Category Archives: Uncategorized

09Feb/21

Craft: Aaron Humphres – Sketchy Technique

In my comic book Godlings, I have developed a different way to illustrate my pages from other comics. This is not so much in the style of art per se, but the technique I do to develop the final look of the page. I wanted the pages in my comic book to look old like they are from an ancient tome. I also wanted the look of the book to be somewhat sketchy like someone was drawing the story as you were reading. I got the idea from watching the old 101 Dalmatians animated movie. In the movie the outlines of the characters were sketchy, and they would purposefully leave in underdrawings in certain scenes. I thought that style would work for my comic. I decided to have the final art in my comic book be in pencil only, with no ink applied.

In order to do this, I went about developing a certain method of production for my comic pages. Over the years I have been drawing my pages on card stock and not Bristol board. For one thing, my book was going to be 300 pages when finished and I wanted to have enough paper on hand. I bought a ream of 11” x 17” cardstock from Kinkos. It cost me 17 dollars and should cover all the pages in my book. Card stock also has a different texture than Bristol and my pencil lines tend to be initially darker. I use a cardboard backing from an old drawing tablet to draw the pages on. The cardboard is soft enough that when I draw on top of it, it helps the pencil lines sink into the paper better. I start my pages as loose sketches and darken the lines I want to keep with a mechanical pencil.

Now that I have my pages all drawn in, I photocopy them at my local copy place. The first reason is that I need to shrink the 11” x 17” page down to 8” x 11” to fit my scanner bed. The second reason is that the machine will take my pencil lines and reproduce them in black. I also adjust the dark levels in the copy parameters by two notches towards dark. This darkens the lines in the photocopy just enough to where I like them.

I then scan the photocopies into Photoshop and adjust the levels. I usually darken the scan to the midway point in the levels panel. This gives me a nice dark line in the drawing and keeps some of the light underdrawings as well. This creates the sketchy look I want while making the art clear to the readers. From there I color my pages.

26Jan/21

Craft: John Martin – Inking Lines

Hello everyone, I’m John Martin and I’m the inker on Friar Rush and Wolf Hunter for Silverline comics. Now, in my opinion, it’s easier to show than tell you about inking but I’ll give it my best. When it comes to inking the most important thing to keep in mind is the line. It’s the one thing that can make or break a page or cover. As an inker, it is the one aspect of the page that you have to bend and manipulate to make the pencils shine even more and become the finished product ready for color and print.

Now, having a healthy variation on line width is what you use to imply several things like depth, weight, light, and shadow. Heavy lines are used close and in the foreground, then they become lighter the further you go into the background. Outlines of characters, objects, buildings, etc. should always by a heavier line than the lines used inside them. For example, if you outline a person the lines should become thinner on the interior of it for all the normal details (eyes, nose, mouth, etc), then even thinner for the rendering of shadows.

If you weren’t using blacks for shadows you would then not only use the weight of the line for indicating distance but also where the shadows would be. The heavier line will be where the shadow is on the figure or object and of course, the lighter would be the indication of the light source.

Now, when you are using line weight for both depth and to help indicate a light source it can get a little tricky so you as the inker have to make the best decision based on what the focal point is in the panel/cover. These decisions are why no two inkers ink the same page the same way. A perfect example of happens during the Inkwell Awards, when they pick inkers to ink a piece to put up for auction.

In closing, lines are the biggest thing needed to bring a page/cover to its full potential and the most important thing for an inker to keep in mind and practice daily. So, get out there and start making a mess and laying some ink lines down. I know I am.


12Jan/21

Creator Diary: Switchblade #1 and Teen Beetle #1

Hey Silverline Family!

If you’ve been following any of our socials for the past week, you’d know we announced two new books going up on Kickstarter soon! Switchblade #1 and Teen Beetle #1 will both be available for preorder starting January 14th. Remember when our books go to Kickstarter, they’re already done. You’re just preordering your copy, and telling us directly that you want to see more of it before it goes to the digital storefront.

Follow this link to be notified as soon as they go live!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/teenbeetle1switchblade1

As the resident Blog-Dude, I thought it might be kind of cool to talk to some of the creators involved with the upcoming releases. Unfortunately, due to some at-home circumstances, I couldn’t reach out to everyone involved. With future iterations of this Creator’s Diary, I would like to give as many creators as possible a chance to talk directly to the readers.


I did manage to grab snippets from the writers of each project and the colorist of Switchblade.

First Up (Because he is my boss), Roland Mann, Writer on Switchblade:

“I’m a huge fan of black and white art, but I know a lot of fans prefer color. I’ll admit, seeing Switchblade in color really helps bring the characters to life. The RemiX has a crisp cleanness that the original version didn’t have. It’s exciting.”

