Silverwolf Comics

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Silverwolf Comics
Former type Comic publisher
Industry Comics
Founded 1986
Founder(s) Kris Silver
Defunct 1987
Headquarters Sacramento, California

Silverwolf Comics was a California-based American comic book publisher founded by Kris Silver in the mid-’80s with titles and characters created entirely by him. Among the titles it published during its run were Dark Assassin, Guillotine, Legion X-1, Port, and Victim.

The company is probably best known for giving the first popular exposure to the work of the artist Tim Vigil in his work on another Silverwolf title, Grips. Grips is one of a handful of titles that survived beyond the first few issues. Another notable distinction of Grips was that its main character’s alter-ego was a comic book illustrator whose own creation, dubbed Fat Ninja, was also put out as a title by Silverwolf - in actuality written by Kris Silver). Fat Ninja was probably Silverwolf’s second most popular title after Grips. Tim Vigil also drew the first two issues of Nightmaster (only the first issue was published by Silverwolf. The second issue was published as a serial within the Greater Mercury Comics anthology GMC Action.) as well as the first and only two issues of Dragon Quest.

The company also published some of the first work by the artist Ron Lim. Lim drew the first four page Grips story in the pages of Silverwolf Bulletin #2 and reportedly also drew the first issue of Grips before Tim Vigil was hired and he re-drew the book. After Tim Vigil, Juan Muro was the artist for Grips. He did the artwork for two issues . Juan was never paid the agreed amount, instead he received a box of copies of the two issues from Mr Silver. Lim’s first published work (of a full comic book) came in the first issue of another title, Eradicators. Silverwolf was the first company to hire artist Rob Liefeld, though he never actually had any work published (he was hired to draw the first issue of Stech but he dropped out after finding other work and was replaced by Lorenzo Lizanna (later of Artline Studios).

Distinctive qualities[edit]

Computer lettering[edit]

The lettering in Silverwolf comics was unusual, in that it was typed on an Apple Macintosh and printed with an Apple ImageWriter printer in the Geneva font. The result was less professional-looking than traditional comics hand-lettering, but was more cost-effective. The primitive computer lettering was a way to save money on letterers. In fact, the lettering, in its own way, gave Silverwolf’s comics a memorable style element that was consistent throughout all Silverwolf titles.

Cover color bands[edit]

Another noteworthy distinction of Silverwolf’s books was the solid band of color that surrounded every book’s cover art. These aspects help make comics by Silverwolf a time capsule/cultural artifact of the 1980s.

Titles published[edit]

  • Dark Assassin
  • Edge
  • Eradicators
  • Fat Ninja
  • Grips
  • Guillotine
  • Legion X-1
  • Legion X-2
  • Port
  • Stech
  • Victim
  • Thieves
  • Fantastic Fables
  • Nightmaster
  • Silverwolf Art Series
  • Silverwolf Talent Search
  • Silverwolf Bulletin

Silverwolf also published roleplaying games:

  • Holocaustic Dungeons
  • Arena

...as well as portfolios:

  • Grips Portfolio (five different ones by Tim Vigil)
  • Eradicators (by Ron Lim)

As Greater Mercury

  • Daemon’s Blood
  • Dark Assassin (later Dark Assassin and Chance)
  • Tink (under the imprint of “Venusian Press”)
  • Grips
  • Grips Adventures
  • Legion X-1
  • Legion X-2
  • Psychopath (two series, the latter under “Greater Mercury” and the first series under the “Venusian Press” line)
  • Edge
  • Greater Mercury Comics Action (continued from Silverwolf’s Grips which ended with the fourth issue, GMC Action began with #5)
  • Fat Ninja

Various portfolios were also published by Greater Mercury.

Greater Mercury Comics[edit]

Silverwolf ceased publication in 1987, but re-emerged as Greater Mercury Comics in 1989, publishing more material and characters created by Silver, until GMC ceased publishing in the early 1990s. Other notable talents that got their start at Greater Mercury include Brandon McKinney (who actually started at Silverwolf drawing 'Legion X-1'), Shane White, Roman Morales III and Scott Reed.