Misc!MAYHEM's Captain Scarlet Comic Weblog 

Finally getting to unwind...

It's been a hectic few weeks. Last weekend I was in Chicago at the WizardWorld show, which was, compared to San Diego, a small and intimate affair. Attendance was in the mere five figures. If anyone's interested, I can tell some cool stories about both shows.

I got to spend a decent amount of time with Scott Rosema, who is not only doing the covers for the CAPTAIN SCARLET books, but it looks like he's also going to do pencils for the Colonel White story. I'm very excited about this, as I feel that Scott is going to cause a real sensation the more people get to see his work.

Loston Wallace has had to bow out of the project for now. He's in a position where he had to make some hard choices, and I respect the decision he came to. Hopefully, we'll be able to work together in the future.

Things are moving along for Misc!MAYHEM. As soon as we can get the financial issues worked out, it'll be smooth (?) sailing. I'm getting antsy, as the whole thing is so close I can almost taste it. I can't wait for this to become the reality I know it's going to be.

The Best Part About All This Is...

Michael Wolff sent me comments and critiques on my STINGRAY outline today. STINGRAY, as many of you probably know, is another Gerry Anderson Supermarionation property, and one that we're very interested in adapting into comics form. As always, Michael's comments are insightful and helpful, and will certainly make the finished product a much stronger piece (for those that don't know, Michael is the author of SUPERCAR #0, among other things. You can find out more about this very talented gentleman at www.miscmayhemprods.com. Follow the links to "Tales from the Mojo Cave").

And this started me thinking about the incredibly talented group of people that are being asembled under the Misc!MAYHEM banner. Anthony Taylor, Chris Jones, Matt Webb, Keith Wilson, Marty van Dyke, Steve Erwin, Kerry Gammill...the list goes on and on. And the really cool thing is that it's a very cooperative effort. Everybody really seems to want everybody else to succeed. I haven't been involved in a group like this since college (I was a voice/music major, and the feeling I get from this is the feeling I used to get when we put on the winter opera. It's a great place to be), and I'm really enjoying it.

One thing that Michael mentioned in his email (and I think he won't mind that I share this), is the sense of synchronicity in bringing together so many people with a core set of common interests in one place at one time. Comics and Gerry Anderson were sort of a given, but it also seems that we all have a "thing" for Giant Robots battling Giant Monsters and the incredibly odd and disturbing literary achievements of Howard Philips Lovecraft. Think about it: these are the things we got beat up for liking when we were kids, and now we're actually going to build a business around them.

Isn't life great?

Why Captain Scarlet??

From the brief amount of time I was able to spend at the Misc!MAYHEM table in San Diego (being horrendously caught up in the Heritage Comics auction going on at the same time), it was interesting talking to fans of the Gerry Anderson shows. Lots of really cool, interesting people, but we all noticed one thing: people tend to be passionate about a particular show, not about Anderson's work as a whole.

This mirrors the M!M crew as well. For example, Keith Wilson is a SUPERCAR fanatic, Anthony Taylor goes nuts for all things UFO, and I'm totally absorbed with CAPTAIN SCARLET.

Now, that's not to say that I don't care for the rest of the Anderson-universe shows. I think THUNDERBIRDS, UFO and SPACE:1999 are great. I haven't seen a lot of SUPERCAR, but I've really enjoyed what I've watched. I'm even developing a fondness for STINGRAY (despite the dopey end title music and the ridiculous pet seal). But, out of all of them, CAPTAIN SCARLET is the one that really gets me juiced.

Why? I think for me it has to do with the storyline. Of all the Anderson shows, the conflict in CAPTAIN SCARLET is most clearly defined. What was the conflict in SUPERCAR? Master Spy wanted the vehicle. OK. STINGRAY? Titan's pet fish wouldn't look at Troy Tempest for a full "marine minute". Right. But in CAPTAIN SCARLET, it was a "war of nerves" based on revenge. Earthmen had attacked and destroyed a Mysteron outpost, and the Mysterons were pissed. They saw humanity as a threat that needed taking care of, a blight on the universe that needed to be pruned. Now THIS is a conflict!

Also, in CAPTAIN SCARLET, characters died. Really died. Captain Brown blew up in the first episode...and was dead. Finally, there was a cost, a price to be paid.

And let's face it, by this time in Anderson's development, the puppets were just a lot more appealing. Gone were the oversized heads and the jerky movements. These were puppets that thought they were people.

The big criticism about CAPTAIN SCARLET seems to be the lack of characterization. It's a fair complaint. The characters weren't terribly well-defined or well-thought out. But that to me is the beauty of the concept now that we're able to do the comic book version. These characters are basically a tabula rasa that we can flesh out and develop. Gerry Anderson has given us a great sandbox to play in, and I, for one, am happy to be here.

Captain Scarlet Cover Artist

I'm pretty excited about the way things are shaping up. Misc!MAYHEM should have a new look to the website soon (thanks, Randall!), so keep your eyes on www.miscmayhemprods.com over the next few weeks. Big, cool changes comin'.

