John Smith Interview by Grant Goggans.
(Additional questions from by John Munro)
Well, I have to start with an â??Indigo Primeâ?? questionâ?¦why was
â??Killing Timeâ?? the last we saw of the series in the weekly? Was this your decision
That was all down to me, Iâ??m
afraid. After creating the back story and all those characters I just kind of
lost interest in the whole set-up and eventually moved on to other stuff. You
have to realise that back then I saw the â??Indigo Primeâ?? stories as
really just a stepping stone to better things. They were an alternative to
writing â??Future Shocksâ?? and â??Time Twistersâ?? - a calculated
attempt at brand-naming my own one-off stories in the hope they stood out from
Moving back, can you talk about
the origins of this series in the Future Shock in Prog 490?
That first story (â??A
Change of Sceneryâ???) was written when I was still trying to get my foot in
the door at Fleetway. It was just one of dozens of ideas I was submitting every
week at that time, an attempt to come up with a nifty story in the true â??2000ADâ??
tradition, and it just so happened it was that one that got accepted rather than
something else. Just thank God they never went for â??Brianâ??s Magic Carâ??
or life could have been very differentâ?¦
Basalt and Foundation were
then working for a company called Void Indiga. Was this name changed to avoid
any conflict with Steve Gerber's graphic novel Void Indigo?
Yes. I hadnâ??t heard of the
Steve Gerber thing at the time â?? or if I had Iâ??d promptly forgotten it â??
but when it came to my attention after that first story came out it was pretty
obvious I should change the name. No one else seemed to spot it or care about it
particularly but who needs two comic strips with the same title? That mistake
did annoy me a bit because I was trying to create a kind of integrated John
Smith â??Universeâ?? at the time, make everything perfect, but I didnâ??t think
anyone would really notice if I changed it.
You mentioned in the foreword to the â??Killing
Timeâ?? collection that this was your first effort at building continuity. That
seems to manifest itself in the huge casts of mostly unseen characters in both
â??Indigo Primeâ?? and in â??New Statesmenâ??. How necessary is that
pre-planning to building a fictional universe?
It varies from story to story.
I do like to know the world Iâ??m writing about well â?? even if most of that
stuff never comes out in the actual comic, it means at least you know what youâ??re
talking about â?? but thereâ??s no point going to all that trouble if youâ??re
just writing a five-page â??Pulp Science Fictionâ?? strip. Things change
and develop as you write the story but itâ??s good to have your feet on familiar
The crossovers between
Tyranny Rex and that old â??Future Shockâ?? were very surprising to readers.
Were you planning on reintroducing â??Indigo Primeâ?? when you created Tyranny,
or was she created independently of the other work?
They were both part of the same
tailor-made Universe. That was intended right from the start. There is one story
still unwritten, a weird post mortem team-up Iâ??d always had planned which saw
every character and every reality wiped out, but the last books of â??Zenithâ??
beat me to it.
How conscious were you of the "tough bitch
with a gun" stereotype when you created Tyranny and in what ways did you
work to avoid it?
At the time I donâ??t think it
was the clichÃ© it is today. You have to remember this was after â??Alienâ??
but before the sequel so the Ripley character was about the only tough bitch
around at the time. Tyranny came from a sketch I did for Steve Dillon which was
basically Sigourney Weaver with a tail and big gun. Iâ??m sure thatâ??s no big
surprise. Tyranny Rex is a reptoid Ripley.
Which artist's rendition of
Tyranny do you consider to be the definitive one?
Steve Dillon, purely because he
drew those first stories. I think Mark Buckinghamâ??s version was also great â??
an attempt to show a different side of her â?? and could have become the
definitive version if he hadnâ??t had so many problems getting paid by Fleetway
at the time and decided to quit.
After just eleven episodes,
Tyranny took a sabbatical from the weekly. Why is that?
Because I was commissioned to
write an adult Tyranny series for â??Crisisâ?? which would have replaced
â??New Statesmanâ?? but which never saw the light of day. Five
double-length episodes of an â??adultâ?? nature which John Hicklenton did some
great samples for and which may even today be languishing in a drawer somewhere
at Fleetway. It was a satire on the music business of the time and had Tyranny
launching an ultra-violent pop career under the guidance of her agent â?? Harlan
the transvestite dog â?? and had lots of groovy cults and limbless oracular
torsos spinning round in gyrosopes and other such grand guignol barminess.
You mentioned on the newsgroup that Tyranny
became a nun because of the slightly sinister image you have of nuns. Could you
elaborate on that, and perhaps explain what the character's motivation for
joining the convent was?
Isnâ??t this the kind of thing
they ask on â??In the Psychiatristâ??s Chairâ???
Like a lot of my stuff there
was no real motivation behind it. It just seemed to be a good idea at the time.
Iâ??m also not too keen on those series that run and run forever and Iâ??ve
always been conscious that I donâ??t want to outstay my welcome with any one
character or story. I tend to get sick of those interminable on-going series
that donâ??t really go anywhere, which is probably why I give my characters such
a hard time. For example, the first Devlin series in â??The Megazineâ??
was probably my biggest hit and while it wouldâ??ve been easy to flog the whole
thing to death it was another six or seven years before I returned to that
character. Maybe I have Attention Deficit Disorder or Iâ??m just easily jaded or
something. I donâ??t know, but I always think less is moreâ?¦
In â??Soft Bodiesâ??, we met
Fervent and Lobe for the first time. Have you ever determined what they did to
get on Major Arcana's bad side?
Christ, some of these
questions! I honestly canâ??t remember that far back in such minute detail. Iâ??d
probably have to dig out all the stuff from my antiquated word processor to be
sure but knowing the planning that went into that little bubble Universe of mine
itâ??ll be in there somewhere. They probably fucked him over big style by
inadvertently introducing DreamPlague to his momâ??s bingo group or somethingâ?¦
with only two stories each issue: your â??New Statesmenâ?? and Pat Mills' â??Third
World Warâ??. Did â??New Statesmenâ?? effectively counter â??3WWâ??, or did â??Crisisâ??
need more than just the two stories to keep going?
Steve MacManusâ??s intention
right from the start was to have the two fortnightly strips of 12 pages each
collected and reprinted as a 24-page monthly in the US and Europe. It was a
great idea at the time and I was really excited to be involved in such a big
project at such a relatively young age (20). The Crisis tourâ?¦ the posh hotelsâ?¦
the signings and slap-up meals and chance to meet all my idols. And of course
ace publicist Igor Goldkind himselfâ?¦ Such larks we had!
