Tag Archives: Sidney Williams

10Mar/20

Craft: Sidney Williams – 5 Guidelines and a Few Thoughts on Comics and Captions

Hello again, Silverline Family. I had the pleasure of being able to talk with author and comic writer Sidney Williams. In terms of comics, some of his titles include The Mantus Files, Bloodline, Sirens, Marauder, and The Scary Book. In my personal opinion, he is a master in terms of suspense and dark or unsettling themes. He is also one of the most reliable and professional individuals I know. He agreed to contribute a piece about the craft of writing comics. In the following entry, Sidney talks about Captions, how he views their place in comics and how he uses them when writing himself.
-Tim

5 Guidelines and a Few Thoughts on Comics and Captions
by Sidney Williams

I’d like to say a few words in defense of captions.

Media evolve and affect each other. Film impacted the detail and flow of the 19th Century novel as the 20th Century moved forward. Literature affected comics then film affected comics, eventually comics affected literature and so on.

Comics, of course, draw on prose fiction. Heavy use of prose narration is characteristic of some early comics. Check a reprint of one of the ‘50s EC Comics (https://www.eccomics.com/history) titles such as Tales from the Crypt, and you’ll find instances of dense text blocks and speech bubbles with characters saying a mouthful.

EC stories were inspired by, or culled from, pulp magazines, so that’s possibly one culprit. Ray Bradbury wound up adapting his own stories for them, often preserving the narrative voice of the source material in pieces like “The October Game” in Shock Suspense Stories #9. (Link: https://comicvine.gamespot.com/shock-suspenstories-9/4000-517/)

Read more about Ray Bradbury’s relationship with comics and graphic novels
https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2019/08/ray-bradbury-comic-book-hero/

You don’t even have to look that far back,. As recently as the 1980s and Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil, the captions are almost novelistic.

Over time, narrative prose has given way to more reliance on visual storytelling in comics reflecting perhaps what many filmmakers and theorists consider the ideal, where speech and images convey the story with no intrusive narration. But in the ‘80s you’d get passages like:

“He feels the cut of the October wind hears the dull throb of New York City below him. He wonders when the city started making him sick.” — Daredevil #226, January, 1986. Story by Denny O’Neil & Frank Miller
(Link for Marvel Database on issue: https://www.marvel.com/comics/issue/8214/daredevil_1964_226)

That certainly gives us a look into a Matt Murdock’s soul.

I’m not saying comics script writers need to be Charles Dickens or Bradbury or even ‘80s Miller.

I would suggest that comics, while they’re a visual medium, aren’t film. They’re of the printed page. They afford some tools not available to filmmakers. The right use of those tools help make the comic book and graphic novel world more dynamic and enriching.

So what’s the rule of thumb for captions? In a word, judicious. In an expansion on that thought:

1. Captions should be used to expand or enrich the reader’s experience, never as a crutch for the writer.

If you just need to tell us it’s Los Angeles, “Caption: Los Angeles” will do.

Maybe a few more thoughts in black and white are in order to stimulate conversation and the creative imagination.

2. If we can see it, you don’t need to tell us what we see.
That’s the big duh of comics writing, but sometimes if you don’t print things outright in black and white text, people don’t pay attention. If we can see a hero approaching a vampire’s crypt, opening the coffin and positioning a stake over the heart, don’t tell us: He positions the stake over the vampire’s heart.

If you use a caption for a scene like that…. [Note from the editor: I will cut that caption SO FAST]

3. Make sure a caption provides insight into character, the hero’s soul, spirit or philosophy.
That’s not an excuse to go full Kierkegaard, but if it tells us something more than we can see like that Miller passage above, the reader’s invited to think, not just look on.

Caption: He hesitates as the stake’s whittled point rests against flesh.

Caption: Is this a life he is about to end?
Or something different?

Caption: What should the act of terminating the undead be called?

Gives us a little more than:

SFX: Thunk!

Vampire: Aieeeeeeee!

