Published on May 31st, 2018 | by Dana Folkard
THE FINAL VOLUME OF STEPHAN FRANCK’S “SILVER” IS NOW LIVE ON KICKSTARTER!
Stephan Franck has worked on some of the most beloved animated films of all time, including The Iron Giant, How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me —and his passion for storytelling extends from the silver screen to comic books and graphic novels. Over the course of the last four years, Franck has been writing, illustrating and self publishing SILVER, a globe-trotting graphic novel series that mashes up the world of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula with action, adventure, humor, pulp storytelling and modern sensibilities. Told over the course of 4 volumes (and a stand alone novella), Franck has created an unforgettable cast and a compelling caper that picks up 30 years after Professor Abraham Van Helsing visited Dracula’s castle. Now Van Helsing’s descendent, the mysterious vampire hunter Rosalyn, is teaming up with a ragtag group of con men for a high stakes heist to rob Europe’s richest vampires. Will they succeed, and live off their take from this one last job? All will be revealed in the fourth and final volume of SILVER, which Franck and his company Dark Planet Comics are funding via a Kickstarter campaign.
In SILVER, a group of criminals discover the late Jonathan Harker’s secret ledger, which discloses the existence of an exotic treasure of silver hidden in Dracula’s castle. Finnigan, the group’s leader, knows a retirement plan when he sees it, so he’s willing to do whatever it takes to pull off the biggest heist of the last ten centuries—even if that means allying himself with the mysterious, sword-wielding vampire hunter Sledge, aka Rosalind Van Helsing.
This year, Dark Planet Comics released a Free Comic Book Day Edition of the first issue of SILVER. “My hope is that fans who love old-fashioned storytelling that’s chock full of action and adventure, mystery and humor, discover SILVER in time to be a part of the epic finale.” The series has already attracted the notice of comic book creators including Tim Sale, Bill Sienkiewicz and Jim Lee, and has been widely praised with coverage from an array of outlets including NPR, THE NERDIST, HORROR NEWS NETWORK, NEWSARAMA and COMICON.
Fans who back the new Kickstarter can get digital editions, all four trade paperbacks individually, a signed slipcase featuring forall four trade paperbacks, the acclaimed novella ROSALYND, an audiobook of ROSALYND and limited edition prints by or done in collaboration with three incredible artists: Marvel comics and Kickstarter sensation Takeshi Miyazawa (Ms.Marvel, Spiderman, Code Monkey Saves World), animator and bandes dessinées artist Rodolphe Guenoden (Kung Fu Panda, Ma Reverence), and superstar illustrator Mel Milton.
When he’s not writing and drawing comics, Franck is an Executive Producer and the Head of Story for the PLAYMOBIL Movie for Lionsgate. Previously, he worked as a supervising animator on the cult classic film THE IRON GIANT and as a key story contributor to DESPICABLE ME. Franck also co-created the award-winning 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.
If funded through Kickstarter, pledges will be delivered to backers this fall. The SILVER Volume 4 Kickstarter campaign is live as of May 22nd and runs for 30 days.
This is what people are saying about Stephan Franck’s SILVER:
“Writer/artist Stephan Franck is firing on all cylinders…. Stylish black-and-white art, and a smart, charmingly roguish point-of-view-character draw you in.” — NPR
“With SILVER, Stephan Franck shows how much excitement can be packed into a fast-moving, thrill-filled story… a really, really fun ride.”—Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween)
“SILVER is so big, bold, and juicy! I absolutely love this book!” — Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin)
“Spun out of Bram Stoker’s literary classic Dracula, SILVER retains the original novel intact at its core, while extending its world in every possible direction.” — HORROR NEWS NETWORK
“Great book!”—Jim Lee (Batman)
“A beautifully drawn and masterfully told noir/heist story with a teasing side of the supernatural that constantly kept me surprised”—Takeshi Miyazawa (Ms. Marvel)
“Franck knows his customers, what they expect, and he gives it to them in spades.”—AIN’T IT COOL NEWS
“SILVER has all of the elements you crave and with a story that you’ll simply devour.”—David Gallaher (High Moon)
“May be the ultimate gothic noir comic saga.”—COMICON
“Impressive. A Mignola-esque reshuffling of history with a fanciful legerdemain that keeps the story light on its toes.—Samuel Sattin (Legend)
