Writing - 8.5/10
Art - 9/10
Overall - 9.5/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: J.R. Mount
Letterer: J.R. Mount
Colorist: J.R. Mount
Musical Score: J.R. Mount
Soundtrack Performed: The Geezers
The elderly. They’re thrown away and cast aside by a youthful society. Their only crime was getting old. They struggle with new technologies, fading memories, and the pain of aging. With years of experience, intelligence, and maturity, they’re only seen as lives waiting to expire. They’re labeled as “old coots,” “codgers,” “curmudgeons,” “geezers,” and worse. Their families rarely visit, and few ever come to them for advice or a reason to give their lives meaning. Their way of life dies a little more every day, along with their friends, families, and memories. They remember being young once, with their lives ahead of them. Now, it feels like all those great days are behind them. Here, in Dubuque, Iowa, a small, dwindling community of old, retired, widower-farmers spend their days inside their retirement community condos, waiting to die.
Until one day…hermitty old Angus Hort finds that something has crashed into his barn…from the skies. This friendly being he’ll name “Skip” not only becomes his reason for living but the only hope for saving the entire human race…with his help. Because doom approaches. Monsters are coming.
J.R. Mounts is an independent comics creator and musician who has worked over the last few years on a number of projects. This most recent project, Silver Linings, is his new Kickstarter Project. J.R. was kind enough to give us a review copy of Silver Linings along with the accompanying soundtrack!
In Silver Linings, the main character, Angus Hort, is a lonely old man and war vet. Since his wife and brother left him, he fills his day with a lonely routine. He and the few remaining old men live in single-room condos they call “Widower’s Row” while he spends his days visiting the porch of his abandoned house. Just as Angus thinks he’s done with life, something crashes into his barn: an alien.
The writing here is warm and empathetic, if that makes sense. Angus and his new alien friend develop a unique relationship that’s really brought out by Mount. He uses his writing and art to bring the reader right into the center of ’80s sci-fi.
I really enjoyed J.R. Mounts’ characters. As I mentioned, they were stereotypical of ’80s sci-fi, but there is nothing wrong with that. At times there was also a nostalgic Pixar vibe to the friendship between Angus and Skip the Alien. Their communication grows through telepathy and they really look out for each other. We get the impression that while Angus is a solitary creature, he’s really looking for a friend, and he definitely finds that.
One thing I have to say is that there are no pacing issues here. And while I probably would have liked more of a backstory, once the action hit it really hit.
I loved the artwork in Silver Linings. J.R. Mounts made the decision to use watercolors for the design and coloring. It really paid off. The artwork is warm and inviting and I feel like it really adds to the story, and I can only imagine the amount of work that went into this! The colors again take us back to the time period and indeed make us feel like we’re really at the farm. The colors are wholesome and the character design is really spot on. Skip, for example, is designed beautifully: big beautiful eyes and a gorgeous rich color.
When we normally talk about artwork we stick to the colors but this graphic novel comes with its own soundtrack! It even has its own guide to let you know what songs to listen to while you’re reading. This really enhanced the experience and made the graphic novel more colorful all around. Fair play!
If you’re looking to support an independent comics creator, then I highly recommend J.R. Mounts. As a storyteller, he has created a lot of unique and beautiful stories from places you wouldn’t normally think of. Silver Linings is a prime example of this. Focusing on war vets, he delves into a new realm of sci-fi. And while I would have liked a bit more backstory, that’s really just nit-picking. His other works follow on from this, as you can see in Fried Pickle Noir and Scairy Tales comics. Another Kickstarter-funded project called STUCK IN MY HEAD, about a happily married man with such a crappy job that all he does is daydream about killing his co-worker, was a huge success and won an award for Best Graphic Novel at the Dragon Con Awards, so it’s no wonder that Silver Linings is here for the long run!
You can find out more about those works on his website: www.scairytalesnoir.com
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