2000AD 1700 interview #2 – Pat Mills

This week sees the release of 2000AD issue (or “prog” to the faithful) 1700.
As with previous issue 100’s this is down as a jumping on prog so every story is a part one, suitable for new readers looking to give 2000AD a try. To make the most of this I’ve nabbed a few quick Q&A’s with some of prog 1700′s contributors.

Next in line we have the man without whom there would literally be no 2000AD. Mr Pat Mills.

Your strip in prog 1700 is Defoe : A Murder of Angels with Leigh Gallagher. What can you tell us about this?

Murder of Angels… I think it speaks for itself… Zombies and Hunters. Lots of horror, crazy characters and a few laughs. On a person level, I get to develop Defoe’s character which interests me greatly.

Prog 1700 is down as a jumping on issue for new readers. If someone was picking this up for the first time, what would be the bare basics they’d need to know about Defoe to hit the ground running and not feel lost?

I’d like to think they could follow it easily enough. Zombies are infesting the 17th century and The Hunters have to deal with them. Not sure the back story is that essential for them.

As the man behind 2000AD’s genesis how does it feel seeing these landmark issues and the comic’s continued popularity?

It’s great. Especially as for the last eight years under Matt’s editorship it’s gone in the right direction. Before that I was fearful for its future, but those dark days are behind us.

Why do you think 2000AD has managed to survive these past thirty plus years, and if you had known it would still be going strong in 2010, would you have reconsidered the title?

I brought up the title when it started and the publisher told me not to worry about it. He thought it would die by then. It’s survived because of great talent and very strong foundations. So even when it went through some rough patches in the late 90s it could survive them.

I loved your recent “Savage” arc and, to me at least, it really felt like the pocket size war comics I read as a kid. No bullshit hard men, taking care of business and giving anyone who stepped out of line a slap. Was it a deliberate choice to make it like this, or is that just how the characters voices came out?

Deliberate choice. These gangsters in Savage are closely based on real life research.

I also enjoyed how the Savage strip showed the origins of the ABC Warriors who also later on appear in Nemesis the Warlock, three strips you wouldn’t necessarily imagine could exist in the same timeline. Was it always your intention to tie these together or did that just evolve over time?

I always had a loose 2000AD universe… Harlem Heroes had a link into Dredd for instance. It was there to be drawn upon and now feels like the right time for these stories.

I’ve seen a few rumours flying around that we might soon get a collected edition of yours and Kevin O’Neil’s Marshal Law. Is this something you could comment on? My copies have definately seen better days.

Yeah, we’re still working on bringing back Law… We’re at delicate stage of negotiations, but if that goes okay, he should be back on the streets in reprint at least within a year

Lastly could you let us know about any other projects you have in the works and where people can go to find out more about your creations.

I must put up more material on Facebook and I must do a dedicated website. Sorry I haven’t managed this yet.
On Facebook, there’s material on political comics and also on the late great John Hicklenton.

Coming up… a new Flesh story which follows directly AFTER Flesh Book One. Great young dino artist James McKay, who is holding up well to the baptism of fire we’re putting him through.

Thanks for your time in aswering these questions and… well, thanks for 2000AD really.

Thank you, Richard. For some reason I seem more passionate about 2000AD now than a few years back. Maybe cos i’m so happy with the way my stories are being drawn and received. They’re a lot of fun to write

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One comment

  1. Top li’l interview, there! Proper whet my appetite for getting back into 2000AD

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