Tag Archives: Roland Mann

16Feb/21

Title Spotlight: Switchblade

The core mantra of boxers is fists up, chin down, and knives out. Well, at least it is for Scott Nathans, boxer by day, and vigilante by night. Scott is the man known as Switchblade, a defender of the defenseless in New Orleans and the eponymous character of the Switchblade comic.

With the recent launch of Switchblade Remix, this is a great time to add it to your wish list.



Switchblade is a classic vigilante origin story but with a splash of sports drama that ties into the core plot. Just because Scott Nathans has picked up the hobby of giving villains a gruesome end doesn’t mean he’s given up his life as a boxer, or the rivalries that come with it.

We’re first introduced to Scott Nathans in an action-packed opening as he hunts down two child predators that the jury let off. That’s also when we first see Scott use his infamous switchblade. The weapon that earned him his name.

Of course, vigilante justice is a crime itself. Enter detectives Rob and Sid. The two were tasked with finding Switchblade and bringing him to heel. The citizens of New Orleans, however, are grateful for the speedy removal of the scum terrorizing their city. The detectives are without any leads and there never seem to be any witnesses. Their job gets more confounded once dismembered bodies start popping up. These aren’t clean kills with a blade, and they don’t have criminal records. The m.o. doesn’t match Switchblade and that last thing the police want is two killers out in the city.



Scott’s life as a boxer also gets more interesting when a mysterious and skilled boxer starts training at the same gym as him. The gym’s owner, Simon, is essentially Scott’s adoptive father so he’s unlikely to pass the limelight onto this new fighter. After a few sparring matches, this new fighter, Don, gives the impression that he may be the strongest fighter there. After he brutalizes a few of the other boxers and shares some smack talk with Scott, a rivalry begins to form. One that transcends just the ring.

It’s not long after Scott’s first kills that detectives Rob and Sid receive a report of a missing fourteen-year-old boy. At the same, the butchered bodies send ripples through the ranks at Simon’s gym causing a stir among the longtime members and Don, the new arrival. As these events unfold, Scott, Don, and the detectives all set on a collision course with each other, that is sure to end with someone dead.

What stands out in Switchblade is that drama unfolds both in the world of masked crusaders at the same as in the ring and the way it ties together. As Switchblade, Scott tries to uncover the recent killings and child abductions. As himself, Scott develops enters into a rivalry with Don to prove he can’t come in and pick on the other boxers. When the predator’s identity is revealed both stories intertwine in a way that leads to a unique fusion of sports-drama and comic hero action.



Another element that gets explored rather well throughout is the moral dilemma faced by the detectives. They know that a person cannot take the law into their own hands and kill criminals who get off easy, but also that the system allows for those criminals to get off even after their wrongdoing is universally acknowledged. Rob and Sid are forced to confront their own beliefs on if the system of Switchblade is doing more good for the city.

If you like vigilantes heroes, boxing, and seeing the two be put together in a way that makes both integral to the story this is the book for you. Switchblade is a classic brawling hero but exploring the heart and skill required to be a good fighter.

Switchblade was written by Roland Mann who needs no qualifiers. Known for Cat & Mouse, Demon’s Tails, Trumps, Krey, a laundry list of more titles, running Silverline, and inspiring students.

Leonard Kirk penciled Switchblade (1-2). Leonard is known for such titles as Planet of the Apes, Galaxina, Dinosaurs for Hire, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Chuck Bordell also provided art for Switchblade (1-3). Chuck’s work can also be seen in Sirens, Marauder, and Silverstorm.

David Rowe provided inks.

Brad Thomte lettered the series. He is also known for lettering Scarybook, Marauder, and Silverstorm.




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

29Dec/20

Silverline: Review of Year 2

Silverline: Review of Year 2

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all. From all of us here at Silverline, we wish you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season! Love up on and cherish your loved ones!

So, despite the fact that the Plague raged over the earth, 2020 was a pretty good year for Silverline. We ran AND FULFILLED 4 successful kickstarter campaigns and we started the Silverline live streams…which has been more successful than we had imagined.

