With issue #100 of The Walking Dead selling well over 300,000 copies, the third season of the television adaptation about to hit our screens and Invincible approaching issue #100, it’s safe to say essentially everything Robert Kirkman touches is gold. Thief of Thieves is no exception.
The series is created by Kirkman but features a rotating roster of writers on the title. The first trade paperback collects Nick Spencer’s 7 issue story arc ‘I Quit’.
Thief of Thieves follows the story of Conrad Paulson A.K.A ‘Redmond’ the greatest thief of this generation. If you imagine Don Draper had a love child with Selina Kyle and throw in a little Sterling Archer for good measure, and that’s pretty much Conrad. He’s brilliant, calculating, charming and, surprise, surprise, his personal life is a mess. The series follows Conrad as he attempts to give up thieving in order to win back his estranged ex-wife back only to be forced back into the immoral world of art thievery and diamond heists to save his son from prison If this sounds all like some massive cliché to you, that’s because it very much is.
The premise and territory of this series is very much the standard ‘crime and action’ fare so best not to go into this book expecting Kirkman and Spencer to re-invent the genre. With that said, this is one hell of a good read, a testament to Kirkman’s strong characterisation and attention to character details and back story. After just three issues of the comic AMC was already working with Kirkman on a television adaptation.
Spencer’s writing brings Kirkman’s concept to life delivering punchy dialogue and a well thought out plot. Although the comic has a very serious tone overall, Spencer delivers a playfulness in the way he delivers the plot, with plenty of humorously titled flashbacks to stop the book from getting overly melodramatic. This is all complimented by Shawn Martinbrough’s art that look exactly like stills from of an episode of Archer. The panels are widescreen, stretching the entire width of the page, and display a real attention to detail.
Although not in any way original it makes up for it with quality writing, something that we see far too little of these days, and a passion for graphic novel storytelling that flows off the page. Easily a buy.