All posts by Tim Thiessen

17May/22

Content Spotlight: The Comics Fu Show

Hey there, Silverline fam!

We have another Silverline Content Spotlight for you. This week is an extra special episode. Kurtis, Silverline’s resident Kung-Fu expert, hosts the artist and crew involved with the Shadow Ghost inspired music video from Capitan Walas.

Shadow Ghost is the kung-fu comics by kung-fu master upcoming from Silverline! Sifu Kurtis Fujita created this comic to combine two of his passions. We’ve mentioned it before, but Kurtis is an actual Sifu, a certified instructor of kung-fu for health and competition. He also has a historied career in comics and entertainment. Combining the two into one dope comic series seemed like a kind of no brainer.

A few months ago Capitan Walas made a track and music video inspired by Shadow Ghost. The track, Drunken Tiger featuring Alan Yip on Erhu features themes from traditional Chinese music with a modern twist. The music video is also a great demonstration of practical martial arts and use of traditional Chinese weapons. “Capitan Walas is a Mexican musician based in California’s SF Bay Area. He has been a guitar/ guqin composer and martial arts practitioner since the early 2010s.

Capitan Walas, Alan Yip, Sifu Tony Tong, and Megan Wong join the the comics fu show to talk about their various backgrounds, influences, and behind the scenes production of the song/music video. This episode also features a screening of the video!

Be sure to check it out as it goes live today on the Silverline Comics Channel!




10May/22

Kickstarter Alert! It’s AAAALLIVVVVEEEE!

Hey there, Silver Fam!

You heard that right folks! We’re doing some dark science! Using the power of technology we’ve brought the dead back to life! Or at least have brought another Silverline Classic back to print with another Remix.

It’s not alone either. We are launching two brand spanking new titles at the same time. For a total of three, you head me right, THREE books in one Kickstarter campaign. Remember a Silverline Kickstarter is essentially just the preorder with a chance to get some extra goodies. Psssst, it also really helps the analytics so if you back it, that tells us you want more.

These are some truly dope titles, and I really can’t recommend them enough if you are fan of Sci-Fi.



From the far future of the year 1992, comes Krey!

When a band of mutant warriors attack a human tribe, a young human boy is taken alive. Given the name “Krey,” he is raised with the very mutants who killed his family. as the young boy grows, he desperately wants to be a warrior and join the men in war. When humans attack his village, he just might get that chance.

Krey #1 RemiX is science fiction/fantasy; full color, 25 pages. It is part 1 of a five issue mini-series. This comic is completely finished. Roland Mann – writer; Steven Butler – penciller; Ken Branch – inker; Jeremy Kahn – colorist; Nick McCalip – letterer.



Brand new, and from the brain of my friend Wes, and featuring art from my Tuesday co-host Aaron, The Obsoletes!

When a group of grizzled intergalactic prospectors are accidentally thrust 20 years into the future, they’re faced with a very different reality. The world they knew is unrecognizable and their profession has changed, becoming more deadly than ever. But rather than ride off into retirement, the crew of roughnecks sets out to prove that they’re still the best in the game… even if they are a little obsolete.

The Obsoletes #1 is science fiction/action, full color 22 pages, is the first of a four issue mini-series. The comic is completely finished! Wes Locher – writer/letterer; Aaron Humphres – penciller; Jose Fuentes – inker; Haley Martin – colorist.



If a space opera is more of your jam, than Beyond the Stars might be for you!

When a galactic spanning entity threatens the Empire of Man, Haven’s corp of Science-Warriors is called upon to save mankind. Led by Kal, a fearless servant of the All Mother, and Prof. Yonel Travane, an expert on lost alien races, their team will sacrifice all to challenge this unimaginable horror from beyond the stars.

Beyond The Stars #1 is science fiction/action; full color, 22 pages. It is the first of a six issue mini-series. The comic is completely finished. Ron Fortier – writer; Andrea Bormida – artist; Mike W. Belcher – letterer.

