Tag Archives: Cat&Mouse

17Nov/20

Fulfillment done…and ComiConway 2020!

Fulfillment done!

We’re happy to report that fulfillment for Cat & Mouse #3 and Trumps Book 1 is done! Well, with the exception of one…and then five whose addresses I don’t have (if you’re reading this and don’t have your comic yet—please make sure I have your address). Some of the digital rewards have gone out—mostly the “catch-up” comics. I’m still putting together the other pdfs, but hope to deliver those to backers by the weekend (I’m shooting for Friday).

Please drop us a line and let us know what you think! We know you’ve got a lot of stuff to read…but we’re anxious to hear your thoughts!

ComiConway 2020

Despite the fact you may have heard the world is in the middle of a plague, life moves on…and that’s what ComiConway is doing…and they’ve invited Silverline to be a part of it in a big way—and we couldn’t be more excited. Roland Mann and Jeff Whiting were both guests of the show in 2018 and both had only great things to say.

So how will Silverline be participating? Thanks for asking. On three consecutive Saturdays (Nov 7, 14, and 21), Silverline will be hosting four panels each day starting at 10am (Central time). The panel schedule looks like this:

November 7
(to view these panels, head to the video at ComiConway’s facebook page: https://fb.watch/1P48vkfEEZ/  Be warned…the first one starts late…we had technical difficulties)

10 am
Who and what is Silverline?
Panelists: Roland Mann (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, Kurtis Fujita, and John Metych.

11 am
Silverline: What are Cat & Mouse, Kayless, Divinity?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Roland Mann, Barb Kaalberg, Brent Larson, Alex Gallimore, Wubba Fett, Roberta Conroy, Mike W. Belcher.

12 pm
Breaking into the comic industry
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), R.A. Jones, Roland Mann, John Metych, Thomas Florimonte, Aaron Humphres, Roberta Conroy, John Martin.

1 pm
Silverline: What are Twilight Grimm, Friar Rush, Sniper N Rook?
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), R.A. Jones, John Metych, Rob Davis, Ron Fortier, Aaron Humphres, Mike W. Belcher, John Martin.

November 14
(to view these panels, head to the video at ComiConway’s facebook page: https://fb.watch/1P45qqAGLz/ )

10 am
Tools and strategies of comic book penciling
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Aaron Humphres, C. Michael Lanning, Peter Clinton, Wubba Fett, Rob Davis.

11 am
Silverline: What are Steam Patriots, White Devil, and The Rejects?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Scott Wakefield, Rory Boyle, Dan Hosek, R.A. Jones, Roland Mann, C. Michael Lanning

12 pm
Tools and strategies of comic book Inking
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, John Martin, Haley Martin, Jeff Whiting, Rob Davis.

1 pm
Silverline: What are Trumps, Beah, and ChampFury?
Panelists: Roland Mann (moderator), Thomas Florimonte, Sid VenBlu, Haley Martin, Peter Clinton, Roberta Conroy,

November 21
https://www.facebook.com/ComiConway/ is the link for this coming Saturday (times are CENTRAL. We’ll need some questions for the Q&A, so y’all come!)

10 am
Tools and strategies of comic book Coloring
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), Roberta Conroy, Sid VenBlu, Jeremy Kahn, Dan Hosek, David Rios. Tentative-Haley Martin.

11 am
Silverline: What are Teen Beetle, Wolf’s Hunter, and Satin’s Ways?
Panelists: Kurtis Fujita (moderator), John Crowther, Tim Thiessen, Ron Fortier.

12 pm
Tools and strategies of comic book Writing
Panelists: Scott Wakefield (moderator), Roland Mann, R.A. Jones, John Metych, Scott Wakefield, Tim Thiessen, John Crowther, Tentative: Brent Larson and Dan Hosek.

1 pm
Silverline Q&A
Panelists: Roland Mann(moderator), Kurtis Fujita, Alex Gallimore, Roberta Conroy, Mike W. Belcher, Rob Davis, Aaron Humphres, Thomas Florimonte, Sid VenBlu, C. Michael Lanning, R.A. Jones, Peter Clinton, John Metych, Tim Thiessen, John Crowther, Haley Martin, Scott Wakefield, Wubba, John Martin, Jeremy Kahn. Tentative: Brent Larson.

Again, we’re pretty excited to be participating, as 2020 Plague year has pretty much shut conventions down. Like you, we’re ready to get back to things!

Signings!

Roland Mann and Thomas Florimonte will be signing copies of Trumps (and other stuff) at Coliseum of Comics in the Fashion Square Mall on Saturday, November 21, from 4pm-7pm. Coliseum supported the kickstarter and they have special editions of the comics that sport their store logo. VERY limited copies are available. You can bring your other stuff for us to sign, too, or pick up something different from them while you’re there.

Join us this Saturday for our signing with Roland Mann – Writer and Thomas Florimonte Jr from 4PM – 7PM! 🎨#Orlando #OrlandoFL #ComicBooks

Posted by Coliseum of Comics on Monday, November 16, 2020

So make your plans and come see us.

Keep your eyes peeled here, too…we’re planning something special in the days to come!

 

27Oct/20

Title Spotlight: Demon’s Tails

Demon’s Tails: More than a Mini (Series)

By John M. Metych, III

It’s not often that a “supporting character” in a new comic title is not only introduced prior to the namesake “main characters” of the new series, but is actively (and impressively) spotlighted – even including a complete origin story reveal! – within the first six pages . . . OF SOMEONE ELSE’S TITLE!  It doesn’t happen often . . . but it happened in Cat & Mouse (Volume 1, Issue 1) and it happened to Demon!  From those very first pages, readers knew that Demon was destined to be more than a traditional “supporting character.”  He was destined for more than a supporting character role.  He was destined for greatness.  He was destined for his OWN title.  He was destined for . . . Demon’s Tails!

Originally released by Silverline through Adventure Comics, and currently available directly from Silverline in a nifty graphic novel format (https://indyplanet.com/demons-tails), Demon’s Tails chronicles Keith Greyson’s adventure to put an end to the Church of Abaddon once and for all, adds additional context and details to his origin, and serves to beautifully wrap up his focused story arc, using the final two issues of Cat & Mouse as a launching pad for his own series and his own adventure!

However . . . history has a tendency to repeat itself, and it absolutely does so here!  Mirroring how Demon was given spotlight treatment in someone else’s new title (Cat & Mouse), here we find that Demon’s new title . . . isn’t all about him!  Champion, AKA Dan, AKA the Chicago Champion, AKA “the inspiration for several heroes in the Silverline Universe” makes sure that he’s along for this four issue ride and that his story gets some time to shine as well!  Ah, Demon . . . we didn’t want you to get lonely!

Not that Demon would have a chance to be lonely . . . introduced within the first few pages of the title are his estranged sister (Cheryl) as well as a trio of his old college buddies (Mike, Chris, and Stan – who are now on a road trip to reconnect with Keith/Demon), Champion makes an appearance in New Orleans (still thinking that he’s working with official law enforcement – see Cat & Mouse 17 and 18 for deets on that), and a small cadre of Church of Abaddon cultists tussle with Demon as he saves a damsel in distress, with the cultists later recanting their actions and pleading for forgiveness, all while referring to Demon as “Master.”

