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


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Atomic Pulp presents "Atomic Action" comics!


The "Atomic Action" version of the Black Owl in Sleuth Comics
Art by Rick Burchett
 So, here's what's up...

I'm currently planning a line of action-adventure comics featuring my own versions of some old, public domain comic book heroes. My goal is to take characters from the 1940s and re-invent them in a 1970s-1980s style -- which was my favorite era of comics.

I've been struggling in the comic industry with limited success for 30 years or so, and now I just want to make the kind of comics I loved as a kid. So I'm doing it - and self-publishing under the Atomic Pulp imprint.

The first of these titles is SPACE CRUSADERS™, which I've talked about a lot (for a lot of years) and is pretty well along. The first issue features "Rex Dexter of Mars," created by Dick Briefer, with art by Peter Grau. Issue #2 features "Star Pirate" from PLANET COMICS, drawn by my Femme Noir co-creator, Joe Staton. I'm hoping to do a third issue with Basil Wolverton's "Spacehawk."

The second title - which I expect to be a one-shot - is SLEUTH COMICS™, featuring the "Black Owl" from PRIZE COMICS. Too early to announce the artist yet, but the guy I'm talking to is a great talent and would be a terrific choice for this. Fingers crossed.
The original 1940's version of the Black Owl
The third (also a one-shot and the final one planned for now) is SAVAGE SAGAS™, featuring the very first comic book barbarian hero - Gardner Fox's "Crom The Barbarian!" The artist on this will be my Gravedigger collaborator, the great Rick Burchett, with a cover by former Savage Sword of Conan artist, my old Shadow House partner-in-crime, Fred Harper!

These titles will be all-ages in the way that mainstream comics used to be. No swearing, no nudity, with PG violence. You'll be able to recognize them right away from the retro trade dress and the "Atomic Action" stamp of approval.


When will these books come out? Not for a while. But I'm hoping to have all of them written over the Summer and in production by the Fall.

And keep an eye out, because I'll probably be running Kickstarter campaigns for each of these titles, beginning in a couple of months. So, if you're a fan of my work, or these are the kinds of comics you want to read, you'll have an opportunity to help make 'em a reality. In fact, I need pretty every fan of my work to help back these, or they'll probably never see the light of day.

Stay tuned...

Friday, April 13, 2018

PERILS ON PLANET X Collection Coming Soon

So, I was hoping to have the Perils On Planet X: The Definitive Collection trade paperback available for purchase this month, but I got sidetracked by other projects (and my office has been uncomfortably cold for the last several weeks and I've been avoiding it). Now, I'm aiming for a late May-early June release. The book is shaping up nicely - I just received Gene Gonzales' beautiful new cover art (the book will also be available with a variant cover by the late Eduardo Barreto) - and will include all three issues of the "Hawke of Terra" miniseries, all of the 2002 webcomics by Jon Plante, sketchbook and gallery features... and more.

So, if you're one of the three people who've been pestering me for a collection for the past few years, start saving your pennies now! This one's gonna cost you!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bar Harbor Comic Con 2018

On April 28th, I'll be appearing at the second annual Bar Harbor Comic Con at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel And Event Center in Bar Harbor, Maine, where I'm looking forward to seeing some of my old Alpha Productions cronies, as well as creator pals Jay Piscopo, Amanda Kahl, Mort Todd and Paul Pelletier, among others.

Last year's show was a blast - probably the best 1-day regional con I've ever attended! Looking forward to heading back downeast in a few weeks...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Coming This Summer

Cover art by Mike Wolfer and Ceci de la Cruz.
It's been a long time since I last updated this site. It's not because I haven't been working on things. I'm simply trying to not announce stuff that isn't complete or have a concrete print date anymore. Too many times I've announced projects that I was working on, only to never have them materialize.

I've written two Edgar Rice Burroughs-based comics for American Mythology Productions - Carson of Venus #1 and The Moon Maid #1. The two books make up the first two chapters in American Mythology's "Fear On Four Worlds" ERB crossover event (tying in with their existing Land That Time Forgot and Pellucidar books), and if sales warrant, they will be followed up by new miniseries. Carson is scheduled for June, and Moon Maid for July.

Cover art by Mike Wolfer and Ceci de la Cruz.
If you can, PLEASE pre-order these from your local comics shop - otherwise, they may not stock them. Diamond Order Code for Carson of Venus is APR181254 for the Main Cover and APR181255 for the Cyrus Mesarcia variant cover.

Hopefully, sales on these will justify American Mythology following them up with new miniseries. I hope so, because I'd really like to write them (and could use the work!). In particular, I've already got some great ideas (I think) for a Carson Of Venus miniseries...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

TASK FORCE ALPHA @ Portland Comic Expo 2017


Here's the final cover to TASK FORCE ALPHA: FORGED IN FIRE, a superhero graphic novel originally written and drawn in the early 90s - but never published. It is getting a special, convention exclusive premiere at the Portland Comic Expo, Sunday, October 29th, at the Portland Expo Building in Portland, Maine.

