REVIEW: Silver Coin No.13 : Threshold

By | August 23, 2022

Johnnie Christmas is a pen name that catches the eye. Irregardless of The Silver Coin already having proved it’s merit as one of the best horror anthologies to ever hit the shelves in any medium, Christmas’ name alone could’ve sold his short story “Threshold” just off intrigue alone. Christmas kind of gives the red pill fantasy of a Afrocentric woman who becomes impregnated by a Bottom Shelf Brett who (of course) lives in a trailer park and suffers from the stigmas that come from deciding to settle with a male of that stature. When Brett decides to denounce that he is the father of the child growing in the Main character (Karena)’s belly, rightfully questioning a paternity test, she ends up becoming in possession of the Silver Coin while getting this stressful, but statistically typical news over a payphone.

Karena’s stress is felt through Marie Griffin and Walsh’s paints : from splashes of vomit to plasma and amniotic fluid in a antiquated phone booth displayed in dim and acid washed lighting reflected in fluorescent hospital lights and to those for Saturnalia in a trailer park at the tail end of the holiday season, while visceral when the blood starts to soak during the fever dream with the fetus and completely bleak when Karena’s fidelity is put into question on one rain soaked night.

Assumedly as the story continues, given that as prolific Brooklyn emcee Necro once stated “1999, the year of triple sixes”. Christmas’ Main is supposed to have given birth to the child of this wannabe member of Kid Rock’s Brown Trucker Band and subsequently Christmas insinuates this child will grow into the Antichrist of the Judea Christian mythos. This added plotline accompanied with the overtones of miscegenation make Christmas’ “Threshold” even more of a compelling read. Bottomshelf Brett obviously wished he wore a condom, and by the end of the story Christmas’ Main unsuccessfully wards of the stigma of the U.S. bred Afrocentric woman being no better than a concubine, so it really is not clear who exactly is worse for wear, but stories like this (with the supernatural element included or not) could make even the staunchest of conservatives want to reconsider the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The coin in this instance shows more emotion than in previous stories, squinting it’s eye at Karena as she gets put into question by Bottomshelf Brett and when she tries to pry it off of her as she is in the delivery room. Fortunate enough to have the set of genitalia that I was born with, I do not have an aching wonder of what the pain of childbirth is, but it’s still a mystery. Painful enough for the child to block it out of it’s memory, Christmas does an excellent job of doling out some of that pain to Bottomshelf Brett as Karena has contractions that spill over to Brett as he drives and ultimately turns our Main into the single mother that statistically was destined for her in only just a matter of time in the most horrific way possible looking like something out of Twisted Metal (the PSX version) as Brett ultimately meets his fate and becomes pixelated.

The fever dream of the fetus will forever be another bullet in the chamber of people like myself who do not wish to contribute to this blue orb in the form of giving out another spirit to be broken in the slave class. The reasoning behind turning the fetus, something so small, into a giant towering monster bathed in blood is the way every male should view the mounting responsibilities every time they mount a woman who begs them to take the condom off before or during the throes of a passionate meet up.

Compared to this, Moore and Leach’s vision of childbirth in “Miracleman” is a flower field without the insects. The lining of the varicose veins on Karena’s protruding stomach, the single eye peering out of her labia lips, the fact that Karena has to use a pair of scissors to seemingly slit one of her wrists just to not have that kid … this conception that Walsh drew was fitting of the hellscapes that the Silver Coin series is now renowned for.

Again, I haven’t heard of Christmas before this read, but “Threshold” in all it’s inspiration from “Rosemary’s Baby” (see the one featuring Zoe Saldana), is a memorable experience. A threshold indeed that can only be a gateway into forms of art and stories from Christmas that can only meet or exceed the bar of this comic book contraceptive not seen since the days that Death taught John Constantine how to put a condom on by using a damn banana.

Score : 5/5

written by Johnnie Christmas, drawn and lettered by Michael Walsh, and colored by Toni Marie Griffin and Walsh.