Home
About Us Movies/TV Music Wrestling Sports Politics Forum The 411
News Columns Features Reviews Previews Countdown Flash Games
Welcome to 411Mania.com
Latest News
  • Points In The Point 11.10.05: The Knicks Still Suck Edition
  • Killer Crossover 11.07.05: The Best In NBA's West
  • Points In The Paint 11.03.05: Fearless (and Shameless) NBA Predictions
  • You Can't Handle The Truth 11.02.05: Trapped In The Closet
  • Points In The Paint 11.01.05: The NBA Dress Code
  •  Spotlight:
    //  Full E3 Index - 100 articles and counting!
     Hot Topics
    1.  Full Spectrum Warrior
    2.  Mario Kart
    3.  Halo 2
    4.  SD! Here Comes The Pain
    5.  Disgaea
     Search



    Advanced Search
     411mania Arhive
    //   One Year Ago On 411 Games
     PS2 Reviews
  • Reign of Fire
  • Tube Slider (GC)
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords (GC)
  • Full Spectrum Warrior (XB)
  •  XB Reviews
  • Public Enemy
  • Sage Francis
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Cage
  • Various Artists
  •  GC Reviews
  • Get Rich or Die Tryin'
  • Zathura
  • Chicken Little
  • Saw 2
  • Jarhead
  • Getting The 411: Alan Grant
    Posted By William Cooling on 07.21.04



    Alan Grant is a legend in comics with a pedigree few can match. One of the driving forces behind 2000AD’s Golden Age in the eighties he along with John Wagner wrote classics stories for the likes of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter and many more for non-2000AD publications including a short run together on Detective Comics. After the end of his full-time writing partnership with John Wagner Alan Grant went onto truly break America with popular runs with Batman and Lobo and to produce with PSI Anderson some of the most moving and intelligent stories in 2000AD Group history. After a few years away from mainstream comics (aside from a near regular slot in Judge Dredd Megazine) with him concentrating more on non-comics work and the indie sector he has made a return with last year’s The Authority/Lobo Christmas Special, the current quartet of PSI Anderson stories and Samantha Slade, Robo Hunter marking his full return to 2000AD after a three absence aside from the occasional Judge Dredd story. Alan Grant generously agreed take a break from his busy schedule to answer a lot of our questions and even a few we’d didn’t ask for good measure!

    411: Thanks for agreeing to do an interview with us Alan.

    Alan: No probs.

    411: This year saw your return to writing the character that you’ve in past called your favourite to write namely PSI Judge Anderson with Half-Life and the current WMD in Judge Dredd Megazine. What is it about the character that has appealed to you?

    Alan: Her humanity, I guess. She has all the benefits of Mega-City One, without Dredd's lack of emotion. I also like the Psi aspect, although my own experiments with telepathy have never been very successful. Except, perhaps, with a couple of animals. I've twice owned dogs, which caused some spooky moments.

    The whole subject of the human mind--what it is, what it can do, why we need it--intrigues me. Why do guys I respect like Buddha and Lao-Tse claim you have to ditch your mind before you can become a proper human being, while the greatest minds in the West are focussed on how to build weapons, or make us buy a new brand of dog food?

    This is the stuff I tried to explore in DC's Anarky stories, with the result that sales plummeted faster than my income when they fired me off Batman.

    411: Before the current set of stories Anderson had been placed in a coma by Judge Death in the John Wagner written My Name is Death. Did he consult you about doing this beforehand? If so what was your reaction?

    Alan: Anderson has probably been placed in more comas than any other character in comics. No, John didn't consult me before he comatised her (again). But I don't have a problem with that. Although I've written Anderson's adventures solo for about 15 years, I still see her as John's creation/character. He can do whatever he wants with her.

    This is why he revived Strontium Dog after I killed Johnny Alpha off (which was a joint decision, by the way. We both wanted a situation where no-one else would ever be able to write Strontium Dog. We should have known better.) Publishers don't allow successful characters to die; where's the profit in that?

