The Seven Sagas of Silverbeard from Pete Taylor with Mark Hughes published by Catfood Comics
If you are a lover of the truly great ages of comics then you will know the name Silverbeard. From the four color epics of the sixties, zipatone mythology crackling with energy to the bronze age with its explosive action. The great god-ape was an omnipresent part of the scene and of comics lore. Marvel, DC, Catfood Comics – universally known as the ‘big three’.
The issues are hard to come by these days, and if you find one in a back issue bin you are very lucky, or maybe hallucinating. It is said that the ink the comics were printed with was toxic and caused the comics to disintegrate as well as inducing psychedelic episodes for the reader. Years later middle-aged men at comic cons would have sudden flashbacks and attack Deadpool cosplayers with ‘free hugs’ signs yelling “remember the Simian Swashbuckler!”
Such is the rarity of these tales that Pete Taylor has brought together a host of comics creators to recreate some of the great lost stories. And if you believe any of this then I have some swampland in Cimmeria you might be interested in.
Inspiration for the tales of Silverbeard can be found across the many swashbuckling, sword and sorcery realms to be found in comics, most obviously Thor and Conan.
There are some very funny characters to be found in the pages of Silverbeard. I particularly enjoyed Choppy Bob the talkative ninja assassin (whose quick quips reminded me of Spidey) and who lurks the streets of the wonderfully named Aach-Garwarn. The letters page is also a treat.
I’m not supposed to talk…It’s the first rule of Shadow GuildChoppy Bob
Pete Taylor’s art on the introductory tale ‘The Pulse-Pounding Origin of Silverbeard’ has a suitably silver-age zip-a-tone feel and the piratical story ‘Hell Bound!’ conjours up an eldritch sea-mist with an effective purple and green palette.
Mark Hughes takes on the illustration for ‘The Two-Headed Snake’. The energetic action scenes are effectively drawn as Silverbeard throws his weight around. Mark’s faces are great and you will enjoy meeting the unmasked Choppy Bob.
Finally there are some fantastic pin-up pages from a host of wonderful creators including Jim Mahfood. Really they are all great and it is hard to pick one out but I did especially like Dimitris Zach’s contribution.
The Seven Sagas of Silverbeard is a barnstorming trip to the realms of the imagination. Frankly we could all do with a trip there at the moment. So, top up your anti-psychotic medication and get a good whiff of that paper. Don’t drop it in the bath though.
The Seven Sagas of Silverbeard can be purchased here. Pete Taylor can be found on Twitter – @thismanthispete