I wrote the main story, which was illustrated by the amazing Paul Pelletier. The volume includes a few back-up stories, too, with contributions from many talented creators..

I am proud to be part of this, and want to thank publisher Leni S. Gronros for the opportunity to return to this project and help make it a reality after 25 years.

Hopefully, the book will get a wider release sometime soon after the con.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Step One


I'm currently outlining two comic book miniseries/graphic novels. Hopefully, I'll start writing the script for the first of them before the end of the month. Then, with luck, Rick Burchett will eventually draw them. Fingers crossed (even though it slows down my typing).

And I haven't given up on my novel; I expect to get back to it in the Fall.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rising from The Ashes: TASK FORCE ALPHA

Back in the early 90s, I wrote my first - and to date, only - traditional superhero comic. I was working on staff as an editor and production manager for Maine-based indy comics publisher Alpha Productions (check out the Facebook Page for more info & pix) and, after a few years of steady B&W comics production, we were planning to move up into full-color publishing with our own, extensive superhero universe. We had big plans. Multitudes of characters and an elaborate backstory to set up our "Terra Alpha" universe. Ultimately, only the first two-issue Task Force Alpha miniseries was completed...

The pencils were by Paul Pelletier, who many of you might know from his past couple of decades' DC and Marvel work on titles like Nova, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Aquaman, etc. He was clearly a major talent even then. Back-up stories were created, designed to flesh-out and add to our new "universe," showcasing the writing and drawing talents of a number of then-young talents, including Mitch Byrd and Alpha Productions jack-of-all-trades, Bob Cram, Jr.

Sadly, it was never published.


Around that time, there was a major upheaval in the way that comic books were distributed to retailers. After a failed attempt by Marvel Comics to control their own distribution, the major publishers were obliged to sign exclusive deals with the big distribution companies, forcing all the other smaller, regional distributors out of business. They disappeared virtually overnight, owing vast quantities of money to dozens of publishers... including Alpha Productions. The financial blow was devastating. Not only did Alpha Productions have to cancel the Task Force Alpha title and related projects, but it was forced to shut down operations completely.

The Alpha Productions crew scattered to the winds, and aside from a few brief intersections over the decades, I didn't see any of my Alpha Productions colleagues for around 22 years or so. In February, publisher Leni Gronros, Bob, Paul and I had dinner at a local diner, and five hours later, we'd agreed that the unpublished Task Force Alpha: Forged In Fire miniseries needed to be completed and released.

Fortunately, Paul still had all of his original artwork for the main story, and between the rest of us, we were able to dig up the back-up stories that were intended to accompany the main feature. Honestly, after almost a quarter-century, I didn't remember half of this stuff - even the stuff I wrote or created! Fortunately, after reading the story this past weekend for the first time since '94-'95, I'm pleased to say that I think it holds up.

It's a product of its time, no question. The designs, the dated pop culture references, the "edgy" dialogue with scattered nuggets of mild profanity, all speak of its origins in the Nineties. But it's solid work. I think that, creatively, it stands on equal footing with the other superhero launches of the era, from publishers like Dark Horse and Malibu, even if we didn't have "name" creators.

We're shooting to have the book available by late October. Right now, the only sticking point is paying to have it colored, and we're exploring our options on that. It was, after all, intended to be in color, and it would be nice to pull that off.

Right now we're in the process of scanning and cleaning up all of the artwork, finishing a few pages that were abandoned back in the day, and collating material. The plan is to include all of the story pages that were completed, and fill out the book with stuff like some equally-unseen pin-ups, character designs, and the like, along with an essay or two to put the project in its proper historical context.

As it comes together, I'll post updates here. If this sounds like something you'd like to buy and read, sound off in the comments!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This Weekend: Bar Harbor Comic Con

This Saturday, I'll be downeast at the Bar Harbor Comic Con. It's a one-day show to benefit a local charity, the Park Street Playground Project. It will be held at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center, in Bar Harbor, Maine.

I'm looking forward to it because it's turned into a reunion of sorts for the core creators of Alpha Productions, a small, independent comic book publisher that I worked for between 1990 and 1995. Publisher/owner Leni Gronros will be there with his replica KITT automobile from Knight Rider. Art Director Paul Pelletier, who has since gone on to a prolific career drawing comics for both Marvel & DC, will be there. Editor Bob Cram will be there with his novel The Monster War. and our Marketing guy, Rick Lowell, will be there as a dealer, Casablanca Comics. 

Other guests include Gigi Edgley, the Australian actress who portrayed Chiana on the terrific space opera TV series, Farscape, and science fiction author Barry B. Longyear, whose short story, Enemy Mine, was adapted into a fun movie back in the 80s. There will also be  many other authors, comics creators, cosplayers and musicians.

