All posts by Roland Mann

02Feb/21

Silverline Title Spotlight: SilverStorm (vol 1)

There Is No Shelter From This Storm!

A SilverStorm (Volume 1) Retrospective by John Metych, III

A wealthy playboy philanthropist whose father engineered some of the most futuristic technologies of the day now dons a suit of armour to protect both innocents and those he cares about.  Who immediately comes to mind when you read that description?  Yup, me too.  Christopher Kastle, AKA Silver Dollar!

A beautiful woman who overcame extreme poverty and traumatic childhood experiences was blessed, at birth, with the gift of wind manipulation.  Thus far, she has attempted to keep her abilities hidden from the world but eventually must utilize her powers to escape captivity and, later, in public in order to preserve the lives and safety of others.  I know you’re picturing the same model-turned-adventurer / heroine as I am . . . the supermodel who professionally goes by one name . . .Natashia , AKA Tempest!!

And who doesn’t immediately picture the one – the only – cloaked villain, operating behind the scenes while he sends out his agents to do his dirty-work bidding, infatuated with the concept of developing, perfecting, and utilizing a legion of clones to attack the very foundation of assembled government, made up of constituents representing their individual interests and homelands?  You know it! Of course! It is none other than Doctor Fear!!!

Originally published in the Spring of 1990, Silver Dollar, Tempest, and their newly minted arch-nemesis, Dr. Fear, were the main characters in the Silverline packaged, Aircel Comics published, SilverStorm four issue miniseries . . . and what a miniseries it was!!  Further expanding from Cat & Mouse, their buddy, Demon, and the still enigmatic “Chicago Champion”, SilverStorm was the next title, entry, and step in establishing and expanding the interconnected “Silver” universe of characters and stories.

SilverStorm (volume 1) lead off with a strong, character driven autobiography presented by none other than Christopher Kastle himself.  Speaking to his closest confidant, his Uncle Miya, he chronicles his affluent upbringing, though light on responsibilities, his internalized worries regarding how his father viewed him as he grew from youth, to a college student, to an adult and lamented how his life has become empty, unfocused, since his father’s passing and his lingering inability to follow family tradition by swearing an oath to upload the traditions and values of his family, upon a Silver Dollar that has been passed down through family generations.

Kastle’s narration continues through mourning his father, assuming leadership of the Kastle Foundation – a research organization previously lead by his father, through introduction to a specialized suit of armour created by the foundation.  Kastle becomes enamoured with the suit and dedicates himself to the utilization and mastery of this incredible piece of technology!  He also describes the mental and emotional journey he has undertaken in trying to understand his father’s death, when things don’t seem to quite add up but, at the same time, all the powers-that-be insist that there was nothing out of sorts, out of the ordinary, nor nefarious in terms of his father’s passing.

A serendipitous mutual attendance at the Symposium of Earth and Natural Sciences (hosted by the Kastle Foundation) brings Christopher and Natashia into the same venue and Kastle, who had been attendance at one of Natashia’s (Nat for short) model shows several years prior, makes a point to introduce himself to her.  Nat’s external beauty is only surpassed by her intelligence – as illustrated by her deep interest in, and ongoing study of, geology.  (She was way before her time in terms of STEM!)

Invited to accompany her on a modeling gig on a nearby island, Kastle joins Natashia and becomes even more twitterpated with her in all respects.  As the two canoodle during their walk back to their respective accommodations for the evening, they are savagely attacked by a duo going by the names Hunter and Axe.  Kastle is beaten unconscious, which allows Natashia to unleash her mastery of the winds without him bearing witness.  As she attempts to blind Hunter with a face full of blown sand, Hunter responds, in kind, with warning shots bullets and takes her, as well as Kastle, prisoner.

Hunter and Axe deliver the newly romantically linked couple to their employer – Doctor Fear.  Kastle recalls meeting him, long ago while on a business trip with his father, and remembers that Dr. Wilderman (now, FEAR) was once an impressive biochemist on a global scale, nothing close to the scarred, mutated, blistered and disfigured man that stood before them now.  Kastle persuades Fear to reveal what had happened to him . . . a story which consisted of scientific discovery, partner treachery, attempted murder, arson, and a near-death experience culminating in being submerged in an experimental formula designed to grant super-human strength and power.  Though Fear survived, and became physically stronger than ever, he would never recover from the physical or mental scars nor his ever-increasing passion for revenge including against the very world itself!  Information vital to Fear’s forthcoming plans has been in the possession of a man associated with both Kastle and Natashia – from different social and professional spheres – yet intertwining the destinies of all involved!!!

Kastle confides the legacy of his familial Silver Dollar and Oath to Natashia and she not only matches his level of trust and faith during a daring escape from Fear, his henchmen, and their compound.  They encounter several armed guards as they evacuate, noting that each of these guards had identical appearances save different tattooed numbers on their foreheads.

This observation foreshadowed Dr. Fear’s endgame . . . he has expanded his biochemistry interests into cloning, creating and growing a clone army that he utilized to launch an assault on the United Nations building, in New York City, and upon completion of his clones seizing and securing the building, as well as the UN Representatives now held hostage within, Dr. Fear declares his takeover of the world itself!

Nat and Kastle descend upon the battle scene; flanked by reporters and live television coverage, the duo is swarmed and questions fly . . . including if the individual in the suit was the Chicago Champion (it isn’t) and what they call themselves.  Christopher invokes the name of his family tradition and bestowed upon himself the code name SILVER DOLLAR and dubs Nat TEMPEST in honour of her wind-controlling talents.

Collaborating with the government-sanctioned armed forces, Silver Dollar and Tempest battle countless identical, mute, and loyal combatants ‘til death.  Our heroic duo infiltrated the occupied United Nations building, decimating clone troopers along the way, battling (and evoking revenge) Fear’s henchmen Hunter and Axe, leading to a final face-to-face showdown between Silver Dollar and Dr. Fear and with a HUGE detonation and the apparent death of Dr. Fear.  But, in comics, is anyone ever really dead?  This very author may have something to say about that fact in the not-so-distant future, in fact . . . as well as the long-ago planned (and abandoned – nay, “long-hiatused”) Silverline Universe team book . . . also in the works by yours truly!

The cadre of talent that brought these characters, issues, and Silverline’s first mini-series to life was comprised of this most excellent lineup of creative talent:

Roland Mann – the Mann with the Plan! Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Editorial Director, Roland provided scripting duties on the latter part of the SilverStorm series and served as series editor.  In time, he would become writer, editor and eventually Managing Editor at Malibu Comics.  Roland has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current relaunch of the brand and the ringleader of the impressive collective of Silverline talent!

Thomas Fortenberry – SilverStorm’s plotter, writer, and scripter. His Amazon biography notes that he is also an American author, editor, reviewer, and publisher. A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer and history teacher, he has also judged many literary contests, including The Georgia Author of the Year Awards and The Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction. Thomas was the second writer, after Roland Mann, to work on a Silverline title when wrote this very four-issue SilverStorm miniseries!

