Happy New Year and huge apologies that I’ve not updated the site since October. Yes, I’ve been busy but that’s no excuse. Both my arms fell off when I sneezed one day. That would be an excuse. And a bad one. Anyway…
The imminent upcoming is the debut of the new ROBOCOP ongoing from Dynamite, which is out January 27th. Written by myself and drawn by the excellent Fabiano Neves (Red Sonja, Army Of Darkness), hopefully it’ll give fans the same visceral Verhoeven-like thrill they received from the first movie, back in the ’80s. That’s the tone we’re aiming for anyway. Lots of ED-209s, hyper violence and a “little bit of satire” as Ben Elton may have said years ago, right before he went off and wrote an uplifting musical about the troubles in Northern Ireland with Andrew Lloyd Webber (a short-lived run in London’s West End, if you can believe that. I know, me neither. Shame).
The alternate cover from issue one, by Johnny D, below.
And while we’re at it, here’s the cover from #2, by Stephen Segovia:
PUNISHER MAX: GET CASTLE came out January 6th, right when Britain was enduring a second ice age. Personally, I was incredibly happy with how this turned out. It was one of the few times in my comics career I’ve read the final proof and couldn’t believe I’d written something this good. And a lot of the praise for that goes to Laurence Campbell, whose storytelling matched my script pretty perfectly – nailing the tone, the atmosphere, hitting exactly the right dramatic beats. It’s one of the high points of my comics career thus far, for me, regardless of sales and CV. It was exactly the story I wanted to tell, if that makes sense. Considering how nervous I was of writing the same world that Garth Ennis created in his extraordinary Punisher Max run, and my wondering whether I could write something that dark, the end result was incredibly pleasing. If a little worrying. I suddenly feel the Catholic guilt-like need to write some sweet children’s stories to make penance. Possibly with bunnies, and bears, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs). NO!!! Get Castle seemed to go down pretty well, with excellent reviews from IGN, Blair Butler, Ain’t It Cool News and iFanboy. Shame the CBR reviewer decided to kick me repeatedly until I internally bled, but you can’t win them all.
The JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE in March (#295, I think) will feature a one-off Judge Dredd tale by myself and one of my absolute favourite artists, Guy Davis (BPRD, The Marquis). I couldn’t believe it when Guy agreed to draw this, especially given the fact that he was named ‘Best Penciller/Inker’ in the 2009 Eisner Awards. Anyone who’s seen his incredible talent for creature designs (and Revolution-era French architecture, in visually arresting The Marquis) will know that he’s an amazing talent with a fairly unique style, and it turns out, a very nice guy. When I was writing for Star Wars Tales for Dark Horse Comics I’d asked Guy if he’d like to draw a short Star Wars story. It never came off but I’d remembered that he was a big fan of Judge Dredd and the early 2000AD Cursed Earth stories, so when I was asked to pitch a Dredd tale in the Cursed Earth, I thought I’d chance my arm and ask Guy if he was interested. He said yes. Very much looking forward to seeing this in print.
I’ve got another ten page one-off Dredd on the way, this time drawn by Dylan Teague (see pic below). The other night I received some of Dylan’s pages; the next morning I received Guy’s pencils. It felt, within a 12-hour span, that I’d been given something like my own Brian Bolland and Mick McMahon Dredd strips. Both brilliant, both in enormously different styles, but still absolutely Dredd. I think the long time 2000AD fans are going to bust something when they see Dylan’s pages for this – his Dredd is like the bastard son of Bolland. Getting pages of your stories sent to you by world-class artists is one of the major joys of doing this job. It’s a great feeling when you can’t believe how good someone is making your story look. Of course, very occasionally you can’t believe how bad an artist is making your story look, but thankfully that’s a very rare occurrence. There are a lot of hugely talented artists in the comics biz.
There’s a bunch of other things happening that I can’t talk too much about here, including a few exciting things for American publishers, although I will say that the latest LOW LIFE pitch has been approved by 2000AD and I’ll be starting work on that soon. That’s a ten-parter called ‘Hostile Takeover (Paranoia Mk. 2)’ and it looks as though D’Isreali will be back on that – speaking of hugely talented artists. I loved CREATION the story we did together in 2009, so it’ll be fun to work together again.
And finally, for now, there’s a few signings to report. I’ll be at the Com.X ‘Forty-Five’ signings at Forbidden Planet in Cardiff on Jan 23rd and in London on Feb 4th. I’ll also be at the Exeter Comics Expo on Feb 13th. There’s a load of top writers and artists appearing at each of those, so it should be worth attending. Say hello if you come along.