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2000 AD: The Creator Interviews 01

2000 AD: The Creator Interviews 01

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Compiled by Michael Molcher, this e-book collects interviews and career overviews with four pivotal 2000 AD creators – Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills, Mick McMahon and Ron Smith. First up is legendary Spaniard Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of characters such as Judge Dredd, Major Eazy, Rat Pack and Johnny Alpha. He is affable and interesting, his love of the Strontium Dog, Johnny Alpha shining through as does his anger about his treatment at the launch of 2000 AD where, despite being the co-creator of Dredd, he wasn't the first published artist, that honour falling to Mick McMahon. Ezquerra's contribution to British comics is inestimable and his interview is followed up by tributes from some of 2000 AD's top creative talents. Next up is Pat Mills who is as feisty and uncompromising as his reputation suggests. The piece follows Mills from his earliest days, revolutionising girl’s comics on into the creation of 2000 AD (and his own creations for the comic such as Slaine and Nemesis the Warlock) and his subsequent forays into the European market. The Mick McMahon interview is highly interesting as it shows McMahon as an inexperienced artist at the outset of 2000 AD, drawing Dredd on a wing and a prayer, trying to emulate Ezquerra's style while at the same time developing his own hugely distinctive approach. The lack of confidence in his ability is the main theme that comes through the interview, with McMahon struggling with his own ever-evolving style before his eventual retreat from comics. Ron Smith is perhaps the least lauded of the four creators in this book, but he was still a pivotal artist in the early years of Judge Dredd, helping develop much of the look and feel of the strip. The interview takes us back to the beginning of Smith's five and a half decade career in comics, his war experience as a spitfire pilot, his experience at Moor Hall where he was one of many animators working on a production line and his experiences in South Africa during the apartheid era. It also covers his time at DC Thompson in Dundee and offers a fascinating insight into the operation of the company in the '50s and '60s. The interview with Smith is perhaps the most illuminating in the volume given that much has been written about the other trio. All the interviews originally appeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine between 2007 and 2010 given the passing of time are now a touch dated. Despite that each of the interviews is fascinating nonetheless and each of them bring an interesting perspective on four singular individuals and their careers, while offering some interesting insights into the development of British comics and in particular its greatest creation – 2000 AD. ( )
  calum-iain | Jan 10, 2015 |
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