Christopher Mills

Oct 142013
 
As previously mentioned on this blog, General Mills has celebrated the Halloween season this year by making available all five of their classic "monster" cereals... for the first time! While Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry were pretty consistently popular, later additions to the line - specifically, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy - weren't around for very long, and were never available at the same time (until now).

Anyway, as the photo above testifies, I stopped by my local Target store on Friday night to buy some new shoes and a pair of warm slippers for the winter, and while there, I picked up one box of each variety (well, actually, I got two boxes of Count Chocula). While the cereals are available through numerous retailers, only Target has them in reproductions of their original "retro" packaging.

For the record, I did eat the Count Chocula this weekend (while watching 70s cartoons on DVD, 'natch). As for the others, well, they probably will not be fully consumed... but then, I really just wanted the boxes, anyway.
Oct 042013
 
Tonight's Movie: Roman Polanski's 1967 horror spoof, The Fearless Vampire Killers, a visually arresting yet only intermittently amusing satire of Hammer-styled gothics. I'd only seen random parts of the movie on cable before tonight, but thanks to the Warner Archive streaming channel, I was able to finally check it off my list. Fun poster by the great Frank Frazetta. (Well, the bottom part is Frazetta, anyway.)
Oct 012013
 
October, at last. Random thoughts:

• Foot pain back, and it appears to be my old friend, gout. Laid up again. Yay.

• Numbers on yesterday's Gravedigger comic update were unusually low. Disappointing - and, given my state of mind today, discouraging. Need to find new (free) ways to drum up traffic. Facebook & Twitter and this blog aren't doing the job.

• Was hoping to get back to regular/semi-regular posting at DVD Late Show and Space: 1970 this month - depends on whether I can get the comics work on my plate and design gig that's supposed to show up soon out of the way.

It doesn't help that new Maine state tax laws going into effect today have shut down the only income I earned from those blogs, via the Amazon affiliate program. It wasn't much, but it was an additional incentive to keep putting in the work those sites require.

• News is just too depressing today. Will try to avoid it.

• Been watching a lot more current TV than usual lately. For the record, I thought the last four episodes of Breaking Bad were terrific, I liked the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot and think a lot of people were way too critical of it, and thought the pilot of Sleepy Hollow was goofy fun. Plan to follow S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hollow for a few weeks, at least.

• As far as October movies, I'm really looking forward to Machete Kills! despite the presence of Mel Gibson. Interested in Gravity, as well, despite presence of Sandra Bullock.

• I could really use a bowl of Count Chocula... hope I can make it to Target soon to stock up.
Sep 252013
 
I'm currently reading the Paizo Press/Planet Stories edition of Northwest Of Earth, a collection of gothic space opera stories originally published in Weird Tales back in the 30s. They're written by C.L. (Catherine) Moore, a well-regarded pulpster best known for her sword & sorcery heroine Jirel of Joiry.

The Paizo Press/Planet Stories hardcover I own has a nice enough cover painting, but I prefer the vintage duotone illustration above, which graced a 50's edition of the material. I don't know who the artist is, but I really dig the Old School space opera vibe of the illustration.
Sep 242013
 
Okay, I can't resist sharing this here:
 

This is a preliminary sketch by artist Peter Grau, who comic fans may remember from his stint at Valiant Comics back in the 90s on titles like Solar, Man of the Atom and Secret Weapons, for a new graphic novel project we're just beginning to collaborate on.

I've been a fan of Peter's for years, and when I was an editor at Tekno*Comix in the mid-90s, I hired him to draw several issues of Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger. I've always thought that he was a terrific, underrated visual storyteller and illustrator in the classic "adventure comics" style, but I don't think that the material he was assigned at Valiant (or by me at Tekno) really played to his strengths. He basically retired from comics in the early '00s, and has been doing commercial illustration in recent years. To my great surprise, he's chosen to return to the medium for this project. I hope that this graphic novel will be a proper showcase for his talents.

I don't want to go into too many specifics about the book, but it is a retro-styled space adventure with square-jawed heroes, pretty space girls, rocketships, rayguns, aliens, monsters, robots, cavegirls (and cavemen), dinosaurs and lots of two-fisted action.

It's not intended as a spoof or pastiche, but the best, most sincere, Gardner Fox-styled, Old School space opera I can manage. Regular readers of this blog may be able to make some educated guesses as to the particulars of the project, but I'm going to try and not get too far ahead of myself this time. To often, out of enthusiasm, I've discussed comics projects here on the blog that ended up fizzling out before completion... but I feel really good about this one.

The plots are finished, and I'm starting the scripts this week; I don't know exactly how long this book will take to complete (though we're shooting for about this time next year), or even where it will end up, but - obviously - I'm very excited about it.

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