    But speaking as a reader, rather than a writer, I don't mind seeing heroes--or villains--killed off. It's part of life. It's only when, for instance, the "Death of Superman" becomes the "Marketing Stunt Where Superman Seems To Die But Doesn't Really, He'll Be Back" that I get pissed off.

    411: One of the most controversial elements of comics is the bringing back to life of characters that are dead due to a perception that it shows disrespect to what has gone before. Yet with Half-Life you’ve managed to coax Anderson from brain death in a way that didn’t discard the events of My Name is Death. How much of a challenge was this to do?

    Alan: None at all, really. When I read John's story (My Name Is Death), I didn't believe that Judge Death would have tried to kill Anderson and failed. It seemed almost as if he'd left me that "story space" deliberately, though when he wrote "My Name Is..." I had no idea I'd be writing a new Anderson series. I thought that was her finished till John wanted her back in a Dredd tale. Maybe he had his own ideas for getting her out of there...though if our past writing partnership is anything to go by, he--like me--would be tempted just to wing it.

    411: Half-Life had Tony Luke credited as a co-writer, what was his involvement with the story and why hasn’t he returned for WMD?

    Alan: 3 or 4 years ago, Tony gave me a story suggestion set in Judge Death's dimension. It was that which sparked the Half-Life story. I try to give credit where credit is due, and the fact is that a credit in 2000AD can be a big asset to anyone's career. So I gave Tony equal billing rather than "Idea By..."

    By the way, Tony is now working on "Dominator 2: Cradle of Filth", the follow-up to our 80-minute animated movie. I've written the first draft of the script, and I believe the BFI may be getting involved.

    411: You’ve also done a Young Middenface story that finished with Judge Dredd Megazine Issue 220. This marked a return to the more humorous tone of the series before the recent John Ridgway pencilled stories. Was there any reason for this change in tone? Do you intend it to be a permanent change?

    Alan: Middenface started life as a rumbustious romp, which can become wearing. I wanted to inject some emotional depth into the story, but keep as much of the humour as I could. There's one more story in the works--the 48-page KILLODEN, the mutant version of the 45 Rebellion and the massacre it turned into. All of the previous 2- and 3-parters come to fruition here. After around 20 years of writing Middenface, I think this is the story I'm happiest with. I get to kill lots of people in amusing ways, but it's still loaded with enough emotion to satisfy me.

    And as readers' letters show: they want the humorous Middenface, and screw the pathos.

    411: Moving to future projects, you and John Wagner are collaborating on a highly anticipated new series for your creator-owned character The Bogie Man to be published in Judge Dredd Megazine. For those (like my poor self) who have never read The Bogie Man can you introduce us to him?

    Alan: Let me have your address and I'll send you a copy of the graphic novel (A very big thank you-Surprised Will). It might spoil the story somewhat to tell you upfront, but Bogie is a Glasgow lunatic who believes himself to be Humphrey Bogart. Anyone who gets close to him is drawn into a web of unwitting make-believe, loosely based on the plots of Bogart's films.

    411: What do you have in store for him in this new series?

    Alan: It's called "Return to Casablanca", but is actually set during the
    Edinburgh Festival. Bogie shows up at Rix Bar on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, claims ownership, and embarks on an adventure that includes Glasgow gangs, illegal Albanian immigrants, and poison shortbread. Popstar Rab MacNab, from the "Chinatoon" series, returns as a Festival Fringe performer with his one-man show "I'm Aff The Drink Noo", is mistaken for Victor Laszlo, and kidnapped by Bogie. The climax takes place at the Festival Tattoo, in Edinburgh castle. Robin Smith has drawn around 30 pages so far, so it should see print soon.

    411: Also this year you’ve made a return of sorts to Robo-Hunter introducing former star Sam Slade’s niece Samantha as the new lead character. How do you think the revival is going?

    Alan: I was very happy with that first 4-part story (though I had to squash it all in, the plot originally having been written for 6 parts). It was a delight to see Ian Gibson's art again. The editor of 2000 immediately commissioned a follow-up series, which I finished writing many moons ago. I'm disappointed it didn't follow the first story more immediately--I feel that the story has lost momentum with the readers. That said, I know from personal experience it's not much fun paginating a weekly comic.

