2016 has allowed me to work with some pretty special artists. I talked about this in some detail on my last blog post, but this Wednesday 14th’s releases bring that welcome fact home again. Two comics out today, one drawn by Jim Lee and one by Chris Weston…. I’ll take that.
‘Boxing Day’ is a festive 12-pager in 2000AD #2011, drawn and coloured by Chris, where some accounts Judges come up with a brilliant plan to pay the citizens to behave on Christmas Day. Will it work? Joe Dredd’s face (above) shows you what he thinks the chances are.
Chris and I have done a few things together now. A Superman tale, a Sensitive Klegg-starring Dredd and now this. He’s brilliant. The amount of detail he includes is intimidating and crazy and he wanted to colour this story himself. Because there wasn’t enough work to be done already…
Chris’ B&W page before colouring above. Another coloured page below.
It’s a fun story, with some Easter Eggs for long term Dredd fans. Dredd and Christmas stories works somehow. He’s the Scrooge, the straight man. The city offers the crazy, and there’s something inherently funny about trying to wind up the scariest, grimmest man in the world. Dredd has always offered cynical black humour. That’s probably when it’s at its best and where it has a specific tone.
A dystopian fascist America? You’ve got to laugh.
Also out today is SUICIDE SQUAD #8, the final part of the ‘Going Sane’ storyline. And Jim Lee’s last issue before we head into our JUSTICE LEAGUE vs SUICIDE SQUAD tie-in issues.
The effects of the Black Orb have turned everyone in Belle Reve murderous and crazy, and it’s had the opposite effect on Harley Quinn, who’s been made sane in return. So it’s up to Harley to save the day and somehow get General Zod back in the Black Orb before he wakes up and goes the full Nicolas Cage.
Some classic Jim Lee pencil goodness for you there, from #8.
And here’s the cover to #8 with Scott Williams’ inks.
It’s been an absolute treat to work with Jim on a book, and something I never could have predicted. I think we put together a run that’s fun, thrilling, and somewhat irreverent and askew. It’s Suicide Squad. That’s what the book should be. There’s a reason each issue has has a Ramones song for a title. This isn’t Justice League. Going in I pitched that this book should have a punk attitude.
I made a Spotify playlist for Suicide Squad btw, partly to play when writing so I’d not forget the tone this book should have. Listen to this while you’re hitting people with a big comedy mallett or throwing razor sharp boomerangs at them.
Meanwhile, Suicide Squad #9 & #10 are co-written by my clever sod Dr Who collaborator Si Spurrier. And then it’s me again on the next arc where I’ll be joined with our new superstar artist – who I can’t discuss yet. But with Jim leaving, it had to be someone exciting, and it really is. From one ‘I never thought I’d get to work with’ to another…
More news soon.
But if you’d told me back when I was reading Jim’s run on X-Men that I’d one day do a DC comic with him. Well, that all would’ve felt like a lottery win. It’s genuinely been one of the highlights of 2016 for me.
Speaking of Spurrier and Dr Who, the season finale of our Eleventh Doctor run should’ve been in shops today, but it’s apparently been delayed a week. Expertly drawn by Simon Fraser, it ties up our novelistic year-long single story – bloody challenging when you’re dealing with timey wimey – and it features the greatest panel in the history of Dr Who comics. Well, our Dr Who comics at least…
<SPOILERS! Don’t scroll down if you’re waiting for the Who finale.>
Abslom Daak showing admirable restraint there. Bit like me when I’m trying to get my kids out the door to school in the mornings.
UNFOLLOW #15 is on the way. Look. Creepy.
Actually that’s drawn by Mike. It’s not a portrait OF Mike. As far as I’m aware.
Speaking of Unfollow, I received comps of the second TPB collection last week: ‘God is Watching.’ You can buy it here, and I suggest you do, if only for the killer Matt Taylor cover:
And the second MARTIAN MANHUNTER tpb too. Eddy Barrows, Ben Oliver, giant city-sized Martian mech cities having a war:
While the first SUICIDE SQUAD tpbs is due in March I think. Beautiful new cover by Jim for it, which hasn’t been released yet. Pictured here is Philip Tan’s fine cover for our Rebirth issue.
Happy Christmas everyone!