DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #3 is in shops today, by myself, Simon Fraser, Gary Caldwell and team. It’s my first solo issue. This entire 15 issue ‘season’ of the 11th Doctor’s adventures is split between Al Ewing and myself in terms of co-writing. As I’ve mentioned before, that involved us joint writing a series plot and spine – coming up with the characters, the companions, the bad guys etc – and then splitting the series so we’re both writing seven and a half scripts each. Al and I co-wrote #1, Al plotted and scripted #2, I’m on #3. Where we meet The Doctor’s 2nd new companion.
Meet Jones. A fairly unremarkable, grey skiffle/pop singer from the early 60s.
Who somehow becomes ‘the ultimate pop star’. How does that happen, eh? Well, travelling with the Doctor might provide a certain cosmic influence:
And if you’re noticing a certain similarity to a well known pop chameleon, well… that’s probably definitely a complete coincidence. (and a bit of fun. “Wouldn’t it be great if REDACTED was the Doctor’s companion… went the thinking).
This is a story based around the Robert Johnson legend though. How the infamous Blues singer went down to the crossroads at midnight and, if legends are to be believed, sold his soul to the devil in return for a supernatural skill with the guitar. Our story – ‘What he wants’ – plays on the faustian idea about wanting something bad enough to sell what”s important to you. But are such things just quicksilver sold by snake oil salesmen? Meet the Talent Scout:
Can a person evolve into something different, something better? The Doctor regenerates, yes. But do we all do the same in one form or another? Can we become someone better without selling our soul in the bargain? And does The Doctor have something he wants badly enough to make such a sinister pact?
It’s enormous fun writing The Doctor. Bit of a joy. I think everyone concerned feels the same way about the book. Al and Simon are huge Who fans. Andrew, our editor at Titan, has a welcome encyclopedia-like knowledge of the character and his past adventures (which you need when you’re pitching against 50 years of stories). We’re all enjoying ourselves and, hopefully, that shows through.
Also starting today in 2000AD #1901 is the third and final series of THE GRIEVOUS JOURNEY OF ICHABOD AZREAL (AND THE DEAD LEFT IN HIS WAKE). If you’ve not read Ichabod previously, it’s a supernatural western that takes place primarily in the afterlife, where the west’s most merciless killer is searching for revenge on those who have used and manipulated him for their own end. 2000AD recently described it as a western “with Nick Cave’s voice” and that’s not a bad way of looking at it. The Assassination of Jesse James was a big influence, and I played Cave and Warren Ellis’ score cibstantly when writing the first series. In a world of terse scripts I wanted to write something lyrical and verbose (the title more than hints at this). Here’s this week’s 2000AD cover for Ichabod by Nick Percival:
The first two series’ of Ichabod were predominantly drawn by the book’s co-creator Dom Reardon, but joining us for this third series is the excellent Mike Dowling (Death Sentence). Mike and I worked together on the gay culture-themed Judge Dredd story Closet a while back and he’d doing stellar work here. Some of Mike’s pages from episode one:
And in the afterlife… (we use spot colour in Ichabod in a ‘Wizard of Oz’ style. The living world is colour, the afterlife is black and white. There’s a big meta theme here, which gets bigger as we progress).
Ten episodes to the end of the story. And this is definitely the finite end. No coming back for Ichabod.
October 22nd sees the release of the ORDINARY GN in comic shops and may I point out that the Diamond Order code is:
Give that to your local comic shop and they’ll order you a copy
D’israeli and I have a few signings set up around the book’s release:
Oct 22nd – Forbidden Planet, Shaftbsury Av, London
Oct 25th – GOSH Comics, London (where an exclusive book plate will come free with the GN).
Nov 1st – Forbidden Planet, Bristol
And we’ll be at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds, Nov 15th weekend.
More on that in the coming weeks. But the GN contains a load of great extras, including all the Ordinary guest pinups, including this one by Ben Oliver.