Silverwolf Comics was a California-based American comic book publisher founded by Kris Silver in the mid-’80s with titles and characters largely created by him. Among the titles it published during its run were Dark Assassin, Guillotine, Legion X-1, Port, and Victim.

The company is probably best known for giving the first popular exposure to the work of the artist Tim Vigil in his work on another Silverwolf title, Grips. Grips is one of a handful of titles that survived beyond the first few issues. Another notable distinction of Grips was that its main character’s alter-ego was a comic book illustrator whose own creation, dubbed Fat Ninja, was also put out as a title by Silverwolf (in actuality written by Kris Silver). Fat Ninja was probably Silverwolf’s second most popular title after Grips.

The company also published some of the first work by the artist Ron Lim in the first issue of another title, the Eradicators, and was the first company to hire artist Rob Liefeld, though he never actually had any work published (he was hired to draw the first issue of Stech but he dropped out after finding other work and was replaced by Lorenzo Lizanna (later of Artline Studios).

Distinctive qualities

Computer lettering

The lettering in Silverwolf comics was unusual, in that it was typed on an Apple Macintosh and printed with an Apple ImageWriter printer in the Geneva font. The result was less professional-looking than traditional comics hand-lettering, but was more cost-effective, legible, and attractive than the amateur hand-lettering present in most independent comics. The primitive computer lettering was a way to save money on letterers, but it also gave Silverwolf a way to keep the lettering neat, tidy, and self-consistent. In fact, the lettering, in its own way, gave Silverwolf’s comics a memorable style element that was consistent throughout all Silverwolf titles.

Cover color bands

Another noteworthy distinction of Silverwolf’s books was the solid band of color that surrounded every book’s cover art. These aspects help make comics by Silverwolf a time capsule/cultural artifact of the 1980s.

Titles published

  • Dark Assassin
  • Eradicator
  • Fat Ninja
  • Grips
  • Guillotine
  • Legion X-1
  • Port
  • Stech
  • Victim

Greater Mercury Comics

Silverwolf ceased publication in 1987, but re-emerged as Greater Mercury Comics in 1990, publishing more material and characters created by Silver, until GMC ceased publishing in 1991. Other notable talents that got their start at Greater Mercury include Brandon McKinney, Shane White and Scott Reed.

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