“You’ve seen adaptations and re-imaginings of author Bram Stoker’s seminal work Dracula, but never quite like this. Writer and artist Stephan Franck has taken the Dracula mythos and the foundation that Stoker built to create a unique yarn of horror and heist in his story Silver. The conceit sees an Ocean’s 11-esque caper that has con men and women eyeing the ultimate score: treasure from Dracula’s castle.”—FREAK SUGAR
“There may not be a better original vampire comic book in America than SILVER.”—COMIC BOOK BIN
ABOUT SILVER: VOLUME 1 (2014):
1931, New York City. Meet Finnigan, ethically challenged master-thief, and his partners in crime Mullins and Brantley, as they rob the mysterious Harker foundation. What was supposed to be their last job turns into a narrow escape from the FBI, and Finn loses the team’s retirement money. However, Finn discovers a mysterious ancient silver bar, and the late Jonathan Harker’s secret ledger, which discloses the existence of a fabulous treasure made of silver, hidden away in Dracula’s castle. Finn assembles a crew of talented but broken misfits to pull off the heist of the last ten centuries. On top of Mullins and Brantley, the team includes Rosalynd “Sledge” Van Helsing, who continues the family tradition, but has fallen on hard times, Hamilton Morley, a washed out burlesque actor/con man, Maitre Moineaux, an old forger who may not live long enough to see the job through, and Tao, a ten year old boy with the gift of second sight.
ABOUT SILVER: VOLUME 2 (2015):
The team boards the Orient Express, which is filled with Vampires travelling to Dracula’s castle. Romantic tension builds between Finn and Sledge, but she may have an ulterior motive for being on the team. We also learn more about Finn’s broken past, as it quickly becomes clear that Tao needs a role-model in Finn…something that Finn is not equipped to provide. Nonetheless, the team succeeds in pulling off the first steps of the plan in spite of Hamilton having a panic attack at the worst possible time. The team reaches the castle, and we find a powerful, but broken Drac, who never got over the loss of Mina Harker. For years, Drac has been in a funk–caught between his morbid obsession for the Heart Of The Dragon (the missing silver bar stolen by Harker) and his feelings for Mina, which are still haunting him. To pacify his subjects and prove he’s moved on, Drac has agreed to take a bride. Lillian Duvalier, a cruel and ambitious vampire princess is scheming to become the one, adding even more intrigue and volatility to the situation. As volume 2 ends, Finn and crew have managed to infiltrate the court, passing themselves as vampires, and successfully baited Dracula with a chance to regain the coveted Heart Of The Dragon.
ABOUT SILVER: VOLUME 3 (2017)
Silver Vol 3: The con is now in full swing and James Finnigan’s uniquely talented band of grifters is deep undercover. But talent comes at a price. Secrets and agendas emerge, and characters are pushed past their breaking points. While Finnigan struggles to keep his team on track, thrilling action, suspense, and drama ensues in the most intense and gothic volume yet.
ABOUT SILVER: VOLUME 4 (2018)
Rosalynd is a one-shot 244-page hardcover novella which dives deeper into the Silver Universe, and explores the mysterious past of one of Silver’s most beloved characters: Rosalynd “Sledge” Van Helsing as a child. Secrets about her family will be revealed, as well as young Rosalynd’s first-person account of the events that put her on the road to becoming the acerbic vampire-hunter from Silver that we know and love. This earnestly moving story is great whether you are already fan of Silver, or new to Rosalynd as a character.
ABOUT STEPHAN FRANCK:
Stephan Franck was a supervising animator on the cult classic THE IRON GIANT, a key story contributor to DESPICABLE ME. He co-created the award-winning 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, the first ever hand-drawn version of the beloved characters done at a feature-animation quality level. Stephan has worked for all the major feature animation studios as a supervising animator, story artist, writer and director, and has closely collaborated with talents as diverse as George Lucas and Adam Sandler. In addition to being attached to several features in development, Franck is currently Head of Story for the PLAYMOBIL movie for Lionsgate and lives in Los Angeles.
In 2013, Stephan reconnected with his lifelong passion for comics by creating the graphic novel series SILVER. Three years later, with two collected editions out, and a third one on the way, SILVER has connected with a very diverse and devoted fan-base, garnered glowing reviews from blogs big and small, nabbed a nomination for the prestigious Russ Manning Award at SDCC 2014, a 2015 Geekie Awards nomination for Best Graphic Novel, landed on ComiXology Submit’s ESSENTIAL READS list.