4. Captions should fit the world established in the comic book or graphic novel.

You might not want to get heavy-handed with captions. When can they be used artistically? In something like Image’s Fatale from 2012, the comic’s world is inspired by film noir, where voiceover narration was used to carry some of the flavor of the first-person crime novels of Raymond Chandler or James M. Cain that helped give birth to the noir style. You’ll find far more effective captions in evidence in Fatale or in something like Frank Miller’s similarly noir-inspired Sin City, which started in 1991.

5. First-person narration open a character’s thoughts.
Speaking of first-person narration, that has supplanted the old comics staple the thought balloon. Thought balloons are so passé they’re almost out of sight in the rearview mirror. First-person captions, on the other hand are still handy. The staking contemplation above could easily be rendered in first person.

When the concept was fairly new, you’d get a tiny little mug shot of the character inside the caption box, and the text would be in quotation marks. The convention’s familiar enough that that’s not needed any longer, though sometimes we get cues such as the caption being the color identified with the character. John Constantine’s first person captions match his raincoat in Justice League Dark, for example.

Just apply all of the judicious thought to first person as you do any captions. Do they help the story? Add something to character or thematic texture without getting heavy handed? Then deploy.

Those are just a few thoughts. Nothing’s set in stone nor a replacement for your own careful observation or environmental scanning as you read the comics you enjoy. Don’t just read. Take note.

Meanwhile…

Creators went on with their work.

Caption Marauder:

My way-back Silverline title, the noir-inspired Marauder, used a bit of first person narration. Note quotation marks were still the convention in those days.

02Jan/20

Silverline: Looking ahead to year 2(020)

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

Panels from Friar Rush #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

A page from DIVINITY #1

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

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

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

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

A page from WHITE DEVIL #1

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

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

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

28Nov/19

Silverline November news

Happy Thanksgiving

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

Daytona Beach Comic Con report

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

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

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

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

Sniper & Rook to Silverline!

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

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

 

29Oct/19

Silverline hits Daytona Beach in big way!

Daytona Beach Comic Con

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

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

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

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

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

Other appearances:

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

Cat & Mouse #2 fulfillment happening!

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

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

15Oct/19

Silverline Title Spotlight: The Mantus Files, 1-4

New Orleans is home to many heroes and do-gooders in the Silverline Universe. In The Mantus Files, we learn that the Crescent City is also the home of things that go bump in the night, ghoulish conspiracies, and the handful of characters that are about to get tangled up in it all.

This four-issue mini-series, originally published in 1991, is set in the familiar city but explores the dark workings in the city’s shadows. It is the job of Peter Mantus, investigator of the arcane, to dive into those shadows and thwart the evil within.

The story of Peter Mantus has a standout role in Silverline, not only bringing a unique view on the arcane and magic but also being one of the press’s few titles to deal with horror themes. Silverline’s dedicated readers will notice that like many of Silverline’s titles, the series is rooted in crime. It takes the crime-thriller structure to play on and bend some tropes and concepts commonly found in horror.

Peter Mantus himself is a play on a type of character seen throughout literature. Mantus has been haunted by demons ever since he was a young boy. After his family’s dark dealings were put to an end, and he was rescued, Mantus raised himself to fight the darkness that nearly consumed him. He has spent so long investigating supernatural evil that he has become an expert in the subject. To better his fellow man, he has written down his knowledge on all things evil in hopes that the lay-man could equip himself to fight off the darkness. The pure sensationalism of it all, however, seems to be what grabs most people’s attention. Through publication and publicizing Mantus has earned himself a reputation as a celebrity “ghost hunter.” Mantus finds himself in situations where to get others to take him seriously, he’ll have to show them just how malevolent the forces of darkness can be.

The series starts with little attention paid to Peter Mantus, instead focusing on the evil he is sworn to destroy. Jennifer Morris, a lady of the night, suddenly finds her life is at its end as a madman raving about “closing the gate” sets her and himself ablaze in a dingy hotel room. From there we transition to Sgt. Ferris Jackson, a detective for New Orleans homicide. After establishing the current state of New Orleans, we are introduced to Peter Mantus as he returns home to search for his friend Raymond Evers. Raymond is a social worker with a long and deep relationship with Peter. He is also one of many individuals tied to the city’s homeless population to go missing.

