Tag Archives: Mickey Clausen

13Oct/20

Craft: Brent Larson – Subtext in Dialogue

Since I’m a screenwriter, and movies offer more in shared experiences than comics, I ask you to consider this scene from Pulp Fiction

JULES (Samuel L. Jackson) and VINCENT (John Travolta) drive down an LA street. Both wear identical black suits.

VINCENT: Where are we going?

JULES: To find this guy who stole our boss’s briefcase, which has something weird and glowy in it.

VINCENT. You think we’ll have to kill this guy?

They pull up to an apartment building. They get out and open the trunk, where they have an assortment of weaponry.

JULES: Probably.

VINCENT: How many guys you think are up there?

JULES: Four, maybe five? But I’m not worried. Life is meaningless. I just try to plus it up by being dramatic.

VINCENT: Aw, don’t be so gloomy. I enjoy life, especially when I’m taking drugs. 

JULES: Yeah, I guess. You know, we go back a long way, don’t we? I enjoy our friendship, mother blankity-blank.

They walk into an apartment, surprising several young guys lounging about.

VINCENT: Don’t be afraid, we’re not here to kill you… haha, kidding! We’re both psychotic!

If Quentin Tarantino had written that, he’d be running a Payless Shoe Source in Bakersfield and we would never know his name. His masterful ability to craft dialogue definitely applies to comics. I’ve tried to incorporate several principles into my comic Kayless, but I’ll expound on just one because it’s such a pitfall in my own writing… using subtext and avoiding the information dump. 

For those who haven’t seen Pulp Fiction, in their actual opening conversation, Jules and Vincent talk about, in order, drug laws in Amsterdam, how Europe is different from the US, the Royale with cheese, their boss’s wife, and what a TV pilot is. After they burst into the apartment, they discuss burger joints and Jules’s favorite Bible verse. All the information I wrote into the example is covered, it’s just barely said in the dialogue. Meanwhile, the audience is asking, Who are these guys? What do they feel about this horrific act? How is Jules fundamentally different from Vincent? All these questions are answered in a conversation that seems inordinately centered on nothing.

Movies, and comics, are a visual medium. That means we have an entire palette of information presentation apart from words. Facial expressions, postures, and random actions all communicate something. If a man tells his wife, “My mom wants to visit this weekend,” and his wife says “Oh, good,” and starts cleaning the silver candlesticks, this says a lot – her mother-in-law stresses her out, makes her feel inadequate, is maybe nitpicky. And the dialogue, albeit brief, complements this. She doesn’t feel free to tell her husband how she feels, which then tells us something about him, too. Maybe he’s oblivious or compares her to his mom. So many things you can use as a writer, all of which would have been stifled if, instead, she’d said, “Oh, great! Not again!”

Upcoming cover to Kayless #3: Thomas Hedglen, Ryan Brooner, Mickey Clausen

Here’s a personal example. In the upcoming Kayless #3, Scott visits his father in prison. They talk about Scott’s military record, why his dad is in prison, and how he feels about it. That’s the information side of things. But what’s really going on is a battle for power. Scott’s dad has kept him under his thumb his whole life, and Scott desperately wishes to tell him he can’t control him anymore. Comic real estate is smaller than a movie, so I had to be choosy with my words and move things quickly, but that didn’t mean the conversation had to be info-heavy. I’ll let you read it and tell me if I succeeded. 

Whenever I write dialogue, I then go back and check if it’s solely conveying information. If so, I look for ways to rewrite it as subtext, or present other visual elements to communicate what’s needed. Writers are often obsessed with their own cleverness, and I am no exception (neither, I suspect, is Tarantino). If I detect any of those self-serving impulses in my dialogue, I rework it so it sounds organic to my characters. Ultimately, I want my readers to think my characters are clever, not me. I’m always happy to share the credit.

02Jun/20

Silverline News: Double Feature KS ending in four days

Close as of this writing!

The kickstarter for the Silverline Double Feature of Divinity #1 and Twilight Grimm #1 is close to making goal as I write this up. Currently, there are 134 backers pledging $5,576 making 92% of goal. If you’re reading this and haven’t backed, remember that the comics are done, we just need the funding to print and ship them to you! And of course, we know you’re going to love them. So get on over and pledge if you can: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/silverlinedoublefeature1

Silverline Live now 3 times a week!

