan Franck is an award-nominated animator/writer/director/comic book creator. He was a supervising animator on the cult classic THE IRON GIANT, and contributed story to DESPICABLE ME. He co-created the animated TV series CORNEIL & BERNIE (Nicktoons - Hub Network), and received an Annie Award nomination for Best Director In a TV Program for the special SMURFS: THE LEGEND OF SMURFY HOLLOW, which presented the Smurf for the first time in 2D animation at a feature-animation level of quality. Stephan's graphic novel debut, SILVER Volume 1 earned him a nomination for the prestigious Russ Manning Award at San Diego Comic Con 2014, and landed on ComiXology Submit's ESSENTIAL READS list.
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Top Customer Reviews
Like I said, I’m glad I took his suggestion. I really liked it. The story is awesome. It digs into some of the Bram Stroker’s Dracula myths we all know and love but adds an old heist element to it as well that we don’t normally see in this age.
It’s interesting that it’s set in 1931. At times it doesn’t feel like it, like when you’re seeing super tough chick, Rosalynd Sledge. But then again, how the equipment works during the first heist, silver bars, and the language they occasionally throw in pulls in all back in.
I’m not complaining about Rosalynd, so please don’t interpret it that way. I like a good strong female character. If she’s surrounded by a bunch of dudes, especially old forgers and fences, I want her to be able to kick some ass. I like it when a male character will call a female character something like sweetheart or doll and the girl wipes back a “Say that again and I’ll kill you.” Because that’s how I feel every time some ass says that to me. I work in customer service so I can’t bust out death threats. But I live vicariously through people like Rosalynd. So yay.
The art is all really interesting. It’s all black, white, and grayscale. The only red is on the cover. With a comic, sometimes that works sometimes it doesn’t. Usually when it doesn’t it’s because it’s so dark that you can’t figure out what was going on. Not the case with Silver. I may have had to do a double take on some of the images but I could always figure out what was up.
The guys looked like actual guys instead of hulking figures of man muscle and Rosalynd was a cross between a normal woman and a slightly too sexy female character. I mention that because while I was reading, I wondered why she would have her cleavage out in the 1930s to kill vampires. It wasn’t over the top, but I’m a girl, I think about stuff like that. She even had a slight shot of side boob when we first see her.
I’d pick it up and give it a try if you get a chance. It’s got a really good story and I’d like to see where this goes. If I did half ratings, I’d give it a 4.5