This brings Peter into contact with Sgt. Jackson as he thinks one of the bodies in the fire might have been Raymond. Sgt. Jackson takes away two things from their interactions. The first being that now he has the name of Raymond Evers as a suspect in a murder-suicide. Second, Mantus is a talking head on television, espousing mystical nonsense. Mantus’ search then leads him to find Tammara, a mother whose daughter went missing. As they investigate, they draw the attention of a group of vampires who would prefer they stop asking questions.

Issue 2 picks up with the duo of Mantus and Tammara cornered by the pack of vampires. Mantus launches into action with a big boot to the chest of one of the vampires. Mantus discovers the vampires to be surprisingly fragile. The attackers themselves seem surprised to have a victim that’s putting up a fight. It’s not long before Mantus creates an opening for their escape. As Mantus and Tammara break for it, a photographer by the name of Quaid assists in their retreat, blinding the vampires with the flash on his camera. After they regroup, Quaid leads Mantus to the cemetery where the disappearances and vampire sightings seem to be dense. There Mantus begins to unravel the mystery of the dark power orchestrating the recent events in New Orleans.

The series continues as Mantus draws connections from his past to the cult conspiracy, bringing him closer to learning the truth of what happened to his friend Raymond Evers. Quaid enlists the help of a special local magic practitioner to ascertain the motives of the dark forces in the city. Sgt. Jackson Ferris and Peter Mantus attempt to break through the distrust to develop a professional relationship for the sake of the city. As each investigator moves closer to the truth, we learn that much more than the Crescent City is at stake.

The Mantus Files doesn’t truly fit in just one particular category. It’s more like Demon-Noir, with the tone and trappings of a hard-boiled detective novel. The Mantus Files feature strong narration from the characters, a slow burn as the layers of the mystery are peeled back by the team of investigators, and an explosive finish when it all comes to ahead. This unique voice delivers the story of a dark thriller. The clock is ticking for the heroes to make it out alive. Around every corner is a beast looking to turn an investigator into prey. The dead rise, and mortal men are used as fuel for dark and ancient plots set in motion long ago. Bookended with a splash of body horror for the connoisseur. The Mantus Files sets itself apart as both a crime-procedural and horror-thriller.

Written by the incomparable Sidney Williams, this is one of Sid’s four entries with Silverline Comics. A novelist by trade and madman by heart. Sid has also written several novels and pieces of short fiction as he has honed his craft over the years.

Penciled by Thomas Giles. The Mantus Files showcases his ability to illustrate anything and everything from a crime scene investigation to ancient unspeakable horrors.

Inked by the prolific Dan Vincent Schaefer. Dan has done just about everything from writing, to illustrating, editing, and inking on too many titles to count since 1986. Some notable credits of his include writing Mickey Mouse Adventures and inking Spider-Man: The Next Chapter.

01Oct/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kayless

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

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

Other Silverline title news

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

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

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

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

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

Daytona Beach Comic Con

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

Silverline Peeps

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

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

10Sep/19

Silverline September 2019 News: Cat & Mouse #2 Kickstarter LAUNCH!

Cat & Mouse #2 kickstarter now live!

The big news today is that we will be launching the kickstarter for Cat & Mouse #2…literally…like, in mere minutes now. We’re planning to launch at noon today (Tuesday, Sep 10) and the campaign will run through Friday Oct 5. We know that you’re here because you support someone from Silverline—and we thank you—and now we’re asking that you go check out the kickstarter and hopefully you see some reward level you like and consider backing the second issue so that Silverline can keep fun and exciting comics coming for you.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/cat-and-mouse-2-the-second-of-a-four-issue-mini-series

Obviously, if you’re getting this update right as it is released, you’ll have to wait a little while until it goes live, but we wanted to get this info to you so that you could be there AT launch and not miss any of the early stuff. Roland will be going live on Facebook live a few minutes before noon–so check him out there.