We get insight into what the Church of Abaddon really is . . . a front  . . . a fraud . . . a cult whose leader (Isaac) is focused on power . . . and money . . . and is willing to kill, in the most horrific ways, to protect his interests.

Meanwhile, Keith’s buddy, Mike, surprises him by showing up at his place, revealing his transformation from Man to De-Man (Demon, get it?!? HA!).  An expanded origin story is shared between the gentlemen, explaining the metamorphosis to his current appearance, the revelation that the road trip, prompted by the phone call Mike had received from Cheryl, was to deliver a devastating message – Keith’s father had passed away.  Keith/Demon, still fearful of a society that would fear him, shun him, or . . . worse . . . indicated that he wouldn’t be attending the funeral because of his current “condition.”  This infuriated not only Mike, but also his sister Cheryl, who decided to conduct a pilgrimage to New Orleans to speak with her brother herself . . .

Champion, still on the hunt for Cat & Mouse, believes he finally located Cat. Champion was given the description “There’s no mistaking them” so when he sees Demon (who is furry . . . and has tails . . . like, I dunno, a CAT), he assumes (and you know what they say about assume, right?!?) Demon is truly Cat. Before he can engage him, however, the cultists blow a dog-styled whistle, causing both Demon and Champion to pass out. The cultists whisk Demon away – to Isaac – who then extracts blood from Demon’s unconscious body and injects it into caged rabbit and puppy as an experiment.  But to what ends . . . ??  Well, the animals go crazy, become muscularly buffed up, burst from their cage, and escape from the building only to soon after “writhe in pain, and come to an unpredicted end” as they dissolve into a puddle of goo . . .

Isaac, already power hungry, and only seeing the effect on the animals to the point of their escape, is urged by one of his lackeys to inject himself to increase his own power . . . now not only psychological over his followers . . . not only financially through his bogus church . . . no, now Isaac has the opportunity become physically powerful in ways he never could have imagined before.  All he needed to do was “go get some more blood from the freak” for this to happen . . . but it wasn’t going to be that easy.  While the animals were metamorphasizing (yes, I coined a new word here), Demon awoke, escaped from his oppressive bonds, and finds his way home.  Unfortunately, this is the same home that his sister, Cheryl, had visited hours before . . . as had a new cadre of cultists . . . who took it upon themselves to kidnap her and bring them to Isaac, who is none to pleased about Demon’s escape prior to being able to extract blood for his own injections.

Champion and Demon finally face off, misidentifications come to light, some good, fun, old school “hero vs hero misunderstandings lead to fighting” occurs and the duo both succumb to the mighty . . . whistle of the cultists.  Again.

In an ornate ceremonial room, replete with sacrificial altar, the eclectic “team Demon” finally comes together.  Demon, bound and upside down, recognizes his sister, Cheryl, as the woman being prepped for the altar. Champion, also bound (but right-side-up) is a witness as well and knows he must save her.  Demon’s trio of college buddies – Mike, Chris, and Stan – impersonate cultists and infiltrate the ceremonial room at the precise time of Demon’s bloodletting at Isaac’s hands. Demon begins yapping in hopes of distracting Isaac’s attention away from Cheryl, Champion struggles with his bonds in an attempt to get free so he could save Cheryl, and the trio decides it would be best to cut Demon loose so he could . . . save Cheryl. 😊  Remember, at this point, that Mike is the only one of the three who knows who Demon really is . . .

Upon ingesting Demon’s blood, Isaac follows a path similar to his lab animals . . . he physically metamorphasizes (new word #2!), the change affects his brain (even more negatively, if you could believe it!) and an epic battle between Mega Isaac and the now allied duo of Demon and Champion ensues. Isaac is defeated, Cheryl is saved, Demon is revealed to be Keith to all assembled, Champion and Demon become buddies, and Isaac dissolves into a puddle of goo. Just like the animals.  Just like Ben Reilly too, come to think of it, although Isaac met his fate three years prior.  Always ahead of its time, Silverline has been!!!

The series wraps up quickly and ends with Demon visiting his father’s grave to pay his final respects.

The talent that brought these issues to life consisted of:

  • The ever inspiring Roland Mann– the Mann with the Plan! Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Editorial Director, would, later in his career, become writer, editor and eventually Managing Editor at Malibu Comics.  He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current, successful relaunch of the brand!
  • Paul Pelletier, who bounded into Silverline and on to the comic book scene with Demon’s Tails! Having already produced work through Alpha Productions, Paul joined with Roland to tell Demon’s first expanded solo story and Paul would go on to have a most excellent career in comics, working for Malibu Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and CrossGen comics, among others. His pencil has brought life to world renowned characters including, but not limited to, Aquaman, Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Green Lantern, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, all four of the Fantastic Four, Nova, the Silver Surfer, and Wolverine. Whew!
  • The mighty Thomas Florimonte provided his first published inks on this mini-series (issues 2 – 4), and would also produce beautifully inspired inks for publishers including (but not limited to) Marvel, Malibu, Chaos!, Acclaim and Gallant, and his own imprint: Inferno Studios, home of Zomboy! Thomas also co-founded the industry changing Print-On-Demand service, Ka-Blam as well as its sister division, IndyPlanet!  Plus, Thomas is back at Silverline, currently inking multiple current Silverline projects, including the just successfully funded first issue of TRUMPS! (as in card games!) (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/trumps-and-cat-and-mouse/)
  • Demon’s Tails’ Issue 1 inks were provided by Tom Romano, who is still contributing to the comic book field through his own studio, Tom Romano Art Studio.
  • Very unique and distinctive lettering was provided by Rik Mayo for all four issues.
26May/20

Silverline Title Spotlight: Cat & Mouse Vol. #1, issues 13 – 18

Welcome to the fourth, and final, spotlight on the original classic Silverline title, Cat & Mouse.

Yes.  Fourth.  And yes. Final.

You may be thinking “What?? Final spotlight?? Each preceding spotlight reviewed a four-issue arc. This spotlight encompasses SIX issues?  An entire one-third of the original series??”

This realization may lead to thoughts such as “No . . . that’s not true . . . that’s impossible!!!”, or even “This is madness!”

Fear not, friendly reader, for this final spotlight on the original Cat & Mouse run is neither madness nor impossible.  Sit back, take a deep breath, relax, take yourself back to the early 1990’s, drink an ice-cold Crystal Pepsi and chow down on a McDLT sandwich as we delve into the conclusion of Silverline’s original Cat & Mouse saga …

Issue thirteen picks up in the wake of Cat’s (Jerry’s) brutal battle with Tooth and Nail; as Cat remains hospitalized in intensive care, Demon takes it upon himself to look after Mandy’s (Mouse’s) mental health.  A trip to his veterinary clinic puts Mandy in a better mood, enjoying the cute puppies and even assisting with some basic pet care. Playful banter and some light flirting concludes with Demon introducing Mandy to some of “his” music … to which she responds “What? Sixties music?” and rolls her eyes.  I knew I liked this Mandy girl . . . ?

The next morning finds Demon twitterpated over his upcoming date with Mandy as he makes a rare daytime appearance at his clinic, gives his receptionist a raise, receives a grateful friends only hug and kiss in return, and muses about his apparent new “ladies man” status.