Yep, it’s true, and that’s our big news this week. Tomorrow (Wednesday, June 3), longtime Silverline creator Sidney Williams will be talking with a good bit of the creative teams behind Divinity and Twilight Grimm. We have it on good authority that even R.A. Jones will be joining the group via phone! https://www.facebook.com/events/2660675587554560/

Then, Sunday night (June 7), Roland will talk with a host of those who weren’t part of the Wednesday chat. They’ll talk about crowdfunding in general. Then, on Monday night, the first Silverline Live: 1on1 will debut as Roland sits down to talk with Thomas Florimonte (who will be inking at the same while he talks!).

So, if you’ve got questions, post them on the Silverline FB group page. We’ve created event pages on FB as we’re going to try them out, see if they work to help generate questions before we go live.

Next Kickstarter

Kickstarter Exclusive cover by Steven Butler

We know the current one isn’t over yet, but we wanted to let you know that we already know what we’ll be kickstarting in July, after we’ve got fulfillment (or at least most of it) for the Silverline Double Feature #1 done. July will see two Sidney Williams written comics: the first is Bloodline, an adaptation of the short story written by Sid and Robert Pettit. Bloodline is penciled by Rob Sacchetto, inked by Terry Pallot, and colored by Jeremy Kahn. The other is Friar Rush #1, the first of a three issue mini-series. It’s penciled by Aaron Humphres, inked by John Martin, and colored by Rebecca Winslow. And oh—guess what, BOTH of these are already finished. RIGHT? Two months before we even crowdfund, these are done!

Don’t forget to like us, follow us, heart us, favor us, subscribe to us, and all those social media things! As always, thanks for your support!

13May/20

Silverline Double Feature kickstarter is live!

Silverline Double Feature kickstarter is live!

If you follow any Silverline social media at all, you’ve seen us post SOMETHING over the last two weeks about our two exciting new titles: Divinity and Twilight Grimm. Our kickstarter is live now, and as I type, we’re 25% funded, so we’re very excited that it is going so well out the door. So, what are they?

Divinity

…is the story of Divinity Gray, an eleven year old girl whose life changes forever after the suspicious death of her parents. Marine Sgt. Zach Gray, the older brother she barely knows, becomes her guardian, but when he discovers Divinity’s mysterious healing powers, their lives take a dangerous turn. With the help of a few friends, Zach and Divinity must go on the run to keep Divinity—and her powers—out of the hands of an evil cabal.

Kevin Van Hook, filmmaker and creator of Bloodshot said this about Divinity: “Divinity #1 manages to bring a fresh take to this story of a young girl with mysterious healing powers. Alex Sarabia’s pencils combined with veteran inker Barbara Kaalberg keeps the tale moving and makes you care for the characters as you’re along for the ride. Good stuff!”

Maggie Thompson said, “It’s one of the moments that tells the reader a comic book has succeeded. It’s the moment when the reader says, “Hey! That’s all I get right now? What happens next?

       “That reaction means the story works. It means the elements have gone together to make a great mix. It means the reader cares.

       “And that’s the reaction readers will have, when they get to the last panel of Divinity #1. It’s the issue that introduces the Marine who’s had to return to the States to take care of his half-sister. And it introduces the girl who has a talent neither of them can explain.

       “Now the question is: How long will reader have to wait until #2? Because they’re going to care.”

Divinity is by: creator/co-writer/inker Barb Kaalberg, co-writer R.A. Jones, penciler Alex Sarabia, colorist Steve Mattsson, and letterer Mike W. Belcher.

Divinity #1 is full color, 22 pages. #1 is the first of a four-issue mini-series. The comic is COMPLETELY FINISHED.

Twilight Grimm

Twilight Grimm is by R.A. Jones and Rob Davis. They are joined by colorist Mickey Clausen and letterer Mike W. Belcher.

Twenty years ago, the  city of Hallowed Heights was nearly destroyed as the result of warfare between  humans and vampires. In its aftermath, the  two factions forged a most unusual “peace plan.” A high and heavily  guarded wall now splits the two sides of the city.  On one side of the wall  reside the middle and upper classes of humans.  It is clean, beautiful and  safe.

On the other side of the  wall, where a teenaged petty thief named Suzi Q has just been exiled, lies the  darkest and most horrible ghetto imaginable.  Here, amidst squalor and  vice, dwell the poor, the homeless, the forgotten.

And the vampires, led by the family of Gregor Radovic.

As long as the vampires stay on their side of the wall, the humans on the other side are willing to  pretend they don’t exist and let them rule over this so-called “Blood Zone” as  they see fit.  This includes turning a blind eye as the vampires feast upon the Zone’s human inhabitants.

Amidst rumors that the long-held truce may be unraveling, there is no human law in the Blood Zone —  save for that dispensed by a mysterious and violent young man who has appointed  himself its sole guardian from the depredations of the vampires.

