A new horror anthology miniseries from Image Comics from the minds of Michael Walsh, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, Kelly Thompson, and Chip Zdarsky. Can it get any better? Actually, yes. This first issue, “The Ticket,” written by Zdarksy with art by Walsh, involves a 1970s rock band and a mysterious curse. This is a gift!
The Silver Coin #1 introduces readers to the struggling rock band Running Red. Ryan, the front man, is restless: his mother has abandoned him and his father, and disco is edging out rock ‘n’ roll. After downing a few with his bandmates, he finds a coin in a crate of stuff his mom left behind. Desperate for fame and fortune, he makes a bargain with the devil (via the titular silver coin), and things get apocalyptic–fast.
This is familiar lore that we have come to associate with those musicians who seem just too good to be human (a little Led Zeppelin, anyone?), and it’s been the subject of many famous blues songs. Yet, despite its ubiquity, I eagerly consume this bit of lore in any form, and a comic by such talented creators is, as aforementioned, a gift.
Zdarksy’s writing captures Ryan’s desperation; his hunger for success is palpable. His poetic internal narration interacts smoothly with the believable dialogue, and I still find myself reflecting on a single conversation that Ryan shares his father. It’s that poignant. Likewise, Walsh’s art is fantastic. It evokes an ethereal ’70s vibe without relying on the tired psychedelic approach. I especially enjoy the pages that work with one color for the panel backgrounds–almost like snapshots from a music video. The coin itself is chilling, and the way it destroys Ryan manages to be both grotesque and beautiful.
With such a fully realized story, it’s difficult to read The Silver Coin #1 as a one shot, but, in many ways, that format makes the most sense for this kind of story: a tale of a reversal of fortune that just consumes and consumes until there is nothing left; after all, “A curse needs to feed.”
The Silver Coin #1
1970s Rock and Roll10.0/10
- Creators: Michael Walsh, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, Kelly Thompson, Chip Zdarsky
- Writer: Chip Zdarsky
- Artist: Michael Walsh
- Variant Cover Artists: Tula Hampton, Maria Nguyen
- Editor: Chris Hampton
- Publisher: Image Comics