I became familiar with writer Mike S. Miller’s work a couple of years ago through his Deal with the Devil series, as well as The Imaginaries, which is simply a great concept. He’s done work for every major publisher (either as writer or artist) and is most famous for his work on the adaptation of novelist George R.R. Martin’s Hedge Knight series, with writer/artist Ben Avery. He’s a creator that is able to change genres with ease however, and has also written Zondervan’s excellent The Hand of the Morningstar as well as the fantasy, Lullaby. The Imaginaries launched from Image four years ago, before moving to Abacus, Miller’s own publishing company. The series is back, and now with Bluewater Productions.
For those that came in late, are you able to tell us a little about the world of The Imaginaries?
The world the Imaginaries inhabit is called ‘the imagined nation’, and it’s where all the loved creations brought to life by the powerful minds and hearts of children around the globe end up when those same children ‘grow up’ and forget about them. So it’s a harsh reality for those creations, but an incredible world they now inhabit apart from their creators.
Are any of your childhood imaginary friends written in to the series?
Not this story, like most comic book artist types, my imaginary friends were the kind I’d write stories about and create on paper. Just like Superhero G is to Tanner. But I have to admit, mine at that age were nowhere near as cool as Superhero G is. Though I may have to toss some of mine into the background here or there. :)
You’ve managed to work with almost every comic publisher out there, so how did you end up choosing Bluewater over all the others?
Darren Davis (Bluewater’s President – Kris) has been a friend for a decade now, we were just chatting on the phone and the issue came up of what I was going to do with Imaginaries. I was just too busy to self-publish as I had originally planned. I just thought it would be a great fit, and Darren agreed, so the plan was set into motion.
How many books have you worked with Ben Avery on?
Hmm… Let’s see. Imaginaries, Lullaby, Hedge Knight, Sworn Sword, and the Oz/Wonderland Chronicles. That have been published anyway. We have a couple other projects we’ve developed together that haven’t quite gotten off the ground yet.
And how does that history help your creative partnership?
Ben and I work well together. We respect each others ideas and sense of how things work, as well as a shared world view. So it seems the more we work together, the better we get at it. lol.
How did Nikos Koutsis come to arrive on the title and how will he be working with you and Ben?
Nikos sent in a sample package to Alias when I was over there, and I picked him up for Imaginaries right away. I’d been searching for an artist for the title for… seems like years actually. Nikos was perfect, and is just about the only guy I could see working on the title right now. He’s lent his storytelling preferences to our writing, opening up larger scenes and panels for him to stretch his wings and make this an artistic showplace for himself. It’s great working with him, I hope to do so for years to come!
A lot of the books you’ve written could be considered all-ages. Is that your goal in creating comics?
Actually, only about half of them have been all-ages titles. Imaginaries, Lullaby, and Hand of the Morningstar. Sixgun Samurai, Devil’s Keeper, and the one that’s been optioned by Lionsgate, Deal with the Devil are all more mature in theme. Not to say they’re rated ‘R’ or anything, but they aren’t really ‘all ages’ per se. I’m a diverse creator, and actually trying to keep myself from ever being pigeonholed into one genre.
Going from A to Z, can you let us know what’s happening with your work at Abacus Comics and Zondervan?
Haha… cute. Well, with Abacus, I’m trying to find ways to leverage the existing inventory to continue a residual revenue stream. That means exploring digital comics, as well as shopping the properties in Hollywood. Like I mentioned, Deal with the Devil has been the first to sell, and I’m hoping more will follow suit. I’m also developing new properties that I’ll be shopping directly to Hollywood, if any of those get picked up, I’ll develop the comics for them as well. As for Zondervan, I’m out of the picture there. In the split with Alias, I let my former partner take the Zondervan contract in total. And I don’t believe Zondervan is starting any new projects anyhow. I am currently working on a book for the iPhone with another company, but I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to talk about that publicly.
After all the unforeseen moments that you’ve experienced during your career how do you still maintain a love for this medium?
I guess I’m a geek. Happy to be, though.
The Imaginaries #1 is out now, and next month’s issue features a 22 page bonus story based on the classic sci-fi film, Missile to the Moon.