Mills, Scott

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Mills, Scott

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Abingdon, MD. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, cartoonist, and comics writer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Xeric Award, 1999, for Cells; Ignatz Award for outstanding story, 2002, for Trenches; Ignatz Award nomination, 2003, for My Own Little Empire.

WRITINGS:

Big Clay Pot, Top Shelf Productions (Marietta, GA), 2000.

Trenches, Top Shelf Productions (Marietta, GA), 2002.

My Own Little Empire, AdHouse Books (Richmond, VA), 2003.

Zebedia the Hillbilly Zombie Redneck Bites the Dust, OddGod Press (Richmond, VA), 2003.

The Masterplan, Top Shelf Productions (Marietta, GA), 2003.

Seamonsters and Superheroes (collection), Slave Labor Graphics (San Jose, CA), 2003.

Also author of comic book Cells and of regular Web comic, Space Devil.

SIDELIGHTS:

Comics writer and artist Scott Mills is a comic book creator who describes himself as an "alternative cartoonist," he said in an interview with Sébastien Dumesnil on the Top Two Three Films: Adventures into Digital Comics Web site. Mills told Dumesnil that he considers creating comics to be "very intimate. Aside from the occasional input from an editor or art director, the process is very personal. From start to finish, from scripting to illustrating, I'm pretty much working on my own." Though he is aware of the financial limitations of the comic book market, and realizes that the audience for comics work seems to be shrinking, he remains optimistic and echoes the sentiments of many creators when he concludes: "We're making comics because we HAVE to. We love them!"

In his graphic novel Trenches, Mills tells the story of two British brothers, Lloyd and Davey Allenby, who face the prospect of going to serve in the bloody trenches of World War I. In 1914, the two enlist together and prepare to depart, each in their own way: Lloyd with an emotional farewell from his wife, Davey with a final fling with two sisters. As they enter the service, they meet the story's third main character, Jonathan Hemmingway, who will become their commanding officer in Europe. When the two find themselves on the front lines in France, they have to face their dangerous current situation as well as old sibling rivalries. In between scenes of combat, Mills places flashbacks detailing the two brothers' younger lives, their conflicts, and their connections. Soon, the more impulsive and brash Davey distinguishes himself in combat, and later, so does Lloyd. The bond deepens between Hemmingway and the Allenbys as together they face the horrors of gas attacks, the interminable boredom of trench life, and the ghastly reality of hard-fought warfare. Ultimately, the inevitable tragedy of war strikes the trio, and the remaining two must come to terms with their loss. "Although clichéed in spots, Mills's story is sweet and humane, presenting immensely likable characters trapped in a grim situation," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Mills's "simple art … gives the book a casual air of understatement unusual for a war story," observed Steve Raiteri in the Library Journal.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, January, 2003, Steve Raiteri, review of Trenches, p. 84.

Publishers Weekly, November 25, 2002, review of Trenches, p. 45.

ONLINE

Scott Mills Home Page,http://www.scottmills.net (May 2, 2007).

Silver Bullet Comics Web site,http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/ (May 2, 2007), Tim O'Shea, "Scott Mills: Q&A."

Top Two Three Films: Adventures into Digital Comics,http://www.toptwothreefilms.com/ (October 4, 2004), Sébastien Dumesnil, interview with Scott Mills.