Also, the cover for the #0 issue of CAPTAIN SCARLET is coming along nicely. It's going to be a painted cover by the ultra-talented Scott Rosema, and it's shaping up nicely. Scott was kind enough to send me copies of the preliminary pencils, which were stunning. He's making a few minor changes, and will have a retooled version for me when I see him in Chicago next weekend. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a link to that one. After that, he'll be painting the final version. If you're a Captain Scarlet fan (and even if you're not), I think you're really going to enjoy this cover. Like I said, Scott is a major talent, and a super-nice guy. Stop by and see him at a show, or check him out online at http://www.comicartistsdirect.com/rosema.html. He's real gung-ho about the project, and we're actually talking about another, non-Scarlet story that he might fully pencil. More on that as/when it happens.

I've done a lot of things in my life. I've worked as a writer, a graphic designer, a magician and escape artist, a tarot card reader, a comedy defensive driving instructor, a sommelier...you name it, I've probably done it at one point or another. But the one unrealized ambition I've lived with for years is to write comic books. It's taken a certain amount of courage (not to mention getting over a sometimes near-crippling fear of rejection) to get to this point, but I'm thrilled that it's all coming together now.

Thanks for reading, and come back soon.

SPECTRUM is Green!


I assume that if you've found your way into this obscure corner of the cyber-universe you're either:

B) a fan of the work of Gerry Anderson
C) at least somewhat interested in what we're doing at Misc!MAYHEM (and if "C" makes absolutely no sense to you whatsover, I'd recommend a quick side trip to the Misc!MAYHEM website at http://www.miscmayhemprods.com/. Really. It'll be worth the trip, I promise).
D) someone with way too much time on your hands.

Whatever your reasons, welcome. This is the beginning of a journey that's taken way too long for me to start, and I'm very excited it's all coming together now.

What journey is that? As you may or may not know, my name is John Petty, and I'm writing (among other things) the CAPTAIN SCARLET comic series for Dallas-based Misc!MAYHEM.

Here's the scoop: growing up, there were two things I loved passionately: comics books and Captain Scarlet. See, I was one of those fortunate few who, living outside of Philadelphia at the time, was in one of those rare markets that actually broadcast Captain Scarlet in its original American release. I remember being entranced with everything from the cool theme music and the dark storyline to the wicked vehicles and the intriguing end-title paintings. My mom was trying to limit the amount of TV my brothers and I were watching at the time, and we had to chose a small number of shows we were allowed to see. Captain Scarlet was at the top of my list.

My other obssession was comic books. Spurred by the BATMAN TV show of the mid, mod-60s, I was a nut for anything four-color. I knew all the members of the Legion of Superheroes, their powers and their planets of origin. I could tell you all about all the different types of Kryptonite, and what each of the Mandarin's 10 rings did. I knew all the powers and secret origins of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Justice League and even the Justice Society. So how come I could never find a Captain Scarlet comic book?

The answer, of course, is that there were Captain Scarlet comics (of a sort), just not in America. That four color treat was reserved for those lucky Brits.

Flash forward thirty some-odd (some very odd) years. After a mystfying assortment of jobs/careers, I find myself Director of Auctions for Heritage Comics Auctions, the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. A perfect job for someone who has never, ever lost the comics collecting bug.

So, in the commission of the duties of my office, I find myself at Mid-Ohio Con, and I re-connect with Keith "Kez" Wilson, former DC (among others) inker/art director guy, and fellow Dallasite. Keith tells me he has acquired the rights to do the comic book versions of many of the Gerry Anderson properties. Of course, the first question out of my mouth is, "Who's doing your Captain Scarlet book?" to which Keith's answer is, "No one...yet." After a few drinks, a dinner or two, and a written proposal, it becomes clear that I'm doing the Captain Scarlet book.

And I couldn't be happier.

The road to any successful venture is, by necessity, rocky at first, and it's no different with Misc!MAYHEM. We're working hard to make this a reality. SUPERCAR #0 has already been published (and if you haven't gotten that book yet, I whole-heartedly recommend it. A first-rate production all the way. Ask your local comics dealer for it, or order it through the M!M website), and FIREBALL XL5 #0 and UFO #0 are fast approaching.

"But what about Captain Scarlet?", you ask.

Here's the scoop: The script for a 48-page #0 issue is all done. In it, you'll learn about Captain Scarlet, his family background, how he joined SPECTRUM, how he became indestructible, and why he's much more of a hero than anyone's ever expected. You'll also get the low-down on Colonel White. Believe me, there's more to him than meets the eye. All this behind a beautiful painted cover by a first-rate artist.

I'm going to hold off on giving any more details on the creative team for right now, but I'm planning on posting some images soon.

So here's my plan for this blog: I'm really excited about this project, and I can't wait to share exciting news about it. Hopefully, you'll come back fairly regularly (and hopefully I'll update this fairly regularly) and along the way we can discuss all things Scarlet. Beyond the first four-issue story arc, I've already got three or four more plots in my mind, so hopefully this series will be successful enough to allow us to continue the journey past the initial release.

Of course, along the way, I welcome your comments and your feedback. Let me know what you think.

It's going to be a wild ride.

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