Mandy and Demon’s “floating concert on a sail barge” date goes awry as a tugboat collides with the musical barge.  Demon and Mandy heroically jump into action; Demon rushes to save the members of the 60’s cover band, Steelhammer, from possible electrocution from a fallen lighting rig while Mandy thrusts herself onto the tugboat and fights the thugs who intentionally rammed the musical barge. Demon delivers all of the band members to safety, save the guitarist who was, as was Demon, hit with an impactful electrical shock when a live speaker hit the open water.

Demon recovers, he and Mandy swim to shore to avoid any questions from the authorities (Demon’s appearance would certainly be question #1!), and Mandy explicitly tells Demon that, next time, they see one of her bands.

Again, I knew I liked this Mandy girl . . . ?

As the light-hearted dating interlude ends, issue fourteen thrusts Mouse back into action. She reconnects with her thieving skills in an attempt to secure financing for Cat’s hospitalization and medical costs.  Her initial break-in goes awry, but she finds herself wielding her new-found pistol with ease and certainty.

Demon and Mandy continue their playful canoodling, which Demon tried to turn into a serious conversation before being interrupted by Mandy’s friend’s unexpected arrival.  Hiding hijinks ensues and Demon finds himself fuzzier after being on the wrong end of a clothes dryer cycle.Unexpected visitations continue as Martin Rossman re-enters the title, stopping by Jerry and Mandy’s apartment unannounced. Mandy has her first one-on-one conversation with Rossman, who emphatically states that he wants to help prove Cat and Mouse’s innocence but will need the two bullets that were in Cat’s possession to do so.  After visiting Jerry, and a quick phone consultation with Demon, Mandy, this time as Mouse, meets Rossman in the dead of night to deliver the evidence.  However, he is not alone . . . accompanying him are his personal lawyer and a United States Marshall. Rossman announces that he is turning state’s evidence against the Mafia . . .

And Champion returned in this issue, as well, with shadowy figures in search of him.  For what nefarious reason? Only time will tell . . .

Martin Rossman’s deal to turn state’s evidence is on center stage of issue fifteen as his family goes into witness relocation and the Mafia boss is taken into custody, though later released due to “lack of evidence” (AKA – Jury Tampering).  The Yakuza are pleased with the Mafia coming under the microscope of the United State’s State Department and Kunoichi ordains her next pair of students as ready to take the names Skull and Crossbones.  Demon’s positive impact on Mandy continues after their first “overnight stay” as she takes his suggestion to complete her GED (High School Equivalency Certificate – AKA “Good Enough Diploma”) and she enrolls in classes to earn this certification.  The nefariousness around Champion continues as an individual claiming to “work for the government” offers him a job in New Orleans. And nary a panel featuring Cat appears this issue!

Issue sixteen begins with a bang (well, technically, a BOOM) as it picks up precisely from the moment issue fifteen wrapped. An assassination attempt on Martin Rossman follows his departure from the courthouse where mob boss Vito Ruggieri had just been released.  As Cat’s return to his own title begins, Ruggieri’s name is dropped multiple times.  Officers (on the take) continue to “look after” Cat, while wondering who he is and why Rossman ordered him protected, and state Ruggieri’s interest in the hospitalized (and still unidentified) Cat.  One of the officers provides a vial – from Ruggieri – to the attending physician who, in turn, injects its contents into Jerry’s motionless body.  “Coincidentally,” Jerry’s condition takes a turn for the worse this issue as his kidneys begin to shut down and a hospital official indicates that his only chance for survival is a complete kidney transplant.

Mouse’s quest for protection – in the form of Kevlar or an equivalent – continues as she “visits” an off-the-beaten-path police warehouse that Martin Rossman identified as one that would contain such body armor.  Mouse also imparts on a quest to secure a replacement kidney for Jerry from Japan’s black market.  She approaches her former teacher, Kunoichi, requesting her assistance in setting up such a purchase.  Meanwhile, Kunoichi is battling her own issues as an unsuccessful attempt to recruit her to assassinate the Yakuza’s leader (known as the Oyabun) leaves her on unsteady grounds with other powerful individuals in the organization . . . individuals that have located the off-the-grid Tooth, who had been in hiding since the conclusion of issue twelve, and recruits her to assassinate the Oyabun instead!  Her payment? Delivery of Cat for her to extract revenge as she sees fit . . .

Rossman, still alive after taking a bullet to the chest, is moved out of New Orleans under the cover of darkness en route to his waiting family, now in witness relocation, in South Dakota.  Family connections are strong in this issue as Champion finds himself now in New Orleans, having accepted the job from the guy “from the government,” encounters his ex-wife, unexpectedly, during his first walk through the city!

Kunoichi, loyal to the Oyabun, seeks his assistance in procuring the black-market kidney for Cat.  As the Oyabun inquires what he would gain in return, a disheveled and unhinged Tooth bursts in and announces she is there to kill him. Kunoichi pledges to protect his life in exchange for the kidney and pushes for an immediate agreement.  And cue the cliffhanger music as issue sixteen ends and issue seventeen begins, picking up at the same precise moment . . .

A protracted, bloody, brutal, limb-severing battle between teacher and student ensues and concludes with Kunoichi’s absolute victory over her former student.  Champion, in uniform and in the heart of New Orleans, receives his own “field agent badge” as he meets a “contractor,” also noted as one of the founders of a “new government branch.”  The badge? Fake.  The contractor?  Ruggieri.  The other “governmental agents?”  Mafia.  The stories they tell, including one where Cat and Mouse supposedly had killed Martin Rossman?  Lies.

And what of Mouse? She’s having vivid nightmares of impregnation with Demon’s child . . . well, children . . . well, litter of children. Being delivered by reverse-anthropomorphic  versions of Vet Demon and Nurse Nancy.  Visions of Cat chastising her lack of responsibility and self-control haunt her. The nightmare is interrupted by Kunoichi, arriving unannounced, who quickly catches Mandy up on her battle with Tooth, her deal with the Oyabun, and the danger that Cat is in now that his identity and location is known by both the Mafia and factions of the Yakuza.

Kunoichi’s newly ordained graduates – Skull and Crossbones – are shown to be loyal to the Oyabun’s chief rival, Inagowa, the one who called for his death.  The duo commandeers a Dirigible and make their way to the hospital, intent on kidnapping Cat, no matter how many Mafia members they need to kill on the way to fulfilling their mission.  Kunoichi and Mandy race to the hospital only to see Cat being loaded into the airship but are too slow as Skull and Crossbones sail away with him in tow. Turning to the Oyabun for assistance, Kunoichi and Mandy come face-to-face with his rival, Inagowa, who has anointed himself as the new Oyabun upon the dishonorable departure of his predecessor.  Inagowa, as the new Oyabun, offers the women the same deal he offered Nail – delivery of Cat upon the death of his predecessor.  Kunoichi refuses a second time while Mandy emphatically announces that she will do it.  Kunoichi and Mouse locate him, hiding on a ship, sailing away to hide. Kunoichi offers him one last opportunity to regain his honor and offers him a blade to do so with.  He refuses, lunges towards the port door to escape, and is confronted by Mouse, gun drawn and ready to fire!

The Oyabun is dead. Long live the Oyabun.  Issue eighteen, the final issue of the original Cat and Mouse saga, begins with Mouse and Kunoichi delivering the dead body of the original Oyabun to his usurping successor, Inagowa.  The large gunshot wound makes it crystal clear that it was Mouse who delivered the killing strike, as promised.  The new Oyabun identifies the local zoo as the location in which they can find Cat.  Mandy locates him, in a tiger cage, being “protected” by Skull and Crossbones.  Petty banter ensues but the assassins assure no interference will occur.  Mandy enters the cage and repentantly shoots an attacking tiger to protect Cat.  The two women accompany Cat to Japan, where a donor organ is provided, surgery is completed, and prognosis for recovery is positive.  After kidney implantation, a horrifying lucid dream jolts Jerry (finally) awake from his coma.

