Saturday, November 27, 2021

THRILL SEEKER COMICS "What's New?" Update for Thanksgiving Weekend 2021

 


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all!
 
I’d like to welcome newcomers joining the THRILL SEEKER COMICS Facebook group in recent days. With the release of the upcoming INDIEVERSITY comic book – a guidebook to the varied worlds of the independent comics multiverse – that the THRILL SEEKER COMICS Universe will be featured inside as one of the worlds spotlighted of the Independent Comics multiverse, I expect that we might get a few new visitors who may want to explore and find out more about THRILL SEEKER COMICS.
 
I thought I would give an update today of what is going on with the relaunch of the THRILL SEEKER COMICS series. As I mentioned in the last update, the new year 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of the first THRILL SEEKER COMICS story that debuted in SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY #1 where readers were introduced to the Golden Age EMERALD MANTIS, the SACRED SCARAB, and the infamous YELLOW JACKET: MAN OF MYSTERY in a short story.
Well, I can reveal a little bit of news in what I hope will be an exciting update here on “WHAT’S NEW!”…
 
THRILL SEEKER COMICS is returning in 2022 with brand new stories in this year of celebration that will feature the return of our old friends, including the aforementioned Yellow Jacket: Man of Mystery and the various eras and characters to bear the name of the Emerald Mantis. There will also be an introduction to a new cast of characters as this world expands in these upcoming adventures for 2022. For the time being, most of these projects and what will be released must remain secretive until release time gets closer. As of today, I already have a handful of these brand-new stories 100% completed with finalized art ready for the printer. I’m also completing one story over these next 10 days and then I have another story featuring a brand-new character debuting in the Thrill Seeker Universe to finish by Christmas. It is a productive and exciting time for me and I wanted to share that good news in this update.
 
Ever since “lockdown” began with social distancing due to the worldwide virus, I have had a chance to reflect on my own personal life work balance and what matters and goals were important to me. I’ve realized with this upcoming 20th anniversary of THRILL SEEKER COMICS debut with Shooting Star Comics, I have some dreams painfully left undone when it comes to this independent comic book series of mine that I’ve wanted to continue to do for so long. I’m not trying to make excuses, but life threw me some curveballs this past decade that made it difficult for me to work on new tales, but while things are still crazy in the world of ours, much of the drama and obstacles that I was previously dealing with have been put behind me. I am now several months now engaged in new work for THRILL SEEKER COMICS.
 
I realize that the time is right for me to revisit these old friends and get back into working on new comics. Since summer, I’ve been busy working about four hours a day (outside of my day job) on working on these new THRILL SEEKER COMICS stories and art. (Remind me to talk about in a future update how “biphasic” sleeping patterns have literally opened up a new window for me to work on these projects in the middle of the night with all efficiency). I’ve completed two previously abandoned projects already. I can report that I have 34 new pages of work completed in these last few months. I also have a tight publishing schedule with several THRILL SEEKER COMICS projects planned out that I am currently working on. I am successfully happy to say that over the last 100+ days, I have kept on schedule with the new workload and met my self-imposed deadlines to prepare new material for next year’s relaunch. My excitement level is high and my creative juices are flowing. Earlier this year, I purchased a Wacom Cintiq Pro digital drawing pen and monitor that has revolutionized the way that I work and has led me to work more efficiently with my time and manner in which it takes me to draw and produce new art. 
 
I admit that I have wrestled with my thoughts on what to say or share publicly with all of you about relaunching THRILL SEEKER COMICS with new material as we’re still several months out from things be ready for distribution. I’ve been busting at the seams to share the news, but I don’t want to be premature on announcements of upcoming projects that are still 4- to 6- to 12- month out so that any excitement and momentum wanes by that time when things are ready, nor do I want to overpromise and not deliver on anything. I want to make sure work is completed. My focus has been on the work and not the hype. I want to have “everything finished and in the can” all ready to go before I start revealing and then immediately and/or very soon afterwards be able to promote and provide the availability of these new adventures for you. Does that make sense? 
 
So with that note, I think I will make my next big update come out between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I promise next month that I will have some examples and begin to share at lease one thing that is on the horizon for the new year and 20th Anniversary celebration.
 
