Christopher Mills wears many hats in his creative endeavors he is a Writer, Editor & Graphic Designer he took a quick break from his busy life to share news about his recent projects.
Q) What made you decide to be a writer and What was your first writing gig? How did you get it?
A) I always wanted to be storyteller. When I was a kid, I made my own comics all the time. As a teenager, I enjoyed
writing stories for school assignments, but I really thought I was going to be a comic book artist. I was even accepted to the Joe Kubert School and attended for two years. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite good enough to make it professionally as an artist, so I started turning my attentions more toward writing and editing in the late 80s, and around 1990, I hooked up with a small
New England comics publisher as a writer. I also sold my first short story around the same time, although “sold” isn’t quite accurate as the publisher stiffed me.
I have since written comics and short fiction for numerous independent publishers.
Q) What people do you read for entertainment and inspiration?
A) I read a lot of different authors. Some of my favorites are Donald Hamilton, Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins,
Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Richard Stark, Greg Rucka, Kurt Busiek, Roger Zelazny, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Norvell Page, Robert E. Howard, Gardner Fox, Richard Matheson, Hugh B. Cave…. many more.
Q) For people unfamiliar with the TV show can you give us a quick education on Kolchak?
A) The character of Carl Kolchak was created by author Jeff Rice as the protagonist of his novel, The Night Stalker,
which subsequently became a top-rated television movie starring the late Darren McGavin. That movie begat a sequel telefilm, and then a weekly TV series, all starring McGavin. The series has had a long life in syndication and has cultivated quite a cult following. A few years ago, Moonstone Books began producing new Kolchak adventures in comic books, graphic novels and prose
Carl Kolchak is an old-school investigative reporter, who, ever since his encounter with a vampire in Las Vegas many years ago, has become something of a weirdness magnet, finding himself constantly caught up in horrific, supernatural situations. As a reporter, he’s compelled to dig for the facts and to uncover the truth – no matter how bizarre – and reports the story to the public.
Unfortunately, the public generally doesn’t want to hear the truth – and the government doesn’t want them hearing it, either.
Q) Is there a special challenge to writing an established character with a fan base that may have expectations of the character and the stories?
A) Certainly. You don’t have the absolute freedom you would have with an original character – when I’m done with
Kolchak, I have to leave him in pretty much the same condition and state I found him. I can’t kill him, have him go through any major personality changes (not without permission of the editors and/or property owner, anyway). Even trying to shake up his world a little bit with a change of scenery has to be negotiated. I also try very hard to make sure that the character stays in character and “sounds” right. In the case of Kolchak, most people know him from the television show and TV movies, so it’s actor Darren McGavin they hear in their head when they read a Kolchak comic. I try to be as true to that character as I possibly can.
Q) With the large amount of supernatural properties in the media today how do you come up with fresh stories?
A) It’s not easy – or always possible – to come up with completely fresh supernatural menaces or situations, so what I
do is try to remember that it’s not really about the monsters, it’s about Carl Kolchak and how he deals with them. He’s a very unique character, and his way of dealing with the situations is different from how most comic book heroes
would handle them.
Q) Do you have any other projects coming down the pipe?
A) I am also writing some Captain Midnight adventures for Moonstone’s Air Fighters comics and have a couple of
creator-owned crime graphic novels in the works for Ape Entertainment that should be in stores early next year.
Q) If people want more info about the Kolchak comic or your writing where should they check out?
Final Four (questions we ask everyone)
When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
A) Cowering in my basement, most likely.
Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
A) Which would I prefer to be? I’m a writer, I can be all of them.
What one piece of art, be it music, book, film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
A) A woman.
Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
A) That I have actually met a deadline or two in my career.