His name is…TWILIGHT GRIMM.

Twilight Grimm #1 is a supernatural/horror comic; full color, 22 pages. #1 is the first of a four issue mini-series. The comic is COMPLETELY FINISHED.

Silverline Live

We’re working on over two months of Silverline Live and it’s going well. So well, of course, that we’re going to increase our frequency in June. More about that as we get a little closer. Please, if you haven’t already, consider subscribing to our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/silverlinecomics

New Projects

We’re not going to go into them just yet, because it’s a little too early…but in the last 2 weeks, we’ve started THREE, yes, T-H-R-E-E new projects…and we can’t be more excited.

Remember, Make Mine Silverline!

14Apr/20

Silverline starts a Facebook “Group”…and other news

Join the chatty fun!

After last week’s stream, it was determined that Silverline Comics needed more than just a Facebook “page,” it needed a Facebook “Group,” so all interested parties would have greater opportunity for interaction with readers, fans, and creators. Thus, the Silverline Group page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1065603887155592/. Please go join and chat with us there!

Kayless #2 kickstarter a success!

Thanks to all who helped bring Kayless #2 to life! We’re simply waiting on the funds from kickstarter, then we’ll get it printed and shipped! As a reminder, remember, it’s done! And we can’t wait for you to see it!

Covid-World

Most of us are living under quarantine in this Covid World. It’s just flat strange. That does give a lot of folks more time to read, and it gives many of the Silverline creators more time to MAKE AWESOME COMIC BOOKS FOR YOU! Stay safe!

Tune in to Silverline Live stream

Whether it’s just timing and strange luck, SILVERLINE LIVE started about the same time as the quarantine orders began. Tomorrow will be our fifth straight week. Just to let you know some of what we’ve been talking about:

  • Issue #1 was just a general chat and introduction (we’re calling our episodes “issues.” I know, I know…but we’re COMIC folks, whaddaya want?).
  • Issue #2 we started our “Craft” segment and discussed PLOT. The craft segments will hopefully go hand-in-hand with the craft segments on this page that Silverline Associate Editor Tim Theissen has been doing a great job on! This issue also featured the debut of Silverline Indy Comic Reviews as Silverline friend Martin Pierro of Cosmic Times did his first crowdfund comic review. Martin reviewed the kickstarted Broke Down and 4 Dead bodies. Martin should return for another crowdfund comic review in two weeks.
  • Issue #3 was part 1 of the Craft segment PROTAGONIST.
  • Issue #4 featured a gaggle of us talking about Covid and how it is and has affected the comics industry.
  • Issue #5, tomorrow night, will be part 2 of the PROTAGONIST segment.

You have 3 options to watch us live:

  1. On twitch:  https://www.twitch.tv/silverlinecomics/
  2. On Facebook live:  https://www.facebook.com/SilverlineComics/
  3. On Youtube live: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD_wuBxQzysURBxKkW-T5wg

Whatever your viewing choice is, please considering liking, subscribing, following, etc…and sharing! Come watch us live if you can—ask us some tough questions!

Silverline month at Comic Chat Authority

Comic Chat Authority head honcho, Cody Johnson asked Roland if there would be any interest in a Silverline month. Dedicated followers here might remember that CCA gave Silverline a pretty good review not long ago (https://youtu.be/d7VGh8AIfR8) sparking their interest in talking with a bunch of us. SO, Silverline month start this coming Saturday!

April 18 = Sidney Williams
April 25 = Alex Gallimore
May 1 = ME (Roland Mann)
May 9 = Barb Kaalberg

Upcoming Silverline Comics!

May will see the kickstarter for Divinity #1 and Twilight Grimm #1. Divinity is created, inked, and co-written by Barb Kaalberg, co-written by R.A. Jones, penciled by Alex Sarabia (this guy is going to be hot—you heard it here first!), and colored by Steve Mattsson.

Twilight Grimm #1 is written by R.A. Jones, penciled and inked by Rob Davis, with colors by Mickey Clausen! It’s veteran comic writer R.A.’s return to comics after several years. R.A. has been writing several novels—you should check them out! Fans of his Protectors work will read some familiar names.

July will see the kickstarter for Bloodline one-shot, and Friar Rush #1. It’s the Sidney Williams month as Sid is the writer for both comics. Bloodline is penciled by Rob Sacchetto, inked by Terry Pallot, and colored by Jeremy Kahn. Friar Rush is penciled by Marc Thomas, inked by John Martin, and colored by Rebecca Winslow. Sid’s been cooking up a lot of great rewards for these and we can wait to get the May and July books in your hands!

Until next time, Make Mine Silverline!