I've been employed in the publishing field for about fifteen years, a career split almost equally between working as a graphic designer for newspapers and editing comic books for independent comics publishers that no longer exist.

I was Editorial Director of Alpha Productions, where I first wrote Nightmark and met Joe Staton. I went on to work for Tekno Comix/Big Entertainment, where I edited Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger and scripted about a year's worth of Leonard Nimoy's Primortals. Once BigE shut down their comics line, I co-published, with my good friend James Chambers, a short-lived horror comic book called Shadow House. But despite good reviews (and really great art by pros like Pat Broderick, Fred Harper, Kirk Van Wormer and Daniel Brereton among others), we found that the market was unable (or unwilling) to support the title.

I went on to work for the supermarket tabloids (just about the only branch of publishing less respected than comics), but I learned again that once comics get into your system, you're stuck with them. Against all reason and common sense, I started thinking about doing comics again, but since I was still paying off the Shadow House printing bills, self-publishing in the direct market held little appeal for me. Then, one day, I noticed Steve Conley's Astounding Space Thrills and my eyes were opened to the possibilities of publishing on the Web.

After cruising around the internet checking out what other people were doing for a couple of months, SUPERNATURAL CRIME was born.

SUPERNATURAL CRIME serves several, very personal, purposes. It provides a home for characters and concepts (or "properties," a term I detest) that I've created over the years, characters that accepted wisdom insists are uncommercial. It allows me the opportunity to collaborate again with artists whose work I greatly admire. It allows me to write stories that don't have to conform to a publisher's formula, scripts that won't be tampered with by ham-fisted editors, and the type of fiction that I really want to write. I gives me a chance to use my editing and design skills for myself, for a change. And finally, it allows me to do the one thing I want most of all: reach an audience.

After all, deep down, I just want to entertain others the way I've always been entertained by good comics and genre pulp fiction.



Ok, we need to get one thing straight. I am not the Joe Staton who played first base for the Detroit Tigers in the early seventies. I'm the other one. He was 6'3". I'm 5'6". I'm the short one. That's the easiest way to tell us apart.

I've been in New York for over thirty years (excepting three years when I was in Chicago, pretending to be an art director for the doomed First Comics), but I am originally a Southerner. I was born in North Carolina, grew up in Tennessee (where I shook hands with Albert Gore, Sr. and Davy Crockett -- or at least Fess Parker) and went to college in Kentucky. This part of the world is called the Mid-South. You can't fool me about barbeque. I know my barbeque.

I've been making my living drawing comic books for almost exactly thirty years. I started working for Charlton Comics April 19, 1971. You can find out way more than you want to know about that in Comic Book Artist #12. Nicola Cuti and I did E-Man and Michael Mauser at Charlton. No matter whtever else I do, that's what I usually get mentioned for. Fair enough. It was good stuff.

I was Gil Kane's assistant for a year or so and did layouts for him. Gil was my hero and he paid me to try to understand how he drew and fake it for him. You can't beat that for an education. Boy, could he draw horses. I can't draw horses.

I inked for a while for Marvel in the seventies, doing The Avengers and The Hulk. Part of The Hulk run was over Herb Trimpe's pencils. I never liked Herb's pencils until I inked them. I had to study what he was really doing. I learned a lot then. You can learn a lot if you stop to look at what's in front of you.

I've done tons of stuff for DC since the mid-seventies. All-Star Squadron, Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, The Legion (yes, I know, I never did manage to tell the characters apart, especially as to who wore what boots), two different incarnations of The Huntress, The New Guardians (which wasn't as bad as some might have you believe), Action Comics, and Batman in various versions. I got an Eisner in '98 for World's Finest: The Superman-Batman Adventure, in the animated style.

I am currently the regular artist on the best-selling, most successful crime-detective book of recent memory. The detectives are all underage, one of them is a large talking dog, and the crime is almost always real-estate fraud, but, hey, it just depends on how you look at things. I've inked ElfQuest. I've done the Gargoyles and the Rugrats and Jonny Quest and the Wild Thornberrys and the little Coppertone girl and her doggie and a Mike Danger Sunday strip. I've worked for at least 27 publishers (bet you didn't know there were 27 publishers) and for at least 82 different editors (Archie Goodwin was the best. I'm not going to tell you who was the worst.) I'm still doing stuff with Nick Cuti -- there should be a new issue of Captain Cosmos coming up soon. Now I'm doing FEMME NOIR with the Crimeboss.