Crowdfunding

In March, we funded and shipped Kayless #2. We’ve had problems getting the art because this campaign was at the beginning of the global lockdown and the art sent from Luis got held up in Argentina…then it came to the US…and went back to Argentina…and went back to the US…then it went to Panama (why? We have no clue)…then it finally made its way back to Luis. Luis will be in the US shortly and is going to ship the art to me from wherever he is. Kayless is the brainchild of writer Brent T. Larson. It’s drawn by Luis Czerniawski with colors by Leandro Huergo and letters by Mike W. Belcher.

This would be the last of the “single issue” kickstarters of the year as production of comics ramped into high gear!

May saw the Silverline Double Feature Divinity #1 and Twilight Grimm #1. Divinity is the creation of long time industry inker (she also inks Silverline’s Cat & Mouse) Barb Kaalberg, her very first creator owned projects (we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last, judging by your responses). Barb was joined by penciller Alex Sarabia, colorists Steve and Sage Mattsson, and letterer Mike W. Belcher. Twilight Grimm reunited a creative team from the 1980s in hooking up writer R.A. Jones with artist Rob Davis. Mike W. Belcher lettered and Mickey Clausen supplied the colors. Again, based on your comments, you’re glad we made that reunion happen!

July saw Silverline Double Feature #2 with Bloodline and Friar Rush #1. Both projects written by Sidney Williams, Bloodline is the comic adaptation of the short story written by him and horror writer Rob Petit. Bloodline was pencilled by Zombie art specialist Rob Sacchetto with inks by veteran industry inker Terry Pallot, letters by Brian Dale, and colors by Jeremy Kahn. Friar Rush #1 is the first of a three issue mini with pencils by Aaron Humphres, inks by John Martin, letters by Brian Dale, and colors by Rebecca Winslow.

September saw Silverline Two-Fer with Cat & Mouse #3 and Trumps Book 1. Trumps was essentially TWO issues, so it was too big to do the double feature flip book…so it was a Two-Fer instead. Both titles are written by Roland Mann, and Cat & Mouse #3 is pencilled by Alex Gallimore, inked by Barb Kaalberg, lettered by Brian Dale, and colored by Kevin Gallegly. Trumps was pencilled by Anthony Pereira and Thomas Hedglen, inked by industry veteran Thomas Florimonte, lettered by Brian Dale, and colored by Sid VenBlu.

If you missed them, they’re both available with our friends at IndyPlanet! www.indyplanet.com/silverline

Streaming

We started weekly streaming on Wednesday March 18. We hadn’t anticipated the Pandemic (who did, right?), but it was something we’d talked about a bit. We launched on three different platforms live: Facebook, Youtube, and Twitch. Our numbers grew and we enjoyed it so much—and you seemed to enjoy it as well, that just three months later we added a second and third stream.

On Sunday June 8, we started streaming weekly on Sundays, effectively splitting our stream team in half. Scott Wakefield, co-writer of the upcoming Steam Patriots, took over as host of the Wednesday Wham, and Roland started hosting the Silver Sundays. For several months there was a mostly-weekly Monday 1on1 stream where Roland talked one on one with Silverline team members. That went on for about 2 months and then the Monday stream went to once a month and teamed up with OCD for a “Silverline Spotlight.”

Conventions!

Well…Plague.

In November, however, ComiConway in Conway Arkansas decided to take their show virtual as well as very limited on the spot. Silverline participated in a big way virtually, doing a four-hour block of panels each of the three Saturday mornings! One of the days we were streamed AT the convention itself! We absolutely had a blast doing them and we were very happy to help the convention bring geeky-goodness to those who support them. We’re hoping we’ll be able to get a gaggle of us there live in 2021!

New Projects

We think we already had a pretty impressive lineup of comics with Cat & Mouse (v2), Kayless, Divinity, Twilight Grimm, Bloodline, Friar Rush, and upcoming Sniper & Rook.

We gave the okay and put into production EIGHT new projects!

Steam Patriots, Beah, Silverline Team-Up: Champion and Miss Fury, Teen Beetle, Rejects, Wolf Hunter, Capetown, and Satin’s Ways. If you’ve been watching the streams, you’ve seen several of these in the actual production process. We’ll talk more about them in the upcoming 2021 Silverline Preview!

ReMix

We’d been working on getting some of the classic Silverline comics colored to give them a second life, but there was really no solid plan other than to just “do them.” Silverline Creative Director Kurtis Fujita conceived a plan for our Silverline REMIX that will present some of the older Silverline titles, but in color. There are still details to work out, but it’s exciting to be able to bring this closer to life.

