Mike S. Miller, Lonestar

In an exclusive interview with Villain Media, writer/artist Mike S. Miller discusses the exciting superhero action in the upcoming Lonestar: Heart of the Hero. Check out the Indiegogo campaign and see how you can witness the origins of the Blacklist Universe with Lonestar!

Lonestar: Heart of the Hero is the first of three 48 page saddle stitched super-sized comic books, launching the beginnings of the Blacklist Universe of heroes!  

With the Indiegogo campaign taking place, Miller talks about how the inspiration for Lonestar takes place, what readers should expect from the first issue, and how fans can show their support.

Villain Media: Tell me how the inspiration for Lonestar came about?

Mike S. Miller: I’ve always loved patriotic characters like Captain America and Wonder Woman, from that classical WW2 era, but I didn’t want to do something that was simply “my version” of anyone else. I felt it was time to bring a new patriot to the comics scene, and I had these other stories I could sort of mash together to create a rich backstory for the character, including my German Ubermensch, which I dub the Iron Cross, my vampire trilogy I had previously called Bloodborne, and my G.I.Joe inspired tactical team, The Unknown Soldiers. All the stories I have worked on for many years, culminated and reforged together to form the story behind Lonestar.

VM: Tell me about the character design for Lonestar. He has the Texas Flag Code on his jacket and he wears fingerless gloves.

MSM: Lonestar was born in Alice, TX, about 40 minutes from Corpus Christi, and was dubbed “Lonestar” by his fellow airmen in the Navy. So he keeps the airman look, with the jacket and head dress, and even the fingerless gloves. And keeps that Texas flavor because he’s a proud Texan!

VM: Who will Lonestar be facing up against in the first issue of Heart of the Hero?

MSM: Lonestar’s main nemesis in Heart of the Hero is an ancient Russian vampire named SVAROG, who has the ability to control the minds of the weak-willed en masse.  Lonestar and the Unknown Soldiers wipe out Svarog’s coven. And in anger and revenge, he finds a new group of people to control and convert to vampires in order to burn down the city. It’s up to Lonestar to stop him!

Mike S. Miller, Lonestar

VM: Why launch an Indiegogo campaign for Lonestar: Heart of the Hero?

MSM: Crowdfunding has always been part of the game plan for launching my new projects.  I’ve been trying to gather emails from interested fans at comic conventions for a while, but have found a nice little fanbase on my Youtube channel (Blacklist Universe), which has really reacted well to my ideas, and are very supportive. I launched the IGG last night, and was already fully funded by lunchtime today!  I’m humbled and blown away by the fan reaction, and can’t wait to see how this ends in 30 days!

VM: What perks/rewards do you think will interest readers for Lonestar: Heart of the Hero?

MSM: Most of the fans just want to support the book. The earlybird option is going to be gone by the end of the day, the first day! Those are metal prints of the covers A and B, available only to the first 100 buyers. I am hearing that they’d like to get metal prints of the other Lonestar artwork I have on the IGG page. So I’m going to make that available to 500 buyers after the early bird is sold out.  

As to what stretch goals may come up, I would like to add more pages of artwork and goodies to the back of the book, maybe even another short story. I really haven’t put enough thought into it, but the fans on my Youtube channel have really been giving me great ideas. And I’ll just put up more options today because of it!

VM: Where can readers find the Indiegogo page and find out more about Lonestar: Heart of the Hero?

MSM: LONESTARCOMIC.COM will take you there.  After the IGG, I’ll convert that into a proper website, too.  All the info you need is right on the IGG page, so check it out!

VM: How did working on this project change you as an artist?

MSM: It’s freeing. I’m not on a monthly grind. And even though I’m a really fast artist compared to most, I would still feel that “got to get a page a day done” feeling when the night rolls around, and I start slacking off on backgrounds. Not doing that with Lonestar.  I have the freedom to take as long as I need to get every panel as good and detailed as it deserves to be. Plus it just juices up my imagination, like it’s on nitro!

VM: What are other projects are you working on?

MSM: I’m still doing the covers for A Game of Thrones/A Clash of Kings, and I just wrapped up the artwork for Meg, the comic book based on the Steve Alten novel about the megaladon rising from the darkness of the Mariana trench. That’s also a movie in August.  So should be a fun summer!

As well, I’m always tinkering with the different ideas for future comics in the Blacklist Universe, of which Lonestar is only the first!

Mike S. Miller, Lonestar

Readers can find out more about Lonestar: Heart of the Hero here.

[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links highlighted in bold.]

By Jorge Solis