One final mission is performed; Mouse, having an uneasy feeling about the organ donor process, asks Kunoichi to accompany her and investigate the organ donor facility.  She had a bad feeling about it  . . . and she was right.  The “donors” were unwitting individuals, mostly homeless people and missing kids, who the Yakuza provide to the “facility” who, in turn, supply human organs as needed.  The “donors” are awakened by Kunoichi and Mouse’s arrival and lead an “undead” uprising against the guards, doctors, and workers at the “facility,” an uprising that the ladies refuse to interfere in, thus allowing the “donors” to extract their revenge.

The final page of issue eighteen reunites our title characters, finally!  As Jerry continues to recover from his injuries in Japan, Mandy catches him up on everything that had happened during the intervening passage of time.  Sporting a very Nick Fury eye-patch, and still requiring a wheelchair as he is at the very beginning of a multi-month recovery, Jerry thanks Mandy for everything she has done for him.  Overlooking the mountainside, she shares that she likes the thought of them staying there and leaving the mess of New Orleans behind . . . maybe permanently.

The End!

Well, not quite . . . ?

Although the “The End!” caption closed out issue eighteen, and with it, the original Cat and Mouse series, the final two issues also served to lay groundwork for the continuation and growth of the Silverline universe of characters!

Champion, still in New Orleans, attempts to woo his ex-wife back into a relationship.  It’s revealed that they have a daughter together.  As Champion (who we now know is named Dan) and his ex-wife (Ann) are out on the town, they encounter a shadowy creature assaulting a man in an alleyway.  Dan confronts the shadowy figure, who he (incorrectly) surmises must be Cat due to his appearance (brown fur, tails, glowing eyes . . . yeah, it’s Demon!) and, through his courageous intervention and bravery, impresses his ex-wife.  The story of Champion, working with “the new branch of government” will continue in one branch of the Silverline universe . . . more on that to come!

Demon, after departing from the alleyway (and after letting Dan know he’s “number one”), realizes how flustered he has become since the Church of Abaddon has entered his life.  The man he was assaulting in the alleyway?  A cult member who he was trying to extract information from, even if he had to “beat it” out of him . . . until he was interrupted by Champion, that is.  The Church of Abaddon saga continues in yet another branch of the Silverline universe . . . Demon’s first solo mini-series, Demon’s Tails! (available for purchase HEREhttps://indyplanet.com/demons-tailsshameless plug!  ? )

As we close the book(s) on the original Cat and Mouse series, we look forward to the continuing adventures of many of the supporting characters introduced throughout these eighteen issues, characters featured or starring in sister Silverline publications, and some special guest stars as well.  It’s almost 2021. Do you know who your heroes are? ?

The talent that brought these issues to life consisted of the ever-impressive:

Roland Mann – the Mann with the Plan! Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Editorial Director, would, later in his career, become writer, editor and eventually Managing Editor at Malibu Comics.  He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current relaunch of the brand!

Mitch Byrd, series artist, would, later in his career, grace multiple Malibu comics with his artwork as well as provide artwork for myriad publishers on a plethora of titles.  Mitch held a notable run on the Green Lantern character “Guy Gardner: Warrior” title.

An assembly of guest pencilers pitched in to deliver issue 13, including Tim Eldred, Chris Cross, Tha Grimlen Jack, and Brian Dale!

The myriad talented Inkers over this six-issue run include:

The mighty Thomas Florimonte who also provided inks not only for Silverline’s Demon’s Tails mini-series, but also for titles from publishers including (but not limited to) Marvel, Malibu, Chaos!, Acclaim and Gallant, plus publications under his own imprint: Inferno Studios, home of Zomboy! Thomas also co-founded the industry changing Print-On-Demand service, Ka-Blam as well as its sister division, IndyPlanet!  Plus, Thomas is back at Silverline, currently inking multiple current Silverline projects!

Ken Branch, who also provided inks on multiple issues of Cat and Mouse’s sister publication SilverStorm, and also inked at Marvel, DC, Image Comics, Malibu Comics, Valiant Comics, First Comics, and Comico.

John Dell, who also inked at DC, Marvel, and Cross Gen and worked on titles including Robin, Lobo, Supergirl, and the JLA.

Dan Schaefer, who also contributed to art projects at Dark Horse Comics, Marvel Comics, Malibu Comics, and DC Comics.

Tom Romano, who is still contributing to the comic book field through his own studio, Tom Romano Art Studio.

24Mar/20

Silverline Title Spotlight: Cat & Mouse Vol. #1, issues 9 – 12

The Greatest Foil
(A literary review of Cat and Mouse issues 9 – 12)

One of the greatest debates of the 20th century has been “what constitutes the greatest foil?”  Let’s review a few of the major contenders:

Tin foil, a product introduced in the late 19th century, was the primary metal foil food wrap through World War II. Although stiff, tin foil was practical. However, tin had a penchant to inadvertently leech an unwanted metallic taste from its silver sheathe into its consumable contents.

Tin’s eventual replacement, Aluminum Foil, was more malleable, was less likely to alter the tastes of the food contained therein, was less expensive and was – all around – a welcomed upgrade from the tin standard.

Gold foil is, as you would expect, exponentially more expensive than either tin or aluminum. This foil is utilized by NASA in a variety of products including space suits, space craft, and satellite design.  Radiation (remember Cosmic Radiation??) is one of the many dangers Gold Foil protects spacefaring astronauts from – thus ensuring astronauts will not return to Earth with Fantastic Four-esque powers and abilities.

Gold Foil, in flake form, is the defining trait of the popular cinnamon schnapps liquor known as Goldschläger.

Comic books with Gold Foil enhancements – from logos to backgrounds to the entire comic cover – helped fuel the fires of comic speculation in the 1990s, but as these enhancements became commonplace and lost their luster, they also contributed to the decline – and near decimation – of the comic book industry as a whole within a decade.

And Chromium comic book enhancements . . . don’t even get me started on the ‘90s chromium bandwagon . . . the same bandwagon that seems to be re-gaining traction this generation, in fact . . .  🙂

But the concept of a FOIL, from a literary definition, is a widely used writer’s tool. When used properly, it provides the reader with an impactful method of comparing and contrasting characters – characters who may have parallel backgrounds, a shared history, or competing goals.  Developing literary foil(s) in a story allows the reader to experience and understand the main character(s) via a delivery method that is infinitely more powerful than simply comparing and contrasting characters through overtly factual, detailed, BORING, narrative passages.

Literary foils may, or may not, be adversaries of the characters they mirror, although they often are.  Some of the best adversarial foils in comics share similar origins.  Science is the foundation for both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin.  The gift of Power Rings grants both Green Lantern and Sinestro abilities constrained only by their imaginations.  The X-Men have had a number of similar foils including, but not limited to, the Hellfire Club, the Reavers, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  Wolverine vs. Sabretooth. The Fantastic Four vs. Doctor Doom.  Professor X vs. Magneto.  Thor vs. Loki.  The Justice League vs. the Crime Syndicate. Hawk and Dove vs. Kestrel. You get the idea.