As noted, 2020 has been a pretty good year for Silverline…we’re excited to see where 2021 will take us!

#makeminesilverline

25Dec/20

Silverline creators share Christmas and holiday memories

Merry Christmas!

The Thanksgiving Memories from the gang of us here seemed to go over pretty well with y’all…so we thought we’d do it again. We asked Silverline Creators: What’s your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

-Brent T. Larson
When I was a sophomore in college, my family and I drove from southern Arizona to Moab, Utah, to spend Christmas with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Mark. They loved life and the outdoors, and Mark led mountain tours for a living. One day we drove to nearby Arches National Park, a vast open space with these contorted monolithic rock formations. We practically had the place to ourselves. Soon it began snowing, and the only sound was the wind blowing eerily off the high desert. It was one of the few times in my adult life where I could feel magic in the air. It was a fun, intimate Christmas, moreso because it was the last time I ever saw Mark alive.  A year later, he was leading a tour in the mountains when they were caught in an avalanche.   

-Becca Winslow
My favorite Christmas memory growing up was when my siblings and I all got coal for Christmas. My sister was crying, my brother was so angry and I was so excited. Even after my parents told us it was all a joke and gave us our real presents, I spent the rest of the day playing with my lump of coal… I was a weird child.

-Jeremy Kahn
When asked to recall a fond holiday memory, I can’t help but think of two Hanukkahs that delivered disappointment after raised hopes. Like every kid in the 90s, both my brother and I bugged our parents to no end with our desire for a Gameboy. Up till that point, we were strictly a PC family. We had some PC ports of Nintendo and Sega games, but we still had a need to play on the original systems. Hanukah rolls around with the promise of finally getting that treasured Gameboy. We excitedly open our gift for the night. While most nights we get one gift each, there were some cases where we would get a shared gift (something to share that was usually a high ticket item). In this case, we knew we were getting the fabled handheld. And, lo and behold, upon opening the gift wrapping there it was. A SEGA GameGear…

Another Hanukah comes around and I am not missing an opportunity to let my parents know of a certain movie I want. About every other trip to Blockbuster results in me renting, among a couple of other VHS tapes, Tiny Toons How I Spent my Summer Vacation. I’m fairly confident that they bought me my own copy after showing how much I like this movie. Adding to my anticipation is them saying they bought me that animated movie I liked and asked for. I eagerly pick my present up and un-wrap it. I see the WB’s logo. The anticipation rises. I finish removing the wrapping. There, in all its glory is The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones…

These two memories may seem odd to fondly remember, but they just show how much my parents tried and did for my brother and me. They may have gotten some things wrong, but their love still came through. That is why I consider these two events good memories.

-Aaron Humphres
I do remember coming back from college during Christmas one year to visit my mother and she had the house all decorated just right that it really brought out the season for me. If that makes sense. I remember a lot of great decorations and the house smelling like ginger or something Christmas like. We watched some Harry Potter movies and just had a good time. So that is a memory that stood out for me. Hope this helps.

-Barb Kaalberg
I was raised in a 2-story farmhouse in rural Iowa. There was a 1 story porch attached to the house with 2 parallel power lines that ran above the porch.  One Christmas in the early 60’s, there was an ice storm a few days before Christmas.  On Christmas Eve day, it snowed and snowed.  At least 4 inches.  That night, the air warmed just enough to make the ice clinging to those two power lines slip off the lines and fall in two perfect, parallel lines into the snow on the porch roof.  On Christmas morning my Dad, coming in from doing the morning livestock chores, called for us to get our snowsuits on and come out.  We raced outside to see what he was pointing at.  There, across our porch roof, WERE THE SLEIGH TRACKS FROM SANTA’S SLEIGH!  We were ecstatic as my Dad grinned knowingly.  That Spring, while plowing up the field in front of the house, he unearthed a large, round, antique sleigh bell from some long ago horse drawn sleigh.  He presented it to us, still dirt covered, as further proof that Santa had, indeed, been to our house that Christmas, left tracks and dropped a sleigh bell on his way to the next house.  We believed for many years and, who knows, maybe it wasn’t a trick of the weather or a forgotten antique? 😉

-Sid VenBlu
I could share some Christmas memories but I don’t really have a big one. The holiday is a rather relaxed one over here. No big dinner nor turkey. It’s too hot to wear ugly sweaters or drink hot coco! But at least you can go try your brand new bike out in the street the 25th, hahaha. Probably the present I remember the most was the arrival of our dog and first pet. House went to chaos as soon as she arrived and started digging into my mother’s indoor plants!

