Monthly Archives: November 2020

17Nov/20

Fulfillment done…and ComiConway 2020!

Fulfillment done!

We’re happy to report that fulfillment for Cat & Mouse #3 and Trumps Book 1 is done! Well, with the exception of one…and then five whose addresses I don’t have (if you’re reading this and don’t have your comic yet—please make sure I have your address). Some of the digital rewards have gone out—mostly the “catch-up” comics. I’m still putting together the other pdfs, but hope to deliver those to backers by the weekend (I’m shooting for Friday).

Please drop us a line and let us know what you think! We know you’ve got a lot of stuff to read…but we’re anxious to hear your thoughts!

ComiConway 2020

Despite the fact you may have heard the world is in the middle of a plague, life moves on…and that’s what ComiConway is doing…and they’ve invited Silverline to be a part of it in a big way—and we couldn’t be more excited. Roland Mann and Jeff Whiting were both guests of the show in 2018 and both had only great things to say.

So how will Silverline be participating? Thanks for asking. On three consecutive Saturdays (Nov 7, 14, and 21), Silverline will be hosting four panels each day starting at 10am (Central time). The panel schedule looks like this:

November 7
(to view these panels, head to the video at ComiConway’s facebook page: https://fb.watch/1P48vkfEEZ/  Be warned…the first one starts late…we had technical difficulties)

10 am
Who and what is Silverline?
Panelists: Roland Mann (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, Kurtis Fujita, and John Metych.

11 am
Silverline: What are Cat & Mouse, Kayless, Divinity?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Roland Mann, Barb Kaalberg, Brent Larson, Alex Gallimore, Wubba Fett, Roberta Conroy, Mike W. Belcher.

12 pm
Breaking into the comic industry
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), R.A. Jones, Roland Mann, John Metych, Thomas Florimonte, Aaron Humphres, Roberta Conroy, John Martin.

1 pm
Silverline: What are Twilight Grimm, Friar Rush, Sniper N Rook?
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), R.A. Jones, John Metych, Rob Davis, Ron Fortier, Aaron Humphres, Mike W. Belcher, John Martin.

November 14
(to view these panels, head to the video at ComiConway’s facebook page: https://fb.watch/1P45qqAGLz/ )

10 am
Tools and strategies of comic book penciling
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Aaron Humphres, C. Michael Lanning, Peter Clinton, Wubba Fett, Rob Davis.

11 am
Silverline: What are Steam Patriots, White Devil, and The Rejects?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Scott Wakefield, Rory Boyle, Dan Hosek, R.A. Jones, Roland Mann, C. Michael Lanning

12 pm
Tools and strategies of comic book Inking
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, John Martin, Haley Martin, Jeff Whiting, Rob Davis.

1 pm
Silverline: What are Trumps, Beah, and ChampFury?
Panelists: Roland Mann (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, Sid VenBlu, Haley Martin, Peter Clinton, Roberta Conroy,

November 21
https://www.facebook.com/ComiConway/ is the link for this coming Saturday (times are CENTRAL. We’ll need some questions for the Q&A, so y’all come!)

10 am
Tools and strategies of comic book Coloring
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Roberta Conroy, Sid VenBlu, Jeremy Kahn, Dan Hosek, David Rios. Tentative-Haley Martin.

11 am
Silverline: What are Teen Beetle, Wolf’s Hunter, and Satin’s Ways?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), John Crowther, Tim Thiessen, Ron Fortier.

12 pm
Tools and strategies of comic book Writing
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), Roland Mann, R.A. Jones, John Metych, Scott Wakefield, Tim Thiessen, John Crowther, Tentative: Brent Larson and Dan Hosek.

1 pm
Silverline Q&A
Panelists: Roland Mann(moderator), Kurtis Fujita, Alex Gallimore, Roberta Conroy, Mike W. Belcher, Rob Davis, Aaron Humphres, Thomas Florimonte, Sid VenBlu, C. Michael Lanning, R.A. Jones, Peter Clinton, John Metych, Tim Thiessen, John Crowther, Haley Martin, Scott Wakefield, Wubba, John Martin, Jeremy Kahn. Tentative: Brent Larson.