Steven Butler – Steven, who had already provided stellar inks on the Cat & Mouse series and both pencilled and inked several of the series most dynamic covers, all while serving as Silverline Art Director, contributed his first sequential pencils for Silverline’s on this very title, “SilverStorm”!  Having already cut his teeth on sequential work on First Comics’ “Badger”, Mr. Butler’s artwork on SilverStorm can only be described as “detailed, beautiful, kinetic, and perfect!”  He also provided colours for the series covers and created all the additional promotional art to support the title! Steven’s future projects would include illustrating titles for Malibu, Marvel, and Archie, to name a few. He held notable runs on Marvel’s “Silver Sable” and “Web of Spider-Man” and will forever be favorably remembered for his illustrations of Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider!  Steven recently collaborated with his Silverline friends and colleagues for a special guest artist variant cover for the recently released TRUMPS. He has also recently fulfilled his first Kickstarter campaign for issue #1 of Fianna McCool and the House of Ulster under the Duo Comics imprint in conjunction with his incredibly talented daughter, Lily Butler.  Oh, and Steven is one of the top, all time favourite artists of this author . . . if you couldn’t already tell who I am honored to have come to know thanks to the wonders of the internet!

Roland Paris – the first of two inkers on this SilverStorm miniseries, Roland also providing his inking talents on it’s sister title, Cat & Mouse. Roland later went on to ink many titles at Marvel Comics.

Ken Branch – the second inker over Steven Butler’s pencils on SilverStorm, Ken also provided inks on multiple issues of Cat and Mouse. Ken later went on to ink titles at Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Malibu Comics, Valiant Comics, First Comics, and Comico Comics.

Nick McCalip – Nick served as SilverStorm series letter. Nick has also lettered several other Silverline titles including The Mantus Files, Cat & Mouse, The Scary Book, , and Krey.

19Jan/21

Silverline Creator Spotlight: John Crowther

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 John Crowther, lawyer and writer of lots of wrestling comics, Rochelle the Teen Cockroach, and the upcoming Teen Beetle for Silverline, which is currently on Kickstarter for issue #1!

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

12 Questions with John Crowther

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

My name is John Crowther. and I am a dad, husband, son, brother, writer, and reluctant lawyer with somewhat redneck tendencies.  I was born just a few blocks from the World’s Most Famous Beach in Daytona Beach, Florida and, after making the usual college and post-college tours, I now make my home in the artsy Central Florida college town of DeLand.

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

My primary role with Silverline is writer and creative spinster.

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

You can find a few of my earlier series (Rochelle, Horror Comics, Exciting Comics and Turnbuckle Titans, to name a few) with Antarctic Press, as well a collection of biographical professional wrestling comics with Squared Circle Comics. In addition, I have appeared in several anthologies and graphic magazines, most notably for Heavy Metal Magazine, Unlikely Heroes Studios, Oneshi Press and Tin Sky Media.

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

It’s not what I would consider a hobby, but when I’m not plugging away on a Silverline comic, you’ll most likely find me typing away on the desktop at my law office, where I have been practicing law for nearly 29 years. Away time from the offices will generally find me in my garden, at the beach, or browsing antique malls on one-tank road trips with my better half — my amazing wife, Gigi.

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

Writing comics has become a passion for me over my relatively short 6-7 year comic writing career, so everything about it still rings fresh to me. I love seeing my words brought to life by the incredible artists I’ve had the honor of working with. I love to see the enjoyment in a fan’s eyes or  hear their excitement when they’ve read something that I have created. And I love the comradery that I find in the comic book industry among other creators. It’s the combination of all of these things that drives me to continue with that passion.

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

For me, it wasn’t a particular comic that convinced me that I could “do this.” I have been a comic book reader for almost as far back as I can remember. I still recall passing the old Rexall drug store near my bus stop after school each day, where I would hit the spinner rack for a handful of $.75 comics — everything from Sgt. Rock to X-Factor, to Conan, to Swamp Thing. I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine and Cracked back then too. If it had a cool cover, I’d grab it. But I never really imagined that I would be a part of the industry in the future — my career was set as soon as I was born —  was groomed to be a lawyer. When I hit my 40s, looking for an outlet from the daily office grind, I stumbled across a Facebook group called ICC (Independent Creators Connection.) It was a diverse collection of comic book fans and industry hopefuls, who were really supportive of each other regardless of their skill or knowledge level. I thought, “What the heck,” and went for it — sharing my concepts and scribblings — and was received with open arms by folks I’d never met before. It was that positive encouragement that set me on my way and gave me the gumption to try my hand at comics on a more professional level.

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

Oh, gosh. I’m about as eclectic as it gets when it comes to music, although my usual fallbacks are country (Clint Black, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr., Johnny Cash, Chris Stapleton) and classic rock (AC DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin.) But I’m not discriminatory when it comes to music, as you can see by my concert list: Milli Vanilli, Smashing Pumpkins, Earth, Wind & Fire, Neil Diamond, Kansas, B52’s, Jefferson Airplane, Yellow Man, and Boy George to name a few. And no — it comes off when I write, as it would be too distracting. I talk through the stories in my head and out loud when I write (if you passed my desk you’d think I was insane). 

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

Growing up as a kid, I read comics and books equally. My favorite genres being fantasy, horror, and sword and sorcery. Some of the authors who I drew influence from include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Terry Brooks. In comics, I was drawn to the writing of Marv Wolfman and Robert Kanigher, and to the art of Bernie Wrightson, George Perez and Joe Kubert.

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

Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach was the first comic I ever worked on professionally, when it  appeared as an add-on story for Femforce #170 from AC Comics, before having a successful run with Antarctic Press as simply, Rochelle. Oddly enough, the title character can trace her origin back to a sketch I did as part of an art challenge in the ICC Facebook group. It was the positive reception I received from that post that encouraged me to bring Rochelle to life.

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

Absolutely — I still enjoy reading  it and feel that it was a fairly good effort for a first comic. It’s also garnered a bit of a cult following and has very recently stirred some interest in  genres outside of comics, so hopefully you’ll be hearing exciting news on the Rochelle front in the months ahead.

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

There are definitely some good independent titles out there. I would highly recommend a couple from Inverse Press: Vicious Circus, and Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen. Those folks specialize in horror and these books will not disappoint. For younger readers, I would recommend a new title from writer Rob Andersin and Scoot (Scout Comics imprint) called Cat Dad & Super Mom. I had the privilege of previewing the book and it’ll knock your socks off.  I’m generally reluctant to recommend anything I’ve been a part of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend Cthulu Invades Oz, from Travis Gibb and Orange Cone Productions. It’s a really well done anthology from a collection of top-level creators that combines the worlds of L. Frank Baum and H.P. Lovecraft.

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?

Start younger and don’t hesitate. There’s nothing that will hold you back more than yourself. I honestly wish that I hadn’t surrendered to my own self-doubt when I was younger. 

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

Strangely enough, this is a tough question. My initial thought was a parking lot, because I would love to leave a space where others could stop, suspend reality for a moment, and absorb themselves in the stories I left behind. But that wouldn’t be me. I don’t want be remembered for sitting still, so I would have go with the overpass, launching above that parking lot. I would want others to remember me for always moving forward — seeking, reaching and surpassing my goals and never stopping to rest on my laurels.

Teen Beetle is currently kickstarting and the first issue is available there now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/teenbeetle1switchblade1

06Jan/21

Silverline: Looking Ahead to Year 3

2021!

We finally made it out of 2020!

Whew! Many of you thought we’d never make it, yet—here we are! And Silverline is ready to tackle it…nay, we’re psyched that’s it’s here so we can get back to convention going!

We’ve definitely got some exciting things lined up for the coming year. Much of this is going to happen whether we get out of plague-world or not. So…just what do we have planned? Thank you for asking!

Crowdfunding

KS exclusive cover by Ben Dunn

We know that’s at the top of your list of questions: What’s next? What comics are we going to put into your hands? On January 14th we’ll launch our first for 2021. We’ll launch Silverline Double Feature: Teen Beetle #1 and Switchblade #1 RemiX. Both of the issues are complete and ready to print and ship as is the Silverline way (we’ve got a thing here or there on a cover or two, but the interiors are finished!)!