-Scott Wakefield
This is another tough one for me to narrow down. I’ve been surrounded by love from my family, so my memories blend together as a happy assortment of gatherings, meals, gift-giving, laughter, hugs, music, snow (mostly), and countless other cheerful happenings, so it might be easier to recount a favorite tradition, rather than one event. Our family tradition for stockings was that our parents would sneak into our rooms and place them near our beds. I’m not sure if this is common, or has roots in a larger tradition, but I’m positive it was a way to keep us quiet and in our rooms for a few minutes longer. My older brother was usually awake first, and he’d get me up by jumping on my bed, and we’d immediately tear into the tiny presents. Each year was similar: matchbox cars, Pez dispensers, Hershey’s Kisses, the plastic candy cane filled with cheap chocolates, and always an orange. I know – and I knew then – that this a tradition from the Great Depression, during which fresh fruit in the winter was a luxury, but we couldn’t resist turning them into weapons by stuffing that orange into the foot of our stockings and whomping on each other. After that was out of our system, we’d sneak out into the living room to peek at the gifts and wait for everyone else to wake up for a wonderful day.

-Mike W. Belcher
Best Christmas. This one is kind of hard. I was truly blessed growing up. I had a very good Christmas every year. Maybe the first time that Kerry was a part of our tradition. She didn’t have grandparents growing up and going to my Mamaw and Pop’s house was truly a gift to her. Watching her be the center of attention and how happy it made her was a great thing to see. 

-Ron Fortier
I’ve had a fascination for toy figures since way back when. Growing up I remember watching the Roy Rogers TV, then unaware Roy and I share a birth date, Nov. 5 – But I digress. I was 10 the year the Sears giant wish catalog showed up in early Nov and as soon as Mom let me see it, I went straight to the toy section. My to my amazement, offered that year was an entire Roy Rogers Double R ranch set complete with Roy on Trigger, Dale on Buttermilk and Bullet their German shepherd dog, Pat Brady in his Jeep Nellybelle, the ranch house, barn and various animals. It was simply mind boggling and I spent the next few weeks letting it known this is what I wanted from Santa.

So come Christmas morning, 1956, me and brother George are up at the crack of dawn and race downstairs to living room to find tons of brightly wrapped gifts under the tree. But my eyes went straight to the Roy Rogers ranch pieces all set up among those gifts. Dad had opened the box they came in and set up all the pieces before going off to bed that night so they’d be ready for me.

I never forget that wonderful Christmas surprise.

-Rob Davis
It was the year my younger, by one year, sister and I began suspecting Santa wasn’t real. My Dad got wind of this and told us a story that on Christmas Eve he’d seen a little plump man in a red suit carrying a bicycle into our across-the-street-neighbor’s house. Now, our Dad was not a very good lie teller so we were nearly convinced it was true. Then, a few days after Christmas we saw that neighbor boy riding a shiny new bicycle down our street (southern Missouri where I grew up seldom got below 40 degrees most days, so a jacket or coat to ride a bike in December wasn’t out of the ordinary). That convinced my sister and me to continue belief in Santa for at least a couple more years. 

Much later we learned the true story. The little plump man was the High School Band Director who lived across the street from us for a few years. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was notorious for his maroon business suit. So it was not a complete lie…

-Tim TK
Ever since I was little, I wanted to snowboard. I saw it once on TV and knew that I had to do it. My mother, out of fear for my life since I was just barely out of my toddler years and, as the doctor would say, a total spaz, decided we would take it slow until I got older. In order to find a compromise, she decided we would go sledding instead. I was not eager to relent on my need to get pitted on some powder, so in order to appease my want for adrenaline, we didn’t just go sledding down the back of the foothill we lived on. No, we went to a mountain proper with a slope groomed just for sledding and tubing. One day she woke us up in the dark, and we got into our warmest clothes and we drove 2 hours to Saddle Mountain. I’m not sure if this is still the case but back then when it snowed, the hiking trail was converted into a small snow park. We rode the trail all-day and I loved every second of it despite the spills, bumps, and snow snakes. On the way down, we stopped at a logging camp and got dinner at a cabin style diner. This is where the memory gets a little sour, so I’ll spare the details. In essence, the mac and cheese, that I had devoured to recoup precious calories, was transformed into a Pollock painting spewed forth my small face onto the interior of our van. Even with that hiccup, this day is still the one I hold responsible for developing my love of snow and the mountains. Though my mother did not let my 4 year old self ride a snowboard, I now do so every year from late October to April and didn’t suffer any spinal injuries as a minor, so I guess the compromise worked. 

