Each month we’ll be shining the spotlight on a Silverline creator and sharing their secret origin story, learning what makes them tick, and giving you the scoop on how they came up in the comics world.
Up this time is Mike W. Belcher, a graphic designer by day and a comic maker by night. Mike provided letters for Scary Book #4, Divinity #1 and #2
Twilight Grimm #1 and #2. Mike is also the creator/writer/artist for Man in the Mask, a comic he does with his son Aiden on color.
Now, without further ado, we present to you…
12 Questions with … Mike W. Belcher
SILVERLINE: So, who are you and where do you hail from?
I am Mike W. Belcher I hail from the great state of Kentucky, eastern Kentucky to be exact. Little place called Prestonsburg. Other than when I went off to college, it’s been my lifelong home.
SILVERLINE: What would you say it is you do here at Silverline?
I am the production designer and letterer for some of the fine books at Silverline I developed the trade dress design overtop the logos of the books to give credit to all the hard working creator. Currently lettering Divinity and Twilight Grimm with more to follow I hope, including my buddy Ron Fortier’s new project, Satin’s Ways, coming soon from Silverline.
SILVERLINE: Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?
I also self publish and create my own comic under my AMK Comics banner called MAN IN THE MASK. Some have called it a throwback to a more fun time in comics. It’s story of a regular guy trying to live up to the masked legacy of his grandfather. It’s my attempt at trying to do a old fashioned masked man book where the guy is actually a hero to his community for many reasons not just because he can throw a good punch. I think a number of us were, of course, influenced by super hero comics. But the last 20 or so years have been very dark and not very fun. I’m writing a comic that I hope fills a need for something a little more fun and hopeful.
SILVERLINE: When you’re not making great Silverline comics, what do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
I’m kind of boring. If I’m not creating comics, I’m typically reading them. I do like to cook for my family. That’s one of the many things I learned from my grandfather who I loosely based the grandfather in Man in the Mask on.
SILVERLINE: Many creators at Silverline have been in the comics industry for years — what’s kept YOU plugging away at comics?
I legitimately love comics. Ever since I discovered them, I have had no other interests. They are a fundamental part of my life. I found that I didn’t just want to write them, I needed to make them too. When I sit down to write or draw, I’m instantly transported to a new world and remember the fun I had when I was younger drawing on my board.
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”
I found myself lucky enough to live through such an imaginative time in comics 1985-86. John Byrne’s Superman and Frank Miller’s Batman Year One made me want to create comics and it just went from there.
SILVERLINE: What’s on your playlist? Who/what music do you listen to, and do you listen to it while you work?
Wide range of bands like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Huey Lewis and Johnny Cash keep me inspired and I can tailor my list to the type of page I’m drawing. I work in silence when I write though.
SILVERLINE: Who were some of your earliest influences on your art ?
John Byrne, Frank Miller, David Mazzuchelli, Matt Wagner
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally?
Scary Book #4 for Silverline 2.0 in 1998
SILVERLINE: Can you still read that comic today without wincing?
I was just learning to digitally letter and it shows, but yeah.
SILVERLINE: What are some non-Silverline independent comics you would recommend to readers?
SILVERLINE: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice that would help them better navigate the comics industry, what would it be?
Don’t strive for perfection or that right time of ability. I was very hard on myself and it kept me from fulfilling my need to create comics earlier in life.
SILVERLINE: After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot?
Parking lot. I would like to think people could relax and kick back at my lot.