Again, I can’t recommend these books enough. If you like sci-fi you need these on your shelf. There is something for everyone and again, this is a rare occasion for Silverline with three books for offer at the same time.

Please check it out, (give our analytics team their data) and get yourself some dope comics.


Until next time, Make Mine Silverline!

03May/22

Silverline Content Showcase: Paul Kupperberg on Wednesday Wham!

Hey there Silver family!

Sorry it’s been a while since we posted. I was lost in the desert for a week. I was some about Bend when the Monster and Protein Bars began take hold. I then got cozy with some bacteria while I was out there which knocked out of commission for the next week. We’re back and lightly medicated, so that means it’s time for a post.

We got an extra special one for you this time! Long time comics pro, veteran of the long war, Paul Kupperberg joined the Whammers for an incredible episode of Wednesday Night Wham!

If you’ve been living under several rocks, Paul Kupperberg has had a career in comics for over 45 years, and has written over 1,400 stories. That’s a lot. Like . . . a lllooooooootttt. Some companies he’s worked with include DC Comics, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. You might recognize two of those names, if you’ve breathed at any point in the last 40 years.

Paul also famously killed Archie. Yes, that Archie. He’s worked on Peacemaker, Vigilante, Doom Patrol, and Supergirl to name a few. If you’re like me, you’ve been loving the shows based on those titles, I would definitely recommend reading some of his work after you watch the conversation he had with the Whammers.

Enjoy!

 

12Apr/22

Upcoming Kickstarter Alert

Hey there Silverline Fam!

Only got time for another quick one this week. But we won’t need a blog where we’re going. That’s right, we’re headed back to the (comics) future!

Silverline has an upcoming Kickstarter that you can pre-save, right now! It’s a Science Fiction Extravaganza as we release a collection of 3 books with a sci-fi twist. This collection has some classic and some all new content for your reading pleasure!

This laser-fight-party will feature a Beyond The Stars, Krey, and Obsoletes. If you enjoy long walks on the moon or cantina folk jazz, then this is a can’t miss!

If you backed Wolf Hunter/Sirens Remix, we are working on getting those out of the print cycle and into a mailbox near you soon! Make sure you completed your Kickstarter survey, so that we can send it to the right mailbox!

If you want to help us keep the comics train rolling, head on over to the page for the Sci-Fi Extravaganza and hit that Notification Button.

Until next time, Make Mine Silverline!

05Apr/22

Quick Update – Kickstarter Survey

Just a quick update this week!

Make sure to check your email! If you backed the Kickstarter for Sirens #1 Remix and Wolf Hunter #1, you’ll have received a few emails from Kickstarter to complete the survey. This survey is SUPER important. This allows us to collect your shipping address as well as the name you want us to put on the thank you page. If you want your name to be correct and your book to actually be sent to you, you need to complete this survey.

Your regular scheduled can resume when everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has completed their survey. So get to it soldiers. Up and at ’em!

29Mar/22

Kick Starter Success

Hey there Silverfam!

I just want to congratulate everyone involved on another successful Kickstarter! That means you too! We wouldn’t be here without the readers and the backers.

This Kickstarter had special significance to me. Wolf Hunter is my own comic and the story has been rattling around in my head for a few years now. The art on this comic is blowing my mind. I hope my story lives up to the dopeness that AJ, John, and Martin encased it in. I’m super proud of what we created and I CAN NOT WAIT for it to be in your hands.

Make sure to check you emails for surveys and updates. We’ll need to confirm your shipping info and make sure your name is right on the thank you page. 

Of course I also need to shout out the incredible Sirens team as well. Sirens is a classic penned by my former college instructor Sidney Williams, and features incredible art work by John Drury, Chuck Bordell, and Barb Kaalberg. I loved this comic the first time I read it and can’t wait to turn through the pages with the new life breathed into this book. 

