Written by: Danny Lewis, Special to CC2K
Top Cow recently released a deluxe hardcover edition featuring the art of superstar artist Marc Silvestri. How does the collection hold up against Silvestri's illustrious 20-year career in the comic book industry? Find out inside!
Art by Marc Silvestri
Commentary by David Finch, Brandon Petersen, Billy Tan, Mike Choi, Michael Broussard
Published by Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Marc Silvestri has had quite the career since he began penciling Uncanny X-Men in 1987, spanning dozens of titles over several companies. One of the founders of Image Comics, Silvestri published his own characters under the Top Cow label, which included Witchblade, Cyberforce and The Darkness. In the comics industry, Silvestri’s pencils have stood out from the crowd for years: you don’t even need to see his signature on the piece to know he drew it. He’s got his style worked out and he does it well. Silvestri has lent a lot to the “Image style” of comic art, and much of the in-house work done at Top Cow is solidly derived from its founder.
However, unless you’re a huge fan of Witchblade or The Darkness, The Art of Marc Silvestri does not have much in the way of variety. Even then, about two-thirds of the book is made up of pictures of Jackie Estacado and Sara Pezzini striking badass poses or looking sultry. Perhaps the nicest touch is the juxtaposition of Silvestri’s original pencils alongside the finished versions, although these are limited to his Top Cow and most recent Marvel and DC work.
One major disappointment for me along with the lack of variety was the lack of a look at Silvestri’s lengthy career. Top Cow’s solicits state that The Art of Marc Silvestri “showcases some of Silvestri’s favorite, most popular, and most iconic images from his illustrious career,” yet the only really classic images found here are the covers to Uncanny X-Men #251 and Wolverine (Vol. 2) #57. Okay, okay, so this is published through Top Cow Productions (with special thanks to Marvel, DC, Dynamite and Image of course), but if this book is meant to be a retrospective of Silvestri’s twenty-year-long career, it really should include more than just two X-Men covers as representative of his skill. In fact, most of the images in this book are from the past five or six years; these two are the only ones that date back to his first steps into the world of comics.
In the end, there’s not a lot to this collection for those who aren’t already fans of Witchblade and The Darkness (and they’d have to be damn big fans of those books too). The pencils are a nice touch, but placing fifty or sixty drawings of the same characters next to each other tends to blend them all together. For a “Deluxe Hardcover” edition, there’s too much of the same here, and unless you need absolutely everything Top Cow or have collected everything Silvestri’s ever done, take a pass. For the hardcore fan only.
2.0 out of 5.