Tag Archives: Paul Pelletier

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.
13Nov/19

Silverline Creator Spotlight: Chuck Bordell

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 Chuck Bordell, who has inked for such publishers as Malibu Comics, Caliber Comics, Brainstorm Comics, Alpha Productions, and of course, Silverline Comics. Chuck has even produced art for Steve Jackson Games and Dungeon Magazine.

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

12 QUESTIONS WITH… CHUCK BORDELL

So, who are you and where do you hail from?

I’m Chuck Bordell and I grew up in Pennsylvania, but I’ve been living in Montana for the last 30 years. I stayed for the trout fishing and the 8 feet of snow we get every year, Oh yeah I’ve come across several bears as well. You’ve never felt fear until you see a bear in the wild…couple of locals, amongst others.

What would you say it is you do here?

Well, I mainly work as an inker, but I’ve done some pencil jobs as well.  I’ve done a LOT of books for Silverline, including Silverstorm 2, Marauder, Sirens, and Switchblade. Right now I’m inking White Devil.

Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?

 I’ve done freelance work for Malibu Comics, Caliber Comics, Alpha Productions, Brainstorm Comics. I’ve also done illustration for TSR, Steve Jackson Games, etc, and two graphic novels, Witness to War and Lunatic Fringe that I wrote and illustrated. I love the fantasy RPGs I’ve worked on because I like drawing monsters!

When you’re not making great Silverline comics, what do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?

I collect coins and militaria, enjoy fishing and visiting art galleries.  Studying the Civil War is also a passion.  I’d like to make another trip to Gettysburg in the near future.

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?

I just love the art form. It’s totally unique. That combination of images and words is just magic. There have been times when I thought of giving up, but I always come back to comics.

What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”

 Probably a Ross Andru Spiderman from the mid 70s. He’s one of my all-time favorite artists. .I think his run on Spiderman totally defined the character for me. My Mom still has Spiderman comics I made when I was about 10.

What’s on your playlist? Who/what music do you listen to, and do you listen to it while you work?

I mainly listen to Metal, including Metallica, AC/DC, Triumph, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Kiss, etc,  Always good to play while drawing. I need music that can keep my brain cranking while I’m working.  So yeah I’m a metalhead, although I cut off my long hair a couple years ago.

Who were some of your earliest influences on your trade?

 Ditko, Kirby, Miller, Andru, Golden. If I could have Frank Miller’s storytelling with Michael Golden’s art, I’d be a happy dude. But all of them show such creativity that I’m amazed every time I see their work.

What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally? 

 A book called Totem, drawn by Paul Pelletier, published by Alpha Productions. It was an ink job I did completely with Rapidograph pens!  Last time I ever did that. I now have so many inking tools that I need one of those mini-houses to keep everything in!

Can you still read that comic today without wincing?

 Nope. It makes me totally embarrassed even if no one else is looking,  I mean it’s not totally hideous, but my style has change a lot over the years.  Brushes are my friends now, and I use a lot of Micron Pigma pens.

What are some non-Silverline independent comics you would recommend to readers?

Courtney Crumrin, Bone, Pogo (that’s an old one, but it’s brilliant) any of the EC war books. I will pick up books I’ve never heard of before just to give them a chance. It’s only a couple bucks and you never know when you’ll find  treasure.

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?

Write and draw your own work. It’s the best way to learn and it’s the most satisfying. Even if it never gets published, there’s a satisfaction to finishing a book that’s totally your own.  I bet just about all comic artists/writers have unpublished projects in their archives.

After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot? 

 A parking lot. Open space in all directions. Then there could be enough parking for a comic convention. Chuck’s Blacktop Convention sounds good. A combination comic book/flea market/fantasy/coin show.

—–

Chuck is currently busy inking Silverline’s upcoming White Devil written by R.A. Jones with pencils by Jaxon Renick. What, you didn’t know about that yet? No announcements have been made yet—but you heard it here first! Also, Chuck and Roland Mann collaborated on a civil war short that was published in Chuck’s Victor’s Horror Compendium.

17Sep/19

Silverline Character Spotlight – DEMON

This week’s character spotlight focuses on the Kevin Bacon of the Silverline Universe, although “six degrees” are more than necessary to connect Demon (Dr. Keith Grayson) to each of the major heroes (and villains) in the Silverline Universe– and beyond!  In fact, Demon is even destined to encounter the newest incarnation of Cat and Mouse in their next issue! The Kickstarter for Cat & Mouse #2 is live NOW . . . why don’t you go check it out now! It’s ok . . . we’ll wait for you while you take a peek and hopefully become a backer!  https://tinyurl.com/CnM-2-KickStart

From the inception of the Silverline Universe, Demon has been the most prolific character, appearing across a multitude of titles and issues.  Beginning with his first-page appearance in the original Cat & Mouse series, continuing through his own Demon’s Tails mini-series, making a surprise multi-page appearance in the second SilverStorm mini-series, inadvertently providing the base of operations for the combined forces of characters from both Silverline and Beta 3 Comics (which was the first in-cannon synergy of these two universes!), and, now making his presence known in the aforementioned forthcoming Cat & Mouse Volume 2, Demon’s connections are varied and far-reaching!