You all even backed these books so hard, that we hit our second stretch goal! That means that every backer will be getting a Historical Reference PDF that can be used as commentary and reference for Issue 1 of Wolf Hunter. In essence, your digital copy just got upgraded to a History Edition. If you backed at a physical reward level, you’ll also be getting a double sided bookmark featuring unique art from both Wolf Hunter and Sirens. 

Again thank you so much, for backing these books! Be on the look for more Kickstarters in the future and remember to Make Mine Silverline! 

22Mar/22

Content Spotlight: The Comics Fu Show – Brad Graeber Part 2

Hey there Silverline Fam!

I did a write up for this when the last episode went live, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t also feature this episode, as it is a part 2. The Comics Fu Show continues the interview Powerhouse Animation founder Brad Graeber.

For those who don’t know Powerhouse Animation is . . . well, an animation studio that is currently a powerhouse in the field. Recently they have worked on Castlevania, Masters of the Universe: Revelations, Seis Manos, and Blood of Zeus. I would honestly recommend any one of those shows.

They start off the episode talking about the influences of Seis Manos then transition Brad’s experience as leader at Powerhouse Animation. Brad also gives some deep insight into the humble beginnings of Powerhouse Animation. They interview takes some fantastic turns and covers some points that I found pretty inspirational even as a comic writer/editor.

Brad also spills the tea on some new projects that Powerhouse has down the line.

Brad is a genuine and thoughtful guy. Listening to him in this interview is really a treat. I would have got Kurtis a year’s worth of Del Taco just to sit in on this. Please give it watch and enjoy the conversation.

Be good ya’ll!

15Mar/22

NEW KICKSTARTER ALERT! Wolf Hunter #1 and Sirens #1 Remix

Hey there Silverline Fam!

We’re back at it again with another Kickstarter. One that it looks like you guys were prepared for, because we funded over the weekend! In fact you guys got us over 50% before the first official day! Holy cow, thank you all so much!


Obviously I have some bias here, but I think this is a really good pair of books. Wolf Hunter is my first comic book and has been rattling around in my brain for a few years. Honestly though, the artists working on this project really made it their own and elevated Wolf Hunter to a level I couldn’t imagine. AJ Cassetta, John Martin, and Martin Murtonen went really hard on this one. Of course I also have to mention the veteran Mike W Belcher on letters, without him my dialogue written would be literally worthless.

I really believe this is one spy thriller that is not going to look like any other out there.

If you didn’t know, Wolf Hunter is a spy story set in World War 2. The story starts during the Blitz and our hero, RAF Group Captain James Willard gets shot down and is heavily injured. Instead of being rehabbed and sent back to the front, the powers that be have other plans. Willard has a knack for insight in an age before forensic psychology. When a suspected German spy threatens the Allies most critical scientific mission, Churchill himself decides to make use of Willards talents to detect and neutralize the threat.



If you like Murder on the Orient, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, or are just a fan of the technology of WW2, this is the book for you.

The other book up for preorder is Sirens #1 Remix. Like our previous Remix, this is a comic that was originally released a few decades back but has been retouched and colored for a more contemporary look. Sirens is a story set in the vibrant New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The story follows investment broker Jeff Dalmer who has an unfortunate whirlwind romance with Lois Neville, a Loup-Garou. The end result is Jeff slowly turning into a zombie. He’ll have to beat the clock to find Lois and break the curse, or live the rest of his life as a sack of rotting flesh.

Sirens features an all-star team of Sid Williams (Writer), John Drury (Penciller), Chuck Bordell (Inker), Barb Kaalberg (Colorist), Brad Thomte (Letterer). All of these names have appeared on the covers of several comics over the years. It really is a supergroup of talent and it shows in the quality of each page. I would recommend the work of each one of these artists individually. To have them all together on the same project, makes it a must-have.

Added points, Brad Thomte also designed the logo for Wolf Hunter.

