I’ve read a lot of great series this year; books that have really stolen a place in my heart with how fantastic they are and San Hannibal is one of those series. The first issue assured that I would be back for the second, but I lost track of it for a moment and didn’t catch its release and forgot about it. Well I forget how exactly, but it came to my attention again and even though I had planned what I was going to read that day already I stopped everything and moved San Hannibal to the top of my pile. That’s what type of book this is, it’s the first one you want to read because you know you can’t wait. It may in fact spoil the rest of your reading, but you just don’t care. This issue opens up with a murder, but then also a marking. The person that’s killed (and I won’t say who) is marked with a shot of gold on the forehead. That’s right; someone’s calling card is liquid gold. The next day we’re back with our P.I. as he attempts to track down his missing girl’s boyfriend. Problem is… he’s not in the drunk tank like he expected. This sends Avery to talk to Savannah’s sort of partner at the paper, a writer by the name of Russo. He gives Avery very little to go on, but the conversation is still interesting. With the smidgen of a lead that Russo gave him, Avery heads back to see Diane who decides to take him to see a crime lord.
I’m going to stop there because I can’t do this story justice by dancing around all the reveals. I don’t want to spoil it so please grab it and give it a read.
The writing is sharp and on point. It never falters as it keeps the plot moving, the characters developing and the mystery growing. I seriously haven’t been this intrigued with a P.I. story in a long time. I’ve read numerous P.I. inspired stories in the past year and even the delightful The Private Eye, but San Hannibal is in a league of its own. You’re not supposed to know where the story is going in a P.I. tale, but you are supposed to get clues to help you solve it alongside our detective. Here we get a few clues, but the mystery is deep and so interesting that it doesn’t matter if we have a lot of clues or not. Dan Schkade’s writing is masterful.
The art switches in this issue; JD Faith was the illustrator for the first issue, but here Dan Schkade also illustrates along with writing the issue. I’m partial to both styles so I’m not going to say one is better than the other, rather Schkade’s art fits his story with this issue. The opening in particular was incredibly dynamic and felt like something out of Chinatown or even Dean Motter’s Mister X. Something about the opening just stayed with me for the rest of the issue. It grabs you within an instant and once it does you can’t stop yourself from soaking up every panel of every page. There’s something to be said about art that grabs you so deeply.
Colorist Jesse Snavlin returns and instead of coloring the issue a pinkish purple like the first issue, this issue is entirely the same hue of blue and black & white. It’s fantastic as it adds to the atmosphere of the world and the tone of the story.
My only regrets are that 1) that it took me so long to read this issue and 2) that I have to wait for more (not very long mind you). All I want is more of this book. I don’t know how long it’ll run for, but it’s going to be a sad, sad day when it ends. Furthermore, you might just be looking at my pick for series/issue of the year right here. Out of all the incredible comics being published right now, don’t miss this one. Just don’t.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Dan Schkade Colorist/Letterer: Jesse Snavlin Publisher: Pop! Goes The Icon Price: $2.99 Website