Teen Beetle is the new mini-series by Rochelle creator John Crowther. You’ve probably also seen John’s work in a whole slew of wrestling comics from Inverse Press. With art by long time industry veteran Dell Barras, Teen Beetle is a 3-issue mini-series and is part of the Rochelle universe. Teen Beetle is colored by GeriLou Smith and lettered by Hector Negrette. Ninja High School and Warrior Nun creator Ben Dunn provides a kickstarter exclusive cover.  

KS Exclusive cover by Mike W. Belcher and Aiden Belcher

Switchblade is the RemiX version of Switchblade #1 originally printed in black & white and on newsprint back in the late 90s. It has been digitally remastered and has been colored by Aiden Belcher (Man in the Mask). It was written by Roland Mann, pencilled by Leonard Kirk (Supergirl), inked by David Rowe, and lettered by Brad Thomte.

Here’s the link if you would like to sign up to be notified on launch: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/teenbeetle1switchblade1

Beyond that, we know the kickstarter schedule, if not the exact titles. We know, we’re stinkers like that, not telling you what’s when. So, we plan to have crowdfunders run: March 9-28, May 4-23, July 6-25, Sept 7-26, and Nov 9-28. That’s six total kickstarters for the year—one every other month—bringing you what should be TWELVE comics! (unless we do another double like Trumps—then it will be MORE!) So…start socking away your pennies so you can get in on these. They’re always special.

While we can’t tell you the exact titles for specific dates, what we CAN tell you, though, is what you should be seeing. (remember, not necessarily in this order!)

All these Silverline comics are VERY close to being done:

panel from Kayless #3

Kayless #3 and #4 (of 4); Twilight Grimm #2 (of 4); Divinity #2 (of 4); Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Ms Fury #1 (of 4).

These are pretty close:

Friar Rush #2 (of 3); Rejects #1 (of 3); Steam Patriots #1 (of 4); Beah #1 (of 4); Wolf Hunter #1 (of 3); Cat & Mouse #1 (volume 3!)

These are still early in production…but we’re still excited about them.

Cat & Mouse #4; Trumps Book 2; Capetown #1.

Streams

We’ll continue doing the Silver Sunday and Wednesday Wham streams every Sunday and Wednesday night at 9pm (EST). While we’ve got a short list of topics, what are some thing YOU would you like to hear us talk about? Don’t be shy, speak up!

In case you have forgotten (or never knew), we stream on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SilverlineComics), on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/silverlinecomics) and on Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/silverlinecomics). Free to watch! 😉

Roland has pitched some ideas out to the Silverline team and there’s very likely more content coming on the Silverline channels! Stay tuned.

Discord

Yes, we’ve got a Discord server. Yes, it’s live. No, it’s not terribly active, but we’re working on fixing that. It came as a result of our recent foray into gaming. “Gaming?” you say. Yes…but more on that later. For now, here is your invite to join our discord server: https://discord.gg/4SFwhtUJz8

Podcasts

Silverline Sunday stream producer Brett is hard at work turning the streams into podcasts. The goal is to have them start hitting around February. So, if you prefer podcasts over visual streams, this might be a way for you to get your Silverline team fix.

Special items for ‘21

If you supported any of our kickstarters with a physical reward, you should have received the first ever Silverline Christmas card. We were SO excited to make that happen as just something small to let you all know we appreciate you so much.

The other thing you may not have seen yet is the very first ever Silverline poster! Yes, that’s right, it’s 18X24 and needs a place on your wall! They’ll be available live at conventions or you can have one mailed to you. It’ll be available through the Facebook Store…very soon.

The Silverline Signature Book will be available soon on IndyPlanet and at conventions near you. The twenty lucky Mystery Box winners got the 20 first ever limited run, but now everyone else can pick up a copy.

Project news

The addition of John Crowther’s Teen Beetle led to additional talks, and while nothing is solidified yet, we’re happy to announce that Silverline will be the home for a new volume of Rochelle the Teen Cockroach! More to come on that later.

What’s the status of the other titles?

Cat & Mouse

Alex Gallimore is working on pencilling issue #4, the last issue of Cat & Mouse volume 2. Just a few pages in, this will be the final issue and will be the first of the series started to finish.

Several of you Cat & Mouse fans asked me if that was it, though, and I’m happy to tell you that it is NOT it for Cat & Mouse. In fact, Wubba Fett is already about half-way finished with the pencils for #1 of volume 3! My pal Jeff Whiting will be inking and you’re going to absolutely LOVE what you see.

art for volume 3 of Cat & Mouse by Wubba Fett (p) and Jeff Whiting (i)

Fans of Alex, don’t fret, though. While #4 (v2) is Alex’s last issue of C&M, Alex has fallen in love with Demon (haven’t we all?) and is actually chomping at the bit to tell a new Demon story. He’s so excited, he’s already recruited Thomas Florimonte on to ink it!

Kayless

Kayless #3 is nearly done. It’s completely lettered (by Brad Thomte) and a little more than half colored. Kayless #4 has about 10 pages of pencils and inks, so it should be the 2nd series to wrap up this year.

Divinity

panels from Divinity #2 by Alex Sarabia (p) and Barb Kaalberg (i, c)

Alex Sarabia has just started pencilling issue #3 of Divinity while creator Barb Kaalberg finishes up the colors. Barb took on the colors when Steve Mattsson had to step aside. Barb is doing a bang-up job on the colors!

Twilight Grimm

Rob Davis has finished the third issue. Yes, you read correctly, the third issue! And he’s working on #4 as we type. Issue #2 is still being both lettered and colored, but we anticipate completion literally any day now. Twilight Grimm will likely be the third completed mini of Silverline thanks to Rob’s blue collar work ethic in getting the work done!

Friar Rush

Friar Rush #2 is a little over half inked by John Martin, but it is completely lettered.

work from Friar Rush #2 by Aaron Humphres (p) and John Martin (i)

Trumps

Thomas Hedglen is working on a special Trumps…”thing” before beginning issue #3 (or the first part of Book 2)…and we think you’re going to like the thing he’s working on! Hopefully within just a few weeks he’ll be starting on issue #3.

Rejects

C. Michael Lanning has completed the pencils for the first issue and WOW—you’re going to be blown away by what he’s done. Rebecca Winslow is just getting into the inks, but hopefully we can start showing you some of that soon, as well as C. Michael’s pencilling on #2 (which he will likely do some of during the live stream!).

work from Rejects #1 by C. Michael Lanning (p) and Rebecca Winslow (i)

Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury #1 (of 4)

Started out as a Champion solo comic…then Roland decided to add Miss Fury (she’s public domain AND he did the first “new” work after Tarpe Mills in the early 90s Miss Fury mini-series by Malibu)…and the title became what it is now. Peter Clinton has done a bang up job on the first issue. Keep you eyes on Pete—he’s a shooting star! Roland has finished the script (done Marvel style), and Thomas Florimonte is working on the inks. Roberta has colored a single page and the cover and should get on more of them as Tommy finished the inks. Meanwhile, Peter has already started pencils for issue #2!

work from Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury by Peter Clinton (p), Thomas Florimonte (i) and Roberta Conroy (c)

White Devil

White Devil #1 is being colored by Phil Leon. We hope to have the first issue complete VERY soon. Issue #2 is lined up and waiting for him to complete #1, and Issue #3 is in the hands of inker Chuck Bordell.

art from White Devil #1 by Jaxon Renick (p) and Mike Keeney (i)

Steam Patriots

Issue #1 is being colored and lettered and should be done soon.

