Monday, May 31, 2004


The 2000AD Discussion Panel

FI - Frazer Irving

NK - Nigel Kitching

MB - Matt Brooker (AKA D'Israeli)

PJH - Paul J Holden

AB - Alan Barnes

SS - Simon Spurrier

RM - Robby Morrison

MS - Matt Smith


The MC opened with a request for what went well this year. Matt replied that there was positive feedback on the new stories (AHAB, Chopper, Savage, Low Life) which was encouraging. He was looking forward to issue 1400 (only 10 issues away) and also the new stories coming out in the second half of the year (including Strontium Dogs, Caballistics Inc, ABC Warriors, Robohunter, Lobster Random, an Asylum sequel, and a Freaks sequel called Faces). Matt unfortunately couldn't really go into what would be up-and-coming in 2005 but luckily the rest of the panel were much freer with the news!

Robby was putting together scripts for Nikolai Dante in time for Christmas and for Shakara next year. He was amazed how he had been able to get away with so little dialogue in the latter. He also mentioned a possible return Shimura, a judge character he had created in the Megazine way back in 1993.

Si was quick to point out that Shakara must be a Pokemon as the only dialogue they have is their name. Made logical sense to me. Si went on to mention script work coming out for Lobster Random, Bek and Kawl, and the thoroughly under-plugged Simping Detective (out next week in Megazine 220).

Alan had good news on the reprint front - budget had been freed up for commissions so lest reprints (obviously good to hear). He mentioned a new Middenface McNulty story (Killoden, a grim parody of Culloden, drawn by John Ridgway), a gory Judge Dredd (drawn by Dave Taylor, new to 2000AD, Batman artist), and a thriller strip called Six (supposedly similar to the movie "Se7en" with someone impaled on the Empire State, for example.)
All sound interesting.

Frazer mentioned that he had worked with Si on the Simping Detective before plugging his non-2000AD work. Apparently he needed to loadly emphasise the Simping Detective for those at the back who hadn't heard him the first time. 

The MC asked about breaking into the US more - Rebellion are working with DC on some cross-overs (Robby started to drool at the idea of a Wonder Woman/Nokolai Dante team-up). The weekly anthology format of 2000AD doesn't suit the US market.

Asked as to what didn't go well this year, Matt quickly saw through the MC's question and started talking about Valkyries. It hadn't hit the mark in it's 6-issue run but there had been a few people writing in saying they had liked it. Personally I have enjoyed Steve Moore's writing in Tales of Telguuth but Valkyries didn't really work for me. Interesting ideas, maybe, but slightly too silly (especially the sex). Anyway, the panel decided that you can never tell what's really going to work.

Dreddcon? -  Should be October 2nd at Oxford Uni. Is planned to coincide with the DC graphic novel tie-ins. Look on the website for news, where there will also be a design makeover too.

What did the panel think of Striker, the football comic with Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) graphics? Frazer thought it was "absolutely bloody awful" and Alan said that 2000AD would use such graphics over their dead bodies. So the panel were pretty evenly split there.

Alan mentioned that Extreme would move to bi-monthly. They would drop the theme as it was becoming too tenuous a link between stories. It's a great job selecting stories - sitting there all day reading old progs. On the subject of reprints, there's a graphic novel compilation of the Judge Dredd/Batman stories (except the one printed on different paper, I think). A few others in the pipeline included Robohunter's Verdus story.
Rogue Trooper game? 2005.

Frazer was quizzed on the possibility of using Colour in his artwork. Apparently the occasional use cyan and magenta counts. Hmmm.

Why does the panel think artists and writers go to the US? For example, Jock and Andy Diggle have recently signed a 2-year exclusive deal with DC (I didn't realise Andy had been editor of 2000AD and the MegaZine for about 18 months). Robby said working on The Authority was not an offer you could turn down. The panel explained that the US paid well and there was a larger market (who can turn down more fame?) but it isn't one-way traffic. Matt explained that there was only a certain number of artists and writers who can be published in a weekly 2000AD (and worse for the monthly Megazine) so people have to get work somewhere - why not the US?
Alan said 2000AD did not regret people leaving - going to the US adds experience and exposes artists and writers to a wider spectrum of work. It is, though, expected that Jock and Andy will be back some time in the future - Garth Ennis has returned. There is a lot of freedom in working at 2000AD and Robby found being able to work on Nikolai as he wanted something you can't get everywhere.2000AD is apparently more fun than US companies - it is smaller and decisions are made so much more quickly.

What are the panel working on OUTSIDE of Rebellion?

Frazer was challenged over his work looking like Berni Wrightson (co-creator of Swamp Thing; good artist during the 70's and early 80's). Obviously this annoyed Frazer a little - I don't know how many times he gets this. Just because he does horror in B/W doesn't mean he's copying Berni. Instead he said that Berni copied Ken Smith but that lost me - maybe I misheard.

Bits and bobs:

That's it - buggered if I'll ensure everything has a bloody hyperlink again though

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