Writing: Matthew Rosenberg; Linework & Lettering: Michael Walsh; Coloring: Toni Marie Griffin & Michael Walsh; Editing: Chris Hampton; Silver Coin 3D model: Amanda Nicholson.
The Silver Coin is created by Michael Walsh, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, Kelly Thompson, & Chip Zdarsky
The Silver Coin from Image Comics follows a cursed coin through time and carnage aplenty, each issue gloriously resplendent in the occult and chills galore. Every new release tells its own tale of horror in a massive quilt of macabre occurrences, all threaded together by the influences of . . . the coin. Read on to find out more about the eighth installment of . . . THE SILVER COIN!!!!!
Spoiler free, of course!
Holy freaking crap, y'all. I think that's the best opener I have for this week's new issue of The Silver Coin, straight out of Image Comics. This nightmare child, spawned by the haunted minds of top-tier comics talent, continues to up the ante with every issue as the medium gets pushed to its fullest meaning-making capability; all of which is fuel that keeps my inner bookworm crawlin'. This week is no different, as the spatial and thematic opportunities afforded by comics are taken full advantage of by a team that seems discontent with any reader having unsullied shorts.
The writing and lettering work together well to establish dynamic characters at opposite ends of the American Dream in the corporate world. We follow a janitor and his . . . evolving relationship with an executive and his unique collection; the subtitle of this issue, "Rising and Falling in America", becomes more and more appropriate as we observe two characters at opposing ends of their experience with the coin. The writing is often poetically grisly, highlighting pessimistic ideals with beautiful language that's all scratched hastily into narration boxes in lettering reminiscent of anxious delusions. The lettering hints at the false veneer of the writing's sometimes apathetic tone. There's something darker underneath and to address it fully . . . well . . . spoiler free this must be.
The architecture of the page (like that seen above) does well to create a sense of space. The standard 3-tier, 9-panel grid creates an expectation of normalcy, a mood furthered by the story's corporate aesthetic. This pattern also bolsters the beautiful art and coloring by establishing character context with just these things. Space is definitely played with to cross temporal lines. The above image would appear to be facing a building, our viewpoint being through windows, but instead we see a monotony of tediousness played out over time rather than space. This is an often underused manipulation of the comics form that really revs my engine. The linework is essential to this series as the fluctuating thickness of each line lends every scene its own depth and abyssal hopelessness.
An interesting aspect of The Silver Coin series is its aversion to giving us hope. Normally hope in horror emphasizes the latter, but here the vacuum left by hope is expertly filled with torment galore. The permeating snow, darkened lighting, and odd assortment of activities walk us through the typical lives of the characters we will be focusing on . . . all while the coin looms over the page.
My favorite facet of this comic is the looming coin. Singular panels show us the coin in midair, turning, turning, and turning. It looms over any given page and seems to build in the back of the mind, accumulating doom and suspense like an anxiety questionnaire at the doctor's office. It oversees the slowly deteriorating minds in the story, almost suspended outside of time and space. The imagery and thematic implications are horrific in the best possible way . . . though the only way for you to know is to find out for yourself.
Special shout-out to Amanda Nicholson whose 3D model of the coin creates an eerily realistic aesthetic. The use of these models is becoming more and more common, and I'm here for it quite enthusiastically.
The Silver Coin #8 released January 19 at your LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP and Image Comics' website. Hell, go back and read the whole series if you're looking for continuous chills. If you're also like me and have a hankering for the horrific check out the following titles of terror!
Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.