There are pledge levels to get just the book itself, of course, but there are a lot of rewards for art: If you’re a fan of original pencils, inks, comic pages, you’ll want to jump on those quickly, so you don’t miss them. With original art—there’s only one, so you don’t want to let a piece you love get away. Of course, Cat & Mouse artists Dean Zachary, Barb Kaalberg, and Alex Gallimore have some original work available, but some of the other artists include: Mitch Foust, Timothy Lim, Javier Lugo, Alan McMillian, Willie Peppers, Mike W. Belcher, and Bill Nichols.

Also, consider telling your local comic shop about it. For our last kickstarter, we had a few WONDERFUL stores carry the book—they report they sold out of them completely! While we can’t guarantee a sell-out, we DO think fans will find something they like.

Roland, Alex, and Barb had the chance to talk with Silverline friend Wayne Hall over at Wayne’s Comic Podcast. You want to be among the first to hear upcoming star Alex Gallimore, don’t you? Then go give this a listen! http://majorspoilers.com/2019/09/08/waynes-comics-podcast-398-roland-mann-barb-kaalberg-and-alex-gallimore-brenton-lengel/

We’ve gotten some pretty nice response to the first issue, too:

“The story was well done and intriguing. Roland Mann is still a great writer on top of his game.”

Dan Sehn, Argo Comics

And…

“The artwork, story, and drama is there. This is really good, I really recommend it.” TheMtVernonKid,  GeekRamble

Also…

Cat & Mouse #1 “is a really good book, a well put together comic that is an example of masterful storytelling. Roland Mann rolls out each story beat one after the next. Great art! The overall concept of the book is perfect. Roland sets them up perfectly for modern audiences. I can honestly see this as a television pilot. I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend jumping on the Cat & Mouse train as soon as you can.”

Martin Pierro, Cosmic Times

Kayless #1

We’re getting some great feedback on Kayless #1. If you supported the kickstarter and had the chance to read it, we’d love to hear from YOU! Let us know what you think of it. We’re happy to report Luis is several pages into penciling the 2nd issue.

Daytona Beach Comic Con

Silverline will show up in a big way at the Daytona Beach Comic Con. If you’re in the area, this is a great show to attend and a great opportunity to meet a handful of Silverline creatives. In attendance for Silverline will be Roland Mann, Alex Gallimore, Brent Larson, Sidney Williams, John Metych III. Cosplayer Karrigan Walsh will be appearing as a special Silverline guest as she cosplays MOUSE, so come get your picture taken with her!

27Aug/19

Silverline August 2019 News

Cat & Mouse #2 kickstarter scheduled for launch

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the kickstarter for Cat & Mouse #2 will launch on September 10th! It will run for 21 days (the first one ran for 28 days) as did the kickstarter for Kayless #1. Kickstarters can be a grind not just for those running them, but for fans as well. Some of them can seem to go on and on. A 21 day window seems to be a bit of a nice change of pace and we’re hoping you’ll all be on board. Honestly, we’re VERY excited for you to see the book and read the second issue!

Reaction to Kayless #1

We’re in the process of collecting up some quotes in support of Kayless, but we’re excited to be hearing so many good things about Kayless #1. We’re also excited to tell you that Luis is already several pages into the art for #2!

Silverline to appear in grand style at Daytona Beach Comic Con

Yup, it’s true. There will be a total of SIX of us there: Roland Mann, Sidney Williams, John Metych III, Brent Larson, Alex Gallimore, Karrigan Walsh (who will be cosplaying as “Mouse” from Cat & Mouse). If you’ve never been to Daytona Beach Comic Con, now is the time to make your plans to go!

09Jul/19

Silverline Creator Spotlight: Sidney Williams

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

Up today is Sidney Williams, author 11 novels including recent releases: Disciples of the Serpent, Dark Hours and Midnight Eyes. Sidney’s early books include When Darkness Falls, Blood Hunter, Night Brothers and Azarius. At Silverline, Sidney is the writer of Bloodline and Friar Rush.