Writer Roland Mann is a master of the “slow burn” . . . foreshadowing important characters, situations, or actions yet to be revealed.  During the previous story-arc, Wearin’ and Tearin’, you will remember that Mann introduced a mysterious and brutal duo, through cameos across the four issue arc, and dropped clues as to their origins. Brutal this mysterious duo is indeed, as they tracked police officers with known Mafia ties and executed them in cold blood. Few details of this duo were released outside of the fact that they were “specialized” Yakuza-associates who predated Cat and Mouse’s enlisting with the organization.

This provides the first of many foils that are presented within this story arc.  This duo – as we will learn is code named Tooth and Nail – is the Yakuza’s Yin to the Mafia’s Yang.  Both are ruthless crime syndicates but they hold and practice significantly different codes of honour, etiquettes, and protocols.  As Tooth and Nail were mentioned in the same breath as our protagonists, Cat and Mouse, the reader instinctively begins to mentally compare and contrast the two duos . . .the two duos that were both trained by the same martial arts sensei – Kunoichi!

When confronted with information pertaining to current crimes in New Orleans, Detective Martin Rossman, Jerry (Cat’s) superior officer, exclaims that he really wants “to nail the Yakuza.”  Jerry, in response, asks “What about the Mafia?”  Rossman stares blankly at Jerry.  Jerry knows Rossman is on the take; another layer of foil resurfaces.

Jerry continues his quest to recover a bullet used in the slaying of an officer in order to match calibers and markings to the bullet that veterinarian Keith (Demon) Grayson extracted from Mouse’s (Mandy’s) back (as illustrated in our first issue).

At the grave of fallen officer Claude Beauchamp an unplanned, but game changing, face-to-face encounter between Rossman and Cat occurs. Wait . . .I mean between Rossman and Jerry.  Actually, I mean both.

As Rossman and Cat face off, verbal barbs are exchanged and Cat removes his cowl, revealing his identity to his boss in a power play where he blackmails Rossman into collaborating with him against the Mafia and Yakuza, threatening to bring Rossman’s career and life crashing down on him should he reveal the secrets he knows. A cop acting to end all gang activities in New Orleans vs. a cop holding secret allegiances to a criminal organization. Yet another foil.The long-awaited first meeting between Cat (note: no Mouse – just Cat) and Tooth & Nail emerges unexpectedly.  The long anticipated first epic battle . . . didn’t happen. Tooth referred to their ongoing “slay” list, and stated that they have only come to kill Martin Rossman. They have zero interest in engaging with Cat.  They promise to return for Rossman when he is alone and start to take their leave.  Shocked, Cat exclaims that they “can’t do that” and lunges towards Nail, fists flying, attempting to stop them from leaving.  However, what can’t even be described as a scuffle quickly ends as Cat finds himself greatly outmatched by Nail, who had only toyed with Cat, keeping him at a distance without striking back, while Cat was physically giving his all.  The duo quietly and peacefully exited the graveyard . . . while promising Rossman that another visit will indeed follow. . .

This scene, coupled with the scene with Tooth and Nail debriefing with their Yakuza boss, is my favourite foil example in this series.  Tooth and Nail, the duo described as “more brutal than Cat and Mouse” seemed to be almost pacifist in their first encounter with Cat?  While Cat, a single individual with adrenaline pumping, was ready to engage a known dangerous pair in battle?  Nail is unquestionably stronger than Cat, yet Nail did not harm Cat even in the slightest, and even after Cat was the aggressor?  And the fact that Tooth and Nail, who, after being shown brutally killing others in previous issues, are shown to abide to killing those on their “list,” but only those on the list (IE – not Cat)?? AND, on top of that, they ultimately DO leave the graveyard in a pacifist manner.  These would not have been the actions expected by most readers, which highlights the brilliance of Mann’s writing strategy.  Provide the unexpected.  Foil. Foil. Foil.

Unfortunately, Cat’s unprovoked attack on Nail got him, officially, on Tooth and Nail’s “slay list” by authority of their Yakuza boss.

And where has Mandy Paige (Mouse) been all this time? Hanging out with Demon. Asking him about Kevlar upgrades she has in mind for her and Cat’s suits. Which led to a first date with Demon! To the movies (the movie just happened to be an adaptation Mann scripted for Malibu Comics). In public, no less! AND their first kiss afterwards.  Demon discusses, with Mandy, his Church of Abaddon problem (which provides the foundation to the amazing four issue Demon’s Tails mini-series!) and is later visited by Cat (while washing an alligator no less!) who asks for his assistance with retrieving the bullet that shot Mandy for comparison to the known mafia slug he “liberated” from the evidence room earlier in this story arc.At the onset of Cat and Mouse’s career, Mouse made mention about possibly working for the Mafia. Cat quickly denounced that idea and indicated “maybe the Yakuza, though. They have a sense of honour.”  Cat’s statement was proven true as FIVE armed Mafia agents stormed into Jerry and Mandy’s apartment in search of police officer Jerry and a package – on the orders of Martin Rossman himself. A fight ensues, the five Mafia agents come to believe that the cop (Jerry) is under the protection of Cat and Mouse (not putting 2 + 2 together that Jerry IS Cat – these Mafia types aren’t so smart, are they??), Mouse gets her hands on (and fires) her first gun (and likes it!!) and the duo quickly catch up to Rossman, on assignment, to let him know his assault squad failed and that they will not tolerate any more backstabbing. Foils galore shine here across Tooth, Nail, Cat, Mouse, Rossman, extending the range from honor, dignity, restraint vs. treachery, deceit, omission of information, to sole focus on self-preservation.

Cat tracks Rossman down to his home address and finds Tooth and Nail not only in his residence but IN POSSESSION of Rossman’s newborn child.  With Rossman and his wife knocked to the ground, Tooth and Nail give Cat the opportunity to leave without battle, but promise that his turn will be coming soon.  Cat turns and closes the door behind him, leaving the Rossman family unprotected against Tooth and Nail.But not for long . . .

As Cat focuses his chi and strategizes his plan to save the baby, Mandy and Demon go on another date, this time to celebrate Mardi Gras.  Mandy gets drunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnk as she and Demon are painting New Orleans purple, green, and gold. (And, yes, Mandy DID earn some beads while inebriated.)

But back to the action. This time, Tooth and Nail are empowered to engage Cat as he IS now on their “slay list;” an epic battle ensues. During the fight, Nail throws Cat through the front window and follows him outside to continue sparring.  Rossman gains access to his pistol and shoots Tooth, even as she is holding his child!  Rossman also shoots Nail, in the back, as Nail is battling Cat.  The two villains flee into the night with Rossman’s child. Rossman pleads for Cat to rescue his baby.  As Cat picks up a katana left behind by Tooth, he promises to – for the child.  Cat tracks Tooth and Nail through out the neighbourhood. Nail, having taken refuge in the branches of a tree, jumps down to confront a passing Cat. Cat instinctively slashes with the katana – severing all the digits on Nail’s right hand! Cat and Nail battle mano y mano after another katana cut slash relieves Cat of his weapon.  With Nail crushing Cat’s back, Cat grabs Nail’s neck, pushing his fingers deeply into Nail’s throat . . .

