SILENCE & CO.: MONEY IS POWER (Crystal Productions, 2013; Softcover)
Original graphic novel.
Writer: Gur Benshemesh
Artist: Ron Randall
Well this certainly came out of nowhere. A quick blurb in Previews, a Youtube trailer. Benshemesh's first comic book work is impressive. Ron Randall was also an unknown to me, although a quick search reveals that he has done tons of work for DC, Dark Horse, and Marvel. Silence & Co. is a self-contained graphic novel filled with what every red-blooded, freedom loving American male loves: The Life.
What is The Life (Capital T, capital L), you ask? Wine, women, money, and power, of course. Isn't this what everyone wants, deep down inside? Alexander Maranzano is a hitman. A Federal judge gets knocked off and he becomes the prime suspect, so the Maranzano family sends him off to Morocco to lay low for a while. He gets hired by Silence & Co., a “bank” pulling the financial strings for organized crime around the world.
Some of the standards and, some would argue, cliches of the crime/Noir genre come into play. The double cross. Falling for the enemy's good girl gone bad. Being set up for the fall. All of it is done in a believable manner that is organic to the story, and it all works. One refreshing thing about this book is that it takes place in the here and now. So many crime stories become impossible to tell with the advent of modern technology. This story uses them to its advantage. Mind you, I'm not faulting the stories that do not take place in 2013; I'm merely praising this one for pulling it off successfully.
I have never heard of Crystal Productions before but will definitely keep my eyes peeled for future releases from them.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This book is over 170 pages at a bargain basement MSRP of $9.99. It also comes factory sealed in shrinkwrap, ensuring that no pesky humans have handled your book.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Thick uncoated stock paper.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. This book has the same thick, waxy laminated coating found on books by the big boys. I was also impressed by the foil stamping on the cover.