Again, we’re pretty excited to be participating, as 2020 Plague year has pretty much shut conventions down. Like you, we’re ready to get back to things!

Signings!

Roland Mann and Thomas Florimonte will be signing copies of Trumps (and other stuff) at Coliseum of Comics in the Fashion Square Mall on Saturday, November 21, from 4pm-7pm. Coliseum supported the kickstarter and they have special editions of the comics that sport their store logo. VERY limited copies are available. You can bring your other stuff for us to sign, too, or pick up something different from them while you’re there.

Join us this Saturday for our signing with Roland Mann – Writer and Thomas Florimonte Jr from 4PM – 7PM! 🎨#Orlando #OrlandoFL #ComicBooks

Posted by Coliseum of Comics on Monday, November 16, 2020

So make your plans and come see us.

Keep your eyes peeled here, too…we’re planning something special in the days to come!

 

10Nov/20

Craft: Dan Hosek – Lettering: From Hand to Digital

Hey Silverline Family,

I was able to grab a snippet on lettering from Dan Hosek.Dan is a Silverline creator currently doing the colors on Steam Patriots, but he has done just about every job in the business and he has done them well. That makes him a total beast in comics and someone definitely worth listening to. Here he talks about lettering, and how he developed his style as the industry was changing.

Lettering: From Hand to Digital

Typically, five tasks have to be completed to make a comic book: writing, penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering. Of those five jobs, lettering is probably the least glamorous, but it is also one of the most important in making a comic book feel “professional.” While good lettering might not make a comic a masterpiece, poor lettering can make it stick out like a sore thumb.

Let me start with a little history. I worked at Marvel Comics as an assistant editor in the mid-90s, a time that was seeing the medium move from traditional “hand” methods of creation to the digital methods used today. The two jobs (at the time) that were most directly impacted by this move were coloring and lettering. Before the move to computer lettering, all comics were hand-lettered.  The tools of the trade were an Ames lettering guide, speedball pens—with different tips (or nibs) for bold and plain text, an Exacto knife to cut out all the caption and word balloons, and rubber cement to paste it to the artboards (the great Todd Klein has an awesome visual description here: https://kleinletters.com/HandBasics.html)! If there were corrections, they had to be pasted on top of the errors in the balloons. Hopefully, editors (like me) wouldn’t want any serious dialogue overhauls, but when they were needed, Marvel’s fabled Bullpen came to our last-minute rescue many times!

Pat Brosseau’s pasted up lettering from Jim Lee’s run on X-Men. The rubber cement has yellowed over time.

Sometimes I don’t know how things got done in a timely matter in publishing before computers. The switch to digital made the process of lettering (and corrections) simpler. The first person I remember working with who switched to all-digital lettering was Richard Starkings. Though I’m sure there were other pioneers blazing the trail with him, I remember Richard’s company, Comicraft, being the first computer letterers used by Marvel before other “traditional” letterers also began to make the switch. These days, hand lettering is very rare.

With that brief history lesson out of the way, let’s talk about the positives and negatives of digital lettering. The traditional method required a greater skill set than what’s required of lettering with a computer.  On top of knowing where to place balloons, how to place them to read in the correct order, and the basics of laying out a page, a letterer also needed the skill to create letterforms that were uniform in size, legible, and could even convey emotion.  A skill that had to be learned and honed. Not to mention the talent needed to hand-letter killer sound effects and title treatments!

With digital lettering, the latter part of that skill set is not needed. Places like blambot.com have many comic lettering fonts available for free and Comicraft licenses their fonts for a fee, just to name a few resources. And while it’s nice to have this available, as with other things that have entered the digital realm, having the fonts and Adobe Illustrator does not necessarily make one a letterer. I have seen many indie comics with beautiful art destroyed by amateurish lettering (thankfully that’s not the case with any Silverline titles!). My first attempt at lettering had many flaws, the worst of which was way too much space in my balloons (thanks to my friend and letterer extraordinaire, Paul Tutrone, for pointing that out). Over time and with practice, my skills have gotten sharper, but I’m of the thinking that one is always a student and always has more to learn.

You could fit a Star Destroyer in all the “air” in those balloons. And I should take my own advice—just because I have a pencil, it doesn’t mean I’m a penciller!

My lettering somewhat improved over time.

