The man behind the insidious and somewhat ridiculous comic “Man-gull” is Rian Miller, a local creator who also works at Beyond Comics in Frederick.
Man-gull” is an over-the-top horror/mystery story with a twist of ridiculous about a violent murderer who also happens to be a seagull. In the first issue, a small town man is attacked by an unknown assailant who rips off his arms entirely. The attack is investigated by Detective Nick Obecks, who eventually discovers that the assailant is a seagull who has taken the severed arms of his victim and attached them to his body.
Suitingly to both the plot and the subject of the comic, the tagline for “Man-gull” is “Strong enough to rip a man’s arms off, smart enough to use them.”
“It’s kind of a love letter to horror movies from the 80s,” Miller explained. “I want it to be intriguing and sort of thrilling and I want people to be caught up in the mystery, but at the same time it is absolutely meant to inspire laughter and silliness.”
The following issue continues the story as Detective Obecks tries both to track and understand Man-gull, while keeping his existence a secret for fear that no one will believe him.
Miller, who is both the artist and the writer, said that the inspiration for this comic was two-fold: the inspiration to actually make the comic and the inspiration for the story itself.
Miller, along with two friends from art school (Jesse Munoz and Joel Lolar), decided to band together to make comics. With their powers combined, they started Stockpile Comics as a way to motivate each other to create.
The story itself came from surprisingly mundane roots. “I wish I had a better story – with an idea as strange as this you’d think I would,” Miller said. “I was at the beach one year and I saw there was a whole fish, as if someone had bought a fish and dropped it in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart and a whole bunch of seagulls were fighting over it. I just thought ‘I’ve never seen those things be so violent before’ and that’s kind of where the idea came from.” It was Munoz that urged him to turn Man-gull from a character of interest into a full-fledged comic.
Miller also said that older monster movies like the movie “Tremors” were huge influences as well.
“Man-gull” is available for purchase at Beyond Comics, and available in both print and digital forms on the Stockpile Comics website. Miller also occasionally goes to conventions and sells his work there. For art and updates, Miller is available through Deviantart, Twitter, and Instagram.
Miller urges those interested in his comic to also investigate the other artists attributed with Stockpile Comics and their work.