Tommy Florimonte is part of the team that publishes a fair share of all indie comics, Ka-Blam!. When he is not printing comics, he is inking them as part of the team from Silverline comics. Tommy stopped by First Comics News to let our readers know all about the latest Silverline Kickstarter.
First Comics News: Where did you study art?
Tommy Florimonte: Actually… I didn’t. All self-taught. I always loved to draw but didn’t take any “Offical” art classes. The skill I have is being able to “SEE” stuff and figure out how to do it. I’ve always been like that with everything. Things I don’t like… I stink at.
While getting a degree in Computer Science at USM, I happen to meet a few other “Kids” that were breaking into comics. I thought, “I like comics. I can draw.” Of course, I couldn’t. But they were making them. So I asked a lot of questions, buckled down, and learned… With those “Kids” help.
So I finished college in computer science and started working in the comics business of course.
1st: How long have you been inking?
Tommy: Earliest professionally published work was in 1991… Not sure which came out first, Cat & Mouse or a book called Scum of the Earth. But it was in the early 1990s.
1st: What projects have you worked on?
Tommy: During the ’90s, I just about worked for everybody. Of course, most of it was under my own name, but I did a tone of “Ghost” inking for several people. In some cases, “Ghosting” is when the regular artist is getting behind and needs some help getting caught up, but mostly for me, I enabled these artists “by helping out” to take on more work than they could do their own.
I did ALOT of work for Malibu. With a HUGE run on the Nightman and the Strangers series. But for me, my favorite and highlight was when I did get to do some work on my personal favorite- Spiderman. And then there’s all my personal stuff I still continue to do today under through my own INFERNO Studios- Zomboy: Kid Hero, Lil’ Na’ & SoSo, and Mystery Girlz.
1st: How did you get involved with Silverline?
Tommy: I’ve been working with the guys over at Silverline from the beginning. Roland Mann, Steven Butler, and Mitch Byrd helped and guided me with breaking into the comic business. I inked several of the original Cat & Mouse books long with Demon Tails.
1st: What made Silverline the right fit for you?
Tommy: They do the kind of stuff I like. Not only are they my best of long time friends, but we all also work well together. We all tend to like the same “TYPES” of books, but we genuinely like hanging out together. If I wasn’t having fun, I would do it.
1st: You are inking both Silverline Team-Up and the flip cover on Beah. How is it different working on superheroes than working on funny animals?
Tommy: I love inking all different types and styles. I’ve worked ALOT with what would be called “Mainstream” styles and a lot of dark and gritty “Scratchy” looking inks. But I think I shine when doing cartoony inks. I feel I take all the techniques I get with the other styles and bring them in, making the cartoony stuff “POP”. Bring it on. I’m game to ink anything.
1st: Who is the Champion?
Tommy: Champion, Dan Taylor, a Chicago Firefighter that became known as “Chicago Champion” when he started fighting crime. Issue one takes Champion out of Chicago and drops him in New Orleans. And of course, he finds trouble in a short time.
1st: Who is Ms. Fury?
Tommy: Starting a new “Job” in New Orleans, Marley Hale, soon to be known as Ms. Fury, finds out that she also can’t stay away from trouble.
1st: There are 6 slots for the Kid Hero commissions. What is Kid Hero?
Tommy: “Kid Heroes” started with my first, and continuing, comic Zomboy. As it turns out, back in the 90’s when I first started publishing Zomboy, and a few years later, you see I said “LATER”, A bigger company started publishing a book with a similar title- Not really, but they thought so. Theirs was actually about zombies, and I named my book “Zomboy” because I liked zombies movies and thought it was a fun name to call my book – “Published First”. So of course I got a “Cease and Desist”. I took it to a lawyer and was told they had a lot more money than I. You see where this is going.
Although in my books and like most other superhero books, all the characters were either superheroes/villains or bystanders, they’re just kids. The subtitle of “Kidhero”/”KidVillians” was used throughout the books. So I just added it to the title- Zomboy: Kidhero. Problem solved.
Worked out great for me. I just started calling my “Style” that I did all my books in “KidHero”. And it stuck.
1st: Is this a single figure or anything that fits in a comic size space?
Tommy: These Kickstarter commissions are just like the ones I do at Cons… But for a better price. They’re generally full-inked figures drawn in my Kid Hero style with a little something in the background: Maybe buildings could be Kirby Dots, perhaps just fancied up Speedlines or simple explosions. I try to make it fit with the character I’m drawing.
1st: Why limit this to 6?
Tommy: Just thought that was a good number to offer. After the Kickstarter ends, there’s a window before the printing is done. So I figured I could easily get 6 commissions done in that time. This way everything would ship without delays.
1st: What other rewards are you offering?
Tommy: Kickstarter now has a GREAT feature called “Add-Ons”. So you pick the main pledge you want, then jump over to the Add-On page and add all the extras. It includes just about every Silverline book available to date, a bunch of original INKED pages that I did for this Teamup book, and very reasonable priced original commissions from Peter Clinton, Haley Martil, and Myself.
AND we just added a Super Duper Only-One available commission. What we’re going to do is have Peter pencil the piece on 11×17 bristol, scan it, and I’ll ink a blue-line version on paper then Roberta Conroy will digitally color it and we’ll print it out on nice paper. So what you’ll get is all three pages: The original pencils, original inks, and high-quality print of the colors. Super-Duper Commission- Can’t beat that.
1st: What is the minimum pledge to get a PDF of the comic?
Tommy: What we’ve got is Digital Double. For $8, you get a pdf copy of both BEAH #1 and SILVERLINE TEAM-UP: CHAMPION AND MISS FURY #1
1st: What is the minimum pledge to get a physical copy of the comic?
Tommy: All the Early Bird Silverline Double-Feature books are now gone. But for $18, you can get the Silverline Double-Feature. It’s the Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE covers FlipBook featuring BEAH #1 and SILVERLINE TEAM-UP #1 featuring Champion and Ms. Fury. And in this case, both covers are penciled by long-time industry pro Dean Zachary and ink by yours truly.
1st: What makes the Silverline Team-Up/Beah comic so cool no true comic fan should miss it?
Tommy: I can’t wait for the fans to see these books. Peter did such a fantastic job on the pencils. It looks so good. And the colors. Roberta is a long-time Malibu Comics colorist with a beautiful style that makes what took Roland Manns story, what Pete and I drew to such a high level. I’m very proud of this book and want to get it into your hands.
AND watching Haley jam on Beah over the past few months. It’s been wonderful seeing the love she’s put into the story. If you like tales like Toy Story or books in the vein of Winnie the Pooh, then you’ve love Beah.
Silverline has two more winners with these books.