Go outside to any metropolitan area and you will see what appears to be your standard hustle and bustle of the city. The wafting scents of vehicle exhaust and street food filling your nostrils. People on the sidewalks moving past each other, trying to avoiding direct eye contact. Advertisements for the new trendy thing plastered on a billboard or some campaign sign telling you who to vote for in the upcoming election. Welcome to San Hannibal. Welcome to a city that will make you question what lies under the mask of society.

Every so often there comes an independent publisher that rocks my reading list harder than an overloaded freight truck parade going down the street on a Saturday morning. With that, I present to you the publisher Pop! Goes the Icon. From their offices comes the pop art-inspired noir San Hannibal by writer/artist Dan Schkade and Jesse Snavlin on colors/ letters. This is a story of Private Investigator Ira Avery who is commissioned to solve the disappearance of photojournalist Savannah Joy.

sanhan_01_p04

One of the things that make this story stick out is the internal monologue of Ira Avery. His thoughts become your thoughts. It is not a cold and calculated string of phrases that makes up these thoughts, but rather humanized observations that may not even hold complete relevancy to the immediate matter/information at hand. Being the reader, we get to see his process during the investigation. What he is feeling, suspecting, or questioning are all presented in this way. It is not a narrator or the writer that is telling the story, but the protagonist. Schkade does this so well, that I thought these were actually accounts told firsthand by Avery.

The use of colors to represent specific people or places was a well executed method to give added tonality for scenes. This helped to distinguish plot elements and who the focus of the panel should be on. The illustration and color choice made me give undivided attention to the story. I found this to be a great way to enhance the reading experience that I do not get to see often enough.

San Hannibal 003 (2014) (Digital) (Ookla-Empire) 022

The story may seem a little convoluted at times, but that is because it is a well layered mystery. We are introduced to unique characters gradually without being given a lot of information about them at first. Learning more about how they are tied into everything is nearly as interesting as the investigation itself. Whole series could be created on this alone, but Schkade knows how to give attention were needed so nothing is taken away from the plot.

SanHan5Page1

Final Impressions:                                                

Five issues are all it took to craft this well-formed story. There are times it feels like there is too much being thrown at the reader in terms of the conspiracy and intrigue elements. You cannot zone out and expect a nonchalant read when it comes to San Hannibal. You need to keep track of the alliances, goals, past conversations, and still focus on the fact that there is still a missing woman out there. This is a story that evolves and it does that well.

In the end, life goes on and does not end because you turn that last page. It is messy, uncertain, and will not always be tied with up a neat bow on top. Enjoy your time in San Hannibal.

If you cannot find all five issues of San Hannibal, then you can pick up the trade paperback copy on May 27th! So pre-order the trade paperbacks, order the single issues, pick it up off the shelves, do whatever you can to get this book in your hands.

The trade paperback to be release May 27th, 2015

 

San Hannibal is available for purchase at your Local Comic Shop and on Comixology. The trade paperback of the series will be available for purchase in March 27th at the following locations:
Comixology, TFAW, Pop! Goes the Icon, Barnes & Noble, DriveThru Comics, Comics Plus, Zero-Sum, My Comic Shop, and Comic Shop Locator

Overall Score
90 %

A pop art noir mystery that is exciting as it is beautiful.

Plot 90%
Pacing 95%
Art 100%

About The Author

Blake writes reviews for DestroyTheCyborg! on all manner of fun and geeky things. He is a unique mixture of snark and sarcasm sprinkled atop an extensive knowledge of pop culture, particularly in the way of comics, music, and literature. He has amassed a collection of books and comics large enough to land him a starring role in an episode of "Hoarders" and often requiring a trip to close out furniture stores for yet another bookshelf to house them all. But with all that collecting comes knowledge…of damn near every character or story arc in all things comic related (even the stuff he hasn't read... at all). Seriously, just ask him. When he's not writing reviews or reading comics, usually he can be found with his other love, music, particularly of the jazz and blues variety. Or regaling those around him with completely random yet super detailed stories or factoids picked up from god only knows where.

One Response to San Hannibal – #1 – #5 – Noir Done Right