Over the course of his many appearances, Dr. Keith (Demon) Grayson has worn many hats.  A veterinarian. A small-business owner. A hopeless romantic. A god-figure for a murderous cult (what?). A brother. A long-term goldfish sitter. A laboratory-accident survivor. A reluctant adventurer. An avid TV watcher.  A son. A Led Zeppelin fan. An emergency surgeon. A confidant. An aficionado of fedoras and trench coats. A man who lives out his days in seclusion in a mutated body distinguished by giant crests on his head and his body encased in brown fur with not one . . . not two . . . but THREE tails. Did we mention that all three tails can regenerate should they become severed from his body???? This revelation was equally surprising to Dr. Grayson, after finding himself on the wrong end of a katana blade (double what??)

Dr. Keith Grayson’s introduction to the first duo who utilized the monikers of “Cat” and “Mouse” occurred after Mouse (Mandy Paige) was shot in the back and Cat (Jerry O’Neil) was seeking immediate medical assistance.  Seeing only the word “clinic” outside Dr. Grayson’s establishment, Cat carried Mouse into the building . . . the veterinary clinic . . . and demanded that the doctor extract the bullet and stabilize the patient.  After an initial quarrel about the medical legality and integrity of the demand, Dr. Grayson extracted the bullet, nursed the patient back to health, and eventually became Mandy’s romantic partner and confidant.  However, before the spark of romantic interest turned into a full flame of relationship, Demon, attempting to protect Cat and Mouse’s secret identities, faced their former trainer and master – Kunoichi – in battle.  It was at her hand that he lost his tails . . . but that made wearing pants on dates that much easier!

Demon’s attempts to track, and take down religious cult worshipers from the Cult of Abaddon began in the Cat & Mouse series and concluded in Demon’s own mini-series, Demon’s Tails (available for purchase in both digital and print form HERE – https://indyplanet.com/demons-tails and soon to be available in color!).  In this series, Demon was pursued by, and later partnered with, the Chicago Champion (better known in the Silverline Universe simply as “Champion”).  The two battled and took down the Church of Abaddon, its evil leader (who had undergone a physical metamorphosis himself), and rescued Demon’s sister Cheryl from being a human sacrifice.

Demon has also encountered Silverline’s most “in-universe” celebrated heroes – Tempest and Silver Dollar, who had, previously, saved the United Nations from the tyrannical attack by Dr. Fear and his clones.  In this quick, coincidental, almost accidental meeting, Tempest and Silver Dollar were tracking a duo of deadly ne’er-do-well’s, code-named Skull and Crossbones. Demon, knowing Kunoichi’s penchant for training male-female duos with distinctive yet complementary names, directed the heroes to her dojo to obtain leads.

Many, many months later, while watching TV during the day, Demon received a phone call from his employee – Nancy – who works as a nurse in his clinic.  She told him to quickly change the channel.  Live news coverage was showcasing a battle in downtown New Orleans.  Demon immediately recognized Tempest and Silver Dollar . . . but was shaken to the core when he saw two masked individuals in the brawl as well.  He sped from his apartment to the battle scene; the duo he thought he may have seen on TV was not them at all, but he had deduced (due to knowledge gained during his goldfish babysitting the night before), that there was a direct link between this duo and some long lost friends of his.  Along with Tempest, Silver Dollar, and Champion, Sniper and Rook (covert government operatives working under the command of General Davis Jefferson) joined Demon at his clinic that night and the group – which would strengthen to become more a team – and the collection of heroes began their globe-spanning adventure to save the planet from evil and tyranny.

At the end of that adventure, Demon’s whereabouts had become unknown except to his closest confidants (and the watchful eye of the United States government). Demon has remained, literally, in the shadows until his very unexpected, yet quite welcomed, upcoming reappearance in New Orleans (Cat & Mouse #2, vol 2).

Created and brought to life by Roland Mann, Demon truly has been the lynchpin of the Silverline Universe and Demon has been illustrated by some of the most impressive artists in the industry.  Mitch Byrd penciled Demon’s many appearances in the first Cat & Mouse volume, Paul Pelletier provided his artistic talents as penciller on the Demon’s Tails mini-series, Bill Maus is currently illustrating the globe-spanning adventure featuring Demon in the Beta 3 Comics / Silverline crossover series, and Demon’s return to Silverline in Cat & Mouse Volume 2 #2, now on Kickstarter as mentioned above, features Dean Zachary and Alex Gallimore as series pencillers.  Steven Butler, who had served as Silverline Art Director, penciled and inked some of the most definitive illustrations of Demon on two Cat & Mouse covers – issues 3 and 15.

Whether you are being newly introduced to Demon, or are an old fan looking forward to his long-awaited return, the adventures that seem to follow him are wonderfully written and illustrated.  Be sure to check out all of his past appearances so you’ll be up to date when Cat & Mouse Volume 2 #2 becomes available!