Aiden Belcher, Colorist on Switchblade:

“Switchblade is the book that you should pick up if you love comics. I could tell that the very first time I saw it. Every page is filled with realistic, gritty, street-level vigilante action that I thankfully had the pleasure of coloring. I appreciate the chance that Roland Mann gave me in working on this project. Everyone should be on the lookout for this one, it’s a good showcase of what comics does best.”

KS exclusive cover by Ben Dunn


And for Teen Beetle, Writer John Crowther:

“John on Teen Beetle: What I enjoyed the most about working on Teen Beetle, was being able to reunite with artist Dell Barras. Dell was one of my favorite artists as a child, from his work on Blue Beetle and Death’s Head, and he was the artist on my first two comic series for Antarctic Press — Rochelle and Turnbuckle Titans: Nikolai Volkoff. I believe that Dell fully captures the stories I am trying to tell in his art and I feel readers will truly enjoy our chemistry in the Teen Beetle series.”

We hope you’re as excited for these books as we are! Remember January 21st, of 2021, we’re kicking the year off with some kick-butt comics!


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

08Dec/20

Craft: Tommy Florimonte – Teaching Myself The Craft

Hello and Happy Holidays Silverline Family! I had the pleasure of asking Tommy Florimonte what I think may be one of the most important questions I’ve asked so far on this series. I asked him how he taught himself the craft of making comic books. This is incredibly important because, for many people, the ability to take a specialized course on making comic books is simply not in the cards. But that shouldn’t count out their passion.

Not only has Tommy been an inker with Silverline, but he is the co-owner of Ka-Blam (a comic printing service), and he has written and sold his own series for children. I would say that as a self-taught comic creator, Tommy is more successful than some classically trained artists and writers. It is my hope that the following entry in our Craft series encourages you to pursue and learn how to make comics if you have the passion regardless of what traditional options lay in front of you.

Teaching Myself The Craft

I’m an inker. So what does that mean? Essentially, my job is to take a drawing that someone else has done and make it print-ready. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Can’t you just redraw/trace what the penciler has already drawn out? Sure, you can do that. But the inker’s job is more than that. The inker’s job is to make it better. Inkers are sometimes called embellishers. Embellish means to make something more attractive. Better. The inker should ADD something to the process. To my mind, the goal as “The Inker”  is to do everything possible, using all the inking tricks I have learned, all the skills I have picked up, use all the techniques available (another subject) to make those pencils look Really Cool!…  To make them ROCK!!!

So how do you do that?

I was already finishing college in a subject different from “ART” when I got the bug to try my hand at being a comic artist. While I’ve always been able to draw naturally, not professionally, of course, I had no real “art training” and I certainly didn’t like the idea of adding more “COLLEGE” to take drawing classes. Why would I? I could already draw. How foolish I was. So- What do I do? I needed to find people that were doing what I wanted to accomplish and ask lots and lots of questions. 

Well, luckily for me, I had a few friends doing just that: Starting their comic careers. So the answer to “What do you do?”: In the beginning, you learn from everybody. I studied inkers I liked. And inkers that I didn’t. Do your research and practice every spare moment. Show your stuff around. Get advice from everybody. Take it all in and decide what works, and even try the stuff that doesn’t — just to be sure. I felt everything was helpful. I took a deep dive into what makes a strong inker and took notes on what I needed to accomplish to become one.

I decided in the beginning, I wanted to be known as an inker that provided a “Bold” “Dynamic” “Clean” ink line that also stayed true to the penciler’s drawings. And to get the line I was wanting, I decided that I was somehow going to have to master the “Brush”. It would have to be my number one tool. I was told if I was ever going to be a great brush inker, the brush I must… No! HAD TO USE, was the Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable hair brush. Size 3 I think. And they weren’t cheap. I bought several Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes, a bottle of India ink, and within a short few days, I had mastered this tool. 

Not really. I proceeded to make a mess, spill ink all over the place, destroy quite a few expensive brushes, and ruin a lot of my clothes. Well before trying to ink a page of any kind, I knew I needed to get a handle on this thing. It could be done. I had watched others doing it. If they could do it, so could I. So I practiced by inking page after page of those thick to thin parallel lines that everyone tells you to do. Over and over again. Straight – bouncy – lines. Page after page. Once that started looking good, time to draw curved bouncy lines. You get it. Lots of bouncy lines. I got to the point, I could see the line before inking it. I don’t know about being perfect, but a lot of practice will get you pretty close. 

The one other thing that greatly helped me get that super clean/sleek line I get with a brush, is learning to draw with your arm and not just your hand. I can draw/ink a very smooth curve using the rotation of my arm. So use that natural curve to your advantage. I have been told it’s funny to watch me ink. I’m flipping the page in all different directions, upside down even, to get the best angle. I’ve been asked quite a few times by a lot of people, “Thomas! What on earth are you doing?” Me, “I’m inking. Isn’t this the way you do it?

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