â??Third World Warâ?? was always overtly
political, and Mills has been accused of using the story to advance his own
agenda. By contrast, â??New Statesmenâ?? only showed some concern over genetics,
and with Britain becoming the 51st state. Are these real concerns of yours, or
simply elements to kick-start a story?
I was a big fan of the group The
The at the time who did a track called â??The Fifty-First Stateâ??
but I could be lying here because quite a bit of the original set-up for â??New
Statesmanâ?? came from Steve MacManus. This was also during the
Thatcher/Reagan years, remember â?? when the UK really was becoming
"Americaâ??s poodle" â?? so all those undercurrents were bubbling away
at the time. Like films or novels, you have to look at a story in a social
context. The concern about genetics though was definitely mine. Ever since
hearing about DNA Iâ??ve always realised that mastering gene manipulation would
alter our entire species (and every other species too) and that was an area that
fit in nicely with the whole superhuman angle. At the end of the day â??New
Statesmenâ?? had some pretty groovy ideas but I think I was a bit
intimidated by Patâ??s overt politicising and his clever-clever tone and tried
too hard to be grim and adult and â??Watchmenâ?? instead of going for
all-out fun and weirdness. There are some nice bits of purple prose in there and
some of the text fillers are okay (in my less lucid moments I still think that
Mr Soft story with the Brendan McCarthy pics is years ahead of its time!) but
yeah, "Tried too hard" about sums it up.
Were there ever plans for another series of â??New
Statesmenâ??? I was surprised it never crossed over to â??2000ADâ??â?¦
Yes and it would have wiped the
floor with the first story coz it was all original stuffâ?¦ all new stuffâ?¦ all
the weird reproductive/genetic engineering stuff Jim Baikie and I were really
interested in. I suppose thatâ??s the one respect in which itâ??s still pretty
relevant today. I can see how easily this new soft science revolution, once it
gets really under way, is going to change the world.
(One thing I do I harbour a bit
of a grudge about was being asked by David to do a â??Rogue Trooperâ??
treatment centring around these issues which I never got any feedback about at
all. It just seemed to disappear into limbo. Maybe I should ask David to take
another look at it because it does take Rogue and Venus in a pretty radical
direction as the cutting edge stealth tech of the far future â?? which to my
mind is what â??Rogue Trooperâ?? sorely needs.)
There's a great example in â??New
Statesmenâ?? of your tendency to inflict enormous violence, almost casually, at
your heroes. I'm thinking of the cliff-hanger where Burbank is killed. Later on,
we see Tyranny decapitated, Winwood and Cord maimed, Rogue Trooper crucified and
Revere on a constant uphill slope. How comfortable is it to act with such
aggression towards your protagonists?
Since theyâ??re all only make
believe, very comfortable indeed. On a deeper level Iâ??d also have to say a lot
of it has to do with personal stuff, working out my own feelings through fiction
and so on, but I do have a warped and morbid interest in violence and murder and
all kinds of extremes of human behaviour. It also ties in with what I said
earlier about not trying to flog a character or a series to death by trundling
the same shit out for the next ten years. I have absolutely no qualms about
killing off my characters â?? which I think can communicate a certain edginess
On that note, do you think it helps to create
more tension in the reader when they cannot be assured the hero will come out
Oh definitely. Of course it
does. Just look at virtually any medium and you know just by the casting which
characters are going to survive and which ones are cannon fodder. Whatâ??s the
point of reading yet another bloody story where the hero snatches victory from
the man-trap jaws of defeat and lives to fight another day (in yet another dull
bloody sequel)? That isnâ??t where drama comes from. Fictionâ??s about risks,
twists and turns, plot reversals, not knowing if the characters are going to
live or die. I like to pile on the pressure then sit back and watch what happensâ?¦
Many people cite â??Cinnabarâ??
as one of the best Rogue Trooper stories. Can you tell us how that came about?
Itâ??s one of the only stories
that I actually made up totally as I went along â?? something Iâ??d like to try
again though David reckons Iâ??m "undisciplined" enough as it is so I
wonâ??t hold my breath over it. I didnâ??t have a clue where that story was
going other than that core idea of "Rogue Trooper has AIDS". That
conceit â?? that his immune system had fucked up and he was no longer protected
from all the chemicals and bacteria of Nu-Earth â?? I just sort of aimed it and
watched where it went. Somehow everything just seemed to fit perfectly into
place. (For example, the attack in the river early on â?? when this giant bony
jellyfish thing capsizes the boat â?? I never realised that the monster there
was part of Charybdis because the whole idea of Charybdis didnâ??t even exist at
that point. I didnâ??t think it up till near the end of story but somehow all
the bits and pieces were already there subconsciously embedded in the story just
waiting to be used.)
As a writer itâ??s much better
to be working on lots of different stories at the same time because whatever
bizarre spur-of-the-moment idea youâ??ve just dreamed up, you can guarantee to
use it somewhere rather than say just writing Devlin and having to shoehorn
everything into the particular constraints of that story. I think a lot of
writing works on that pre-conscious irrational level where your mind comes up
with stuff you donâ??t realise youâ??re gonna need until a lot further down the
Steve Dillon's art on â??Cinnabarâ?? is
among his very best, and a noticeable improvement over his work in the ongoing
"Hit" storyline. Do you think Steve was more in tune with your vision
for Rogue Trooper, or, less tactfully, was everyone just sick of
I think everyone was
sick and tired of â??The Hitâ?? â?? I know thatâ??s why I was
commissioned to write that flashback story â?? so maybe Steve had a bit more
enthusiasm for something that was a bit fresher. Also donâ??t forget that â??Cinnabarâ??
was inked by Kev Walker and he added a whole other layer of detail to the
Shortly afterwards, Fervent and Lobe got their
own series. Can you tell us about the narrative device of the stage play in â??Issigri
Like most of the things in my
stories it just seemed a good idea at the time. Just another way of trying to do
things a bit differently and have a bit of fun with it.
I'd love to hear the inspiration for Almaranda,
one of 2000AD's most unique female characters.
Probably one of artist Mike
Hadleyâ??s fat girlfriends of the time! I know he claimed to love Almaranda with
a passion but Iâ??m not sure still whether he was putting me on or not. I think
she was also an amalgamation of a character from another series Iâ??d planned
called â??The Privateersâ?? which had this immobile grossly-huge fat
woman who used acupuncture on her own body to put herself in a state of "eroto-comatose
lucidity", as Aleister Crowley called it. Easy when you know how.