    411: August sees the first issue of Brodie's Law a new series that you’re writing for Pulp Fiction. Can you describe to us the concept of the series?

    Alan: A man who lives outside the law attains the ability to change his molecular structure, in effect to become another person, for short periods of time. But every time he uses his ability, the more the voices of those he has killed scream in his head.

    411: The artist for Brodie's Law is David Birchmam, a controversial artist with his work on Slaine: The Secret Commonwealth receiving an overwhelming negative reaction and becoming a milestone in the collapse of relations between its writer Pat Mills and 2000AD editorial. How have you found working with him?

    Alan: I wanted to work with David from the first time he showed me his samples, way back at a UKCAC when they were still in London. But he forgot to give me his address.

    I think David's a brilliant artist. He made one mistake: he taught himself how to computer-colour while illustrating Slaine. He should have taught himself first, then applied the techniques to the story. I was saddened that 2000AD readers didn't seem willing to offer him a second chance.

    It's taken him a while to bounce back, but I'm really glad that he has. His work on Brodie's law is innovative, at least in today's market.

    411: Your a writer that is famed for his work for the established companies; either DC or IPC/2000AD Group. How does working for American indie companies or the British small press compare?

    Alan: Hey, I'll work for anybody. All I need is a deadline. I won't say money isn't important, but I'm fortunate enough to be able to fund low-paying or no-paying work out of what I do for TV etc. I may have this wrong, but the established companies seem to do things more by committee these days. That may work elsewhere, but I've always found the best comics--the ones I enjoyed the most--to be driven by one or two people's love of a good story.

    Examples? Frank Miller's BatmanYear 1. John Wagner's Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog and RoboHunter. Pat Mills' Charley's War, Slaine, and so much more. Moore and Lloyd's V. Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams Batman run. Lee and Kirby's Marvel. With a little luck, Simon Spurrier's going to get there too. Had it been left to committees, none of these people would have got a job.

    411: Moving away from British Comics you’re probably the only Golden Age 2000AD writer to have been truly accepted by one of the American Big Two. Why do you think you’ve achieved such success over there when Pat Mills and John Wagner didn’t?

    Alan: As well as devouring every British comic I could, I was an avid DC reader as a child, and an avid Marvel reader as a teenager. Neither John nor Pat had any history of reading superhero comics, and in fact both--for reasons I can't recall--loathed them. While working on the ideas that would eventually become 2000AD, they browsed through my extensive superhero collection trawling for ideas...and rejected basically everything (except, if memory serves, "Deathlok the Demolisher" which may or may not have played a part in the creation of MACH-1).

    Denny O'Neil hired John and I to write Batman for "Detective Comics" back in 1987. John has little affinity for Batman, while I have a lifelong love of the character. So John quit after we wrote the first 5 issues of our 12-month contract. I went on to write Batman for 13 years or so. The fact that I was able to combine the off-the-wall UK approach I learned from Pat and John with my own knowledge of US comics is what made me a popular writer.

    That said, not many US companies call me these days. (Pause for reflection.) In fact, none. Weird.

    411: Your perhaps most famous in America for your work with Keith Griffen on Lobo. Last Christmas the two of you returned to the character with a Lobo/Authority one-off; how did you find writing the character again?

    Alan: I could write Lobo in my sleep. There's part of me that would have liked to have been Lobo. However, I hated the Lobo/Authority one-shot.

    In the early days, Keith would produce a loose plot; Simon Bisley would draw whatever he felt like drawing; and I tried to make it all coherent (and funny). But Keith's plot for the Lobo/Authority thing was much tighter than ever before, and didn't leave room for either Simon or I to improvise. As a result, I was disappointed with the project.

    That said, we spoke to Scott Dunbier at Bristol, and he seems to be up for more Lobo Wildstorm stuff.

