Tag Archives: Rochelle

19Jan/21

Silverline Creator Spotlight: John Crowther

Each month we’ll be shining the spotlight on a Silverline creator and sharing their secret origin story, learning what makes them tick, and giving you the scoop on how they came up in the comics world.  

Up this time is John Crowther, lawyer and writer of lots of wrestling comics, Rochelle the Teen Cockroach, and the upcoming Teen Beetle for Silverline, which is currently on Kickstarter for issue #1!

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

12 Questions with John Crowther

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

My name is John Crowther. and I am a dad, husband, son, brother, writer, and reluctant lawyer with somewhat redneck tendencies.  I was born just a few blocks from the World’s Most Famous Beach in Daytona Beach, Florida and, after making the usual college and post-college tours, I now make my home in the artsy Central Florida college town of DeLand.

SILVERLINE: What would you say it is you do here at Silverline?

My primary role with Silverline is writer and creative spinster.

SILVERLINE: Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?

You can find a few of my earlier series (Rochelle, Horror Comics, Exciting Comics and Turnbuckle Titans, to name a few) with Antarctic Press, as well a collection of biographical professional wrestling comics with Squared Circle Comics. In addition, I have appeared in several anthologies and graphic magazines, most notably for Heavy Metal Magazine, Unlikely Heroes Studios, Oneshi Press and Tin Sky Media.

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

It’s not what I would consider a hobby, but when I’m not plugging away on a Silverline comic, you’ll most likely find me typing away on the desktop at my law office, where I have been practicing law for nearly 29 years. Away time from the offices will generally find me in my garden, at the beach, or browsing antique malls on one-tank road trips with my better half — my amazing wife, Gigi.

SILVERLINE: Many creators at Silverline have been in the comics industry for years — what’s kept YOU plugging away at comics?

Writing comics has become a passion for me over my relatively short 6-7 year comic writing career, so everything about it still rings fresh to me. I love seeing my words brought to life by the incredible artists I’ve had the honor of working with. I love to see the enjoyment in a fan’s eyes or  hear their excitement when they’ve read something that I have created. And I love the comradery that I find in the comic book industry among other creators. It’s the combination of all of these things that drives me to continue with that passion.

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

For me, it wasn’t a particular comic that convinced me that I could “do this.” I have been a comic book reader for almost as far back as I can remember. I still recall passing the old Rexall drug store near my bus stop after school each day, where I would hit the spinner rack for a handful of $.75 comics — everything from Sgt. Rock to X-Factor, to Conan, to Swamp Thing. I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine and Cracked back then too. If it had a cool cover, I’d grab it. But I never really imagined that I would be a part of the industry in the future — my career was set as soon as I was born —  was groomed to be a lawyer. When I hit my 40s, looking for an outlet from the daily office grind, I stumbled across a Facebook group called ICC (Independent Creators Connection.) It was a diverse collection of comic book fans and industry hopefuls, who were really supportive of each other regardless of their skill or knowledge level. I thought, “What the heck,” and went for it — sharing my concepts and scribblings — and was received with open arms by folks I’d never met before. It was that positive encouragement that set me on my way and gave me the gumption to try my hand at comics on a more professional level.

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

Oh, gosh. I’m about as eclectic as it gets when it comes to music, although my usual fallbacks are country (Clint Black, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr., Johnny Cash, Chris Stapleton) and classic rock (AC DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin.) But I’m not discriminatory when it comes to music, as you can see by my concert list: Milli Vanilli, Smashing Pumpkins, Earth, Wind & Fire, Neil Diamond, Kansas, B52’s, Jefferson Airplane, Yellow Man, and Boy George to name a few. And no — it comes off when I write, as it would be too distracting. I talk through the stories in my head and out loud when I write (if you passed my desk you’d think I was insane). 

SILVERLINE: Who were some of your earliest influences on your art ?

Growing up as a kid, I read comics and books equally. My favorite genres being fantasy, horror, and sword and sorcery. Some of the authors who I drew influence from include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Terry Brooks. In comics, I was drawn to the writing of Marv Wolfman and Robert Kanigher, and to the art of Bernie Wrightson, George Perez and Joe Kubert.

SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally?

Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach was the first comic I ever worked on professionally, when it  appeared as an add-on story for Femforce #170 from AC Comics, before having a successful run with Antarctic Press as simply, Rochelle. Oddly enough, the title character can trace her origin back to a sketch I did as part of an art challenge in the ICC Facebook group. It was the positive reception I received from that post that encouraged me to bring Rochelle to life.

SILVERLINE: Can you still read that comic today without wincing?

Absolutely — I still enjoy reading  it and feel that it was a fairly good effort for a first comic. It’s also garnered a bit of a cult following and has very recently stirred some interest in  genres outside of comics, so hopefully you’ll be hearing exciting news on the Rochelle front in the months ahead.

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

There are definitely some good independent titles out there. I would highly recommend a couple from Inverse Press: Vicious Circus, and Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen. Those folks specialize in horror and these books will not disappoint. For younger readers, I would recommend a new title from writer Rob Andersin and Scoot (Scout Comics imprint) called Cat Dad & Super Mom. I had the privilege of previewing the book and it’ll knock your socks off.  I’m generally reluctant to recommend anything I’ve been a part of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend Cthulu Invades Oz, from Travis Gibb and Orange Cone Productions. It’s a really well done anthology from a collection of top-level creators that combines the worlds of L. Frank Baum and H.P. Lovecraft.

SILVERLINE: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice that would help them better navigate the comics industry, what would it be?

Start younger and don’t hesitate. There’s nothing that will hold you back more than yourself. I honestly wish that I hadn’t surrendered to my own self-doubt when I was younger. 

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

Strangely enough, this is a tough question. My initial thought was a parking lot, because I would love to leave a space where others could stop, suspend reality for a moment, and absorb themselves in the stories I left behind. But that wouldn’t be me. I don’t want be remembered for sitting still, so I would have go with the overpass, launching above that parking lot. I would want others to remember me for always moving forward — seeking, reaching and surpassing my goals and never stopping to rest on my laurels.

Teen Beetle is currently kickstarting and the first issue is available there now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/teenbeetle1switchblade1

06Jan/21

Silverline: Looking Ahead to Year 3

2021!

We finally made it out of 2020!

Whew! Many of you thought we’d never make it, yet—here we are! And Silverline is ready to tackle it…nay, we’re psyched that’s it’s here so we can get back to convention going!

We’ve definitely got some exciting things lined up for the coming year. Much of this is going to happen whether we get out of plague-world or not. So…just what do we have planned? Thank you for asking!

Crowdfunding

KS exclusive cover by Ben Dunn

We know that’s at the top of your list of questions: What’s next? What comics are we going to put into your hands? On January 14th we’ll launch our first for 2021. We’ll launch Silverline Double Feature: Teen Beetle #1 and Switchblade #1 RemiX. Both of the issues are complete and ready to print and ship as is the Silverline way (we’ve got a thing here or there on a cover or two, but the interiors are finished!)!

Teen Beetle is the new mini-series by Rochelle creator John Crowther. You’ve probably also seen John’s work in a whole slew of wrestling comics from Inverse Press. With art by long time industry veteran Dell Barras, Teen Beetle is a 3-issue mini-series and is part of the Rochelle universe. Teen Beetle is colored by GeriLou Smith and lettered by Hector Negrette. Ninja High School and Warrior Nun creator Ben Dunn provides a kickstarter exclusive cover.  

KS Exclusive cover by Mike W. Belcher and Aiden Belcher

Switchblade is the RemiX version of Switchblade #1 originally printed in black & white and on newsprint back in the late 90s. It has been digitally remastered and has been colored by Aiden Belcher (Man in the Mask). It was written by Roland Mann, pencilled by Leonard Kirk (Supergirl), inked by David Rowe, and lettered by Brad Thomte.