-Roland Mann
I have a lot of great memories of Christmas with my family at home, and then making the trek to Arkansas to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of my memories include me waking up on Christmas day before my sister and being so anxious that I had to wake her up before checking out the tree. One Christmas, I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I as probably not more than six, I awoke extremely early and got my sister. We peeked at the tree to see presents there waiting for us. We went to wake our parents, excited that Santa had come…but my Dad yelled “Go back to bed!” It seems I had gotten up about three o’clock in the morning and our parents hadn’t actually been IN bed all that long. I joined my sister in her room where we sat and giggled in anticipation of what Santa had brought us until the approved time we could get up. At which point in time, we promptly woke our parents!

Merry Christmas everyone

and remember

#makeminesilverline

01Dec/20

Title Spotlight: SadoMannequin

Title Spotlight: SadoMannequin

By Kurtis Fujita

Comic Books and Film. The two are complimentary artforms which focus on the craft of storytelling. There was a time when comic book adaptations of blockbuster films like “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “2001” were a dominant force in the industry of sequential art. However these days, it would seem that film adaptations of comic book properties have superseded their inverse counterparts. All one has to do is look at the multitude of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to witness the skyrocketing popularity of this cinematic genre.

Yet another complimentary juxtaposition of film and comics is that of the short film and the one-shot comic book. Both tell a short self-contained story and are artforms that are more closely associated with independent artists than the corporate driven stories of feature length film and ongoing comic book series.

Enter “SadoMannequin” a lurid tale of horror, humor, and seduction. The story originally conceived as a short film by movie maker Jim Torres is adapted for the paneled page in a one-shot issue by the creative team of writer Roland Mann, penciller Kris Hsieh, inker Chuck Bordell, colorist Taco Silvera, and letterer Mike W. Belcher.

“SadoMannequin” begins on a late Alabama eve whose onyx sky is punctuated by the jagged luminescence of lightning bolts illuminating a raggedy looking warehouse. We are introduced to our hapless protagonist, the pudgy everyman named Peter. Peter is a new hire who receives instructions from his surly colleague just as the latter is leaving work for the evening. Peter is given what would seem is the most simple and easy of work tasks:

“Watch everything. Don’t touch anything.

Easier said than done.

As the evening progresses, Peter can’t help himself and begins exploring the warehouse and eventually comes across a statuesque female mannequin garbed in the sultry latex attire of a Dominatrix. As the light of the moon cascades across the vixen’s curvaceous physique, Peter is surprised to see her come to life before his very eyes. It seems like a dream come true for our protagonist, until he realizes that this is more of a nightmare than anything else.

The “SadoMannequin” throttles Peter relentlessly with the stinging tendril of a vicious whip to an inch of his life. He has no choice but to preserve his life if not his dignity, by using the cold steel of a nearby pistol and the precise ballistic impact of a silver bullet. The bullet finds its mark square between the eyes of the seductive helion who is sent back to her infernal resting place.

Peter is safe now to follow the instructions he received earlier in the evening.

“Watch everything. Don’t touch anything.”

Easier said than done.

With the knowledge that by the light of the moon he might be able to transform another female facsimile into the living temptress of his dreams, Peter grabs yet another mannequin and places her in the moonlight. As he hoped, the pale rays of lunar light invigorate the lifeless figure into a living siren. She approaches him, grasping his collar with intensity, pulling him close to her. Peter’s lips purse together and his eyes close in anticipation of the forthcoming passionate kiss.

Suddenly, a crashing bolt of lightning interrupts the romantic interlude.

The next evening we find a similar scene as the introduction of our story. This time, a new employee, John, is taking over the same night shift as Peter. John begins his nightly duties looking after the various curiosities inhabiting the warehouse. Just as it appears that things are taking a turn for the mundane, John comes across the grisly deceased corpse of Peter.

