I absolutely love a good noir, a close friend lent me the box set “CRIME NOVELS: AMERICAN NOIR OF THE 1930s & 40s” years ago and I fell in love with the rhythm, the style, the depth. I had seen many movies from that genre, Postman Always Rings Twice, Strangers On A Train, They Drove By Night, and had really enjoyed them but I wasn’t truly hooked until I actually read some.
When I heard about Victor Santos (Mice Templar, Godzilla Kingdon of Monsters) Polar I was slightly dubious. A silent comic that’s considered noir? Preposterous, the dialogue is a huge part of why those stories work. Right?
Not necessarily. In just the first ten pages of Polar I could see why this web-comic is so well received. There’s no prologue, no character introductions, no “setting the scene”, you’re thrust into a story already in progress but it’s so well illustrated you’re swept up into it before you realize.
Here’s Victor Santos own words describing Polar:
“Polar is an online action comic. …
The story uses a minimalistic and direct style inspired by movies like Le Samurai (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967), Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1965) or Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967)and novels like The Killer inside me (Jim Thompson, 1952)or The Eiger Sanction (Trevanian, 1979). Polar is also a tribute to artists like Jim Steranko, Jose Muñoz, Alberto Breccia, Alex Toth and Frank Miller,.”
The printed volume will run 160 pages, I promise you it won’t be enough.
But again before I get too excited there is one difference in the print version. Mr Santos has written a script. Dialogue. But didn’t I just get through telling you this was actually a great silent comic? Yup, I did. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. In the meantime here’s a couple of pages from the web-comic…
Let’s just hope the dialogue is kept to a minimum, because what has already been done here is wonderful.
Want to see more of Polar as it is now? Click on over to PolarComic.com.
Here’s Darkhorse Press Release from SDCC:
VICTOR SANTOS’S POLAR COMES FROM THE COLD TO DARK HORSE!
San Diego, CA, JULY 17—As announced at San Diego Comic-Con, Dark Horse Comics is proud to bring Polar, the lauded silent webcomic by Victor Santos (Mice Templar, Filthy Rich), to print—available for the first time ever with dialogue!
A guns-blazing espionage action-adventure in the grand tradition of Jim Steranko and Frank Miller, this graphic novel is a brutal, fast-tempo story of revenge that Newsarama says is “as ice-cold as its name.” Though Polar was originally released as a silent webcomic, Santos has crafted a script as hard boiled and intriguing as his art for this hardcover collection.
“Polar began as a tribute to the greatness of graphic storytelling. Watching it improve and evolve into the version readers will see in the book printed by one of my favorite publishers, I can only say: Mission accomplished, old soldier,” said creator Victor Santos.
Ripped out of retirement by an assassination attempt, the world’s most deadly spy—the former agent known as Black Kaiser—is a wanted man that’s wanted . . . dead! On a collision course with his former employer, the Damocles Agency, Black Kaiser goes head to head with a stab-happy, psychotic torture expert and a seductive but deadly redhead. His mission only ends if he dies or kills everyone out to get him, and he’s not in the habit of dying.
Additional praise for Victor Santos’s Polar:
“A beautiful, if bloody, webcomic . . . an engaging experiment in color, style, and wordless storytelling.”—CBR’s Robot 6
Polar: Came from the Cold is on sale December 11 in stores everywhere.
Visit PolarComic.com to check out more on Victor Santos.