26 comments on “ECBT2000AD Ep276

  1. What was your first issue of 2000ad as editor, and what was your last?

    – What was the first issue to feature a full line up of stories you commissioned, rather than inherited from your predecessor?

    – Did you have a vision of what type of stories you wanted to print? If so, were you able to realise that vision?

    – Your 2000ad seemed less about sci-fi and more about odd or fantastic scenarios. Was this deliberate?

  2. How did you handle star creators like Mills, Wagner, and Grant?

    – Did they discuss what they were going to do with their established strips, or did they decide the direction of their own series?

    – Was Mills as difficult to deal with as other Thargs suggest?

    – Did you try to talk Wagner and Grant out of splitting their partnership?

  3. When they left 2000ad in the nineties, Wagner & Grant killed off characters to stop them being given to other writers

    – Do you think strips like Garth Ennis’s Strontium Dogs and Mark Millar’s Robohunter proved their fears were well founded?

    – Do you think Alan Hebden and Hilary Robinson’s attempts to resuscitate The Mean Team worked?

    – Do you think the US model of house characters works in the context of UK comics, or should characters die with their creators?

  4. Wagner’s post-Oz stories were the first time Dredd’s age became a plot point.

    – Were Dredd’s ageing and doubts deliberately seeded with a view to working towards Necropolis, or did they develop organically?

    – Did John Wagner write Necropolis with Ezquerra in mind, or was any other artist considered?

    – How did the idea of running The Dead Man as a separate strip come about?

  5. Did Carlos Ezquerra really leave Strontium Dog because he refused to draw the death of Johnny Alpha?

    – How was Simon Harrison chosen as his replacement?

    – Was Alan Grant asked to plant Feral as a replacement for Johnny Alpha?

    – Was continuing the series as Strontium Dogs always part of the plan, or did you consider ending the strip entirely?

  6. Why did Carlos Ezquerra leave 2000ad for Crisis?

    – Did you try to talk Carlos out of leaving?

    – Why did Carlos leave Crisis and return to 2000ad?

    – Was Carlos given Young Giant, and the Anderson Dice Man story to practice drawing Dredd in colour, prior to Necropolis?

  7. Do you think the original Rogue Trooper could have been saved?

    – Why was The Hit series, with Rogue as an assassin, abandoned?

    – Was continuing the original incarnation in the vein of John Smith’s Cinnabar an option?

    – Whose idea was it get Kev Walker to ink Steve Dillon on Cinnabar?

  8. Was the Rogue Trooper reboot your idea, or was it something Dave Gibbons brought to you?

    – Why was the visual and narrative tone established by War Machine abandoned?

    – Why did the reboot go so wrong so quickly?

    – Was rebooting the character a mistake?

  9. What went wrong with Nemesis?

    – Was John Hicklenton’s art on Books 8 and 9 at fault, or were the historical settings and politics to blame?

    – Chris Weston and Clint Langley had try-outs to restart Nemesis. Was finding the right artist the problem, or was it Pat’s scripts?

    – How open was Pat Mills to editorial guidance or input when his strips lost their way?

  10. Pat Mills says you were unhappy with his choice of SMS on ABC Warriors

    – Was this because of his art, or was there a personality clash?

    – If Mills had insisted on SMS for subsequent books of ABC Warriors or Nemesis, would you have commissioned them?

    – Is it true Pat refused to revive ABC Warriors until Steve MacManus was replaced as editor?

  11. 2000ad seemed caught between appealing to readers who had grown up with the comic or bringing in new, younger readers.

    – Did you have a clear idea of who your readership was and what kind of reader you wanted to appeal to, in terms of age and story preference?

    – Should 2000ad have concentrated on retaining existing readers or trying to bring in younger readers?

    – Do you think 2000ad could have refocused on younger readers if Crisis had attracted the necessary number of older readers? Would that have been wise?

  12. Pat Mills thinks 2000ad lost its way because it stopped trying to appeal to mainstream readers.

    – Were the strips you commissioned *primarily* aimed at mainstream readers, style mag readers, or the fan community?

    – Did 2000ad start to adopt more of the tropes of US comics, like crossovers and reboots during your tenure?

    – Do you think comics were always doomed as a mainstream proposition, or could non-fanboy readers have been retained?

  13. Did reboots like Harlem Heroes, Robohunter, and Flesh work?

    – Were reboots a deliberate editorial decision or a response to losing established creators?

    – Were creators reluctant to create new strips on work for hire terms?

    – Mark Millar didn’t read 2000ad and says he never understood its appeal. Was he the right choice to take over established strips?

  14. Lots of new strips and characters appeared, but none have endured.

    – Why do you think new strips – like Dead Meat, Junker, and Wireheads – didn’t catch on?

    – Should one-offs like Freaks and Shadows have been returning series that could build on their popularity and replace old strips?

    – Tyranny Rex and Indigo Prime were strong ideas but only appeared sporadically and had little sense of a continuing story or familiar settings between series. Did you try to impose storytelling discipline on John Smith?

  15. Strips like War Machine, Zenith Phase 3, and Final Solution ran for a few episodes then disappeared

    – Was this due to the artists, the change to full colour, or poor scheduling?

    – Your successors found hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of unused art in plan chests, which they had to use.

    – Were these strips hidden because they weren’t any good, or was this poor scheduling?

  16. How developed was Zenith when you became editor?

    – How much input did you have into Zenith’s development?

    – Whose idea was it to use old IPC characters in Phase III?

    – When did you become aware that Fleetway didn’t own the rights to those characters (or the Kelly’s Eye strip that you also revived)?

  17. How many copies was 2000ad selling when you took charge?

    – How many sales did 2000ad lose as a result of the change of distribution by Comag?

    – How many copies was 2000ad selling when you left?

    – How much was this decline a result of content commissioned by editorial, or was it due to external factors?

  18. Whose responsibility was it to make sure creators completed the dockets assigning copyright for their work?

    – How was that system allowed to lapse?

    – How did relations between Hilary Robinson and editorial deteriorate?

    – Who took the blame when Hilary Robinson successfully claimed copyright of her 2000ad work?

  19. You were asked to launch Sonic The Comic in 1993; did you still act as editor of 2000ad during this time?

    – Was Alan McKenzie commissioning himself to write scripts during his time as Tharg?

    – If so, did that represent a conflict of interest?

    – How can Alan McKenzie claim copyright of his 2000ad work when he commissioned strips as work for hire from other creators?

  20. Garth Ennis says the difference between his work for 2000ad and DC comics is that 2000ad editorial “weren’t up to the job”.

    – Do you agree that Ennis required a firmer editorial hand?

    – Ennis thinks his 2000ad work is poor. Do you agree?

    – Was Ennis the right choice to replace Wagner as regular Dredd writer?

  21. What went wrong with Michael Fleischer?

    – When a creator wasn’t producing satisfactory work, what did you do as editor to address the problem (other than stop commissioning work from them)?

    – Which creators do you feel weren’t up to the mark?

  22. The official history of 2000ad has become that everything was great in the eighties, things started to go wrong under you, Alan McKenzie almost ran it into the ground, Bishop halted the decline, then Rebellion sorted it by making everything the same as it was in the eighties.

    How would you challenge that narrative?

  23. Sorry. I know how mental all that is, and obviously I don’t expect you to ask more than a couple of those questions or credit each one individually. If you can work some of them into the general conversation I’ll be cock-a-hoop.

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