Here’s the link if you would like to sign up to be notified on launch: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/teenbeetle1switchblade1

Beyond that, we know the kickstarter schedule, if not the exact titles. We know, we’re stinkers like that, not telling you what’s when. So, we plan to have crowdfunders run: March 9-28, May 4-23, July 6-25, Sept 7-26, and Nov 9-28. That’s six total kickstarters for the year—one every other month—bringing you what should be TWELVE comics! (unless we do another double like Trumps—then it will be MORE!) So…start socking away your pennies so you can get in on these. They’re always special.

While we can’t tell you the exact titles for specific dates, what we CAN tell you, though, is what you should be seeing. (remember, not necessarily in this order!)

All these Silverline comics are VERY close to being done:

panel from Kayless #3

Kayless #3 and #4 (of 4); Twilight Grimm #2 (of 4); Divinity #2 (of 4); Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Ms Fury #1 (of 4).

These are pretty close:

Friar Rush #2 (of 3); Rejects #1 (of 3); Steam Patriots #1 (of 4); Beah #1 (of 4); Wolf Hunter #1 (of 3); Cat & Mouse #1 (volume 3!)

These are still early in production…but we’re still excited about them.

Cat & Mouse #4; Trumps Book 2; Capetown #1.

Streams

We’ll continue doing the Silver Sunday and Wednesday Wham streams every Sunday and Wednesday night at 9pm (EST). While we’ve got a short list of topics, what are some thing YOU would you like to hear us talk about? Don’t be shy, speak up!

In case you have forgotten (or never knew), we stream on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SilverlineComics), on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/silverlinecomics) and on Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/silverlinecomics). Free to watch! 😉

Roland has pitched some ideas out to the Silverline team and there’s very likely more content coming on the Silverline channels! Stay tuned.

Discord

Yes, we’ve got a Discord server. Yes, it’s live. No, it’s not terribly active, but we’re working on fixing that. It came as a result of our recent foray into gaming. “Gaming?” you say. Yes…but more on that later. For now, here is your invite to join our discord server: https://discord.gg/4SFwhtUJz8

Podcasts

Silverline Sunday stream producer Brett is hard at work turning the streams into podcasts. The goal is to have them start hitting around February. So, if you prefer podcasts over visual streams, this might be a way for you to get your Silverline team fix.

Special items for ‘21

If you supported any of our kickstarters with a physical reward, you should have received the first ever Silverline Christmas card. We were SO excited to make that happen as just something small to let you all know we appreciate you so much.

The other thing you may not have seen yet is the very first ever Silverline poster! Yes, that’s right, it’s 18X24 and needs a place on your wall! They’ll be available live at conventions or you can have one mailed to you. It’ll be available through the Facebook Store…very soon.

The Silverline Signature Book will be available soon on IndyPlanet and at conventions near you. The twenty lucky Mystery Box winners got the 20 first ever limited run, but now everyone else can pick up a copy.

Project news

The addition of John Crowther’s Teen Beetle led to additional talks, and while nothing is solidified yet, we’re happy to announce that Silverline will be the home for a new volume of Rochelle the Teen Cockroach! More to come on that later.

What’s the status of the other titles?

Cat & Mouse

Alex Gallimore is working on pencilling issue #4, the last issue of Cat & Mouse volume 2. Just a few pages in, this will be the final issue and will be the first of the series started to finish.

Several of you Cat & Mouse fans asked me if that was it, though, and I’m happy to tell you that it is NOT it for Cat & Mouse. In fact, Wubba Fett is already about half-way finished with the pencils for #1 of volume 3! My pal Jeff Whiting will be inking and you’re going to absolutely LOVE what you see.

art for volume 3 of Cat & Mouse by Wubba Fett (p) and Jeff Whiting (i)

Fans of Alex, don’t fret, though. While #4 (v2) is Alex’s last issue of C&M, Alex has fallen in love with Demon (haven’t we all?) and is actually chomping at the bit to tell a new Demon story. He’s so excited, he’s already recruited Thomas Florimonte on to ink it!

Kayless

Kayless #3 is nearly done. It’s completely lettered (by Brad Thomte) and a little more than half colored. Kayless #4 has about 10 pages of pencils and inks, so it should be the 2nd series to wrap up this year.