It's a first-time show and a bit off the beaten track, so I don't know how it's going to go; I'm just looking forward to a fun afternoon with some old friends and new. If you happen to be in the area, come on over. It's for a good cause.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

John Wick Reloaded

I'm not a Keanu fan. But I loved John Wick and the surreal, ultraviolent comic book-like world the filmmakers created. I can't wait to see the sequel. By the way, this is a hell of a cool poster, ain't it?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Writing Plans


 My 2017 writing plans:

On Monday, January 1st, 2017, I start writing what I hope will be the first in a series of 70's pop-styled, space war action novels, tentatively titled Raid on Inferno. I have it loosely outlined - I've found in the past that if I do too much planning I feel stifled in the writing, and this time I want to try and keep it loose. I'm psyching myself up for it now.) My intention is to self-publish under the Atomic Pulp imprint through Amazon's program as both e-books and paperbacks. 

This is a big change in direction for me as I have almost exclusively only written comic books (and it's pretty much all I've ever wanted to write) and short fiction under 5,000 words. But my only two active comics projects (noted below) have stalled out or been postponed indefinitely, and while I'll keep plugging away at them, I've decided that it's time to try a different medium.

I'm nervous as hell about the idea of writing long-form prose, and as I struggle constantly with ADD and poor self-discipline, I'm worried that I won't be able to focus on a  single project long enough to complete even a short novel. But I've been receiving a lot of encouragement and support from my friends and fans on Facebook, and I'm going to give it my best shot.

I've also "dusted off" the first few chapters of my hardboiled fantasy mystery novel, The Sorcerer's Detective, and done some more outlining on that, too. I plan on keeping that on a side burner (so to speak) so if I get bogged down on the space opera, I can maybe switch over to the fantasy for a while.

I still have some Space Crusaders comics script writing to do, so I have that to fit in, and if Gravedigger starts up again, I'll have some more to write there, as well.

In terms of time, I should easily accomplish all of that (the only real benefit of being essentially unemployable). But it's discipline/focus that I have trouble with, so we'll see how well I deal with those issues in the New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Forward, Not Back

2016 was, as most of us will agree, a pretty awful year in many ways. For me, it was a year of frustration, a lot of wheel-spinning, and anxiety about national and world events. But we have to look forward, and in that spirit, here are my general life goals for 2017:

Lose weight. A lot of weight. (Necessary for my continued survival.)

Write a novel. If possible, more than one.

Keep plugging away on the Space Crusaders graphic novel and the Gravedigger sequel. (Hopefully, my collaborators will do the same. )

Try not to let my anxieties about the state of the country and planet consume me. This is going to be the toughest of all....

Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Blu-rays!

So, I picked up a few Blu-rays last night, and with store credit, it only cost about $7 for the bunch.

The new Scream Factory special edition of John Carpenter's The Thing is stunning, and the supplemental material is damn-near exhaustive. Hopefully, I'll never have to buy this one again.

Batman: The Return Of The Caped Crusaders is a lot of fun, though I found the actual animation to be underwhelming and kinda TV-cheap-looking.

Cat's Eye is a nostalgic 80s favorite and looks great on Blu.

Kino-Lorber's Blu-ray of I, The Jury is a bit of a disappointment, though. It looks like it was sourced from the same material as the manufactured-on-demand DVD from a few years ago. There's a marginal uptick visually from the SD version, but it really should have been re-scanned and remastered.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wednesday Covers: The Expendables

No, not those Expendables. These Expendables were a group of rogue space adventurers created by author Edmund Cooper (under the pen name of "Richard Avery") back in the 1970s. The four book series was published by Fawcett, and all the volumes sported terrific cover art by Ken Kelly. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bangorefest This Weekend

This weekend, I'll be attending my second convention in less than a week: Bangorefest in Bangor, Maine. Well, technically, it's in Orono at the University of Maine's New Balance Field House, October  28 through the 30th. I'll be there on Saturday and Sunday, hawking my various comics and hopefully, scoring an autographed Twiki photo from Felix Silla.

The horror-themed show will host a slew of actors and other genre celebrities, including most of the cast of John Carpenter's 1983 film adaptation of Stephen King's Christine. Hell, even the car will be there.

If you're in Central Maine this weekend, I hope you'll stop by.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Portland Comic Expo - Oct. 23

On Sunday, October 23rd, I'll be exhibiting at the Portland Comic Expo at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland, Maine. Admission is only $5. (http://www.portlandcomicexpo.com/)

At both shows, I'll have copies of my Femme Noir, Gravedigger, Shadow House, Perils On Planet X and Kolchak comics - as well as the pulp anthologies I've contributed to and the new Gravedigger mini-poster - for sale.