    I think Keith's vision of the character has changed somewhat. He doesn't want so much humour in the stories now. My view is that the funnier, the better.

    Cancelling the title seemed to me to be one of those crass stupidities the US companies often commit. US sales were down below their break-even point (18,000 a month at that time, if I remember aright). But Lobo was in the top 5 characters in every Spanish-speaking country: they loved all that Lobo macho shit, especially when it was laughing at itself. Presumably because they've only recently--if at all--thrown off repressive military governments, the comic fans of Mexico, Argentina and Chile have the same heroes: Batman and Lobo (with Anarky making a strong showing). The fact that I wrote both of them meant that I became much better known throughout South America than I ever was in the UK and the US. But DC don't take foreign sales into consideration when counting their cash, so the Bo bit the dust.

    411: You also achieved success writing Batman either with John Wagner or for a much longer run by yourself, stories that are still fondly remembered. What’s your theory on Batman and what makes him work as a character?

    Alan: Although I always wanted to work in comics, Fate decreed I should become first an editor, then a freelance writer, of romantic fiction. I wrote "true romance" tales for magazines with titles like Loving, Love Affair, Honey, Mirabelle etc. But it drove me to distraction, and I quit.

    When Pat and John began concocting 2000AD, they were unable to fulfil their current commitments. So John plucked me off Social Security in Dundee, and set me to writing Tarzan for European comic publication. I still have a copy of "Tarzan and the Sabre Tooth Tiger" from 1978, my first comic work. It's in Finnish, never having been published in English.

    (BTW: Another of the tasks John and Pat devolved to me was war stories. I'd be sent 64 pages of artwork with all the balloons and captions inYugoslavian. The budget meant no translators. It was a very good way of learning about how to make up stories.)

    A couple of years later, I found myself writing Dredd with John...and I suddenly realised that Dredd and Tarzan are the same character, only in different environments. And then I thought--shit, Batman is exactly the same as well. And maybe every proper hero is. Someone who believes in Justice to the point of being willing to die for it. Someone who lives by the rules he wants everyone to live by. Someone who's within an inch of death yet still manages to prevail. Controlled psychosis, we might call it. I recently wrote a Dredd story for the Megazine on that subject--a good Dredd story, I hasten to add, in light of the panning the "At Home with the Snozzmonds" story took recently.

    411: Both Batman and JLA (or the hinted companion title) are currently using rotating creative arcs. Would you be interested in doing a story for either title and whom would you like as artist?

    Alan: I'm always interested in Batman, less so in the JLA. It would be hard in my current frame of mind to write a JLA story, as I actively dislike Superman and Wonder Woman. As for Batman, I've spoken to Bob Shreck a few times, and put in several proposals--all of which were rejected on the grounds that they didn't gel with current continuity. I like Batman a lot, but not enough to keep banging my head on a brick wall over him.

    As for artists: my favourite artist of the moment is Tom Carney, who's done a couple of blindingly good upcoming Dredds. He and I did submit a Batman proposal some time ago, which was rejected despite the fact Tom's Scarecrow was the best I'd ever seen. Anyhoo, Bob asked us to submit again, and I probably will once I have some time.

    411: In Detective Comic 608 and 609 you debuted the extreme vigilante Anarky who not only took a harsher approach to punishing villains but also espoused a wider anti-establishment political creed. In light of the success of such comics as The Authority its clear that this was way ahead of its time, what inspired you to adopt such an approach?

    Alan: It was how I personally felt at the time, and to a large extent still do. The original script was more extreme: Anarky killed his victims. However, Denny O'Neil--probably rightly, considering Batman's appeal to all ages--balked at the thought of a 15-year-old kid committing murder. I wanted to play it that way because it created incredible tension in Anarky himself. Other heroes might kill--Batman used to, in the early days--but for a teenager to rationally decide to take lives...well, it hadn't been handled in comics before.

    But Denny was boss, and I respected his opinion and toned things down.