But I bet my epitaph is going to have something to do with E-Man and Mauser...

...and maybe with Teddy Q, the dancing koala bear.



The real villain here is my father. He loved movies and from the time I was five, he dragged me to every Saturday afternoon matinee that played at our local movie house, much to the anger of my mother, who argued the horror features would give me nightmares. They did. The Wolfman still gives me the creeps. But somehow I managed to survive it all.

Dad also gave me my first comics. Boy, this guy just didn't know what kind of a monster he was creating. Tragically, he died before much of my success happened. I'd like to think he knows all the good things that came out of his influences.

For the past thirty years I've worked as a freelance writer, mostly in the comics and science fiction field. Comics-wise I've had over two hundred comics published, ranging from Peter Pan to the Green Hornet and The Terminator (including a miniseries painted by Alex Ross). Although mostly known for my Green Hornet work at Now Comics, I also had the fun of creating Popeye's mother for a unique origin story that was done by Ocean Comics.

Besides working on licensed properties, I also created several fun characters with my artist bud, Gary Kato. These were STREETFIGHTER and MR. JIGSAW, the latter of which is currently appearing at the Modern Pulp website.

I co-wrote two paperbacks with Texas fantasy author, Ardath Mahar, for TSR: Trail Of The Seahawks and Monkey Station. A third novel is in development.

With the demise of the comics industry (hey, stop kidding yourselves. It's dead!), we creative types have had to turn our attentions elsewhere. I currently have a horror screenplay making the rounds in Hollywood and my first stage play, Where Love Takes You, was produced a couple years ago.

From my love of movies, I developed a serious affection for film music scores and have amassed a healthy collection of over 300 CDs. This hobby led to my writing the liner notes for Marco Polo's just released CD: The Son Of Kong & The Most Dangerous Game, featuring the work of the legendary Max Steiner.

Amidst this career of pulps, comics and films, I managed to marry and raise five fantastic kids. They in turn have given us four remarkable grandchildren with yet a fifth on the way. These days I'm retired from the day job, and spend lots more time writing and playing with my grandkids. Kristi, the oldest at nine, is a major Harry Potter fan and both us can't wait to see the film version. Oh, she also loves Batman. Hmm, wonder where that comes from?

I hope you all have as much fun reading the BROTHER GRIM stories as I'm having writing them.



I started drawing at the tender age of five. My medium was my mother's lipstick and my canvas the living room wall. The spanking of a lifetime didn't diminish my creative urges as I started to discover other art utensils and new drawing surfaces to create the indecipherable scrawls that were art to me. After another spanking and new furniture, I discovered pencil and paper... my tender bottom was spared the critic's stinging cane.

At the age of ten, my cartoonist's inner eye found a new art form... the comic book. The comic was The Fantastic Four and it was the first appearance of the Silver Surfer and Galactus. Needless to say, it blew my little mind. A man of stone, a flaming teenager, an invisible girl and a stretching man. Wow! I immediately went from drawing airplanes and race cars to creating my own world of super heroes and the like. The path to my destiny was ready to be paved, much to my parent's chagrin, destroying whatever dreams they had of me becoming a doctor or a lawyer.

Seven years later I started my basic training and attended art boot camp at the High School of Art and Design. I was among peers and competitive cliques with New York's art gods-in-training. They were hard times. No more favoritism by being the star artist in Catholic grade school. There were others, better, faster, and more talented than me. I dug in my heels and fought the good fight, and four years later snatched my High School diploma and embarked on another adventure... The School Of Visual Arts!

I was ready for whatever they threw at me -- or so I thought... I was taught by the greats: Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, André LeBlanc, Marshall Arisman... my head spun with new and wonderful worlds exploding between my ears. The comics that were just coming out in that time were very influential -- Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Love and Rockets ... too many more to mention. I developed my new drawing skills for the next four years and snatched another Diploma -- my BA degree of Art.

Slowly but surely I started to crawl and climb, making my ascension in what would become my cartoon career. Spot illos and fill-ins for small press comics and magazines and then my big break in 1993 at WaRP GRAPHICS: pencilling The Rebels, a young adult sci-fi comic.

The web is the way and I believe that comics have a new canvas and a new audience hungry for something different... here we are!

  SUPERNATURAL CRIME ", FEMME NOIR", and all related characters and distinctive likenesses thereof are coypright © 2000 - 2003 Christopher Mills/Big Bad Monkey Media. All Rights Reserved. Artwork copyright © 2000 - 2003 Joe Staton.  
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