Somehow, off-panel, Nail escapes Cat’s clutches.  Cat crosses paths with Mandy and Demon, who had been tracking the action by scent after being alarmed by the sounds of gunshots earlier.  Demon takes hot pursuit, tackles Tooth, which causes the baby to be launched into the air only to safely land into Mandy’s outstretched arms.

Meanwhile, the ongoing battle between Cat and Nail reaches a fever pitch as blood splatters off of both participants as they continue to punch, cut, and slice each other with impunity. Cat’s face and chest had been sliced a dozen times; deep, deep cuts as a lumberjack would inflict into a redwood with an axe. As Nail turns his attention to Mandy and the baby, beaten and bloodied Cat arises, lunges in the bravest act of protection, breaks Nail’s arm, and delivers a series of emotionally charged blows. This blood rage borders on possession and leaves Nail incapacitated – permanently.

Delivered to the hospital, and after sixteen hours of surgery, the title character lays in a coma.  Rossman, Mandy, and Demon are by his bedside.  Rossman uncovers a surprising sense of loyalty and gratitude as he looks at Jerry’s unmoving body and promises him, and the others, that he will do everything in his power to clear Cat and Mouses’ name.

This four-issue story arc also included a short story that focused exclusively on Martin Rossman and his Mafia connections; connections that reveal his fragile emotional state, his regret for the slippery slope into corruption he found himself in, and, finally, the fear he feels being a part of the Mafia world at all.  This “private” Rossman interlude provided the reader an introspective look at Martin Rossman that was a distinct foil to the seriousness, bordering on arrogance, often portrayed by “Officer Rossman.”

And, as Roland Mann does so extremely well, a short sequence in this arc introduced yet another duo trained by Kunoichi – who were bestowed the code names Skull and Crossbones at the end of their training with her, providing us with still another foil for Cat and Mouse.  (And, in the future, others . . . but that is a different story for a different spotlight!)

And, the MOST important thing that occurred during these four action packed issues?  In Issue 12’s letter column, Roland responded to a young high school kid who submitted a fan letter as Cat and Mouse was his favourite comic book.  A pen-pal friendship grew from that dorky teen’s submission – which, through technology, became an online friendship, a phone friendship, and nearly 30 years later brought him (and his own publishing house) to join Silverline! (Yes, it’s me!)

The talent that brought these issues to life consisted of the ever-impressive:

Roland Mann – the Mann with the Plan! Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Editorial Director, would, later in his career, become writer, editor and eventually Managing Editor at Malibu Comics.  He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current relaunch of the brand!

Mitch Byrd, series artist, would, later in his career, grace multiple Malibu comics with his artwork as well as provide artwork for myriad publishers on a plethora of titles.  Mitch held a notable run on the Green Lantern character “Guy Gardner: Warrior” title.

Ken Branch, inker of each of the four issues in this story arc, later went on to not only provide inks on multiple issues of Cat and Mouse’s sister publication SilverStorm, but also worked for Marvel, DC, Image Comics, Malibu Comics, Valiant Comics, First Comics, and Comico.

Twelve issues of Cat & Mouse – Volume 1 down. Six more to go. Keep your eyes open for the next exciting Cat & Mouse series spotlight!

02Jan/20

Silverline: Looking ahead to year 2(020)

2020 looks to be a busy year for Silverline…and that’s pretty exciting to all of us!

Panels from Friar Rush #1

For non-comics, we’ll be launching a weekly live stream. Current plan is for them to be Wednesday’s at 8pm EST. We’ll have a couple of different segments, including an indy comic review and a segment on the craft of making comics. Stay tuned for the exact launch date for it.

We’re still working on appearances for 2020, we’ve already been invited back to Daytona Beach Comic Con—and have accepted. Just not sure exactly which ones of us will be there. Roland will be at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, his first show ever in the state of PA! More dates and appearances to come, be we hope to see a bunch of you at a bunch of shows!

We’ve got a big slate of books we’ll be releasing in 2020, so many that we may experiment with some Silverline crowdfund “packages.” Meaning, more than one book per crowdfund. Honestly, it’s exciting to look at this list to see all the content will be delivering to you—we know you’re gonna like them!

Mentioned last week in title only, the projects that are nearly complete and should ready to crowdfund very soon:

*Bloodline, 1 shot: by Sidney Williams (writer), Rob Sachetto (penciller), Terry Pallot (inker), Brian Dale (letterer). This one is finished except for the colors, which is being done by Keith Wood.

*Friar Rush #1, 3 issue mini: by Sidney Williams (writer), Marc Thomas (penciller), John Martin (inker), Rebecca Winslow (colorist), Brian Dale (letterer). The first issue is being both colored and lettered at the same time.

A page from DIVINITY #1

*Divinity #1, 4 issue mini: Created by Barb Kaalberg and co-written by R.A. Jones. It also features Alex Sarabia (penciller), Barb Kaalberg (inker), Steve Mattson (colorist) and Mike Belcher (letterer). It is nearly complete.

*Twilight Grimm #1, 4 issue mini: by R.A. Jones (writer) and Rob Davis (artist), Alex Gallimore (colorist), and Mike Belcher (letterer). The first issue only needs color!

*Kayless #2, 4 issue mini: by Brent Larson (writer), Luis Czerniawski (artist), Leandro Huergo (colorist), Mike Belcher (letterer). This issue needs colors and letters.

A bit later in the year, these should be ready:

A page from WHITE DEVIL #1

*Cat & Mouse #3, 4 issue mini: by Roland Mann (writer), Alex Gallimore (penciller), Barb Kaalberg (inker), Kevin Gallegly (colorist).

*White Devil II, 4 issue mini: by R.A. Jones (writer), Jaxon Renick (penciller), with inks by Mike Keeney and Chuck Bordell. The first issue only needs color!

*Trumps book 1; by Roland Mann (writer), Anthony Pereira and Thomas Hedglen (pencillers), Thomas Florimonte (inker), Sid VinBlu (colorist), Brian Dale (letterers).

24Dec/19

Silverline: Review of Year 1

Merry Christmas to one and all. As 2019 draws to a close, I thought I’d take a short peek back at the first year. Oddly, thinking about it reminds me of one of the very first “group” Silverline (phase 1) art pieces…30 years ago! Note the date on Steven’s art is 1988!

In June of 2018, I ran the kickstarter for Cat & Mouse #1 (vol 2). The creative team had such a blast doing it and we got to reminiscing about our old Malibu days and Silverline and such…well, they encouraged me to bring back Silverline—which was not my intent in doing Cat & Mouse again…I just wanted to make some comics and have some fun. Ultimately, I caved because they vowed help…

The Silverline Facebook page was launched in February. It now has 1370 people who like it and 1377 who follow it (so…I guess this means that 7 like but have unfollowed). Immediately, and much to my surprise, I started getting submissions and feelers for submissions. I told them all to wait until 2020 (all but one—more on that later) that I just wasn’t prepared for it.

The Silverline website launched on June 18. It wasn’t—and still isn’t—complete by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to our IT support (and fantastic comic creator, too!) Jeff Whiting, we managed to put a pretty decent site together and have new content published regularly since then.

We worked with IndyPlanet to get a Silverline “store” online, and currently, these titles can be found for sale there: Cat & Mouse (v2) #1, Kayless #1, Tiny #1, Tiny #2, Tiny GN, Demon’s Tails classic GN, Switchblade classic GN, Krey classic GN, Sadomannequin one-shot, Jetstream #1. Soon to be added Cat & Mouse (v2) #2, SilverStorm (v2) classic GN, Switchblade GN.

