We take a look at Dead Silence, one of two comics brought to us by David B. Cooper and Ryan Taylor which was recently unveiled at Glasgow Comic Con. A story about murder, cults and mimes – can Dead Silence make a good amount of noise in the small press market, or will end up muted?
Publisher: David B Cooper Comics
Writer: David B. Cooper
Artist: Ryan Taylor (Pencils/Inks), David B. Cooper (Colours/Letters)
Price: £4 at David B Cooper’s Big Cartel Store
Dead Silence follows Smoaks and Malone, two detectives on the trail of a supposed serial killer after being called to the scene of a third body. But with no evidence and a very sketchy eyewitness, the odds of finding the culprit look uncertain for the duo. Who is the killer? And more importantly, how is he murdering his victims without leaving evidence? These are the questions which plague to two. However, when a break in the case leads them to a new suspect, Smoaks and Malone discover a conspiracy beyond their imagination, even though their imaginations might be their only weapon.
Despite a somewhat slow start to the title, David Cooper has produced a very enjoyable and humorous story which is very funny in its absurdity once this comic finds its groove. Cooper has written a really good story, which is paced well and feels tight in regards to it’s focus, with Dead Silence appearing to have little, if any at all, superficial content which might bloat it. The issue does have a problem in that it seems unsure of what it is, with the comic shifting its tone from a serious crime depiction to a more horror-esque vibe by the eighth page before shifting again to the more comedic focus at issue 14. That said, this refuses to affect Dead Silence’s overall enjoyment, with its flaws practically forgotten by the end.
Meanwhile, the artwork by Ryan Taylor is a solid, quintessentially cartoonist style, though with something of a morbid slant. This slant is only solidified by Cooper’s rich, deep colours, which gives some of the book a rather 70’s Grindhouse look, such as the early scenes at the crime scene. However, the art style as an overall doesn’t seem very in keeping with the more serious tone of the book in its beginning. That said, this continues to lessen as the book continues, until you reach the more comedic shift when Taylor’s style shows its strength by seeming to work perfectly with the the more comedic narrative. This is no better shown than during the “shootout” in the church, where Taylor does really well to depict whatever weapon comes to his, and the characters, imaginations.
Dead Silence isn’t quick to get off the starting line, but Cooper and Taylor have made a nicely drawn, well written comic which you will really find to be a great read the further in you reader. All in all, this a comic which deserves a look as it seems like only the start of what these two talented creators will offer.