All the best!
Scott McCullar

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Gingko Tree


 

 

Once again, I am watching live right now from my window the Gingko tree in my neighbor's front yard releasing all of it's leaves at once. It is just raining down the golden yellow Gingko leaves. The Gingko is my favorite tree. The leaves are all falling to the ground in one big shedding action. While some people love a sunset or to watch a shooting star, this is about as close as I get to looking at God's amazing wonderment in action with nature and just be at my utmost awe over this simple cyclical action. There is something spiritual about this annual moment for me that I just can't convey into words in how it moves me so much. I just happened to walk outside this morning to witness it once again. I think I was at the right place at the right time for right reason. I didn't miss it this year. And I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I Saw The Rolling Stones for their Opening Show in St. Louis

So, Sunday night, I went to St. Louis to see The Rolling Stones with my longtime high school pal Ronald Rice. We had a great time and attended what was a historic concert for this great rock band. It was the first show of the U.S. "No Filter" tour that originally began in 2017 but had to be put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic. There was some talk that it might not ever be concluded and last month the longtime original member of the band, drummer Charlie Watts died. But the show must go on. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ron Wood with other musicians hit the stage to present a rousing rockin' show. A video was shown before they hit the stage of Charlie Watts in tribute. The three surviving members were visibly emotional as they thanked the fans and paid tribute to their fallen comrade as this was the first show that they were going to do without their beloved drummer. The night's performance was one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. For me, it was my first time seeing The Rolling Stones as I've been a fan of them for as long as I can remember. My pal Ron has seen them several times, but this was a "bucket list" item for me. Well, it was only rock and roll, but I liked it.... liked it....liked it....yes, I do.





Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Look at My Unpublished Batman Illustrations for an Essay on the '66 BATMAN TV Series

 

My pal Jim Beard recently released a second book in his series that exams the original 1966 BATMAN television show that starred Adam West. Originally, a few of my illustrations were going to be in the second volume (I had some artwork on the back cover of the first book), but after some legal mumbo jumbo, WB/DC Comics lawyers didn't want any non-licensed illustrations to be used in the books. My artwork, and that of other artists, had to be unfortunately pulled even though we thought that Fair Use of Copyright was allowed under these circumstances of review and commentary. It is what it is. Still, I encourage Batman fans to pick up the books if you think it is up your Crime Alley. 
 


 
 
In the meantime, here are some of my unpublished black and white spot illustrations that were originally going to be in the second book that I thought some Batman fans might get a kick out of...
 



 

THRILL SEEKER COMICS Joins the Upcoming INDIEVERSITY PROJECT on KICKSTARTER

  

 
 
The gang's all here! Look for us to join the upcoming INDIEVERSITY PROJECT where the "Thrill Seeker Universe" will have one of the spotlights featured in the Independent Comics Multiverse. The Kickstarter crowdfunding has already met the initial pledge goal to be funded. You can make a pledge right now yourselves so that you can order your copy to take home and see all sorts of multiversal worlds where independent comics exist. 
 
Our inclusion marks the beginning of our celebration just a wee bit early where next year it will be 20 years since THE YELLOW JACKET: MAN OF MYSTERY, EMERALD MANTIS, and THE SACRED SCARAB debuted in SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY #1 with the THRILL SEEKER COMICS feature. More news to come... We hope everyone of you are doing well!
 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

20 Years Ago… What was I doing on September 11, 2001?

 

Early that morning, I was heading to work over at Springfield College in Illinois. I had a 9:00 a.m. World Regional Geography class that I was teaching that semester. My students were about to begin studying the section on The Middle East and the Muslim religion that day – of all days. So, on my way to work, I had the radio on and was still in Sherman at the red light waiting to turn. The disc jockey on the radio was reporting that a jet airplane had hit one of the Twin Towers in New York City that morning and then a newsflash came across that a second jet had just hit the other tower. There was shock and silence.

I knew at that moment that our country was under attack.

I pulled in to the gas station in Sherman to fill up and I went inside. I told the clerk behind the counter that they might want to turn on the news and told them about the World Trade Center had just been hit by two jets and that I think our country may be under attack. Later that afternoon, this same gas station would jack up the cost of gas with nearly 50 cars trying to get gasoline in a panic.

I arrived at the college and went downstairs into my classroom where I had about 50 students. Everything was abuzz with the news and I had a television set that I turned on to the news as we all just watched live what was going on. I “officially” cancelled class and we just watched the television. A few minutes in, news hit that another plane had just hit the Pentagon. There was disbelief, shock, sadness, and anger. We all watched for probably about an hour and then people began to come and go. I remember heading over to my office across from the classroom and trying to gather all the news that I could. We heard that all flights across the nation were being grounded. We heard rumors that the Sears Tower in Chicago (now called The Willis Tower) was a target, but that didn’t come to fruition. Thank God. All sorts of chaos and this feeling in your gut hit you that you were witnessing a moment in time that was going to forever change the world.

