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 today is Sidney Williams, author 11 novels including recent releases: Disciples of the Serpent, Dark Hours and Midnight Eyes. Sidney’s early books include When Darkness Falls, Blood Hunter, Night Brothers and Azarius. At Silverline, Sidney is the writer of Bloodline and Friar Rush.
Now, without further ado, we present to you…
10 QUESTIONS WITH … SIDNEY WILLIAMS
SILVERLINE: So, who are you and where do you hail from?
SIDNEY WILLIAMS: I’m Sidney Williams. Not a lot of people know my middle name is Glover, which I suspect was a surname somewhere back down my family line.
I guess I come from a long line of Irish glove makers. I’m now, pretty much, from all over or from a lot of places any way. I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, and spent quite a few years in and around Central Louisiana. I also spent a few years in Tyler, TX. Let’s not go there.
As of this writing, I’m Williamsburg, Virginia, following my wife’s career path and my career spiral.
SILVERLINE: What would you say it is you do here at Silverline?
I’m a writer, and I’m pretty good with most software so I could do something else.
SILVERLINE: Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?
SW: I’m a novelist. My newest books are Disciples of the Serpent about people battling giant things in Ireland, and Dark Hours about a girl trapped in a basement puzzle box by a twisted individual who doesn’t have her best interest at heart.
I wrote paperback horror thrillers a few years back, and in the comics world I’ve written things for Silverline before including The Mantus Files and others. I wrote a graphic novel called The Dusk Society for Campfire Comics, and I have written many short stories including a new one called “The Cooler of Craft Brew” for a collection called Quoth the Raven, a contemporary reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales. The collection made it to the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards.
SILVERLINE: Many creators at Silverline have been in the comics industry for years — what’s kept YOU plugging away at comics? What do you enjoy most about the medium, as well as your specific trade?
SW: Comics represent some of the first reading that ever engaged me, and they played a big role in my putting pen to paper.
I don’t think my father knew what he was starting, but he used to read comics to me before I could read myself. We read a lot of Tarzan and super hero comics, and he read me things like Gold Key’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which were really collections of short horror tales.
All of that stimulated my imagination, and so it’s fun to play in the sandbox where things all started for me.
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”
SW: Probably Tarzan. The stories are fun, high adventure really and when I was, I don’t know, five, they really enthralled me with all of the lost cities and dinosaurs and the like.
I’ve said this in many interviews, but before I could actually read and write but could make letters, I’d have my mom spell things for me, and I’d write new captions for a Tarzan coloring book. It’s hard to write when you can’t, so that produced some interesting material like Tarzan perched in a tree saying: “It’s far pretty far to the village.”
SILVERLINE: Who were some of your earliest influences on your writing?
SW: I guess Joe Kubert is the first creator whose name I really knew. DC really celebrated him as the writer/artist on the Tarzan book when they picked it up from Gold Key.
I liked Russ Manning’s Tarzan as well, and in retrospect, I realize I saw a lot of his work in Gold Key earlier. I actually had a subscription to Superboy when I was a kid,and that morphed into Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes, and from that I became a huge Legion fan, and Mike Grell became someone I recognized also.
All of this factored into my overall creativity.
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally?
SW: It was via Silverline for Malibu Graphics. I got to create a miniseries, The Mantus Files, which I mentioned earlier.
I had written about three books by then I suppose, so it was Horror Novelist Sidney Williams’ The Mantus Files or something like that. It was a black and white and sold pretty well at the time but it was a time of growth for Malibu, so it didn’t really get them excited sadly.
SILVERLINE: Follow up Q — Can you still read that comic today without wincing?
SW: Yeah, I’m OK with it. I went through a period where I didn’t like my stuff. Confluence of reasons for that, I guess. I’m back to liking most things, or accepting that things were written by a different me, a me that I was at a given time.
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?
SW: Make more noise, I guess, though I did what I could to trumpet my work and do more.
SILVERLINE: After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot?
SW: Wow, I think an overpass. Name displayed in kind of an arched arrangement. That appeals to me. I guess it would be in danger of getting knocked down by a rampaging monster, though.