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‘Silver #1:’ Comic Book Review

One of the best things about going to a con is meeting many of the artists and writers who I have met through social media. When time and budget allows, I like to pay them the professional courtesy of buying their comic and actually reading it. Thus was the case of Stephan Franck.
After chatting on Facebook, we finally met at APE, but I wasn’t able to pick up his comic until Comikaze Expo. I also got a little of the inside scoop on the comic from his wife, but we’ll get to that. I was thrilled to see when I got back to my table that he had drawn my profile on the inside of the front cover. (That falls under the category of good marketing.)

Silver is set in 1931 New York and is about a jewel thief by the name of James Finnigan. Now, he’s not just any jewel thief, he’s the best.  We meet him on the job where he’s trying to heist a load of silver jewelry from the estate of Jonathan Harker and his late wife, Mina. (OK, Dracula fans, this should give you a clue as to where this is going.)  His well-planned theft is disrupted by Special Agent Myrick of the FBI.  Backed by his tech man, Brantley, and his right-hand man, Mullins, Finnigan’s caper almost succeeds without a hitch – until he makes a wrong turn.  Desperately trying to escape, Finnigan demonstrates his intelligence, his athletic abilities, and his sometimes questionable judgment when a Chinese boy helps him escape.  But, did he really escape, or did he just jump from the proverbial frying pan into the fire? We’ll have to wait and see in Issue #2.

I really enjoyed the comic, and Stephan’s screenwriting background comes through loud and clear with his ability to jump right into the heart of the story without wasting time. We meet Finnigan doing his job and doing it well – and without using a gun (which makes him likeable in my world view). Exposition is added as part of the action, so you don’t feel like the story comes to a screeching halt as we wait for two (or more) characters to reveal back story through dialogue.  I also particularly enjoyed his treatment of the one female character (so far), Miss Olsen, in that Finnigan respected her intelligence and planned for it.  Though the animosity between his partners, Mullins and Brantley, is a standard relationship for this kind of story — it works.  Well written and well paced, I suspect even the seemingly convenient rescue by the Chinese boy will pay off later.

I thought the use of black and white worked very well for the tone, mood, and time period. His wife did tell me they had originally colored the comic, but then Stephan changed his mind. I think it worked out for the best.

My only nitpick is that I didn’t realize they were in the Harker Mansion until almost the very end of the issue.  I thought they were at an auction
house the whole time. This is a small detail that Stephan needs to look out for in future issues.

All-in-all, a terrific comic, and I look forward to reading more.

You can find out more about Stephan Franck and the comic at Dark Planet Comics.




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