Beah

Haley Martin has finished roughly 6 pages of full pencil/inks/colors—she’s doing all the art! Be sure to catch her working on the pages during the Wednesday live stream.

art from Beah by Haley Martin

Wolf Hunter

pencils for Wolf Hunter by AJ Cassetta

AJ Cassetta is nearly done with the pencils for issue #1.

Capetown

The script for the first issue is done, and JW Franklin is waiting on Roland to release a final script to him so he can start drawing!

Teen Beetle

Issue #2 is just starting production.

Sniper & Rook

Should see the first issue of the new volume ready very soon!

RemiX

Several books are part of the RemiX line from Silverline. Switchblade is the first to see the light of day. These titles were originally published in the 90s in black and white and on newsprint. They have been (are being) digitally remastered and then colored to be released in the new RemiX format.

Jeremy Kahn is wrapping up coloring issue #5 (of 5) of Krey; David Rios is coloring issue #4 (of 4) of Demon’s Tails; Roberta Conroy is coloring #3 (of 4) of Pendulum; Barb Kaalberg is coloring #3 (of 4) of Sirens; Scott Gordon is coloring #3 (of 4) of SilverStorm V2; Eric Rossberg is nearly finished with #1 (of 4) of Scary Book; and Rebecca Winslow is slated to color Marauder.

Like we said, we’ve got a lot of fun stuff coming your way…and that’s what comics should be: FUN!

Remember to #makeminesilverline

29Dec/20

Silverline: Review of Year 2

Silverline: Review of Year 2

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all. From all of us here at Silverline, we wish you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season! Love up on and cherish your loved ones!

So, despite the fact that the Plague raged over the earth, 2020 was a pretty good year for Silverline. We ran AND FULFILLED 4 successful kickstarter campaigns and we started the Silverline live streams…which has been more successful than we had imagined.

Crowdfunding

In March, we funded and shipped Kayless #2. We’ve had problems getting the art because this campaign was at the beginning of the global lockdown and the art sent from Luis got held up in Argentina…then it came to the US…and went back to Argentina…and went back to the US…then it went to Panama (why? We have no clue)…then it finally made its way back to Luis. Luis will be in the US shortly and is going to ship the art to me from wherever he is. Kayless is the brainchild of writer Brent T. Larson. It’s drawn by Luis Czerniawski with colors by Leandro Huergo and letters by Mike W. Belcher.

This would be the last of the “single issue” kickstarters of the year as production of comics ramped into high gear!

May saw the Silverline Double Feature Divinity #1 and Twilight Grimm #1. Divinity is the creation of long time industry inker (she also inks Silverline’s Cat & Mouse) Barb Kaalberg, her very first creator owned projects (we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last, judging by your responses). Barb was joined by penciller Alex Sarabia, colorists Steve and Sage Mattsson, and letterer Mike W. Belcher. Twilight Grimm reunited a creative team from the 1980s in hooking up writer R.A. Jones with artist Rob Davis. Mike W. Belcher lettered and Mickey Clausen supplied the colors. Again, based on your comments, you’re glad we made that reunion happen!

July saw Silverline Double Feature #2 with Bloodline and Friar Rush #1. Both projects written by Sidney Williams, Bloodline is the comic adaptation of the short story written by him and horror writer Rob Petit. Bloodline was pencilled by Zombie art specialist Rob Sacchetto with inks by veteran industry inker Terry Pallot, letters by Brian Dale, and colors by Jeremy Kahn. Friar Rush #1 is the first of a three issue mini with pencils by Aaron Humphres, inks by John Martin, letters by Brian Dale, and colors by Rebecca Winslow.

September saw Silverline Two-Fer with Cat & Mouse #3 and Trumps Book 1. Trumps was essentially TWO issues, so it was too big to do the double feature flip book…so it was a Two-Fer instead. Both titles are written by Roland Mann, and Cat & Mouse #3 is pencilled by Alex Gallimore, inked by Barb Kaalberg, lettered by Brian Dale, and colored by Kevin Gallegly. Trumps was pencilled by Anthony Pereira and Thomas Hedglen, inked by industry veteran Thomas Florimonte, lettered by Brian Dale, and colored by Sid VenBlu.

If you missed them, they’re both available with our friends at IndyPlanet! www.indyplanet.com/silverline

Streaming

We started weekly streaming on Wednesday March 18. We hadn’t anticipated the Pandemic (who did, right?), but it was something we’d talked about a bit. We launched on three different platforms live: Facebook, Youtube, and Twitch. Our numbers grew and we enjoyed it so much—and you seemed to enjoy it as well, that just three months later we added a second and third stream.

On Sunday June 8, we started streaming weekly on Sundays, effectively splitting our stream team in half. Scott Wakefield, co-writer of the upcoming Steam Patriots, took over as host of the Wednesday Wham, and Roland started hosting the Silver Sundays. For several months there was a mostly-weekly Monday 1on1 stream where Roland talked one on one with Silverline team members. That went on for about 2 months and then the Monday stream went to once a month and teamed up with OCD for a “Silverline Spotlight.”

Conventions!

Well…Plague.

In November, however, ComiConway in Conway Arkansas decided to take their show virtual as well as very limited on the spot. Silverline participated in a big way virtually, doing a four-hour block of panels each of the three Saturday mornings! One of the days we were streamed AT the convention itself! We absolutely had a blast doing them and we were very happy to help the convention bring geeky-goodness to those who support them. We’re hoping we’ll be able to get a gaggle of us there live in 2021!

New Projects

We think we already had a pretty impressive lineup of comics with Cat & Mouse (v2), Kayless, Divinity, Twilight Grimm, Bloodline, Friar Rush, and upcoming Sniper & Rook.

We gave the okay and put into production EIGHT new projects!

Steam Patriots, Beah, Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury, Teen Beetle, Rejects, Wolf Hunter, Capetown, and Satin’s Ways. If you’ve been watching the streams, you’ve seen several of these in the actual production process. We’ll talk more about them in the upcoming 2021 Silverline Preview!

ReMix

We’d been working on getting some of the classic Silverline comics colored to give them a second life, but there was really no solid plan other than to just “do them.” Silverline Creative Director Kurtis Fujita conceived a plan for our Silverline REMIX that will present some of the older Silverline titles, but in color. There are still details to work out, but it’s exciting to be able to bring this closer to life.

As noted, 2020 has been a pretty good year for Silverline…we’re excited to see where 2021 will take us!

#makeminesilverline

25Dec/20

Silverline creators share Christmas and holiday memories

Merry Christmas!

The Thanksgiving Memories from the gang of us here seemed to go over pretty well with y’all…so we thought we’d do it again. We asked Silverline Creators: What’s your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

-Brent T. Larson
When I was a sophomore in college, my family and I drove from southern Arizona to Moab, Utah, to spend Christmas with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Mark. They loved life and the outdoors, and Mark led mountain tours for a living. One day we drove to nearby Arches National Park, a vast open space with these contorted monolithic rock formations. We practically had the place to ourselves. Soon it began snowing, and the only sound was the wind blowing eerily off the high desert. It was one of the few times in my adult life where I could feel magic in the air. It was a fun, intimate Christmas, moreso because it was the last time I ever saw Mark alive.  A year later, he was leading a tour in the mountains when they were caught in an avalanche.   

-Becca Winslow
My favorite Christmas memory growing up was when my siblings and I all got coal for Christmas. My sister was crying, my brother was so angry and I was so excited. Even after my parents told us it was all a joke and gave us our real presents, I spent the rest of the day playing with my lump of coal… I was a weird child.

