MICK CASSIDY completes his own shameless Cursed Earth rip-off. Shirtless and lost, exhausted, delirious, and dehydrated. Through it all, trying to get this article, this precious article, to safety. “This CURSED Earth will NOT break me!”
Day Two almost didn’t happen. Like any good nerd at the Mecca, I gloriously overindulged and by Tharg, I paid the price the next morning. Want some good advice? Don’t chow down a bowl of guacamole and follow it up with four tons of Guinness. Do the math. You’re welcome.
Alright. I’ve pulled it together somehow. Regained control of my body and bowels. Newly minted Eisner Award winner Dave Gibbons is on my mind. His new book ‘How Comics Work’ is an excellent treat. I’d put it up there with ‘How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way’. Methodical, inspiring, insightful, and a breeze to read. Makes me actually want to run home and draw, most importantly for any book tasked with teaching one how to draw. Good chat with Gibbons. I insult his talents by gifting him a print of my Watchmen/Family Guy crossover (he pretends to love it), and make my escape before embarrassing myself further in the presence of greatness. (Learned from my encounter with Patrick Stewart: always know when to get out)
Non-story: Simon Bisley is signing and sketching at 2000AD’s booth but I have clashing Family Guy commitments. Would have loved a sketch but just can’t make it work. Mike Molcher and his crew very kindly take my books and promise to get them signed for me. Thank you, chaps!
Made it to the 2000AD panel later though. The turnout’s a bit sparse, sadly. The Molcher Man is joined on the panel by Dave Gibbons, writer Katy Rex, artist Liana Kangas, Jimmy Aquino, Graeme McMillan from the Hollywood Reporter and Paul Cornell. Half an hour in, we’re still talking about the 2000AD all-female creator Sci-Fi Special. I don’t want to bag on the Sci-Fi Special. I admire the intent and the statement 2000AD are making. Long overdue and I’m all for these characters and concepts getting explored and rendered by female creators. Ultimately for me, it’s just let down by some inexperienced writing and art, and I can’t give that stuff a pass, regardless of who’s responsible for creating it. But it’s an important step forward, one that’s currently happening in the animation industry too, and I’m happy to hear 2000AD say this is just the first step.
The panel moves on to the Rogue Trooper movie announcement, with Duncan Jones writing and directing. Gibbons has plenty of insight into Rogue I’d never heard before. (Or I’m too hungover to remember.) Gibbons wanted to explore the idea that Rogue could regenerate wounds. Arms could grow back. That he’d always intended Rogue’s skin to have scales, and that his color was meant to be translucent, shimmering like a snake in the light. He gives a very moving and powerful deconstruction of the strip’s concept; how the ‘Kung Fu’ TV show and (one of my favourite books also) Alfred Bester’s ‘The Stars My Destination’ were huge influences on Rogue and his quest for vengeance. We’re reminded that Rogue’s just a squaddie; a grunt born to kill but jaded by war. By the end, Gibbons has sold everyone on how large the myth of the last of the Genetic Infantrymen could and should be in a movie. Didn’t know we came VERY close to a Rogue movie before, with Vin Diesel. (Would that have been the one Grant Morrison was supposedly working on…?) That it fell apart because the movie company didn’t want to paint Diesel blue. Kinda wanted to ask if there’d ever been any earlier attempts beyond that, as I remember rumours in the past about Rutger Hauer and Sam Worthington being potentially involved. But I didn’t. That’s how I roll. Like Rogue. Show up. Fart a lot. Leave. (Sorry.)
Personally speaking, I think Rogue’s a great idea to move forward as a movie. Dredd’s got baggage now. Two attempts, both failures at the US box office. Rogue’s a simpler, more streamlined concept, a more relatable character, can be realised relatively cheaply and it’s different than anything else out there. Jones is the only X-factor. ‘Source Code’ and ‘Moon’ are great. ‘World of Warcraft’ is very much not. Still, great news.
Question from the audience asks who the panel would love to see brought to cinematic life next. ‘Strontium Dog’ is the overwhelming favourite. Kangas wants an ‘Anderson’ movie. Cornell wants ‘Nemesis’. Fair enough. (Even if they’re all wrong. FLESH! is the only acceptable answer. No. No. No. You’re wrong. Yes. FLESH! No, YOU shut up!)
As for Dredd, the final announcement you already probably know. Rob Williams has completed writing the Dredd TV show pilot. They’re scouting for locations in the UK. I’m stoked. Williams and Dredd’s like bread and butter for me. Always felt Dredd would work better as an ensemble, a la ‘Law & Order’. Less pressure on the character to do all the heavy lifting himself, so sounds like this is all in good hands. Molcher’s excitement is pretty obvious and contagious when he speaks about how much the 2012 Dredd movie is loved within the entertainment industry and how they’ve had a LOT of interest from studios wanting a piece of the pie. I’d well believe it. Very excited to see how this one plays out.
With that, that’s the end of anything 2000AD related for me. I wander off into the crowds, the parties, the secret tiki bar, the toxic cocktails, until finally back where it all started: in an Irish bar. With Simon Bisley. And a very, very sore head the following morning. I did all this for you. See you next year, folks!