As a side note, I remember that day before the attack, I was planning on eating lunch in my office as one of my favorite musical artists, Sting, was going to broadcast over the Internet a live concert from his home in Italy. The concert was cancelled for the online broadcast, though Sting did decided to go ahead and do the concert. He would later release it as a live CD album and DVD. I digress, but this was part of my memory from that day.

I was also scheduled to teach an art class that afternoon where I had only three art students. Hunter, Stan, and Richard. I remember talking to them during the lunch hour and they were mentioning they weren’t coming to class as they planned to go get gas for their cars. I guess news of a possible gasoline shortage was starting to float around as a rumor. None of us felt like making art that day. I also broke a rule as an instructor and I didn’t notify the Dean of Academics office that I was cancelling a class. I just was numb and emotionally distraught with what was happening.  I decided to head home early that afternoon.

Heading home to Sherman, Illinois, I passed the gas station that I had visited earlier in the morning and was amazed at the line of cars that I saw. Not since the 1970’s oil crisis had I seen a scene of that many cars all honking and lined up to get gas. I went ahead and made my way home.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I don’t have recollections of interacting with my ex-wife or children that evening when I got home. My kids would have been ages five and one. I just know that I was emotionally so very numb. I remember the television was covering the news and there was footage being shown that evening that I don’t think I’ve seen since. It was tragic. Watching the World Trade Center collapse. Watching footage of the jets hitting the towers. Watching footage of people falling out of skyscraper buildings to their deaths. All I remember was that I was sitting on the couch as evening fell and it got dark outside. I was glued to the television set just watching the horror.

At some point, the Dean of Academics at Springfield College called me that late afternoon. I kind of got a little bit of a chew out that I had cancelled my class and hadn’t reported this to his Administrative Assistant. I apologized and let him know that the students and I decided to cancel class due to the events of the day. He asked if I was okay and I think he heard it in my voice that I was numb. He kind of let it go and never it mentioned it again. I don’t know how anyone else could have carried on that day acting like it was business as usual.

I just remember sitting in the dark watching television until I had enough and decided to go to bed. I do remember checking on my kids in their beds as they slept and thinking that the world had just become an uglier place for them and nothing was ever going to be the same again.

It is 20 years later as I write this. I’m still numb thinking about that day and what it has done to the world and our country. I think it will remain one of the saddest days of our lives. Our country seemed to rally in the days after that and there was an American fervor like I had never seen with patriotism and oneness. Two decades later, our country is torn in two where I wonder if we will ever be united again.

 



Friday, September 10, 2021

Band of Brothers 20th Anniversary

 

I just re-watched BAND OF BROTHERS for the umpteenth time. Each year, I find myself annually revisiting this 10-part HBO original series based on Stephen E. Ambrose's best-seller, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. This landmark series recounts the story of "Easy" Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, starting with their jump training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, while following the unit through their airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne, and on to the war's end at the Eagle's Nest.

This week, HBO has released as special 10-week long 20th Anniversary Podcast that revisits the series. The prologue included an interview with Tom Hanks, and while I type this, I'm listening to the podcast for episode one "Currahee" that features an interview with Ron Livingston who portrayed Captain Lewis Nixon.

For those of you like me who love this series, I highly recommend the free podcast. You can learn more at https://www.hbo.com/band-of-brothers/podcast.

Squirrel Girl

 


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dr. No?



I am still convinced that the new James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE will reveal that villain "Safin" played by Rami Malek is actually the old school original Fleming villain "Dr. No". It's going to be a sort of Star Trek-like twist when Benedict Cumberbatch was revealed to be Khan. I placed my bet over a year ago and still feel this to be true. I'll be shocked if he isn't.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Beatles are releasing a 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Boxset of LET IT BE album

The Beatles announced today that they're releasing a  50th Anniversary boxset for their classic album Let It Be that now includes New Mixes in Stereo, 5.1 Surround, and Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin. Also, included are expanded Never Before Released Session Recordings, Rehearsals & Studio Jams; and the Previously Unreleased 1969 Get Back LP Mix by Glyn Johns.

I'm really looking forward to this!


THE BEATLES GET BACK TO LET IT BE WITH SPECIAL EDITION RELEASES | The Beatles