Divinity

panels from Divinity #2 by Alex Sarabia (p) and Barb Kaalberg (i, c)

Alex Sarabia has just started pencilling issue #3 of Divinity while creator Barb Kaalberg finishes up the colors. Barb took on the colors when Steve Mattsson had to step aside. Barb is doing a bang-up job on the colors!

Twilight Grimm

Rob Davis has finished the third issue. Yes, you read correctly, the third issue! And he’s working on #4 as we type. Issue #2 is still being both lettered and colored, but we anticipate completion literally any day now. Twilight Grimm will likely be the third completed mini of Silverline thanks to Rob’s blue collar work ethic in getting the work done!

Friar Rush

Friar Rush #2 is a little over half inked by John Martin, but it is completely lettered.

work from Friar Rush #2 by Aaron Humphres (p) and John Martin (i)

Trumps

Thomas Hedglen is working on a special Trumps…”thing” before beginning issue #3 (or the first part of Book 2)…and we think you’re going to like the thing he’s working on! Hopefully within just a few weeks he’ll be starting on issue #3.

Rejects

C. Michael Lanning has completed the pencils for the first issue and WOW—you’re going to be blown away by what he’s done. Rebecca Winslow is just getting into the inks, but hopefully we can start showing you some of that soon, as well as C. Michael’s pencilling on #2 (which he will likely do some of during the live stream!).

work from Rejects #1 by C. Michael Lanning (p) and Rebecca Winslow (i)

Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury #1 (of 4)

Started out as a Champion solo comic…then Roland decided to add Miss Fury (she’s public domain AND he did the first “new” work after Tarpe Mills in the early 90s Miss Fury mini-series by Malibu)…and the title became what it is now. Peter Clinton has done a bang up job on the first issue. Keep you eyes on Pete—he’s a shooting star! Roland has finished the script (done Marvel style), and Thomas Florimonte is working on the inks. Roberta has colored a single page and the cover and should get on more of them as Tommy finished the inks. Meanwhile, Peter has already started pencils for issue #2!

work from Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury by Peter Clinton (p), Thomas Florimonte (i) and Roberta Conroy (c)

White Devil

White Devil #1 is being colored by Phil Leon. We hope to have the first issue complete VERY soon. Issue #2 is lined up and waiting for him to complete #1, and Issue #3 is in the hands of inker Chuck Bordell.

art from White Devil #1 by Jaxon Renick (p) and Mike Keeney (i)

Steam Patriots

Issue #1 is being colored and lettered and should be done soon.

Beah

Haley Martin has finished roughly 6 pages of full pencil/inks/colors—she’s doing all the art! Be sure to catch her working on the pages during the Wednesday live stream.

art from Beah by Haley Martin

Wolf Hunter

pencils for Wolf Hunter by AJ Cassetta

AJ Cassetta is nearly done with the pencils for issue #1.

Capetown

The script for the first issue is done, and JW Franklin is waiting on Roland to release a final script to him so he can start drawing!

Teen Beetle

Issue #2 is just starting production.

Sniper & Rook

Should see the first issue of the new volume ready very soon!

RemiX

Several books are part of the RemiX line from Silverline. Switchblade is the first to see the light of day. These titles were originally published in the 90s in black and white and on newsprint. They have been (are being) digitally remastered and then colored to be released in the new RemiX format.

Jeremy Kahn is wrapping up coloring issue #5 (of 5) of Krey; David Rios is coloring issue #4 (of 4) of Demon’s Tails; Roberta Conroy is coloring #3 (of 4) of Pendulum; Barb Kaalberg is coloring #3 (of 4) of Sirens; Scott Gordon is coloring #3 (of 4) of SilverStorm V2; Eric Rossberg is nearly finished with #1 (of 4) of Scary Book; and Rebecca Winslow is slated to color Marauder.

Like we said, we’ve got a lot of fun stuff coming your way…and that’s what comics should be: FUN!

Remember to #makeminesilverline