Around that same time, we started a mailing list (email) because everyone said we should do it—so we did. Using mailchimp, we’ve got almost 400 lovely fans who have the website updates emailed to them. Eventually, we’ll do some mail list only stuff…but that’s down the road a bit…and we don’t want it to turn into “dreaded spam.”

In late June, we successfully crowdfunded Kayless #1 by Brent Larson, Luis Czerniawski, and Leandro Huergo. It was fully funded in less than 12 hours thanks to the support of many of you! (it was completely fulfilled by August, as an FYI…we need that known these days as so many crowdfunded titles are shipping late)

In September, we successfully crowdfunded Cat & Mouse #2. In doing so, we introduced upcoming superstar artist Alex Gallimore to the world! It fulfilled in late October and in November…

The Wellness Family Coloring Book, the first non-comic print publication by Silverline was also successfully crowdfunded, thanks to Silverline CEO, BJ Mann. It features art by Thomas Florimonte!

Silverline made the first official appearance at the Daytona Beach Comic Con! It was the largest gathering of Silverline at a show ever—in any phase (I think 5 was the previous record set, and that was done at Coast Con in the early 90s).

Also, at various points in time SINCE February, we dusted off a few formerly shelved projects:

  1. *Bloodline, 1 shot
  2. *White Devil II, 4 issue mini
  3. *Friar Rush, 3 issue mini

We also put into production:

  1. *Divinity, 4 issue mini
  2. *Twilight Grimm, 4 issue mini
  3. *Speck, OGN

We’ve sent out two additional publishing agreements: one to an indy writer I met on the con circuit, and one to a former student of mine. Once those are signed, we’ll add their projects to our growing list!

2019 was very busy for Silverline. Next week I’ll write about what 2020 has in store, including some of the projects mentioned above. Merry Christmas to you all!

28Nov/19

Silverline November news

Happy Thanksgiving

All of us at Silverilne Comics want to take this moment to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. May you eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie! Take the day to remember to be thankful for friends, family, and COMIC BOOKS! At Silverline Comics we’re thankful for all of you supporting us which allows us to do the thing we love so much: make comics! Please know we don’t take you for granted as we know you have a lot of choices where to spend your comic dollars. THANK YOU!

Daytona Beach Comic Con report

L-R Sidney Williams, John Metych, Brent Larson, Roland Mann, BJ, Mann, Skylar Sims, Alex Gallimore

DBCC was a big success for Silverline. There were seven and a half* of us there, the biggest ever turnout for anything Silverline (the record before, I think, is five). We even snagged a nice photo of the crew at the booth.

* The “half” was Thomas Florimonte who was a guest of the show separate from Silverline…but he’s still family.

We offered four exclusives for convention attendees: Cat & Mouse #2 (DBCC cover); Kayless #1 (DBCC cover); a preview edition of Bloodline one-shot (DBCC cover); and a special DBCC edition of SNIPER & ROOK! More on that below! The Make Mine Silverline wrist bands debuted (kickstarter backers were first) for all attendees of the show.

Sniper & Rook to Silverline!

That’s right, Beta3’s own John Metych has agreed to bring his popular title to SILVERLINE. While details are still be being worked out, it’s exciting to see the Silverline family growing.

Once again, thank you for the support and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

29Oct/19

Silverline hits Daytona Beach in big way!

Daytona Beach Comic Con

has always been a favorite of locals. One of the true “comic” conventions, DBCC focuses on –get this: comics. A few years ago, Silverline founder Roland Mann noted “There are more back issue comics here than at MegaCon.” There is also always a nice assortment of comic creators at the show.

And this year, Silverline will be making its first “Phase 3” appearance as a company. In attendance will be Sidney Williams (Mantus Files, Scary Book, Marauder, Sirens and the upcoming Bloodline!), Brent Larson (Kayless), Alex Gallimore (Cat & Mouse), John Metych (Sniper N Rook), Roland Mann (Cat & Mouse, Demon’s Tails, Switchblade, Krey, Tiny). Additionally, Thomas Florimonte is a recent addition to the show. Thomas inked Demon’s Tails and is working on an upcoming project—more news on that later.

There will be limited Daytona Beach Comic Con exclusive comics, so be sure to show up early to get them—supplies ARE limited!

Lastly, there is a Silverline “goody” in the convention bags for all attendees! It’s a surprise that not even those in-the-know at Silverline know. Roland has had a very difficult time keeping it a secret!

So much fun happening there, don’t miss the show on November 3. That’s THIS Sunday!

Other appearances:

November 15-17, Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, Memphis TN. Roland Mann and Thomas Florimonte will be comic creator guests.

Cat & Mouse #2 fulfillment happening!

As you read this, I’m likely at Ka-Blam helping them (getting in their way, more than likely!) package up comics with goodies to mail out to all the lovely folks who supported the recent kickstarter.

Thanks again to all of you who follow this page and support us in so many different ways.

08Oct/19

Silverline Creator Spotlight: Barb Kaalberg

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 Barb Kaalberg, who inked a great number of comics for a wide variety of publishers. Some of her work has been seen in Impulse and Primal Force for DC Comics; Captain Marvel for Marvel; The Badger for Image; Planet of the Apes, Mantra, The Solution, Solitaire for Malibu.

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

10 QUESTIONS WITH… BARB KAALBERG

1. So, who are you and where do you hail from?
 
My name is Barbara Kaalberg, and I’m a comic book artist from the Madison, WI area.  I’ve been here since 1986 when there was a fairly sizable comic book community here, including Capital City Comics distribution and Kitchen Sink Press.  Steve Rude and Mike Baron were also a couple of locals, amongst others.
2. What would you say it is you do here?
 
I’ve been an inker for 30 years and I’ve just recently branched out into storytelling, too.  I say storytelling because I’m not a scripter.  There are more talented people out there (RA Jones, for instance) that script comics 10 times better than I, but I have ideas and stories in my head. It’s kind of daunting, stepping out of my wheelhouse and venturing into creating a whole book.  A lot rides on it.  I’m confident, however.  The name of the project is Divinity and I have a really, really good feeling about it.  I’m also the CFO of Silverline.
 
3. Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?
 
Hoooooo Boy, that is a long, long list, my friend.  I’ve worked on something like 200 books from companies all across the spectrum, from Eternity, Malibu, WaRP Graphics, Now Comics, Innovation, Acclaim to Dark Horse, DC and Marvel. Probably some other companies that I’ve forgotten.  You can see some of the stuff I’ve done on the Comic Book Database, although they have a tendency to leave out a lot of independents and kickstarter stuff, which has been what I’ve been doing the last few years.   http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator_chron.php?ID=2238
4. 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?
 