    Donno if I mentioned it elsewhere, but Anarky was one of my favourite characters. It was what I'd have done when I was 15 if I'd known what I know now. It figures with what I was saying earlier about the best stories being done by writers and artists who are driven. Anarky was like that--artist Norm Breyfogle is in many respects a sympathiser-- and DC fought against it several times.

    They decided to make the character into a monthly, despite my pleas for them not to. A 15-year-old who kills folk has a certain enduring interest. A 15-year-old with no superpowers finds it hard to sustain an audience. Not only was I asked to tone down the essence of Anarky--what made him a worthy character in the first place--but ordered to involve the Justice League, Superman, and the Haunted Tank.

    I was all for walking away, but artist Norm had a mortgage and family, and basically needed the work. So we did it, and it ran for 8 issues. Around the same as The Joker did when he got his own title for a while. The last story was Anarky discovering that his real father was The Joker. We were allowed to tell this tale on the strict editorial condition that at a future date I would write a sequel proving Joker WASN'T the daddy. I was told that under no circumstances would Joker be allowed to be Anarky's father. Like, forcefully. I couldn't understand it. From their point of view, it should have been just another character to market.

    Ironically, the series folded before I wrote the rebuttal, so as far as continuity goes, Joker is still the miscreant dad. Or maybe it was all a dream..?

    Interestingly, it was forcing us to do Lobo as a monthly--though it lasted several years--that ultimately finished off Lobo, too. These kind of characters go through booms and busts, and they should be dished out sparingly.

    When I finished up on Batman and my other regular titles, DC, to be fair to them, offered me other work. But it wasn't anything I could feel involved in, and believe me that makes for dull if not crap stories. Witness some of my RoboCop and Terminator stuff. Finally, the calls stopped coming. Then all the editors I knew got fired too. They always fire people when sales fall.

    So I called them and asked if Norm and I could buy back the copyright to Anarky, which was written under their work-for-hire policy. No probs with that. Most of everything I do is work-for-hire, and the companies make sure (okay, often) (okay, sometimes) make sure you get foreign royalties, % of TV spin-offs, etc. The nameless senior editor, and ensuing executive, to whom I spoke laughed. Never.

    A British writer contacted me recently to tell me he'd written an Anarky/Green Arrow story. But I didn't read the script he sent, even though he wanted a crit to ensure he'd stayed true to Norm's and my vision. You have to let these things go.

    I once met Jerry Robinson at a con in Buenos Aires. I asked him how he felt about Jack Nicholson getting $65 million for playing Joker in Movie *1, while Jerry--who created Joker as a High School project--received squiddly-diddly.

    He told me never to regret the past. Or you go insane.

    411: As you’ve mentioned Anarky spun off into its own spin-off series, how did you go about developing what had been a villain in a two-part Batman story into a character that could carry its own title? How successful artistically do you think you were?

    Alan: I thought we were very successful. For me, the mini-series worked. However, I had to change my original ending at editorial request/demand, because it significantly altered Batman continuity. I can't even remember how, now.

    Anarky as a series was specifically developed to mirror my own political/lack of sane beliefs. Norm Breyfogle agreed with me in principle, but argued so much in detail that sometimes I wondered who was the writer--I'd get 50-page faxes from him arguing a point I'd made in the script. Great fun.

    But as said above, making it monthly--instead of 1 mini-series a maybe a guest appearance per year--finished it. I liked him. He was really popular in South America, particularly in Mexico and Argentina.

    Funnily enough, I never mentioned the following interesting fact about
    Anarky. I originally created him specifically to be the new Robin. Imagine forgetting that. Don't be a writer, Will, it scrambles your brain. Anyhoo, that was the plan. Batman was so popular back then, we'd have 3 or 4 meets in New York per year, planning out the future. Norm and I knew we'd soon need a new Robin, and what an honour--and what a profit-- it would be for our character to get the job.

    Alas, 'twas not to be. Some smart Marv Wolfman kid was waiting in the wings.

    411: This year will see two trade paperbacks being released of some of yours and John Wagner’s most celebrated work. What would you say to someone to convince them to buy:

    • Batman/Judge Dredd Files

    • The Last American

    Alan:
    • It's funny, with great art.