If you’ve never backed a Silverline Kickstarter, let me break it down in crayons. Both books are finished. You’re not backing some idea in development or a promise that at some point we’ll make the book. We’re not those guys. Each pledge is a form of pre-order. When you select a pledge tier (digital, physical, retailer, or Completist) you are preordering that item. What Kickstarter allows us to do is conveniently package and track extra goodies for everyone who wants to order before it goes to our online storefront. We can add in stretch goals for additional rewards, or you can order extra add-ons without having to hunt them down and add them to your cart.

Shortly after the Kickstarter campaign we get the books from the printer and start shipping. Around that time you’ll get an email asking to confirm your details. Make sure you check your email and complete this survey. Otherwise we may not be able to get your order to you or your name may be incorrect in the thank you page. That’s right, if you preorder, your name gets immortalized in the actual book.

We’re already halfway to our first stretch goal, some really sick bookmarks. Honestly these designs are great. And of course the Wolf Hunter book mark is impeccably British. Who knows what we might add for the next level or two of stretch goals. I’m not not saying that a haunted house tour with Dean, Tommy, and myself is a possibility.



Make sure to check out the Kickstarter for Wolf Hunter #1 and Sirens #1 Remix. We’re already funded so each additional backer just gets everyone one-step closer to some additional goodies.


Be good out there!

Make Mine Silverline!

01Mar/22

Craft: Roland Mann – Filling Multiple Roles in Comics

Hey there Silverline Family,

We hope you are all safe and well out there. Especially if you’re a reader in Europe, please take care and we hope that you’re safe. If you’re elsewhere around the world remember to take a break from the doomscrolling and take care of your mental health. We hope our comics and content can give you nice reprieve to relax and be entertained. 

This week we have another Craft Interview. This time with the big cheese, Roland Mann. You might know Roland from a lot of things. He’s the EIC and founder here at Silver, he’s written several comics such as Cat & Mouse, and Trumps. Previously, he was an editor at Marvel and Malibu. He’s also an educator who teaches a course about writing comics, so he may have been your instructor at some point. So listen up class!

This week we talk about working in comics are the multiple duties one might have to fulfill at once. When you’re breaking in and especially if you choose a career in the indies, you may find yourself wearing multiple hats. (I’m a writer, editor, and online content guy, and all I got was this dang shirt.) It’s not uncommon for the team you’re working with to ask you to cover multiple roles to make sure the business of comics gets done for your comic. If you’re a purely independent creator, you get the worst end of it. Finance, marketing, partnerships, and creative all get handled by you. Chances are you might also need to freelance on other comics at the same time make ends meet. 

I hope you enjoy this interview where Roland gives us insight into how he creates and how he covers the multiple duties he needs to do. 

 

Craft: Roland Mann – Filling Multiple Roles in Comics

 

TK: It’s my understanding that Trumps has been rattling around in your mindpalace for a while now. How long do you typically let an idea sit before you develop it, or progress to writing. Is it more of waiting for the right moment for the time, or do you fully develop the idea and then store it until you are able to execute it?

RM: Your understanding is correct. The Trumps concept was born in the late 90s. As I’ve said other places, my family plays a lot of cards, and the idea of the four suits as four kingdoms at war struck me during one such evening while playing Pinocle with my parents. I jotted down the idea quickly, then fleshed the idea out during my next writing session. I don’t generally let ideas sit for too long because I feel like I have to go where my brain is taking me right then. If I wait a month, I might forget where I was headed. But the other reason is that I think WITH my writing. I write and rewrite and revise as part of the “thinking” process.

TK: If an idea is coming together, either in development, or once actual writing or illustration has begun and you feel like it’s not doing the story justice, how do you pivot? Do you just truck through and then hit it again in revisions or do you pursue another idea that you feel the team is better suited for? Any examples?

