Ho yes! In this month’s Judge Dredd Megazine (#305, available from all good – and bad – retailers) you have not one, not two, but THREE features crafted by my fair* hands!
First up there’s the ma-HA-sive interview with comic book legend Liam Sharp – co-creator of homicidal teenage wunderkid PJ Maybe. Coming relatively late to 2000 AD (around ’91, I seem to recall) my first real exposure to Sharp’s work was his involvement in Overkill, the anthology comic launched by Marvel UK as a potential rival to 2000 AD. It didn’t work out that way in the end – Marvel UK eventually overstretched itself and folder, taking Overkill with it – but since my comic book reading habit existed in comparative isolation (none of my friends ever read comics) I knew none of this. I was heartbroken when Overkill faltered and sank, not discovering what had happened until years later, and alongside Dermot Power and Gary Erskine’s work Sharp’s Jim Lee-inspired art on Death’s Head II stayed with me for a very long time.
I touch on this in the interview, with Sharp recounting his spell at Marvel UK: ‘[This] was my big break and I had an amazing time working with Paul Neary back then. He got behind me, mentored me, and encouraged me at a time when things were not great.
‘He gave me confidence, and he reintroduced me to US comics – that great run Jim Lee was doing on the X-Men. McFarlane on The Hulk. Wilce Portacio and all those guys. He had a vision of Marvel UK tapping into that – and for a brief wonderful year or two we really did.
‘Death’s Head II was, and remains, the biggest UK produced exported comic ever, selling half a million copies. Insane!’
Also in this issue of the Meg is my review of 100 Months, the haunting but beautiful last work by the late and very great Johnny Hicklenton. I’ve talked about John befor; he was a quite amazing guy and one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed. I also look upon the resulting feature as one of the best things I’ve ever written, which wouldn’t have been possible had he not been so forthcoming. He will be missed, but this amazing book will remind us of him.
There’s also an interview with former 2000 AD artist Bryan Talbot about the second in his Grandville series of anthropomorphic detective stories.
With such amazingness on offer how can you resist, eh? But wait – there’s more! There’s also a heartwarming** Judge Dredd tale by my drinking buddy Al Ewing – drawn by the aforementioned Mr Sharp – and the beginning of the new Samizdat Squad series by the disturbingly-far-away Arthur Wyatt.
So, y’know, go buy.
* Warning: levels of fairness may vary over time
** May be opposite.