So, â??Indigo Primeâ?? got its long-overdue
launch in 1990 and trickled to a halt after a month. What happened there?
Sorry but youâ??ll have to
remind me which stories youâ??re referring to here. Or actually â?? maybe donâ??t
bother. My short-term memoryâ??s so full of holes I havenâ??t got a clue!
After that month of black-and-white adventures,
there was the Almaranda two-parter and then the very weird "Danzig's
Inferno". Where did that come from?
From either Alan McKenzie or
Tharg in his Richard Burton incarnation, and from Sean himself whoâ??d only
worked on â??Crisisâ?? at the time and wanted to do something colourful
and outrageous and fun for â??2000ADâ??. Canâ??t remember why (Seanâ??s
murderous deadlines, maybe) but it was supposed to run longer or be open-ended
so we could do a follow-up â?? which is why it has that daft "Everyone
turns to Barbie dolls" ending.
"Danzig's Inferno" was drawn by Sean
Phillips, with whom you've worked frequently, and who understands the impact of
silent, dialogue-free panels of characters reacting to something shocking. Is
this something that he interprets better than anyone else, or are the two of you
just in tune to the visual drama?
I think we were both on the
same wavelength with a lot of that stuff. Also Sean didnâ??t mind doing a lot of
panels per page. In fact, I remember him saying: "You donâ??t have to keep
to six panels a page. Stick more in if you want." The original artwork for
â??Swimming in Bloodâ?? was massive and got bigger as the strip went on
so it was easy to fit in more panels without losing any of the detail. Everyone
seemed to love that story and we both realised weâ??d hit on something and put a
lot of work into it. Itâ??s the only time I ever won a UKCAC award.
[Well bugger me. Just looked
and it says "Best Character" on my engraved formica
plaque and I always thought we got the award for "Best New
Character". Isnâ??t it normally Dredd who wins that? Do you guys know any
way of checking?]
And then to "Killing Time". I don't
think the editor would appreciate me sending a hundred questions about this
story alone, but I am curious, once you decided to do a Jack the Ripper story,
what research you did, and how you avoided the clichÃ©s associated with the
image of the Ripper.
I research everything I write
â?? though obviously a story about something like dragons is a lot harder to
research than one about serial killers or dinosaurs or whatever. I like doing
research as long as the subject matter interests me â?? which it usually does
since I get to choose what itâ??s gonna be. I like new facts and new ideas that
make me see things differently. You might not think it with the horror and SF
stuff I write, but you actually learn a lot when youâ??re writing a story. For
this last Devlin series Iâ??ve learned all kinds of groovy stuff â?? not just
about magick and conspiracy theories and UFOs, which have interested me since I
was a kid â?? but stuff about the Earthâ??s atmosphere and geophysics and the
electromagnetic effects on man. Believe it or not, a lot of the "wanky
techno-babble" in â??Devlinâ?? does actually mean something
if you have the same abstruse interests I have.
As for â??Killing Timeâ??,
itâ??s much more a time travel story than a look at the Jack the Ripper mythos.
(And even that combination of elements isnâ??t original. Thereâ??s an SF story
by I think Harlan Ellison along similar lines, plus the film "Time After
Time", where H. G. Wells jumps into his time machine and pursues the
Ripper to twentieth century Los Angeles.) I always felt that introductory
picture of the Ripper drooling over a sliced orange like some silent screen
villain was a bit over the top â?? especially since we identify him as the
Ripper in writing right from the start â?? but the story was never meant to be a
whodunnit. I wanted the readers to know all along who the Ripper was so I could
milk their expectations of as much suspense and sense of foreboding as possible.
Obviously, that said, I did
nowhere near as much research as Alan Moore must have done for â??From Hellâ??
but then the Ripper was only a relatively small part of â??Killing Timeâ??.
It was more about this ultradimensional horror than it was about the Ripper.
It's astonishing how cold Max can be about the
forthcoming deaths of the humans, while Ishmael is upset, but Max gets very
emotional when he sees Ishmael in trouble. Is Max just that disassociated from
his job, or are there layers between the characters we never really got to?
Max is definitely the bastard
of the two. The way I see it, heâ??s experienced a lot more than Ishmael â?? heâ??s
been with Indigo Prime through two previous bodies and seen all kinds of weird
shit first hand â?? and his attitude is, "Get the job done at any
cost." Most Indigo Prime operatives are recruited from the ranks of the
newly-dead and downloaded into new bodies and Max has had more than his fair
share of unwanted side effects while being re-embodied. Theyâ??re not gay lovers
or anything like that, though, if thatâ??s what you meanâ?¦
I'd say Dr. Culver's death
is one of the greatest death scenes in all of fiction. How'd you come up with
Thatâ??s a nice compliment but
Iâ??m not sure how much Iâ??d agree with it. How about Patrick Troughtonâ??s mad
priest being skewered by a lightning conductor in "The Omen"?
Or Edward Woodwardâ??s death at the end of "The Wicker Man"? As
for the idea, I think it came from slicing eggs on an egg slicer one day and
wondering "What ifâ?¦?"
And then there's that ending. The entire
supporting cast killed, the Iscariot eaten by a billion canaries, and our heroes
blind and helpless. Could you describe the emotional impact of writing such a
monster of an ending for all the players?
Not sure what you want
to know. I figured the story was so nasty and fatalistic it needed that kind of
hopeless senseless carnage as a payoff. I find that "No one gets out of
here alive" mentality quite interesting, coz of course none of us ever do,
and after building up this big demonic threat it had to deliver a pretty
powerful punchline. I think the reader would have felt cheated with anything
less than complete unmitigated mayhemâ?¦
The reaction to
"Killing Time" seems typical of your work, in that Tharg printed some
letters praising it hugely and some that hated it, one of which called for you
to be shot. How thin is that love/hate line you stride?
Seen that new Marmite add on
TV? I seem to elicit that same reaction â?? "You either love it or you hate
it." Iâ??m not really sure why that is except for that hoary old platitude
"Itâ??s all just a question of taste". Some people do seem to find my
stuff hard to fathom but it isnâ??t deliberate. It all seems pretty
straightforward to me. Maybe itâ??s because I try to let the story develop
naturally at its own pace without cramming in loads of expositionâ?¦ I donâ??t
know. I suppose you just have to bear with it and hope it all becomes clear at
Returning to Sean Phillips, you and he worked
on a "Hellblazer" fill-in for DC. How'd you get that job?