-Jeremy Kahn
When asked to recall a fond holiday memory, I can’t help but think of two Hanukkahs that delivered disappointment after raised hopes. Like every kid in the 90s, both my brother and I bugged our parents to no end with our desire for a Gameboy. Up till that point, we were strictly a PC family. We had some PC ports of Nintendo and Sega games, but we still had a need to play on the original systems. Hanukah rolls around with the promise of finally getting that treasured Gameboy. We excitedly open our gift for the night. While most nights we get one gift each, there were some cases where we would get a shared gift (something to share that was usually a high ticket item). In this case, we knew we were getting the fabled handheld. And, lo and behold, upon opening the gift wrapping there it was. A SEGA GameGear…

Another Hanukah comes around and I am not missing an opportunity to let my parents know of a certain movie I want. About every other trip to Blockbuster results in me renting, among a couple of other VHS tapes, Tiny Toons How I Spent my Summer Vacation. I’m fairly confident that they bought me my own copy after showing how much I like this movie. Adding to my anticipation is them saying they bought me that animated movie I liked and asked for. I eagerly pick my present up and un-wrap it. I see the WB’s logo. The anticipation rises. I finish removing the wrapping. There, in all its glory is The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones…

These two memories may seem odd to fondly remember, but they just show how much my parents tried and did for my brother and me. They may have gotten some things wrong, but their love still came through. That is why I consider these two events good memories.

-Aaron Humphres
I do remember coming back from college during Christmas one year to visit my mother and she had the house all decorated just right that it really brought out the season for me. If that makes sense. I remember a lot of great decorations and the house smelling like ginger or something Christmas like. We watched some Harry Potter movies and just had a good time. So that is a memory that stood out for me. Hope this helps.

-Barb Kaalberg
I was raised in a 2-story farmhouse in rural Iowa. There was a 1 story porch attached to the house with 2 parallel power lines that ran above the porch.  One Christmas in the early 60’s, there was an ice storm a few days before Christmas.  On Christmas Eve day, it snowed and snowed.  At least 4 inches.  That night, the air warmed just enough to make the ice clinging to those two power lines slip off the lines and fall in two perfect, parallel lines into the snow on the porch roof.  On Christmas morning my Dad, coming in from doing the morning livestock chores, called for us to get our snowsuits on and come out.  We raced outside to see what he was pointing at.  There, across our porch roof, WERE THE SLEIGH TRACKS FROM SANTA’S SLEIGH!  We were ecstatic as my Dad grinned knowingly.  That Spring, while plowing up the field in front of the house, he unearthed a large, round, antique sleigh bell from some long ago horse drawn sleigh.  He presented it to us, still dirt covered, as further proof that Santa had, indeed, been to our house that Christmas, left tracks and dropped a sleigh bell on his way to the next house.  We believed for many years and, who knows, maybe it wasn’t a trick of the weather or a forgotten antique? 😉

-Sid VenBlu
I could share some Christmas memories but I don’t really have a big one. The holiday is a rather relaxed one over here. No big dinner nor turkey. It’s too hot to wear ugly sweaters or drink hot coco! But at least you can go try your brand new bike out in the street the 25th, hahaha. Probably the present I remember the most was the arrival of our dog and first pet. House went to chaos as soon as she arrived and started digging into my mother’s indoor plants!

-Scott Wakefield
This is another tough one for me to narrow down. I’ve been surrounded by love from my family, so my memories blend together as a happy assortment of gatherings, meals, gift-giving, laughter, hugs, music, snow (mostly), and countless other cheerful happenings, so it might be easier to recount a favorite tradition, rather than one event. Our family tradition for stockings was that our parents would sneak into our rooms and place them near our beds. I’m not sure if this is common, or has roots in a larger tradition, but I’m positive it was a way to keep us quiet and in our rooms for a few minutes longer. My older brother was usually awake first, and he’d get me up by jumping on my bed, and we’d immediately tear into the tiny presents. Each year was similar: matchbox cars, Pez dispensers, Hershey’s Kisses, the plastic candy cane filled with cheap chocolates, and always an orange. I know – and I knew then – that this a tradition from the Great Depression, during which fresh fruit in the winter was a luxury, but we couldn’t resist turning them into weapons by stuffing that orange into the foot of our stockings and whomping on each other. After that was out of our system, we’d sneak out into the living room to peek at the gifts and wait for everyone else to wake up for a wonderful day.

-Mike W. Belcher
Best Christmas. This one is kind of hard. I was truly blessed growing up. I had a very good Christmas every year. Maybe the first time that Kerry was a part of our tradition. She didn’t have grandparents growing up and going to my Mamaw and Pop’s house was truly a gift to her. Watching her be the center of attention and how happy it made her was a great thing to see. 

-Ron Fortier
I’ve had a fascination for toy figures since way back when. Growing up I remember watching the Roy Rogers TV, then unaware Roy and I share a birth date, Nov. 5 – But I digress. I was 10 the year the Sears giant wish catalog showed up in early Nov and as soon as Mom let me see it, I went straight to the toy section. My to my amazement, offered that year was an entire Roy Rogers Double R ranch set complete with Roy on Trigger, Dale on Buttermilk and Bullet their German shepherd dog, Pat Brady in his Jeep Nellybelle, the ranch house, barn and various animals. It was simply mind boggling and I spent the next few weeks letting it known this is what I wanted from Santa.

So come Christmas morning, 1956, me and brother George are up at the crack of dawn and race downstairs to living room to find tons of brightly wrapped gifts under the tree. But my eyes went straight to the Roy Rogers ranch pieces all set up among those gifts. Dad had opened the box they came in and set up all the pieces before going off to bed that night so they’d be ready for me.

I never forget that wonderful Christmas surprise.

-Rob Davis
It was the year my younger, by one year, sister and I began suspecting Santa wasn’t real. My Dad got wind of this and told us a story that on Christmas Eve he’d seen a little plump man in a red suit carrying a bicycle into our across-the-street-neighbor’s house. Now, our Dad was not a very good lie teller so we were nearly convinced it was true. Then, a few days after Christmas we saw that neighbor boy riding a shiny new bicycle down our street (southern Missouri where I grew up seldom got below 40 degrees most days, so a jacket or coat to ride a bike in December wasn’t out of the ordinary). That convinced my sister and me to continue belief in Santa for at least a couple more years. 

Much later we learned the true story. The little plump man was the High School Band Director who lived across the street from us for a few years. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was notorious for his maroon business suit. So it was not a complete lie…

-Tim TK
Ever since I was little, I wanted to snowboard. I saw it once on TV and knew that I had to do it. My mother, out of fear for my life since I was just barely out of my toddler years and, as the doctor would say, a total spaz, decided we would take it slow until I got older. In order to find a compromise, she decided we would go sledding instead. I was not eager to relent on my need to get pitted on some powder, so in order to appease my want for adrenaline, we didn’t just go sledding down the back of the foothill we lived on. No, we went to a mountain proper with a slope groomed just for sledding and tubing. One day she woke us up in the dark, and we got into our warmest clothes and we drove 2 hours to Saddle Mountain. I’m not sure if this is still the case but back then when it snowed, the hiking trail was converted into a small snow park. We rode the trail all-day and I loved every second of it despite the spills, bumps, and snow snakes. On the way down, we stopped at a logging camp and got dinner at a cabin style diner. This is where the memory gets a little sour, so I’ll spare the details. In essence, the mac and cheese, that I had devoured to recoup precious calories, was transformed into a Pollock painting spewed forth my small face onto the interior of our van. Even with that hiccup, this day is still the one I hold responsible for developing my love of snow and the mountains. Though my mother did not let my 4 year old self ride a snowboard, I now do so every year from late October to April and didn’t suffer any spinal injuries as a minor, so I guess the compromise worked. 