    • It's tragic, with great art.

    411: Yours and John Wagner’s writing partnership is one of the most versatile and celebrated in comic’s history. What do you think made the two of you such a good partnership?

    Alan: We have a similar sense of humour. We had similar upbringings--his in the US, mine in Scotland, neither of which I'll go into, save to say we both emerged with an abiding hatred of hypocrisy. We first met because John shared a flat with a friend of mine who wasn't in when I called at noon. By 1pm John and I had consumed the half-bottle of vodka I had in my pocket, and half an hour later we embarked on a two-man drinking competition which made us very ill but effectively bonded us for a lifetime.

    In many ways, I thought the natural evolution of our partnership would be into sitcom writing for television. We tried out for the Red Dwarf guys and a few other things, but either we weren't ready for TV, or we were too way-out; whatever, we didn't get the gigs.

    However, we still have various proposals under consideration by TV and movies. It's hard to break in, so I've been fairly fortunate to some degree. I'm the only Brit writer on the BBC/Atlantic Alliance hit kids' show "Ace Lightning". I wrote the backstory for LEGO's "Bionicles: Mask of Light" movie. There's an upcoming "Action Man" animated DVD I wrote; at least I think it's upcoming--they haven't sent me a copy of the finished film yet.

    411: You’ve worked with some legendary artists including Carlos Ezquerra, Arthur Ranson, Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon, Ian Gibson and Simon Bisley. However who is the one artist who you would like the chance to work with but haven’t yet got the chance?

    Alan: That's very hard. Barry Windsor-Smith maybe, though we may be working together on something soon. Ex-Titan Distributors' Mike Lake and I are working on a new project that will involve Barry. Ditto with Bill Sinkiewicz. Can't remember if I've worked with Frazer Irving or not, but his Simping Detective stuff is great. I love Liam Sharp's stuff, too, and again I can't remember if we've ever done anything together. Oh, and mustn't forget Sam Kieth. A genius, but very hard to work with; nothing we ever tried to get together on panned out (except one short and lovely Penguin tale which DC screwed up by forcing Sam to change the penguins into tigers for the final eating scene).

    411: You’ve written some classic stories in your career, which would you pick as your favourite?

    Alan: I can give you a favourite for each character:

    "The Xmas Paramilitary Special" for Lobo.

    "The Nobody"(Shadow of the Bat *13, I think) and The Etrigan story in Detective Comics *604 for Batman.

    "Democracy" for Judge Dredd.

    "Killoden" for Middenface McNulty.

    "Max Bubba" for Strontium Dog.

    The first mini-series for Anarky.

    As for Anderson: from the first stories I wrote, a lot of my own life and experiences went into the Anderson series. Might sound corny, but I see it as an ongoing whole...the story isn't over yet.

    411: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

    Alan: I'm just finishing off the 48-page ending to the HalfLife/WMD/City Of Dead Anderson story.

    Then I have to write 2 2-page Lumbering Jack strips for "Forest Machinery Journal Monthly. I also do gag-strips and one-off jokes for various motoring magazines (check out "Camper, Caravan and Mobile Home"). Jon Haward wants a ton of "Tales of the Buddha", a gag-strip we do for the Scottish alternative lifestyle comic Northern Lightz; Buddha has been so popular, we want to put out a collected edition. Next week Jamie Grant and I will put together *11--the last issue--of Northern Lightz. The first edition of our new humour comic will be out as soon as we can get it together. Almost unknown in the UK, a lot of our best stuff is syndicated to Spain, Holland and Germany.

    I'm working on a new state-of-the-art computer game for a company I can't name because of a Non Disclosure Agreement, but who are one of the UK's biggest.

    The second draft of the Dominator 80-minute movie.

    Season *3 of "Ace Lightning"--though the BBC have screwed up the scheduling so much I no longer know where one series ends and the next one begins.

    I do the bi-monthly GAANJA-1 puzzle page for "Soft Secrets".