Iâ??d actually been one of the
writers (along with Garth and I think Warren Ellis) who pitched to take over the
book after Jamie Delano left. Iâ??d already met Karen Berger by then and I
submitted this huge sprawling outline with the next 2 or 3 years worth of
stories laid out but I never got the job. DC probably just remembered my
stuff from there and Stuart Moore asked me to do a fill-in while I was
developing â??Scarabâ?? (which was Doctor Fate at that time). He asked me
to pick one of the single issue storylines from that original â??Hellblazerâ??
proposal so I chose "Counting to Ten"â?¦
What's it like working in
John Constantine's head?
Grimy but interesting. Itâ??s a
shame I never got to do more with him because he is one of my favourite comics
characters. I always preferred the Alan Moore â??globetrotting occultistâ??
angle to Jamie Delanoâ??s more introspective naturalistic view of the character
and would have loved to have seen him trekking with Eskimos in the arctic and
handgliding in the Grand Canyon and lounging round on four-poster beds with
loads of Afghan hounds and beautiful women and stuff. Sort of Constantine meets
Strange that the one story I
did get to write was so humdrum and down-to-earth. For that particular story I
bought all the collected plays of Harold Pinter and tried to write what I
thought would be a neat Pinteresque zombie story. There are lots of little
in-jokes in there like the street names and stuff but that was the idea, yeahâ?¦
You also gained some
notoriety among US readers for your Vertigo miniseries "Scarab". I
read that was intended to be an ongoing series, but what happened?
Oh God. Itâ??s a long and
depressing story paved with poor intentions and misguided efforts. Like I said,
it started out as â??Doctor Fateâ??. Iâ??d been submitting all this stuff
to DC and not really getting anywhere when I got a phone call out of the blue
one day from Stuart Moore asking if Iâ??d like to take over writing â??Doctor
Fateâ??. Iâ??d never really read DC Comics in any big way - all I knew about
the character was from his appearance in Alan Mooreâ??s â??Swamp Thingâ??
â?? but opportunities like that donâ??t come every day so I said yes. Then
someone there decided my take was a bit too extreme for Doctor Fate so Stuart
asked me to revamp the proposal using a new character and new backdrop. The
similarities are pretty obvious and in hindsight it wasnâ??t the cleverest idea
ever but there you go. Stuart wanted me to create an alternate Golden Age
history, a Vertigo take on all that â??40s stuff, which I did, all connected to
this big background storyline which was gonna reintroduce all these Lost Heroes
to the Vertigo universe, but we had to ditch all that when the continuing series
got cut down to an eight issue miniseries. I think Vertigo had overestimated
their own selling power and a lot of their new titles just didnâ??t get the
advanced orders they expected and from what I understand Karen Berger just said:
"No. Chop it down to a miniseries." Which, you know, considering it
started off as a monthly â??Doctor Fateâ?? comicâ?¦
Iâ??ve since heard she hates my
stuff anyway. There were lots of censorship problems and strange directives
issued by Karen Berger and all my enthusiasm kind of fizzled away the more I was
forced to change stuff. I mean, ditching all these supporting characters,
ditching the continuing subplot that tied all the storylines together â?? it was
just doomed to failure from the start.
(I remember one bit of
censorship concerned a throwaway line about "anus-eyed children". It
didnâ??t really mean anything in the context of the story â?? it was just a
disturbing image meant to convey a disturbing atmosphere - but it was that kind
of stuff they kept complaining about. There didnâ??t seem to be any logic to it
all. You sort of expect some kind of editorial restraints in stuff for â??2000ADâ??
because of its young(ish) readership but this was a horror comic from the
much-touted new adult Vertigo line and it just really pissed me off that they
wouldnâ??t stand by me and let me write the stories I wanted to write. Basically
the whole â??Scarabâ?? thing was a fiasco from beginning to end.
At the end of issue 7, we met
two characters, Dazzler and Creed, who had me scurrying to the â??Indigo Primeâ??
organizational chart to see if I'd forgotten them. Were they just cut from
similar cloth, or did you have something more grandiose in mind?
A bit of both. I needed a deus
ex machina ending and I had all this stuff figured out about what the Labyrinth
of Doors really was but because the series was cut down to 8 episodes I never
really got to use any of that stuff. Same with The Angelus/superhuman
reproduction stuff on â??New Statesmenâ??. We were going to discover that
the Scarab suit was alive in its own right and would gradually gain independence
and go out skulking over rooftops and into bedrooms to inseminate people, male
and female; lay seeds in their minds and bodies and start to really fuck up the
worldâ?¦ But by that time I was probably just so sick of the thing I thought -
"Fuck it. Iâ??ll rip off my own story" â?? and stuck in â??Indigo
Primeâ?? as a lazy way out.
Scarab recently returned in the pages of â??JSAâ??,
creating huge surprise and controversy among DC Universe fans. Were you
consulted before James Robinson resurrected and then killed Louis?
No. Some guy at DC did leave a
message on the answering machine but I never did get to speak to anyone. I
thought it was just typical of DCâ??s sloppy handling of things. Youâ??d think
itâ??d be common courtesy to at least let you know what was going on, even if
you donâ??t have any final say in the matter, but the editorial people donâ??t
seem to understand such sentiments. Part of me thinks I deserve a second hearing
from DC but a bigger part of me just thinks, "Fuck â??em."
Turning briefly to "Revere", this
series made me wonderâ?¦which do you fear more, magic or technology?
Neither and both! â??Revereâ??
was actually co-created with Simon Harrison and the second half was written
after a bad trip I had. It sounds pretentious but that whole last book was an
act of catharsis, a way of clearing all that crap out of my head, and itâ??s
probably the one story of mine Iâ??ve no hankering to reread. Thinking about it
(which I havenâ??t for years) Iâ??ve got some distance on it now but Iâ??m still
a bit wary of looking at it because I can remember only too well the sort of
stuff in there.
And in "Revere",
which is the more dangerous of the two?
Well thatâ??s up to the reader
to decide. Probably magic in that story because it does end the whole world but
really, itâ??s not a question that keeps me awake at nightâ?¦
Simon Harrison seemed
perfectly suited for the series, but I could never tell how old Revere was meant
to be. He looked like a 12-year oldâ?¦
I think he was supposed to be
in his early, mid-teens, something like that. It was never specified so again
the readers could read into it whatever they wanted.
Book II of "Revere" ends with the
"leap of faith" cliffhanger, which seemed very much like the end of
the series. Was it always planned for three books?