-Roland Mann
I have a lot of great memories of Christmas with my family at home, and then making the trek to Arkansas to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of my memories include me waking up on Christmas day before my sister and being so anxious that I had to wake her up before checking out the tree. One Christmas, I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I as probably not more than six, I awoke extremely early and got my sister. We peeked at the tree to see presents there waiting for us. We went to wake our parents, excited that Santa had come…but my Dad yelled “Go back to bed!” It seems I had gotten up about three o’clock in the morning and our parents hadn’t actually been IN bed all that long. I joined my sister in her room where we sat and giggled in anticipation of what Santa had brought us until the approved time we could get up. At which point in time, we promptly woke our parents!

Merry Christmas everyone

and remember

#makeminesilverline

22Dec/20

Christmas Memories by R.A. Jones

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

BY:  R. A. JONES

Christmas has always been my absolute favorite holiday of the entire year and is today the only one to which I devote much time celebrating.

In my youth, the receiving of presents was naturally the main source of its appeal. But there were other things as well.

Things like homemade candy. My mother did a terrific job of making her own fudge, divinity and even peanut brittle (the latter being no easy feat). Popcorn balls were always to be found in plenty.

Like a poor man’s version of the famous Kennedy clan, football was part of my family’s Christmas tradition. Late afternoon, after presents had been opened and a large, sumptuous meal downed, all the Jones boys would head to the backyard for a little rough-and-tumble tackle football game.

I also always associate music with Christmas. I love Christmas music!  Play Little Drummer Boy (the original version, with the Boys’ Choir) for me and I guarantee you’ll see a lump appear in my throat every time.

One song that I suppose is technically not purely a Christmas song but that I always think of in that regard because Mom always played it along with more traditional tunes, is the Ave Maria – specifically the version sung by the great Perry Como.

The song about the Drummer Boy has now come to epitomize for me my own personal credo, especially in a professional sense.

If you listen to that song closely, you’ll see that it never claims that the little boy is the greatest drummer; it never even states that he is a good drummer. So what does it say?

I played my drum for Him.
               I played my best for Him.
               Then He smiled at me.
               Me and my drum.

I like to think that’s what all the many editors I’ve worked for and with over the course of my long career as a writer came to expect they would receive from me.

Not necessarily the greatest story – but the very best story of which I was capable.

As for memories surrounding Christmas presents, I actually have three I’d like to share. I like to think they span the spectrum: one is about receiving, one is about giving – and one is about giving and receiving.

When I was a little boy, one of the most highly anticipated events leading up to Christmas was the arrival in the mail of the Sears Catalog.

Between its covers one would find page after page of wonderful toys available through this retail giant. My father had a good job, working for American Airlines, but he also had a lot of children – so you had to keep your requests for your main Christmas Day presents down to one or two. The process of winnowing down all the options so enticingly offered by Sears and Roebuck was often rather long and arduous.

One particular year (and I honestly don’t remember my age at the time), I had fairly quickly narrowed my focus down to one particular item.

A Fort Apache Playset.

Having grown up during a veritable Golden Age of Western movies and TV shows, I naturally developed a great love of the Old West. I still have it; I’ve written a couple of Western comics, plus three prose novels and a novella.

The Fort Apache Playset consisted of all the pieces (plastic, of course) needed to assemble the fort itself, plus plastic figures of soldiers, Indians and horses. The photo had me practically drooling onto the pages of the Sears catalog.

The one thing I feared might stand between me and my possession of it, however, was what to my young mind was the rather princely price required to purchase it.

If memory serves me correctly, it commanded a hefty $4.95!

Perhaps I’d been a particularly good boy that year – or perhaps the price was not quite so exorbitant as I had imagined. Regardless, I found it sitting beneath our tree on Christmas morning. It proved to be just as wonderful as I had hoped it would be!

For whatever reason, I can think of no other Christmas present that has left such in indelible print in my mind and heart.

Move forward a few years. I was working my first “real” job flipping hamburgers for a chain (now defunct, I believe) called Burger Chef. One of the Christmas presents I had purchased from my $1.10 per hour paycheck had been the latest music album by the Beatles.

The recipient of this gift was to be my older brother “Dink” – the sibling to whom I was always closest and with whom I shared a love of all things coming from the “Fab Four.”

Now, unless you put it inside a box of some sort, it was pretty hard to disguise a vinyl record album’s shape, no matter how may bows you might put on the wrapping.

So, one weekend afternoon a week or two before Christmas, when the parents and all our other siblings were out of the house for a few hours, Dink approached me with a proposition.

Since it was blatantly obvious what my gift to him was anyway (he knew I wouldn’t have given him a record from any other group than the Beatles) – why not go ahead and let him open it?  We could enjoy listening to it for a few hours, then re-wrap it and put it back under the tree – and come Christmas Dink would open it again and feign surprise as if he was seeing it for the first time!

So we did, and he did – and as far as I could tell, none of the rest of the family was ever the wiser.

Dink’s gone now – but the memory of that particular gift will live as long as I do.  Maybe longer.

Finally, move forward yet another couple of years.  It was my first year as a student at our local Community College, and I was working to help pay my way there as a sacker at a grocery store called Warehouse Market.

In the years immediately preceding this one, my mom had insisted on setting up an artificial Christmas tree in our living room.

Now, some artificial trees are very nice, very lifelike in appearance. But this one looked like some alien form of flora. It was all shiny and silver and each “branch” ended in what looked like a small, aluminum pom-pom. Adjacent to this “tree” would sit a sort of light wheel. As the wheel slowly rotated, the light cast through its colored cels would make the tree appear to be red, blue or green.

I hated it.

The store where I worked, like most grocery stores then, sold live Christmas trees.  So I used some of my earnings to buy one to bring home – making it a gift I received but also one I gave to the rest of the household.

So tall was it that we had to saw off a couple inches to keep it from scraping against the ceiling of our living room. A room it then filled with that wonderful aroma of evergreen.

I also had enough money to buy nice presents for my parents and the two younger siblings of mine who were also still living at home. I can’t honestly tell you what presents were given to me by others that year – though I’m sure they were great and that I appreciated them. But I still remember the presents I gave.

And I still remember the tree.

It’s been a perilous year for all of us in 2020, but I hope our Christmas is a joyous one for us all. And that we all remember the message that Christmas brings to everyone – regardless of your faith or lack of same.

After all…what could be a better gift for all of us than a world in which we had peace on earth – and good will toward one another?

Merry Christmas, everybody.

And in the coming New Year – don’t forget to Make Mine Silverline!

#

01Dec/20

Title Spotlight: SadoMannequin

Title Spotlight: SadoMannequin

By Kurtis Fujita

Comic Books and Film. The two are complimentary artforms which focus on the craft of storytelling. There was a time when comic book adaptations of blockbuster films like “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “2001” were a dominant force in the industry of sequential art. However these days, it would seem that film adaptations of comic book properties have superseded their inverse counterparts. All one has to do is look at the multitude of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to witness the skyrocketing popularity of this cinematic genre.

Yet another complimentary juxtaposition of film and comics is that of the short film and the one-shot comic book. Both tell a short self-contained story and are artforms that are more closely associated with independent artists than the corporate driven stories of feature length film and ongoing comic book series.