    Mentioned earlier: Mike Lake and I are partners in a huge new project that, while it may not change the face of comics, will certainly catapult their profile into the stratosphere. It's still early days, but things are moving...Barry Windsor-Smith, Bill Sinkiewicz, The Biz, Kev Walker, Tom Carney...BBC radio guy Dirk Maggs (he did the Dredd, Spiderman, Batman, Hitchhiker's Guide shows)...one of the co-creators of LEGO's Bionicles...a lot of very talented people are involved, and though comics are at our core our brief is much wider.

    A Hawkgirl children's novel.

    A novel for Warner Books featuring unusual team-ups between DC characters. Donno who said characters are yet, though.

    Hopefully, 2000AD will want another Robo-Hunter series. And if my and
    John Wagner's TV proposal(s) sells, things will take a different turn.

    I've also been commissioned to write a mainstream novel that's unlike anything I've ever done before. Currently researching it, and getting sucked into a strange new world.

    I've done the dialog for the first 5-issue story arc in Pulp Theatre's
    "Brodie's Law" series, with his best-ever artwork from David Bircham.
    We'll be doing more together.

    Organising the 4th Moniaive Comivs Festival with wife Sue. It's become so popular--about 500 paying adults at a quid a time, with maybe 600 free kids--we're starting to have accommodation problems in the village. This year for instance we have Cam Kennedy, John Wagner, Jon Haward, Robin Smith and family, Jim (Astounding GanjaMan) Stewart, Vincent Deighan, and Jamie Grant all staying in our house. Grud alone knows where we'll put Dave Gibbons, Carl Critchlow, the guys from the Beano and Dandy and at least a dozen other pros who've said they'll come along. Problem is, every guest we've had has enjoyed themselves so much, they've come along the next year (at their own expense). The atmosphere is like no other comic festival, and I recommend it to all (despite accommodation!).

    And I have at least 3 other things I want to do, but am constrained by time in a way I never used to be. I have 3 grandkids now--Elliot (5) and Abby (4) are massive comic/animation fans. They constantly complain because kids' comics have only one, or more frequently, NO STORIES. I find it incredible that the question they most ask me is exactly the same one I used to ask my grandmother: "What happens next, Grandad?" This demonstrates my firmly-held belief that children (and possibly all of civilisation) NEED comics*. Elliot knows the Bionicles movie off by heart, knows more about Action Man than I do (which didn't stop me writing the movie) and Abby is a Barbie/Barney the Dinosaur/Durham Red fan.

    *On this note, I recently read a book by a distinguished US academic who claims that the world's US-led headlong rush to destruction is happening precisely because the Us military/industrial complex has literally seized control of the nation's stories and crippled its imagination.

    411: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

    Alan: With so little mainstream work in the past few years, I'm gratified people still remember me. I'd also like to say thanks to those South American fans who petitioned to have me reinstated on Batman. But times change, amigos, and life takes the thoughtful man on a path of many windings...

    Despite Neil Gaiman's comments to the contrary, a good story never ends.

    411: Thanks for sharing your time with us Alan.

    Alan: Thanks for having me.

    You can read PSI Anderson in the current issue of Judge Dredd Megazine out now with the next on sale July 28th. Robo-Hunter returns to 2000AD with Prog 1406. Both are available in all good British newsagents and worldwide through Air-mail subscription. Brodie’s Law Issue 1 is available in August, check out www.brodieslaw.com for more details.




    Send Feedback to William Cooling | E-Mail This To Your Friend!










    Spotlights
    Spotlights:
    // Wrestling:
    Evolution Schematic: Victoria (Part 1)
    // Music:
    Tale Of The Tape: The Joshua Tree Vs. Achtung Baby
    // Movies/TV:
    First Image Of Thomas Haden Church As Sandman In "Spider-Man 3"
    // Sports:
    The Day After Tomorrow: NFL Week 9 Breakdown
    // Politics:
    Iran’s Plan For War Against The World Of Arrogance
    // Forums:
    Discuss: Were we created by Aliens and planted here on Earth?


    Unable to connect to the database!