The ethereal silhouette of the lethal seductress of night, “The Sadomannequin” approaches silently behind John like a coiled cobra ready to strike.

John doesn’t notice her stalking figure behind him. He only sees the haunting gaze of the deceased Peter, glaring out at him in a tragic, vacant stare.

John’s heart races and he realizes that he has only one task now.

“Escape.”

Easier said than done.

“SadoMannequin” is a fast paced romp which balances action, humor, seduction, and horror much in the same fashion as the Evil Dead film series by cinematic powerhouse Sam Raimi.

Readers will definitely find a lot to enjoy in this cautionary tale, but be warned…you’ll never look at a mannequin the same way again.

The talent:

  • Roland Mann– writer; Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Head Honcho. He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current, successful relaunch of the brand!
  • Kris Hsieh– penciller; his only comic work. He became a lawyer!
  • Chuck Bordell–inker; one of Chuck’s many Silverline works!
  • Taco Silveira–colorist; “met” Roland online to do this work.
  • Mike W. Belcher–letterer; some of Mike’s first Silverline work.
  • Dave Roberts–cover art; Dave did a long run on Malibu’s Mantra, where Roland was his editor.
  • Shawn Murphy–cover colors.

Order SadoMannequin here: https://indyplanet.com/sadomannequin

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.
29Sep/20

Silverline Creator Spotlight: Roland Mann

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 Roland Mann, a comic book writer and editor who has worked for such titles as Cat & Mouse, Miss Fury, Planet of the Apes, Battletech…and for such companies as Aircel Comics, Adventure Comics, Eternity Comics, Caliber Press, Comico, and others…as well as his work for Silverline Comics, of course.

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

12 Questions with … Roland Mann

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

I’m Roland Mann. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Mississippi. I often call Arkansas my home, because that’s where most of my people are. Anyone who knows me knows that I cheer for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks…that’s kinda in my blood.

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

I’m the co-founder (along with Steven Butler, who went on to a stellar career!), chief wrangler of getting things done, and writer of a bunch of things.

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

The first volume of Cat & Mouse saw print in 1989 under EFGraphics. It then moved to Aircel Comics (a division of Malibu) for the complete run. I wrote other comics for companies like Adventure (Planet of the Apes), Eternity (Battletech), Caliber (Krey), Comico (Vortex), Malibu (Arrow, Ex-Mutants), and even had an Ultraverse title (Eliminator). A lot of people know me for my editing time at Malibu, though, where I edited the Protectors line of comics as well as a bunch of Ultraverse comics.

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

I don’t have a whole lot of spare time since re-launching Silverline as I teach creative writing at Full Sail University. I enjoy spending time with my family. My hobbies are mostly boring as I love to both read and write in my spare time. I’ve got three finished novels that I’m hoping to do something with some day. I’m a huge student of history and was a civil war reenactor for several years until I just couldn’t find the time to put in to it. While I still enjoy it, it isn’t very PC today.

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

That’s a simple one: I love comics. I love the medium and what it can do. I love the art of the stories. Yeah. I love comics.

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

Cobra. It was an independent comic published by the guy who ran the local comic shop. It was the first time I ever met anyone who’d worked on a comic. I bought it. Read it and immediately thought “I could do this!”

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

I’m a metal/prog rock guy. I don’t really do a lot of variety. I pretty regularly listen to Neal Morse and Theocracy. There are others, of course, but these two always work their way to the top. Neal Morse puts out so much new music, he’s an inspiration to anyone who creates!

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

In comics, that’s easy: Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Steve Englehart. Otherwise, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Stephen Crane. It’s been a couple of years, but I read Red Badge of Courage every couple of years.

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

Cat & Mouse #1, published by EFGraphics in 1989!

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

I can. Oh sure, there are things I’d edit today. But while it was my first professional work, I’d been honing my craft of writing for several years.

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

I think Elementals should be read by all. Scout is another favorite of mine. I also like Bone, Cerebus, Saga…and several others that I’m drawing blanks on right now.

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?

It isn’t enough just to learn how to write and tell stories, learn to navigate the business end of things and learn how to market. You can write the greatest story in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’ll only hear good things from your friends and your mama.

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

An overpass. I like the idea of high-fiving everyone as they pass by!

#

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!

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.