Enter “SadoMannequin” a lurid tale of horror, humor, and seduction. The story originally conceived as a short film by movie maker Jim Torres is adapted for the paneled page in a one-shot issue by the creative team of writer Roland Mann, penciller Kris Hsieh, inker Chuck Bordell, colorist Taco Silvera, and letterer Mike W. Belcher.

“SadoMannequin” begins on a late Alabama eve whose onyx sky is punctuated by the jagged luminescence of lightning bolts illuminating a raggedy looking warehouse. We are introduced to our hapless protagonist, the pudgy everyman named Peter. Peter is a new hire who receives instructions from his surly colleague just as the latter is leaving work for the evening. Peter is given what would seem is the most simple and easy of work tasks:

“Watch everything. Don’t touch anything.

Easier said than done.

As the evening progresses, Peter can’t help himself and begins exploring the warehouse and eventually comes across a statuesque female mannequin garbed in the sultry latex attire of a Dominatrix. As the light of the moon cascades across the vixen’s curvaceous physique, Peter is surprised to see her come to life before his very eyes. It seems like a dream come true for our protagonist, until he realizes that this is more of a nightmare than anything else.

The “SadoMannequin” throttles Peter relentlessly with the stinging tendril of a vicious whip to an inch of his life. He has no choice but to preserve his life if not his dignity, by using the cold steel of a nearby pistol and the precise ballistic impact of a silver bullet. The bullet finds its mark square between the eyes of the seductive helion who is sent back to her infernal resting place.

Peter is safe now to follow the instructions he received earlier in the evening.

“Watch everything. Don’t touch anything.”

Easier said than done.

With the knowledge that by the light of the moon he might be able to transform another female facsimile into the living temptress of his dreams, Peter grabs yet another mannequin and places her in the moonlight. As he hoped, the pale rays of lunar light invigorate the lifeless figure into a living siren. She approaches him, grasping his collar with intensity, pulling him close to her. Peter’s lips purse together and his eyes close in anticipation of the forthcoming passionate kiss.

Suddenly, a crashing bolt of lightning interrupts the romantic interlude.

The next evening we find a similar scene as the introduction of our story. This time, a new employee, John, is taking over the same night shift as Peter. John begins his nightly duties looking after the various curiosities inhabiting the warehouse. Just as it appears that things are taking a turn for the mundane, John comes across the grisly deceased corpse of Peter.

The ethereal silhouette of the lethal seductress of night, “The Sadomannequin” approaches silently behind John like a coiled cobra ready to strike.

John doesn’t notice her stalking figure behind him. He only sees the haunting gaze of the deceased Peter, glaring out at him in a tragic, vacant stare.

John’s heart races and he realizes that he has only one task now.

“Escape.”

Easier said than done.

“SadoMannequin” is a fast paced romp which balances action, humor, seduction, and horror much in the same fashion as the Evil Dead film series by cinematic powerhouse Sam Raimi.

Readers will definitely find a lot to enjoy in this cautionary tale, but be warned…you’ll never look at a mannequin the same way again.

The talent:

  • Roland Mann– writer; Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Head Honcho. He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current, successful relaunch of the brand!
  • Kris Hsieh– penciller; his only comic work. He became a lawyer!
  • Chuck Bordell–inker; one of Chuck’s many Silverline works!
  • Taco Silveira–colorist; “met” Roland online to do this work.
  • Mike W. Belcher–letterer; some of Mike’s first Silverline work.
  • Dave Roberts–cover art; Dave did a long run on Malibu’s Mantra, where Roland was his editor.
  • Shawn Murphy–cover colors.

Order SadoMannequin here: https://indyplanet.com/sadomannequin

26Nov/20

Silverline creators share Thanksgiving memories

On Thanksgiving, we’re encouraged to take the day out to be thankful for our many blessings. We here at Silverline are thankful most of all for YOU, who continue to support us and read our comics…and that allows us to continue to make comics, which we love doing.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked Silverline Creators: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory (childhood or otherwise)?

-Barb Kaalberg
I grew up on a farm in Iowa a half mile from my Grandparents, a stereotypical old farmer couple with bib overalls for my Grandfather and a dress with an apron for my Grandmother. For Thanksgiving, my Aunt and Uncle and my 3 cousins would join my Dad, Mom and us three kids on my Grandparents farm for the usual huge meal. My Grandmother would make every single person their favorite dish and their favorite dessert in addition to the expected Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and homemade, yeast raised dinner rolls. Everything, of course, was made from scratch. There were so many dishes of different kinds of food and desserts that she could have fed half of a small country, but she cherished making everyone happy with her (amazing, drooling good, from scratch, homemade) cooking that she relished making everyone’s favorites. Desserts would include pies, cakes, cookies, jam filled kolaches and homemade cinnamon buns. An awful lot of food for 12 people! But it was all made with love, and that was the best thing of all.

-Thomas Florimonte
My Grandmother’s turkey “Dressing.” Not that nasty “Stuffing” stuff that northerns pass off as a “side dish” during the Thanksgiving meal. I’m talking about good ‘ol Southern Cornbread Turkey Dressing. In most cases, it’s not a side dish to the Turkey itself. It’s a “Main Dish” served along side, right next to the turkey. In “my” house, if you don’t serve “Dressing” during the Thanksgiving meal, then you might as well not serve a turkey at all. And my Grandmother made the best dressing in the world- Fight me.

-Mike W. Belcher
Best Thanksgiving was probably the one time that both sets of my grandparents came to our house for the holiday. Until then, everything was very separate with my family going to one or the other every year. Having everyone together for once was nice and one of the few times I enjoyed Thanksgiving. Can’t say it’s one of my favorite holidays for whatever reason.

-Sid VenBlu
I only have one Thanksgiving memory because I’ve celebrated it just once. That’s a holiday only in the United States after all.
Sean Wolfe invited my close friend Sarah and I to have dinner together at his house, there I not only got awesome food, but also I got to meet the man behind “Cooking with Stupid.” It was a very pleasant evening all in all.

-Rob Davis
My father attempting to pull off turkey and stuffing ( which at our house were prepared separately) one Thanksgiving when my mother was in the hospital. He nearly pulled it off, but he came close to burning the stuffing. It was pretty dry and needed a lot of gravy to be edible. Seeing my WWII era dad a bit out of his depth but soldiering through was priceless.

-Ron Fortier
Okay, I’ve lots of them but they are all jumbled together.
My mother was one of ten children so Thanksgiving were pretty much us celebrating at home. On those rare occasions when she and her sisters decided to do it up big, we’d all go to my grandparents home in Maine. Now consider, my grandfather and grandfather, their ten children and their spouses…and all their kids. Honestly I had more cousins than the populations of small towns. Mom and my aunts would do all the cooking, each of the five ladies bringing individual dishes like some giant pot-luck gathering. Dad and his brother-in-laws would take out the extra tables and chairs from the attack and set them up through the living room and kitchen area. There was one giant table for the grown-ups and at least three smaller round tables for us munchkins.
I remember mounds of food, deserts and then when all had eaten their fill, we kids were cut loose to go out in the huge backyard to play games. Growing up in a big family is an amazing blessing and though the elders for the most part are all gone now, the memories of those gatherings keep me warm as I move on in this journey.

-Jaxon Renick
The Thanksgiving that comes to mind is the one when I was in art school, away from home and my buddy opened up the pizza shop he worked at for all of his friends and co-workers to have a Thanksgiving Dinner and not be alone. That was some damn fine pizza!