RM: No, I won’t truck through. I have done that before, but that’s the reason I won’t do it now. Revising or fixing something that isn’t working is far easier—in my opinion—to fix before it is finished than to finish and then try to fix. I think if it’s finished, it’s more difficult to get your mind away from THAT idea. If I stop right then and address the problem, then I can play the “what if” game. What if my character does A? What if my character does B? What if my character does C? and so on. I’ll try to figure out the place in the story the problem is, then see what decision the character can make in a different way—and not just ONE way, what are all sorts of possibilities. Now, I will add this, I try VERY hard to do all that BEFORE an artist gets it. In my view, it’s far easier for me to make the changes at a story level, than for the artist to have to make changes in the art, which could potentially mean a lot of different pages requiring changes. That’s not fair to the artist, and it also signals to the artist that you don’t really know what you’re doing as a writer.

The best example from my own writing, I can’t go into a lot of details because it’s from something unpublished. (how’s THAT for a plug?) But I have a novel that’s now complete, but I was stuck for a time (I don’t believe in writer’s block) on a pivotal decision that a character made. I’d moved passed that point, but it just wasn’t working. So I backtracked to the decision, played out several “what if” scenarios, picked one that I thought worked the best…and went from there. And wouldn’t you know it, the remainder of the novel came fairly easily!

TK: In addition to writer, you also serve as an editor, and several other business titles (but that’s getting too deep in the sausage). Many comic creators will probably find themselves wearing multiple hats, especially in the indies. How do you balance working on your own work and working on the other roles you fill. Is there any special considerations when it comes to budgeting time developing your titles versus helping other creators create their titles.

RM: OMG, that’s a tough one. The truth is that I really do love to see new creators enter the team of the published. There’s not a lot of money in comics, but there’s a lot of emotional rewards. For instance, I’m very excited that our next kickstarter includes WOLF HUNTER, written by our own Tim TK (who supplied these questions and I feel like I’m addressing all the answers to him!). And while it won’t be his first publication, it will be his first published comic book. I like that because I know how “I” feel when I see my work in printed form, and it excites me to know that Tim will get that exact feeling when he holds the printed copies of WOLF HUNTER #1 in his hands! As far as how I budget the time…I wish I could tell you that I have a big spreadsheet (like I used to have as editor at Marvel and Malibu) that has the timelines for every project and every title we’re doing…but the truth of the matter is that because we’re so small press, the timelines for every creator on every title is so different. Someone like Aaron Humphres can really produce pages quickly as his “day job” allows him greater flexibility to create more pages. On the other hand, someone like Dean Zachery can’t do that because his day job requires more time from him that keeps him from drawing the thing he wants to draw. ALL of us want to be more like Aaron, of course, but we can only do what we can do. So my personal decisions on helping other creators budget their titles depends greatly on what the team as a whole can do.

Hope that makes sense.

TK: How does also being a writer influence the kind of feedback you, or how does also being an editor influence how you react to feedback? How you do find the path to encourage a creator to really improve their original idea without getting behind the steering wheel too much yourself?

RM: That’s also a tough one. An editor’s job, or even someone just offering feedback is not to make the writer’s story THEIR story. It’s to try to figure out what the writer is trying to tell and help guide them on that path. Now, there are some things, obviously, that the writers don’t necessarily see because they are so close to the story that the editor can see, and that the writer sometimes thinks the editor is butting in.
One example of this I can think of is the upcoming KNIGHT RISE. Mackenzie had sent me a really nice outline of the story she wanted to tell…the problem with the story is that it wasn’t “A” story, but it was two stories. We swapped a few emails and suddenly she was like “Whoa! Cool! Yeah, I see that”—and she went off to the races with it (And I know readers are really going to love it!)