Yes. All the stuff before it
was just part of Revereâ??s weird mystical initiation. Book III was the real
money shot, as I believe they say in porn filmsâ?¦
was the only part of the 2000AD Summer Offensive in 1994 not written by Mark
Millar or Grant Morrison. How'd you join that little club, and could you tell us
what 2000AD was like behind the scenes for those weeks?
A lot of fun. I was good pals
with Mark Millar at the time and met up with him and Grant to talk the whole
thing over, visited Grantâ??s spooky Victorian house and so on, and the whole
idea was to take over â??2000ADâ?? for eight issues and just write these
high concept action stories. It was really an act of cockiness, of bravado
almost. It was our way of trying to show how easy it is to come up with new
characters rather than dragging on the usual old slags who whored their way
through the comic month after month after interminable month. But it was great!
For those brief weeks we were the dictators of Zragg wresting control from Tharg!
It mostly escaped the near-unanimous and often
harsh fan criticism of that run (In fact, I may be the only fan to like it). Why
didnâ??t print any letters mentioning it, maybe? Iâ??m sure other people did
like it but they just werenâ??t very vocal about it. I still think itâ??s a
pretty strong concept. I mean, death row killers fighting it out on dinosaurs
with weapons add-onsâ?¦ It practically screams out to be made into a computer
game though you can bet the big nobs at Fleetway are more interested in
developing â??Cronos Carnivalâ?? or â??Outlawâ?? or something
equally shite and one-dimensional.
You then contributed â??Roadkillâ?? during a
period where Judge Dredd was being handled by a bank of rotating writers. What
was it like working for the lead feature in the book, and was there any
editorial control to keep the Dredd writers on one "vision"?
I think the Dredd
"vision", as you call it, is all there in the stories. Itâ??s John
Wagnerâ??s baby with, what, 20 years of established history built up there, so
everything you need to write a â??Dreddâ?? story has already been
established for you. Itâ??s like a big toy box thatâ??s there for you to
plunder. The real challenge is to introduce new elements, new story ideas,
rather than just pilfering from whatâ??s already there. As far as writing the
comicâ??s lead feature goes, obviously itâ??s a big privilege and a huge amount
of fun. Iâ??ve been a â??Dreddâ?? fan since â??2000ADâ?? started
so you can imagine what it buzz it is to have the chance to add to that
Unlike some of your other Dredd stories, like
â??Darksideâ?? or â??Fetishâ??, the antagonist in â??Roadkillâ?? is a more
traditional Dredd foe. Do you prefer putting Dredd up against something way out
of his element, or finding new angles for Mega-City One stories?
Whatever suits the story. â??Judge
Dreddâ?? has some of the greatest villains around â?? itâ??s one of John
Wagnerâ??s many strong points â?? and itâ??s my one big ambition to come up with
a major league villain in the same vein. Havenâ??t got there yet but Iâ??m
working on it! Thereâ??s also â??The Jigsaw Murdersâ?? in â??The
Megazineâ?? which â?? like â??Roadkillâ?? â?? was a much more
traditional story but with a bit more of a John Smith twist (namely lots of
amputations and strange psychoses). Then of course thereâ??s Mega-City One
itself, with all its inhabitants and crazy fads and weird future crimes, not to
mention all the other Mega-Cities and off-planet colonies and stuff, so thereâ??s
really a limitless source of ideas there to be plundered.
On that note, what's the secret
to coming up with a good challenge for Dredd?
Thatâ??s a tricky one. I
suppose itâ??s to try to do something new, bring something to the series that
hasnâ??t appeared before, which itself is very difficult considering how long
â??Dreddâ?? has been going. I remember disliking a lot of the stories
during Garthâ??s run because he just ended up rehashing all these old characters
in the same sort of stock situation. That seems pretty pointless to me unless
you can bring something new to it but it can obviously be a big temptation to
fill-in writers. Originality â?? weird crime â?? new villains and threats. Those
would be some of my key ingredientsâ?¦
In the foreword to â??Fetishâ??,
David Bishop spoke of the huge difficulties in putting this story together. At
one point it was apparently 11 standard-length episodes, but was changed into 5,
17-page episodes. What was it like, rewriting this tale so many times?
I didnâ??t rewrite any of it
â?? it was ruthlessly cut to size by Davidâ??s own fair hand. I wouldnâ??t have
minded having a hand in rewriting it (those first few episodes were pretty
sloppily spliced together) but it was a fait accompli by that time so it was out
of my hands.
Once Siku was assigned, did your scripts take
into account his frequent use of double-page spreads?
Iâ??d already finished the
series long before I knew who was going to be drawing it. Siku wasnâ??t even an
option back then. â??Fetishâ?? was originally to be drawn by Ashley Woods
but he was sacked after turning out about five pages in a year or something daft
like that so Siku it was. I think his characters can be very inconsistent, as
can his colouring, but when he puts his mind to it â?? especially in those
panoramic nature scenes â?? he can do a pretty good job. Iâ??m glad to see from
his more recent stuff that heâ??s improved a lot. At least now the characters
look the same from panel to panel and Dredd isnâ??t just this huge chin in a
helmet any moreâ?¦
Judge Karyn is in constant
danger in this storyâ?¦was there any talk of killing her off?
Karyn was originally Judge
Anderson in the first couple of scripts but in the end I wasnâ??t allowed to use
her because she was off in outer space so we just substituted Karyn instead. It
wouldâ??ve obviously had much more emotional impact if it had been Anderson
under threat â?? especially considering her and Dreddâ??s history together â??
but in the end it wasnâ??t my decision.
It's billed as a Dredd story, but do you see
Fetish as a "Judge Dredd" story guest starring Devlin Waugh, or as a
"Devlin Waugh" story with Dredd in it?
What you said first. I mean
Devlin was only in it for, what, less than a quarter of the story. To be honest,
the whole thing came out of a rejected proposal I did for a "Doctor
Moreau"-type jungle fever story in which I attempted (perhaps
misguidedly) to introduce this tongue in cheek character called Judge Tarzan. In
my opinion thereâ??s not nearly enough nice-looking skimpily-dressed male
characters in comics and I wanted to do my bit to redress the balance. (Of
course nowadays thereâ??s Dante, I suppose, but as a character heâ??s just soâ?¦
adolescent, isnâ??t he? And - ugh! - all that hair.)
Moving back to Devlin and his
first appearance, whose idea was the missing tooth?