-John Metych
We used to go to my grandmother’s each Thanksgiving. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would all be there. The dining room table was large and accommodated seating all the adults. My cousins and I, however, got to sit at “the kiddie table.”
That wasn’t a bad thing, as it was an exclusive table for our generation. We would talk and act goofy, common for our age.  The table was always placed against a small wall separating the dining room from the kitchen.
My grandparent’s house was older – built in 1921 – and had age appropriate wear. During one Thanksgiving, we took note of a small crack in the wall. As kids are goofy and do silly things, one of my cousins used a spoonful of the instant mashed potatoes from their plate as spackle! They filled the crack with rehydrated potato flakes… surprisingly, the colour was a fairly close match!
We cousins still laugh about that impromptu Thanksgiving “MacGyvered This Old House” style repair!

-Brad Thomte
When I was young, my family would have the traditional Thanksgiving meal each year.  It was my mother, father, my younger brother, and me.
One of the items on the menu was cranberry sauce.  It wasn’t homemade, it was canned.  This was in the 70’s and 80’s and the cans had an embossed expiration date on the bottom instead of an inked stamp.
This caused an imprint of the date to transfer to the gelatinous blob
that was the cranberry sauce.
This phenomenon created a rivalry between my brother and I.  We
constantly fought as to who “gets the numbers.”  It got so bad that we
had to keep track of who got the numbers the year before.
Unfortunately, the last few years we were at home together, the cans
had switched over to the inked stamp instead of the embossing, so we
were unable to continue the rivalry.

-Peter Clinton
As I spent the last 3 years studying in the US I did get to participate in 3 thanksgivings. Usually those of us staying in student accommodation and near by would gather to have a ‘Friendsgiving’ where we’d all bring food and drink and have a bit of a party.
And one year my class mate Jose invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his family out in Pennsylvania, where his wife made a hell of a lot of food and I made sure to confuse his kids with a great many lies about life in the UK. Yes, we all live in castles!
We ended the evening with their family tradition where they all sit down and watch White Christmas, which I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen!

-Kevin Gallegly
I do t have a single one… just the ceremony around it… the good dishes… candles… the spread of snacks and finger foods… a college football game on because my grandfather was a big USC fan!

-Scott Wakefield
This is a tough question, because I have a large family and we love being together. Childhood Thanksgivings have been in New York, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, New Hampshire, and places I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Our gatherings are always noisy and full of laughter, often requiring the ability to maintain multiple conversations at once.
One of my favorite Thanksgivings was at my aunt & uncle’s house in Indiana. I think I was 12 or 13 years old. They had a big house, with a big finished basement and tons of Nerf guns. My cousins, my brother, and I played almost non-stop, running, jumping over furniture, laughing and yelling and being sweaty adolescent lunatics. They also had a new computer with games I had never seen before, and I wanted to stay up all night playing. To make it even better, my grandparents lived nearby, so we were all able to spend time together. I think the meal was good, but then, I’ve never had a bad Thanksgiving dinner.
Family is a big part of my life, and I’m glad to have trouble finding one happy memory.

-Rory Boyle
Being from the great state of Ohio, we’re guaranteed to be graced with a healthy dose of lake effect snow. It shows up and accumulates in a hurry. Every Thanksgiving my family would pack up some classic dishes and make the drive along the coast of Lake Erie to my Aunt & Uncle’s house for our annual feast. Usually by then feet of snow had fallen. My Aunt and Uncle’s house was tucked away down long winding roads not frequently trafficked, leaving the roads paved with fresh white powder. The trees, being either blasted and caked with snow or standing tall and silent, their limbs would frosted with snow looking like skeletal fingers reaching over the road. We’d reach their driveway in our station wagon and turn onto the snow covered gravel. Pulling up to the party of cars, and rushing out to meet family, we were always greeted by the aroma of a turkey roasting on a spit, and the joyful shouts of welcome from the rest of the family. It was a beautiful start to every winter season.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Silverline to all of you!
#MakeMineSilverline!

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24Nov/20

Silverline Creator R.A. Jones on Thanksgiving

by R.A. Jones
In recent years (and in part because a very small part of my ethnic make-up is Native American), mention of Thanksgiving inevitably brings to mind a great bit by The Daily Show’s then-host John Stewart.  It went something like this:

“I intend to celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional way.  I’m going to invite all my neighbors over for a big feast – then kill them and take their land.”

In my own life, there really is no single specific memory of one Thanksgiving Day above all others, but simply a warm trove of collective memories.
First, naturally enough, there is the food.  I came from a very large family, and while we never experienced anything remotely resembling a shortage of food on our table, no day saw an abundance so great as on that special Thursday in November.
Turkey, of course (one of the largest you could buy in those pre-steroid days, I imagine).  Dressing and dumplings (homemade: nothing that came in a box or a can), green bean casserole, corn.  Hot dinner rolls dripping with margarine.
And desserts, too.  Pumpkin pie (which I always liked, but largely as the simple loading platform for generous dollops of whipped cream!).  And my mom baked homemade apple/cranberry pies that were out of this world.
After a certain age, I became mom’s unofficial “taste tester” as she prepared the fixings for her dressing before popping it into the oven.  It took a sophisticated palette like mine to tell her when she had added just the right amount of sage!
We would continue to dine off the leftovers for several days afterward.  The final stage came when dad would scrape off every last shred of meat still stubbornly clinging to the turkey bones and mom would serve us creamed turkey on toast.
That’s right: Our final and still fondly remembered meal of the holiday consisted of a feathered version of what GIs, doubtless with equal fondness, called “s#!t on a shingle!”
Then came the football game.  The connection of this game with the holiday goes back, if I’m not mistaken, to the very first Thanksgiving: when the two sides played a rousing post-feast game of touch football.  (The Pilgrims, naturally, being the “shirts” while the Indians were the “skins.”  Ouch!)
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys (or nearly so; they are actually a few years younger than I am!), and watching them play was and still is considered by me to be one of my personal “traditions” of the holiday.
That does in turn play into one Thanksgiving memory that is very specific.  A couple of decades or more ago, about a week before Turkey Day, I received a phone call from an old buddy of mine (who was and is a much bigger name in the comics biz than I ever was or ever will be).
The reason behind his call was rather amusing (to me, at least.  Probably less so for him.).  The lady he was dating at the time had invited him to her parents’ house for Thanksgiving.
This would also be the first time he met her family and he understandably wanted to make a good first impression.  One thing that made him apprehensive about this was the fact that her father and brothers were football fans and he would almost certainly be expected to watch the games on TV that day with them.
Only problem: Having no interest in the sport, my buddy also had virtually no knowledge of the teams involved or the nuances of the game.  Yet he didn’t want to just sit there like a lump on a log and make no contributions to the kind of conversation that always surrounds a game.
So, knowing I did possess at least a modicum of such, he called on me to be his living version of Cliff’s Notes for Football!
Alas, his relationship with said lady did not progress to the point of matrimony and eventually ended altogether.  I hope it wasn’t because I failed to adequately school him on the finer points of football.
Finally…I know it might be easy in such perilous times as now – pandemic, unemployment, fires, hurricanes – to think that you have precious little for which you can really be thankful.
I don’t know if this will be useful to you, but something that helps me, at least a little, in such times of my life derives from the chorus of a wonderful tune Bing Crosby sang in the classic motion picture White Christmas (if I may be excused for tapping into a different holiday):

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep.
And I fall asleep
Counting my blessings.

One of those blessings for me this year is my inclusion in the Silverline “family.”
Hope you all have equal reason to feel thankful!

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