Another example that comes to mind is with WOLF HUNTER. I remember your summary and the initial second issue was very claustrophobic because it was all inside the train AND it was a lot of talking heads. My recollection is that you knew the story front and back, knew what you were trying to accomplish, but didn’t realize the second issue was like that because it was surrounded with action on either side. So you simply (I say “simply” –ha) rearranged some of the stuff, added a bigger action sequence and made stronger use of noir-style narration  to make it work. 
And I think that leads me to the part of the answer that can be tough: An editor has to think about more than the story. Yeah, you want to make sure all the elements of story are there, but you also have to take into consideration the audience. The editor is really the first audience member, but they come at it with a writer’s eye. Not only that, an un-emotionally-invested writer’s eye. An editor can look at a story and say “hey dude, there’s no action here,” or “hey, there’s nothing at stake for your protagonist here,” or “why do we care about this?” because they see that when they read it. They can then offer up suggestions to the writer not in an attempt to write the story for them, but in an attempt to get the writer thinking about the problem and figuring out how to address it. I always try to offer suggestions to writers when I’m editing, and I try to offer up at least two suggestions which take the character or story in completely opposite directions in order to get the writer to look at all the possibilities. Often what happens is they come up with something that isn’t quite as extreme as my suggestions, something in the middle of the two polar opposites I suggest…and it works.

TK: How would you say your workload has shifted compared to when you got into comics. I would assume you have more responsibilities, but technology has also advanced. Do you find that some tasks are generally more efficient, either as a writer or editor, and has that made your creative life easier or harder, or has it simply made room for more work to fill your day?

RM: The big difference is that when I got into comics, that was what I did full time for a little more than a decade. Now, my primary responsibility is as a college professor. Comics are my night gig. I’m very fortunate in that my boss encourages me to stay involved in comics. A near exact quote from her is something to the effect of “I want you to keep doing that because it keeps you relevant.” Which is really funny, but when you think about it, is also very real. The department can continue to say “the guy who teaches comics is also a comic maker today,” instead of “he used to make comics a bunch of years ago.”

But there are indeed a lot of things that are easier today than they were when I got started in the late 80s thanks to technology. Some of the more obvious things might be the ability to instantly receive the art from the artist as soon as they are done. We no longer have to wait on the mail to hopefully deliver the original art in undamaged condition. We can work with folks internationally a whole lot easier for the same reason.

I can also communicate with creators a lot easier than back then when my options were phone (not always convenient), mail (super slow), or fax (whaaaaa?). I can send you an email and you can get me a pretty quick response when you get to it.
But I DO think that technology has caused me to have a serious case of over commitment. When I was employed as an editor full time, I edited an average of about 6-7 titles a month. Silverline is not remotely close to monthly, but we’ve got 22 projects…YES, TWENTY TWO!!!…in various stages of development. While I try to keep up with where they are all, sometimes things fall through the cracks (that’s why I’m getting some help from Dante Barry on that soon!), not because I care more about one over the other, but simply because I’m looking one way and miss the one in the other direction! Lol

22Feb/22

Content Spotlight: The Comics Fu Show – Brad Graeber

Hey Silverline Fam!

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a lot of content spotlights back-to-back.” You’re right, and to that I say, we got good content dangit! We got lots of dope videos and interviews being live-streamed or uploaded all the time. We’ll be back with another Craft here soon, but this week we uploaded a special video that I want to feature!

That video is another episode of The Comics Fu show. I said it last time, but this is my favorite type of content that we create. This week features a conversation with Brad Graeber, CEO/CCO of Powerhouse Animation (Seis Manos, Masters of the Universe: Revelations, Castlevania, Blood of Zeus). When it comes to guests with clout, this is a contender for the peak. Castlevania is also in my top 5 for favorite modern shows, so Brad if you’re watching, hi.

In this episode, Co-hosts Sifu Kurtis Fujita and Patrick Lugo ask brad about how Kung Fu influences movement, animation, and everyday life.

As a practicing kickboxer, hearing how different martial artists combine their arts (combat and comic) is always fascinating. Taking that conversation and including animation really provides a lot of food for thought. I grew up watching anime and animation and was always fascinated by the visual poetry of a well-choreographed fight. Getting some insight on the creative side of that is really powerful.

I definitely recommend taking some time and checking out this video.

Stay good!