Comic Creator Mark L. Miller Talks About His New Comic ‘Gravetrancer’ And ‘Piourette’

November 27, 2017

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

Comic book creator and writer Mark L. Miller took us inside two of his upcoming comics, ‘Gravetrancers’ and ‘Piourette’, during our recent interview.
We did get a full look at both issues. While we can’t reveal the details I can tell you that both are well written and the art is dark and fantastic. They both get two thumbs up from us.  Want to know more? Check out the interview and hear details from Miller himself.

Horror Fuel: “When did you discover your love for comics?”
MLM: “I think I learned how to read from comics.  At a really early age, my father would take me to the corner store and let me pick out a comic book.  I think the earliest ones I can remember was the original Contest of Champions miniseries that introduced me to the entire Marvel Universe.  It was amazing and I wanted to learn more and more about all of these great characters.  I was an addict ever since.”
Horror Fuel: “That sounds like a great childhood. “
Horror Fuel: “What was your favorite comic from your youth?”
MLM: “My favorite comic ever was Marvel’s GI Joe #21.  It was the famous silent issue focusing on Snake-Eyes and Larry Hama did so much storytelling with Mike Zeck without saying a word.  It’s a comic that still holds up today.  It was resonant on an emotional and suspenseful level and also was action-packed, yet contributed to the overall storyline.  It was simply a perfect single issue and to this day I return to it and find new and amazing things to like about it.  I think it’s important to make each issue count.  I hate it when I feel like I read a comic and I feel as if I didn’t get my money’s worth of story.”
Horror Fuel: “That is the second time that issue has been mentioned to me during an interview in the past month.”
Horror Fuel: “When did you decide to make your own comic?”
MLM: “I got into comics sort of on by accident.  I was reviewing comics for Ain’t It Cool News and a friend of mine introduced me to a publisher who was curious as to what I could do since he thought my observations about comics were insightful and unique.  I took to it pretty quickly being an artist myself, as I feel as if I have a good way of communicating with artists in a language they understand.  My first comic, which was a Vincent Price Presents comic was published about 8years ago and I’ve been writing scripts ever since.  I’ve always been a writer.  I have old stories in folders in my office written when I was a kid.  They’re horrible, but proof that I always had the writing bug.”
 Horror Fuel: “That’s an interesting beginning to your comic career.”
Horror Fuel: “You have a new comic book coming out this December, Gravetrancers.  Can you tease a little about the story?”
MLM: “Gravetrancers is a Grindhouse horror tale about a pair of kids in search of their estranged father’s grave to find some kind resolution.  They finally track it down to a graveyard run by the eccentric Malort Family and get caught up in their madness, which includes reselling graves and making a potent and addictive drug out of the corpses.  The story takes place almost entirely in the graveyard, but there are a lot of dark places to explore there.  The story centers on our main characters Maribel and Anthony trying their hardest to survive this experience and there is no guarantee they will.”
Horror Fuel: “I really enjoyed the comic and the artwork is great. I love the way the eyes tell so much emotion. I look forward to seeing the rest of the miniseries.”
Horror Fuel: “What inspired the story?”
MLM: “The story is inspired by a real-life news story of a graveyard south of Chicago that was actually reselling plots and tossing bodies into a pit behind the property.  It was a really heinous story and I knew I’d use it one day as the setting for a story.  The drug aspect came from a friend of mine who went through rehab and told me some pretty gruesome stuff about the lengths people would go to get high.  They would smoke all kinds of things simply to get some kind of buzz, so the way my twisted mind works, I thought the next logical and ghoulish step would be to take human remains and make a drug out of them.  I paired that with the graveyard news and it all sort of clicked together into one original and twisted tale.”
Horror Fuel: “Anything based on a true story always ends more disturbing than a tale completely created in my opinion. “
Horror Fuel: “What made you decide to make it a 4 part mini-series?”
MLM: “I always try to pace my stories with specific narrative beats and this one had 4 really big endings that work as great cliffhangers for the end of each issue.  I’ve tweaked it since its initial inception, but I think 4 issues is the perfect length for this story.  Of course, I always write in a backdoor to my stories in the case that there might be a chance for a sequel, but I’m not really focusing on that right now.”
Horror Fuel: I look forward to reading more of the story.”
Horror Fuel: “The art looks fantastic by the way. It’s a very interesting story.”
MLM: “Yes, I love James Michael Whynot’s art on this comic.  It’s unique.  It’s got a slightly surreal quality, yet really does a great job of realistically conveying some pretty horrific things.  Mixed with Dee Cunniffe’s out of this world colors and it’s a surefire winner.  I am amazed when I see the new pages from these two.  These panels really do pop and later in the series when things get hallucinogenic and trippy, you’re going to see some things you’ve never seen before.”
Horror Fuel: “When can comic readers purchase their copy of Gravetrancers?”
MLM: “The comic will be out in mid-December, just in time for Christmas!  It’s been a long time coming and it’s so satisfying to know that people can finally read our little horror story.  I hope horror fans will take a chance on it.  It’s an unconventional story–full of unexpected twists and turns, but I think that’s what horror should be about.  It should make you feel uneasy and afraid of every corner turned.  That’s what I tried to put into every issue of Gravetrancers.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s true. I think you accomplished that with Gravetrancers.”
Horror Fuel: “Fill us in on Piroutte? It looks absolutely fantastic.”
MLM: “Pirouette is a labor of love from superstar-in-the-making artist Carlos Granda and myself.  We released the first issue a few years ago through Black Mask, but due to a series of unfortunate events, the rest of the series was never published.
Pirouette is about a young female clown who has dreams of being more than just a circus clown and years to leave the circus.  It’s kind of a dark fairy tale about running AWAY from the circus instead of running away to join the circus.  Carlos and I worked for months getting this story just right and I can’t wait until more people can read this special story.”
 Horror Fuel: “I’m glad that readers will finally be able to see more of the series. The new issue is fantastic.”
Horror Fuel: “When will it be out?”
MLM: “Now that Pirouette is done, we are going to be putting it all together into one big trade paperback to be released later in the spring of 2018.  I get at least one email or message a week asking about when Pirouette will be released.  Those who read the first issue are dying to see how it ends and they’ll finally be able to read it soon.”
 Horror Fuel: “That’s great news.”
For more on ‘Gravetrancers’, ‘Pirouette’, and other comics by Mark Miller follow him on Twitter and visit his website. ‘These are two comics you really don’t want to miss. You can order your copy of ‘Gravtrancers’ on December 13th from his website or a shop near you.

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