Now, without further ado, we present to you…

10 QUESTIONS WITH … SIDNEY WILLIAMS

Sidney Williams
SILVERLINE: So, who are you and where do you hail from? 
 
SIDNEY WILLIAMS: I’m Sidney Williams. Not a lot of people know my middle name is Glover, which I suspect was a surname somewhere back down my family line.
 
I guess I come from a long line of Irish glove makers. I’m now, pretty much, from all over or from a lot of places any way. I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, and spent quite a few years in and around Central Louisiana. I also spent a few years in Tyler, TX. Let’s not go there.
 
As of this writing, I’m Williamsburg, Virginia, following my wife’s career path and my career spiral. 
 
SILVERLINE: What would you say it is you do here at Silverline?
 
I’m a writer, and I’m pretty good with most software so I could do something else. 
 
SILVERLINE: Where might Silverline readers have seen your work previously?
 
SW: I’m a novelist. My newest books are Disciples of the Serpent about people battling giant things in Ireland, and Dark Hours about a girl trapped in a basement puzzle box by a twisted individual who doesn’t have her best interest at heart.
 
I wrote paperback horror thrillers a few years back, and in the comics world I’ve written things for Silverline before including The Mantus Files and others. I wrote a graphic novel called The Dusk Society for Campfire Comics, and I have written many short stories including a new one called “The Cooler of Craft Brew” for a collection called Quoth the Raven, a contemporary reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales. The collection made it to the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. 
 
SILVERLINE: Many creators at Silverline have been in the comics industry for years — what’s kept YOU plugging away at comics? What do you enjoy most about the medium, as well as your specific trade?
 
SW: Comics represent some of the first reading that ever engaged me, and they played a big role in my putting pen to paper.
 
I don’t think my father knew what he was starting, but he used to read comics to me before I could read myself. We read a lot of Tarzan and super hero comics, and he read me things like Gold Key’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which were really collections of short horror tales.
 
All of that stimulated my imagination, and so it’s fun to play in the sandbox where things all started for me. 
 
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you remember reading that made you think, “Hey, I could do this!”
 
SW: Probably Tarzan. The stories are fun, high adventure really and when I was, I don’t know, five, they really enthralled me with all of the lost cities and dinosaurs and the like.
 
I’ve said this in many interviews, but before I could actually read and write but could make letters, I’d have my mom spell things for me, and I’d write new captions for a Tarzan coloring book. It’s hard to write when you can’t, so that produced some interesting material like Tarzan perched in a tree saying: “It’s far pretty far to the village.” 
 
SILVERLINE: Who were some of your earliest influences on your writing?
 
SW: I guess Joe Kubert is the first creator whose name I really knew. DC really celebrated him as the writer/artist on the Tarzan book when they picked it up from Gold Key.
 
I liked Russ Manning’s Tarzan as well, and in retrospect, I realize I saw a lot of his work in Gold Key earlier. I actually had a subscription to Superboy when I was a kid, and that morphed into Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes, and from that I became a huge Legion fan, and Mike Grell became someone I recognized also.
 
All of this factored into my overall creativity. 
 
SILVERLINE: What was the first comic you ever worked on professionally?
 
SW: It was via Silverline for Malibu Graphics. I got to create a miniseries, The Mantus Files, which I mentioned earlier.
 
I had written about three books by then I suppose, so it was Horror Novelist Sidney Williams’ The Mantus Files or something like that. It was a black and white and sold pretty well at the time but it was a time of growth for Malibu, so it didn’t really get them excited sadly. 
 
SILVERLINE: Follow up Q — Can you still read that comic today without wincing?
 
SW: Yeah, I’m OK with it. I went through a period where I didn’t like my stuff. Confluence of reasons for that, I guess. I’m back to liking most things, or accepting that things were written by a different me, a me that I was at a given time. 
 
 
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? 
 
SW: Make more noise, I guess, though I did what I could to trumpet my work and do more. 
 
SILVERLINE: After you die, would you rather your memory be memorialized with an overpass or a parking lot? 
 
