Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Cover: Gorgo!

I finally ordered the IDW hardcover collection of the Gorgo comic books illustrated by the legendary Steve Ditko for Charlton Comics back in the early Sixties. This cover, from issue #2, is no doubt included in that volume, which should arrive here by Saturday. I'm really looking forward to digging into it. The only Gorgo comic I've read was the first issue, which Charlton reprinted in a terrific 1966 one-shot called Fantastic Giants (which paired it with the first issue of Konga, also by Ditko).

The new Blu-ray edition of the Gorgo film supposedly came out yesterday. With luck, I'll get my hands on that disc soon....

Friday, March 15, 2013

More Peril on Planet X!

What do you mean, you can't understand this guy? Doesn't everyone speak Xylosian? Of course, this is a phonetic approximation, since their alphabet is completely different....

As you might have guessed, this week's installment of the weekly Perils On Planet X webcomic, written by Yours Truly & illustrated by the terrific, talented Gene Gonzales is now posted. Check it out, Planeteers!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Out West With Bat Masterson

Still wandering the range with late-50s TV Westerns. Finished up the second season of Have Gun - Will Travel on DVD. The writing on the show is terrific and I think Richard Boone's Paladin is one of the all-time great television protagonists, but the picture quality on the official CBS discs is pretty poor, especially considering how much they charge for the sets. Still, if I can find the later seasons as inexpensively as I found S2, I'll probably pick them up.

Right now, I'm working my way through the first season of Bat Masterson, the 1958  series starring Gene Barry (Burke's Law, The War Of the Worlds) as the legendary gentleman gunslinger. Not quite as literate or innovative as Have Gun - Will Travel, it's still a really good half-hour Western, with well-written stories, great guest casts, and a charismatic, offbeat hero.

The DVDs are really nice, too - they're put out by an outfit called TGG Direct, and sport very good transfers from clean prints. Contrast is good, and the audio is clear and crisp. These are fully authorized DVDs, too, licensed from MGM. Much better looking than the Have Gun - Will Travel transfers (or the many public domain discs of old TV shows out there); they're about on a par with the Wanted Dead Or Alive discs I own. The price is extremely reasonable, too - where Have Gun - Will Travel sells for around $40 per season, Bat Masterson retails for $15 or less.

If you're into vintage TV Westerns, Bat Masterson - both the show and the DVDS from TGG Direct - comes highly recommended.

Bat Masterson Complete Season One

Bat Masterson Complete Season Two

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Cover: The Black Coat

One of my favorite adventure comics of the last few years is The Black Coat. Created by Ben Lichius and Francesco Francavilla, the Black Coat is a masked spy/adventurer operating during Revolutionary War, fighting the British - and the occasional supernatural menace. The character - a refreshing blend of classic pulp tropes with a unique setting and premise - has appeared in several comic book miniseries and specials from Ape Entertainment (coincidentally, the publisher of Femme Noir) illustrated by a number of extremely talented artists; this striking Gabriel Hardman cover is from a 2008 one-shot, and is probably my favorite.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cover Design: TEARS OF BLOOD by James Chambers

I'm a bit late in posting about this (sorry, Jim!), but the second volume in my pal James Chambers' Corpse Fauna cycle, Tears Of Blood, is now on sale from Dullahan Press, an imprint of Dark Quest Books. Jim explains:
This is (volume two) of the four-volume Corpse Fauna series, which will complete a story cycle which I began writing in 1997. Although some of the Corpse Fauna stories were previously published, these new editions will present them in revised and greatly expanded versions with new stories to be published for the first time.
Jim is a exceptional horror writer. He and I were both editors and writers for Tekno*Comix back in the 90s, and collaborated together on several projects, including our Shadow House comic book series. Tears Of Blood, as well as its predecessor, The Dead Bear Witness, presents a fantastic, terrifyingly original take on the zombie apocalypse genre, and come highly recommended.

By the way, as with the first volume, I designed the cover dress, which features an illustration by the great Glen Ostrander. The plan is for me to lay out and design the covers for the remaining volumes as well.

You can order the book from Amazon here:  Tears of Blood

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Cathode Ray West

As regular readers of this blog (if there are any at this point) are aware, I go through various "phases," where one genre of film or television dominates my viewing for a few weeks or - sometimes - months. I recently indulged in a late night binge of Eurospy movies from my video collection, and right now, I'm in the midst of a fascination with late Fifties TV Westerns.

I don't own a whole lot in the genre - I have the first season of Have Gun - Will Travel, the first season of Maverick, and all three seasons of Wanted Dead Or Alive on DVD. I thought I could watch more of these old Western series on Netflix Instant, but was very disappointed to discover that all they currently have available for streaming are a few Bonanza episodes - and I saw way too much Bonanza as a kid to watch it again now. So, I've been alternating between Have Gun episodes and Wanted episodes on DVD.

I wish I had all of the Have Gun - Will Travel seasons - Richard Boone's "Paladin" is one of my favorite TV characters ever - but those sets are pricey. I did find a discounted copy of the Season Two set online and recently ordered it, along with the first season set of Bat Masterson, starring Gene Barry. I've never seen Bat, but I'm a big fan of the actor, and his tongue-in-cheek detective series, Burke's Law, is one of my favorite "classic" TV crime shows. (Now that I think of it, VCI Entertainment really needs to get the remaining seasons of Burke's Law out on DVD soon....)

I hope to get the second season of Maverick when it becomes available next month, and, based on a recommendation by my pal - and Gravedigger collaborator - Rick Burchett, I'm thinking of  maybe picking up the Yancy Derringer series, which starred two-time Tarzan, Jock Mahoney, if I get a few extra bucks anytime soon. I'm a fan of the actor, and the New Orleans setting sounds promising.

So, how long will this 50's TV Western "kick" last? Who knows?