Canâ??t remember. I think it
might have been Seanâ??s idea, actually, but I canâ??t say for sure. Iâ??m a big
Terry Thomas fan though and I think it suits him perfectly. Sucking air
dismissively through his teeth is just one of his many annoying mannerisms.
Many of the elements seen in
the prologue to "Chasing Herod" were first mentioned in passing in
"Swimming in Blood". How long have you held this tight backstory for
I guess about seven or eight
years, since I first sent in that proposal for Dirk Devlin, as he was then
called. (In fact the series was originally entitled â??Sin Eaterâ?? but
David reckoned it sounded too much like a female pop vocalist of the time!) All
this stuff sort of comes out automatically when youâ??re in the early stages of
brainstorming a story, when the idea really grabs you and starts to come alive
and you just fill page after page with stream-of-consciousness ramblings as one
idea sparks another. Thatâ??s my favourite part of writing something. It always
has been. All the rest is just transcribing and polishing and trying to fit
things into a semblance of order. But thereâ??s nothing like that first
white-hot moment when the story takes on its own life. I enjoy writing the
proposal a lot more than I do writing the actual script, which I find deathly
dull, a real chore sometimes. Your mind just riffs off at all different angles
and itâ??s tempting to put all that stuff in there even if it doesnâ??t really
apply to the storyline at hand. Iâ??m sure itâ??s a big bugbear for editors that
my proposals are so lengthy and detailed. Itâ??s also probably one of the things
that puts people off my stuff â?? a tendency to bog the story down with
extraneous detail, which really doesnâ??t work so well in five or six page
episodic chunks as it does in a full-length monthly comic. I always try to see
the story as one big overarching entity, though, and thatâ??s how I structure
How easy is it for you to fit
your vision of Devlin and his world into the Dredd universe?
Itâ??s not hard at all. Devlin
sort of explores the highways and byways of weirdness in the Dredd universe,
that dark underbelly that we get occasional flashes off but which has been left
relatively unexplored in the main â??Dreddâ?? strip. I think the Dredd
universe is so big thereâ??s plenty of room there for all kinds of
interpretations. And remember Devlin was created for â??The Megazineâ??
whose raison dâ??Ãªtre was to explore those different avenues so no, it isnâ??t
really a problem. I sometimes feel Iâ??m taking a bit of liberty when I go into
the Vatican Judges and that kind of stuff but itâ??s just the nature of the
beast, as it were.
Does Devlin have immigration
problems everywhere, or is it just Mega-City One?
Just MC1, and probably just
because of Dredd himself. As the Vaticanâ??s top occult agent Devlin has full
diplomatic immunity wherever he goes so border checks and stuff like that donâ??t
really apply to him. Basically, he has carte blanche to break whatever laws he
wants in the pursuit of justice.
Devlin's "outing" as a vampire in the
public toilets was clearly culled from George Michael's legal troubles, but
that's just one of many gay references and subtexts in the series. How
comfortable have the editors been with the homosexual overtones in the series?
Surprisingly, they seem to have
been a lot more relaxed with the â??2000ADâ?? stuff than in â??The
Megazineâ??. That might be a matter of playing it safe when Devlin first
appeared, or it might be that the late â??90s were more tolerant, Iâ??m not
sure, but as far as I know I havenâ??t had any editorial changes made on the
Devlin story in â??2000ADâ??. Most of the changes were actually done in
the text stories I wrote for the annuals and specials, probably because with
text is itâ??s right there on the page - said, explicit - whereas you can leave
a lot unsaid in the comic because the visuals tell the story. Perhaps Iâ??ve
mellowed a bit over the years and Iâ??m not quite so in-yer-face as I used to
be. I do understand that â??2000ADâ?? is primarily a kidsâ?? comic and I
donâ??t want to push my luck. If I did go too far Iâ??m sure David and Andy
would tell me but Iâ??m not really a militant Outrage! type anyway. As long as I
can stay true to Devlinâ??s character and tell the stories I want to tell, Iâ??m
On that note, are you allowed to be more overt
with gay overtones in Sirius Rising than you were in â??Swimming in Bloodâ???
Hmmm. Thatâ??s a difficult one.
I think so, yeah. What do you think? From my point of view, David didnâ??t seem
to treat â??Sirius Risingâ?? with quite the same kid gloves he did with
â??Swimming in Bloodâ??. Like I said, maybe thatâ??s more to do with the
fact that those kinds of issues seem more acceptable, much more part of the norm
at the end of the â??90s than it did when Devlin first appeared back in 1992 or
whatever. I think it was always Steve MacManus who seemed most uncomfortable
with the gay elements, probably because heâ??d already had his fingers burned on
â??Crisisâ?? with strips like â??Skinâ?? and â??True Faithâ??.
I guess all this political correctness bullshit probably has something to do
Will we ever get to meet
Devlin's brother Freddy, or is he to be left to our imagination?
We might â?? always assuming heâ??s
still alive. One of Seanâ??s ideas (whoâ??s first child is called Freddy) was to
have him as this Sister of Perpetual Indulgence figure, you know, the decadent
bearded male nuns, but thatâ??s not how it finally worked out. Freddyâ??s
definitely more outlandish than Devlin. Heâ??s Mycroft Holmes to Devlinâ??s
Sherlock. I donâ??t really want to say too much about him for fear of ruining
whatever tiny amount of mystique he may have. Heâ??s much more important by his
absence than his presence and if that sounds too cryptic youâ??ll understand
what I mean over the course of any future Devlin stories.
As I write this, I'm as worried as ever that
Devlin won't make it through this series alive, but if he does, does the
management seem receptive to more Devlin Waugh adventures?
Yes â?? he will be coming back
(I can hear the groans already!) â?? but remember it took me seven years to
write a sequel to the first story so donâ??t hold your breath. He has been in
the comic continuously for the last half a year and Iâ??m very conscious of not
wanting people to become sick of him because of overexposure. When he does
reappear, though, I guarantee heâ??ll be back to his old self, with none of the
soul-searching and self-pity of â??Sirius Risingâ??. Heâ??s had his appetite
whetted â?? heâ??s loved the publicity and prestige of saving the world â?? and
next time we see him heâ??ll be back to his old preening swaggering self. The
next story will see him getting in the thick of things and really kicking ass in
his own unique occultbusting style.