SW: Wow, I think an overpass. Name displayed in kind of an arched arrangement. That appeals to me. I guess it would be in danger of getting knocked down by a rampaging monster, though. 
18Jun/19

Silverline Launch and Kickstarter

LAUNCH!

The EFGraphics publication of Cat & Mouse #1 by Roland Mann(w), Mitch Byrd(p), and Steven Butler(i).

All systems go for Silverline! 2019 is the 30 year anniversary of the publication of C&M #1 from EFGraphics, the very first published Silverline related title. We’ll tell an expanded version of the story later, but the short version is that we attempted to publish ourselves in 1988, but didn’t have the funds. John Drury and EFGraphics stepped in with a nice offer and published the first issue of Cat & Mouse #1 in color. EFG was also publishing Jazz Age Chronicles by the talented Ted Slampyak. EFG folded before C&M #2 could be printed (I still have all the color film for that issue–yes, I really do).

We took the EFG issue and submitted it all around, ultimately choosing Malibu’s Aircel as the new home. Cat & Mouse then ran for 18 issues before the series ended.

As it happens, May of 2019 is also the 20 year anniversary of the publication of John Metych III’s Sniper & Rook, from Beta3 Comics. We’ll talk more in the future about why that is important. But for now…

Kayless #1 Kickstarter is Live! Please check it out and consider supporting it.

In the 1960s, the CIA sent astronauts into space…and lost them. Until today…

Kayless #1 is the first official Silverline kickstarter and it is live today. Please visit it here: https://kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/kayless-issue-1

Kayless: In the 1960’s, astronaut Scott Anders blasted off into orbit as part of a secret government-sponsored space program. Its purpose was to investigate a phenomenon in deep space known as the Kayless Rift. Three days later, Scott’s ship disappeared. The mission was covered up and forgotten.

Until today…and our series. Planned to be 5 issues, this is the first–and the comic is completely finished! Hopefully you’ll check it out!

While we could consider Tiny and C&M #1 (vol 2) to be Silverline crowdfunded projects, they were more unofficial, than official.

Website

The website will be the home of the Silverline blog, which will be updated weekly. In rotating weeks, we’ll post: news, creator spotlights, appearances, title overviews. If you’ve got requests, send’em! We hope to make the creator spotlights personal and informative for you, not just a hype of the creator’s current projects. So if you’ve got a question you’d like to see a Silverline creator answer, send it in now so Wes can add it to the list. The appearances post will simply be a monthly listing of where you can find Silverline creators appearing: conventions, comic shops, podcasts(if we can get that info in time) so that you can find them and have them sign your favorite comics and maybe pick up some new ones.

The website also features bios of your favorite Silverline creators and summaries of Silverline titles. IndyPlanet is the Silverline select store for ordering, and there is a link to the Silverline store right on the website.

Spread the word to all your friends: www.silverlinecomics.com is live!

Email list

We’ve started an email list via mailchimp–some of you are getting and reading this via mailchimp already–thank you. We know that checking in on a blog can be difficult to remember and we encourage you to sign up for the email list. We’ll occasionally do things for those on the list before any other media–things like crowdfunding announcements so you can have first dibs at special rewards and early bird rewards.

Who?

We want to keep this list exciting and informative, so we’re not going to spill all the beans right here right now about everything Silverline has planned. Instead, we’ll tease you a bit. Hopefully you already know that Cat & Mouse volume 2 is already under way. The creative team is Roland Mann(w), Alex Gallimore(p), Barb Kaalberg(i), and Kevin Gallegly(c). Issue #1 was crowdfunded last year, and we’re well on our way to finishing #2!

In addition to Kayless, two Silverline veterans bring the next two books: Sidney Williams has penned a one shot entitled Bloodline, and R.A. Jones is teaming up with Rob Davis again to bring the four issue mini-series Twilight Grimm. More on these later, but that news is so exciting we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves!

Silverline creator appearances

While this isn’t the official “appearances” post, we wanted you to know where you could find your favorite Silverline creators the rest of June.

June 22-23; Might Con St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Barb Kaalberg

Thank you for your support! Feel free to share this all around!