Right now I've got enough projects in the works to knock a buzzard off a gut-wagon. Among those currently scheduled for 2012 are White Knuckle (Art: Valia Kapadai, Letters: Nic Wilkinson) - a complex and intense psychological thriller, distorting the ever-popular "retired gunslinger" motif into a rain-slick urban fantasy of murderous men and the needs that drive them.
Plus Cancertown: Blasphemous Tumours (Pencils and Inks: Graeme Howard, Colours: Peter Mason, Letters: Nic Wilkinson). Set six months after the events of Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth, Vince Morley is a dangerously sick man.
Bug**** is in a psychiatric hospital, sticky fingers picking through the darkest corners of the mind that brought Cancertown into existence. The crossing points between Morley’s two realities are wearing thin and all the rules are changing... and something new has appeared – a creature of horrific violence and limitless rage. The foundations are shaking and the old powers are falling, one by one. Papercut, deadliest of the Cancertown players, seeks out Morley to claim the favour he owes her – a favour that could cost him more than just his life.
First memory of 2000AD?
My earliest memory of the comic would probably be the 1983 hardcover annual, which I got from an aunt as a Christmas present. As a primer for the whole 2000AD phenomenon, you really couldn't ask for a more concentrated jolt of chaos than that collection.
It was a crash course in everything 2000AD was about, from the iconic Dredd and Strontium Dog stories to my first terrifying encounter with the team of Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill on their "Secret Life of the Blitzspear". I still have the annual, and I still return to it almost 30 years later. How many books can you honestly say that about?
Favourite Character or Story?
I guess, in terms of the lasting effect they've had on me, I'd have to single out Hewligan's Haircut here. That strip seemed to exist purely to break rules and defy expectations. They were doing things I'd never imagined possible in the storytelling of that strip, and I've still never seen anything like it since.
What do you like most about the 2000AD?
In a word: spite. 2000AD for me has a raw viciousness mixed in with the humour and adventure that you rarely see executed so well and so enjoyably. 2000AD at its best is a comic that glories in its own wildness and would cheerfully kill you as a punchline.
What would you most like to see in 2000AD as it heads to its Forties?
Much the same as I expect of myself as I head into mine. I want to see rebellion, dark humour and utter shamelessness on every level.
If you worked on 2000AD, do you have an anecdote you'd like to share about your experience of Tharg and his minions?
Nope, never pitched them anything. Hell, maybe I should...