Outside of Devlin Waugh, what else are you
working on now, and what can we expect in and outside the Galaxy's Greatest in
Iâ??m always working on lots of
ideas but it takes me a while to decide which one to put all my energies into. Iâ??m
very fickle like that. Sometimes a storyline will come fully formed but often itâ??s
a gradual process of accretion as all the elements come together. Iâ??ve got a
zombie story in the works (which features Charles Manson so Iâ??m not sure if
thatâ??s quite â??2000ADâ?? material) and an alternate history story
tentatively called â??Anno Frankensteinâ?? which imagines what the world
would be like today if Frankensteinâ??s experiments had really taken off and
been embraced by the scientific community. World War I fought with living
cadavers and that kind of stuff. And my big ambition is to tell this faery story
Iâ??ve had at the back of my mind for ages now which explodes that fey â??Books
of Magicâ?? thing and looks at faeries from a totally new perspective. The
idea is, weâ??ve had cyberpunk and splatterpunk and steampunk - well this will
be the first faerypunk strip ever done. Iâ??m also writing some â??Dreddâ??
stories right now and I want to fulfil some of those ambitions I mentioned
before â?? I want to introduce a really cool classic villain; I want to create
some new Mega-City crazes and a supporting character in the Chopper mould; just
basically have fun with that big toybox of ideas.
Iâ??ve written a kind of
spin-off series from Devlin called â??Pussyfoot 5â?? set in outer space
â?? just a five issue story at first to introduce the characters and concepts,
just to test the water, but whichâ??ll hopefully continue if it goes down well.
Then of course thereâ??s the next Devlin story. I want it to be totally
different to â??Sirius Risingâ??. Thatâ??ll either be â??Ship of Foolsâ??
or â??Dead Eyesâ?? or something else entirely. Not quite sure at the
moment but itâ??ll be sorted out over the next couple of weeks. Thereâ??s also a
computer game version of â??Swimming in Bloodâ?? in the pipeline which is
all very hush-hush but Iâ??ve seen a demo and it promises to be pretty
After my horrible experiences
at Vertigo, Iâ??m also trying to get back into American comics and Iâ??ve
written some â??Aliensâ?? and â??Predatorâ?? proposals and Iâ??ve
got a few ideas for mainstream DC Universe stuff â?? â??Batmanâ?? and a
â??Demonâ?? miniseries, that kind of thing. My biggest projects are two
creator-owned titlesâ?¦ the zombie story I mentioned, which I think is going to
be too strong for â??2000ADâ?? to print, and something called â??The
Supernaturalsâ?? (whichâ??ll probably be called something else entirely by
the time itâ??s written up). These are only in my head at the moment though so
who knows? I could dream something else up tomorrow and ditch the lot of them.
Last, thereâ??s a novel Iâ??ve been working on on-and-off for the last two years
called â??The Judas Millâ?? but that wonâ??t be finished any time soon.
What is the first thing that
you wrote for â??2000ADâ???
The first thing that saw print
was a â??Time Twisterâ?? but I honestly canâ??t remember the first thing
I actually wrote. I was a big â??Doctor Whoâ?? fan back then in the â??80sâ??
a sad and lonely soul bombarding the BBC weekly with script proposals â?? so it
was probably a doctored version of one of those.
What are your future plans?
What comics, if any, do you
Not nearly as many as I used
to. â??The Invisiblesâ?? is my favourite comic but since thatâ??s ending
pretty soon Iâ??m going to have to find something else to obsess over. Iâ??ve
been hearing a lot about â??The Authorityâ?? and â??Planetaryâ??
so Iâ??ve checked out some issues â?? though Iâ??m not a big superhero fan. Iâ??m
seriously preparing my big blitz on the American publishers this year so Iâ??m
going to be reading all kinds of crap just to re-familiarise myself with the
market. â??2000ADâ?? I read religiously, of courseâ?¦
What movies, books, plays have inspired your
Far too many to mention but Iâ??ll
give it a go. Stephen King, Clive Barker, Peter Straub â?? Iâ??ve read almost
all the horror writers at some point and lots of classic SF and I try to keep up
to date with the new stuff. Ray Bradbury for that really rich descriptive prose
of his. Ramsey Campbell and Elmore Leonard â?? totally different to each other
but both with such a great way of writing. Iâ??ve actually been reading a lot
more non-fiction stuff these last couple of years though so Iâ??m a bit behind
on modern fictionâ?¦
â??Stig of the Dumpâ??
was a major influence on me as a kid as were the Hammer horror films and the old
black-and-white RKO and Universal horror flicks. I love T.S.Eliot and the
Metaphysical poets like Donne and Marvell. I like the plays of Peter Shaffer and
Nigel Kneale who wrote the â??Quatermassâ?? stories (that TV series years
ago with John Mills as Quatermass and all the stone circles and stuff). I love
Edward Albee â?? especially â??Whoâ??s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?â??
Films, I love Cronenberg and Nicolas Roeg and John Carpenter and Gerorge Romero
and David Lynch and Larry Cohen - all the great horror and SF directors. And
there are dozens of films that have really influenced me. â??12 Angry Men.â??
â??The Wicker Manâ?? (which seems very trendy now but deservedly so). â??Sleuth.â??
â??The Last Wave.â?? â??The Ninth Configuration.â?? â??The
Shoutâ??, which is a gem of a film. Polanski â?? especially â??The Tenantâ??.
â??Drowning by Numbersâ?? and a couple of other Greenaway films. Most
recently I loved â??The Sixth Senseâ?? which was the best film I saw last
year. I could go on all nightâ?¦
You seem to be interested in
magic. Do you practice it?
No. Only wishful thinking. Iâ??m
pretty open-minded to all sorts of weird possibilities and have had some unusual
experiences but Iâ??m not into magic to any serious extent. Iâ??ve never even
tried to use a ouija board â?? though my brother assures me it works. Iâ??ve
studied different magical systems but never really practiced it as such. As a
kid I fancied myself more as Baron Frankenstein - that marriage of science and
the mystical â?? and regularly tried to reanimate frozen earthworms and tadpoles
and things like that. (One of the behavioural precursors of serial killers is
apparently torturing animals as a child but my research was always strictly in
the name of science, you understand.) Iâ??m into earth magic and ley lines and
have visited most of the sacred sites of Britain but thatâ??s mainly just an
excuse for a holiday and a piss-up. Iâ??m also very interested in the various
conspiracy theories of history.
Would you like to write Dredd
I am doing and I hope theyâ??ll
let me keep coming back every now and again. The payâ??s better, for one thing!
In a perfect world what would
you be writing?