The love of this crazy industry and the people in it is what keeps me going.  I had to leave for personal reasons back around 2000 and I missed it like phantom limb.  It wasn’t easy (by any means!) to come back in 2014 after 15 years of being out of the game, but comics  is like the chickenpox virus – once it’s in your system, in never really leaves.  I love the comics industry.  It’s crazy, unpredictable, passionate, complex, frustrating and so much fun.  It’s full of the most AMAZING people! Another thing that keeps me going is ego.  Every artist wants recognition and acceptance.  I have bouts of terrible self doubt and self confidence.  I’m always striving to feel like what I do measures up even fractionally to many of my peers.  I’ve realized that this is a struggle that will never be won but it drives me to keep trying.
5. What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”
 
Elfquest by Wendy Pini.  I discovered Elfquest in the mid-80’s.  I was already a pretty good amateur painter, working in acrylics, when I was reading her black and white comics.  I realized I could take my brush skills and turn them into inks.  I’d been reading comics since I was a teenager. I worked in a pharmacy and one of my jobs was to rip the covers off of unsold comics so they could be returned to the retailer and then I was supposed to throw the body of the comics away.  Yea, I threw them away . . .  right into the trunk of my car.  Anyway, I digress, I’d read comics for years but it wasn’t until I really looked at this B&W comic did I SEE the art.  Really look at it and study the lines.  That was it for me!
6. Who were some of your earliest influences on your trade?
 
Without a doubt, Dick Giordano.  The first year I went out to SDCC I took a portfolio of everything including the kitchen sink.  Sketches, painting, stuff I’d done in high school.  It was embarrassing.  I had NO idea what I was doing.  Editors crucified me, as they should have.  But Dick was giving this seminar on inking and it was amazing.  I took notes like I was getting graded for it.  It was like my Holy Bible.  Then I looked at inks from Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson’s ‘Frankenstein’, Joe Simon and other greats.  I gravitated toward controlled inks like Mark Farmer’s  more than loose, organic inks like Bill Sienkiewicz because it came easiest to me.  I practiced for a year and went back out to SDCC with a better portfolio and got a job right off the bat.
7. What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally? 
 
You are going to laugh, but the first thing I ever did was NOT inking, but grey washes.  I think it was Chris Ulm who hired me to do the washes for Eternity’s ‘Tiger-X’.  He asked me if I could do grey washes and I told him no problem.  I lied through my teeth.  I’d never water colored in my life.  I worked in acrylics.  The minute I stepped off the plane from SDCC I headed for the library and checked out around 6 books on watercolors.  Did about 2 or 3 issues of washes before they started giving me inking gigs which, honestly, I was 10 times better at (and even that wasn’t that good) Eternity jobs (like Planet of the Apes) led to Malibu and that was when things really took off.
 
8. Follow up Q — Can you still read that comic today without wincing?
 
Oh, Hell no.  The washes were bad enough but the first couple of books I inked, Jack the Ripper (Eternity), are absolutely cringe inducing.  I’m surprised they kept me on, but it paid off for them in the end to have the patience with me to get better.
9. 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 compromise your principles.  It happened a couple of times that I let things slide that I shouldn’t or took a job or two that weren’t worth it.  My biggest regret, however, was leaving the industry all together for 15 years.  Yes, the reasons were for my family but, looking back, there were probably ways that I could have kept my hand in.  I lost so much ground and there are so many new faces, now, that I don’t know and they don’t know me.
10. After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot? 
 
An overpass, for sure!  Much more traffic than a mere parking lot!  It’s all about staying in the public eye, right?
—–
Barb is currently busy inking Cat & Mouse as well as co-writing and inking her creator owned project Divinity, coming soon.
01Oct/19

Silverline October news: Cat & Mouse #2 fully funded; 4 days remaining

C&M Kickstarter: Four days left to fund some stretch goals!

It’s pretty exciting for us to be able to report to you that the kickstarter for the 2nd issue of C&M is fully funded and still in search of some stretch goals. If you’ve backed, thank you. If you’ve shared, thank you. If you haven’t shared—what are you waiting on? That’s EASY to do. If you haven’t backed, take a peek at it again—bet there’s something there for you! There are still several original art rewards left.

  • 2 “convention commissions” by Cat & Mouse penciller Alex Gallimore
  • Mike W. Belcher original Cat & Mouse
  • Alan McMillian and Bill Nichols original Cat & Mouse
  • WidowMaker design original art (by Dean Zachary and Barb Kaalberg)
  • Original art by Alex Sarabia (pencils) and Barb Kaalberg (inker) featuring Cat & Mouse with characters from the upcoming Divinity series created by Barb!
  • Original art featuring Cat & Mouse with The Baboon by The Baboon creator/artist Jamie Jones!

So if you’re into original art, there’s still some great choices for you! And, coming later today will be a new reward tier. Our Colonel of Color, Kevin Gallegly has created some MOUSE earrings. They are sweet! So be on the lookout for those—probably 7-ish (EST) this evening.

Only four days left, so don’t miss out. Click here: https://tinyurl.com/y3c6sdcr

Kayless

The art rewards for Kayless #1 are all out. So Kayless is now 100% fulfilled. For those who had art, we apologize for the delay. It took longer to get the art from Luis than we anticipated because it came all the way from Argentina!

The good news is that the Kayless team is about 10 pages into #2, so it’s moving right along!

Other Silverline title news

There are still several projects in various stages of completion. We won’t go too deep into any one of them until they’re nearly ready to present to you. But just a run-down to keep you posted.

Twilight Grimm (4 issue mini) – by R.A. Jones (writer) and Rob Davis (artist). The first issue has about 18 pages of art complete. Yes, EIGHTEEN! Mike W. Belcher will be lettering and … well, we’ll let you know the colorist soon.

Bloodline (one-shot) – by Sidney Williams (writer), Rob Sachetto (penciller), Terry Pallot (inker), and Keith Wood (colorist). The only thing remaining on this one is the colors!

Divinity (4 issue mini) – by Barb Kaalberg/R.A. Jones (writers), Alex Sarabia (penciller), Barb Kaalberg (inker), Mike W. Belcher (letterer), and we’re about 95% settled on the colorist…but not yet. If we can get who we’re trying—you’re gonna love it! The art team is almost 10 pages into the first issue with this one, too. Can’t wait to show you some of this! WOW!

Speck (OGN) – Roland Mann with Alan McMillian and Bill Nichols. Wait…we can’t talk about this one just yet. Who put this here? Sorry, dear reader, you’ll have to be patient.

Daytona Beach Comic Con

Don’t forget that November 3 will see the first real “official” Silverline (phase 3) convention appearance. Roland (Cat & Mouse, Demon’s Tails), Brent Larson (Kayless), Sidney Williams (Bloodline, Marauder, Mantus Files), Alex Gallimore (Cat & Mouse, &…), John Metych (Sniper & Rook, Silverline editor), will all be on hand to sign comics for you. There will be some EXCLUSIVE versions of the comics available, as well as an appearance by MOUSE (by Karrigan Walsh). Make plans now!

Silverline Peeps

We’ve been doing some creator spotlights and will keep doing them, but in coming posts, we’ll be talking about some of the folks that work behind the scenes at Silverline. Those of you who have known Roland for a long time, or have known Silverline for a long time know that Silverline was Roland and Steven when it first started in the 80s(I’ve taken to calling that Phase 1), but it was all Roland in the 90s (Phase 2). As this is Roland writing this post, I’ll say that I couldn’t do it this time (yes, I’m calling this Phase 3) without all the help. Though Dean Zachary had life changes that doesn’t allow him to participate at the moment, his encouragement with Barb and Kevin and their offers to help are really what launched Phase 3. BUT, I’ve assembled a nice little crew of talented people who love comics…and that’s really the lifeblood of Silverline: Love of comics.

Okay, before I get all sappy. I’ll stop there.