A letterer’s job is always to help tell the story. Today, some of the most important things a computer letterer can do are not get in the way of the art by keeping balloons and captions off of important story elements and make sure everything reads in the proper order. Although computers have taken some of the “human touch” from the art of letterforms, the digital age has opened the door to allow more people to try their hands at lettering. With time, new styles and forms will likely evolve from this change, a small example being how some comics use upper- and lower-case letters in word balloons, something almost absent in comics before computer lettering. Innovation and change are something comic books have always been good at and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

03Nov/20

Silverline Creator Spotlight: Mike W. Belcher

Each month we’ll be shining the spotlight on a Silverline creator and sharing their secret origin story, learning what makes them tick, and giving you the scoop on how they came up in the comics world.  

Up this time is Mike W. Belcher, a graphic designer by day and a comic maker by night. Mike provided letters for Scary Book #4, Divinity #1 and #2
Twilight Grimm #1 and #2. Mike is also the creator/writer/artist for Man in the Mask, a comic he does with his son Aiden on color.

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

12 Questions with … Mike W. Belcher

SILVERLINE: So, who are you and where do you hail from?

I am Mike W. Belcher  I hail from the great state of Kentucky, eastern Kentucky to be exact. Little place called Prestonsburg. Other than when I went off to college, it’s been my lifelong home.

SILVERLINE: What would you say it is you do here at Silverline?

I am the production designer and letterer for some of the fine books at Silverline  I developed the trade dress design overtop the logos of the books to give credit to all the hard working creator. Currently lettering Divinity and Twilight Grimm with more to follow I hope, including my buddy Ron Fortier’s new project, Satin’s Ways, coming soon from Silverline.

SILVERLINE: Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?

I also self publish and create my own comic under my AMK Comics banner called MAN IN THE MASK. Some have called it a throwback to a more fun time in comics. It’s story of a regular guy trying to live up to the masked legacy of his grandfather. It’s my attempt at trying to do a old fashioned masked man book where the guy is actually a hero to his community for many reasons not just because he can throw a good punch. I think a number of us were, of course, influenced by super hero comics. But the last 20 or so years have been very dark and not very fun. I’m writing a comic that I hope fills a need for something a little more fun and hopeful.

SILVERLINE: When you’re not making great Silverline comics, what do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?

I’m kind of boring. If I’m not creating comics, I’m typically reading them. I do like to cook for my family. That’s one of the many things I learned from my grandfather who I loosely based the grandfather in Man in the Mask on.

SILVERLINE: Many creators at Silverline have been in the comics industry for years — what’s kept YOU plugging away at comics?

I legitimately love comics. Ever since I discovered them, I have had no other interests. They are a fundamental part of my life. I found that I didn’t just want to write them, I needed to make them too. When I sit down to write or draw, I’m instantly transported to a new world and remember the fun I had when I was younger drawing on my board.

SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”

I found myself lucky enough to live through such an imaginative time in comics 1985-86. John Byrne’s Superman and Frank Miller’s Batman Year One made me want to create comics and it just went from there.

SILVERLINE: What’s on your playlist? Who/what music do you listen to, and do you listen to it while you work?

Wide range of bands like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Huey Lewis and Johnny Cash keep me inspired and I can tailor my list to the type of page I’m drawing. I work in silence when I write though.

SILVERLINE: Who were some of your earliest influences on your art ?

John Byrne, Frank Miller, David Mazzuchelli, Matt Wagner

SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally?

Scary Book #4 for Silverline 2.0 in 1998

SILVERLINE: Can you still read that comic today without wincing?

I was just learning to digitally letter and it shows, but yeah.

SILVERLINE: What are some non-Silverline independent comics you would recommend to readers?

Lavender Jack by Dan Schkade on Webtoons. The Baboon by Jamie Jones. Mr. Jigsaw by Ron Fortier and Gary Kato. Fire Power by Chris Samnee.

SILVERLINE: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice that would help them better navigate the comics industry, what would it be?

Don’t strive for perfection or that right time of ability. I was very hard on myself and it kept me from fulfilling my need to create comics earlier in life.

SILVERLINE: After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot?

Parking lot. I would like to think people could relax and kick back at my lot.