My long planned sequel to the
Bible. â??League of Gentlemenâ?? (the BBC2 TV series â?? not the Alan
Moore comic.) Big-budget Hollywood films alongside pretentious European art
house movies. Novels, of which Iâ??ve started dozens but havenâ??t got the
stamina to finish one. I was seriously into writing novels way before I read
comics (which I discovered after being laid up in hospital for six weeks) and
that was always my real ambition. Iâ??d love to write a really great
twenty-first century horror novel.
Have you ever thought about approaching
Computer Game Company for plans about â??Slaughterbowlâ???
All right! A man
after my own heart! Wouldnâ??t it make a great computer game?
Death-row convicts â?? dinosaurs with weapons add-ons. If you have any contacts
Iâ??m ready to hear about them because Iâ??ve no idea how to even go about
approaching a computer games company. (The guyâ??s doing â??Swimming in Bloodâ??
were the ones who contacted me.)
Are there any other comic
writers whose work you enjoy?
All the good ones. I love Grant
Morrisonâ??s stuff â?? Alan Moore â?? some of Mark Millarâ??s stuff (a sort
point among â??Robo-Hunterâ?? fans, I know, but heâ??s done some neat
stuff elsewhere) â?? Iâ??ve liked the â??Hellblazersâ?? and â??Preachersâ??
Iâ??ve read of Garthâ??s as well as some of Warren Ellisâ??s more recent stuff.
Neil Gaimanâ??s written a few neat things (though I did tire of â??Sandmanâ??
after a couple of years) â?? John Wagner â?? whose storytelling is so smooth and
unshowy, heâ??s the consummate laid-back storyteller. Frank Miller, of course.
All the usual suspectsâ?¦
How did you get started?
I gave up reading comics in my
teens but started again when â??Warriorâ?? came out. That comic just blew
me away and made me realise what it was I loved about comics in the first place.
I wrote Alan Moore a couple of fans letters and got some really encouraging
replies back off him and from there on it was just a matter of persevering,
sending stuff up to publishers every week in the hope I could wear them down. My
first job was writing for the D.C. Thomson science fiction comic â??Starblazerâ??
when I was 17 or 18. I basically ditched all ideas of going on to university and
decided to start writing full-time.
How do you work, do you set
yourself regular hours or work as the ideas come to you?
I try to set myself regular
hours but Iâ??m too bloody lazy to keep it up for long. I know thatâ??s the one
piece of advice every writer says you should follow: Keep to a schedule. I
generally faff around for weeks planning a story and working it out but I find
it a real chore typing it up into script form. Iâ??m a big Alfred Hitchcock fan
and I sort of subscribe to his view of doing things â?? once youâ??ve planned a
story out in your head, all the fun goes out of it and the rest is just a chore,
a matter of transcribing it and making it real to other people.
Where do you get your ideas?
The little old lady who runs
the sweetshop on the corner in Blackburn where I live. Half a pound of Cola
Cubes and an idea for a 12-issue limited seriesâ?¦
The truth is everywhere. A big
one with me is watching films, reading books, and realising the writer or
director hasnâ??t taken the idea to its logical conclusion. People are always
telling me that I have this morbid urge to always take things one step further
than I really should. Thatâ??s what I love so much about David Cronenbergâ??s
stuff. He takes an idea to its ultimate logical conclusion. Odd imagery also
often kick-starts my thinking along weirdly divergent lines.
How quickly do you work?
Pretty slowly. I have been
known to do about 12 pages a week but Iâ??m extremely lazy so these days itâ??s
usually more like 6 pages. Iâ??m also extremely critical of my own stuff and
hate the idea of hacking things out to fill a deadline. I do try to tell myself
"Itâ??s only a comic" but Iâ??m afraid Iâ??m a bit of a prima donna
when it comes down to it and donâ??t send anything off unless it lives up to my
own hyper-critical standards.
What is your favourite piece of
work to date?
Itâ??s actually something thatâ??s
never been seen, a three-issue sex-and-science fiction series called â??Trailing
Ishmaelâ?? for the defunct Trident Comics (who published Grant Morrisonâ??s
â??St. Swithinâ??s Dayâ??). It was a kind of road movie tale about a
narcissistic far-future rentboy â?? an IshMale â?? who escapes slavery and tries
to find a new life for himself. A sort of adult â??American Gigoloâ?? in
space. Lots of nudity and four-letter swear words and graphic violence so
Trident wouldâ??ve been the only company brave enough to print it. The artist
was Dominic Regan, who drew and lettered the whole first issue of 24 pages, and
he did a brilliant job. I used to have photocopies but I canâ??t find them
anywhere, which really pisses me off because they were just brilliant. (If
anyone reading this knows either Dom or Martin Skidmore and they have copies, Iâ??d
love to see it again.)
What are you working on at the
Have you created any characters
that have been turned down flatly by editors?
Eddie Whyteman (who sacrificed
himself in â??Sirius Risingâ??) took about seven or eight years to get to
the page â?? Iâ??d conceived him even before Devlin and Matt Brooker/Dâ??Israeli
did some superb art samples but in the end it never panned out. Judge Tarzan I
already mentioned. Uhmmâ?¦ Yarrow and a load of supporting characters at the
time â??2000ADâ?? was soliciting ideas for a â??female-centredâ?? fantasy
series (David eventually settled on Gordon Rennieâ??s diabolically hackneyed â??Witch
Worldâ??). Lenny Domino from â??Anno Dominoâ??, also submitted to â??2000ADâ??.
Thereâ??s probably loads more but I canâ??t remember off the top of my headâ?¦
How would you describe your
Fernickity and over-worked. I
rework my stuff maybe a bit too much and sometimes feel I lose some of the
spontaneity that a good comic story should have. Iâ??m also not great with
endings â?? generally because Iâ??m so "undisciplined" (as David
Bishop would so assiduously attest) that I always run out of space at the end of
a story. Thatâ??s the one big thing that annoys me about comics â?? having to
work in restricted episodic segments.
If you werenâ??t writing comics
what would you be doing?
Optimistically - writing novels or Iâ??d have
gone on to study Film at university or parapsychology at Edinburgh. Or perhaps
working as a librarian. I love libraries and here in Blackburn we have one of
the best in the country. The head librarian is apparently a witch and she always
gets in the latest weirdo magic and conspiracy books imported from the USâ?¦
Will you be at Comics 2000?
I doubt it.
Youâ??re in the shower and you hear someone
come in... Ideally, who is it, Johnny Alpha, Judge Dredd orâ?¦?
Kano from â??Bad Companyâ??.
Those head scars are such a turn-on.