Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.  (Read 3033 times)

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #30 on: 05 August, 2017, 07:59:39 pm »
Almost at the end and I can't see it changing any minds - I'm very much pro-Pat, and while this book does a good job of illuminating the why from his perspective with regards his falling out with the editorial in teh 90s, his continued desire to lay all the ills of the decade at Dav(e)id Bishops door does not serve either party well (Saying that the Dark Days Droid was responsible for bringing in Grant Morrison for example, who got rid of Tharg - given the Summer Offensive ran a couple of years before DB moved into Tharg's seat and even more years before the Vector 13 takeover....).

There was definitely animosity between editorial and Pat during this time - I witnessed it myself at various Comics related events in the late 90s/early 2000s, but this isnt the book to lay to rest the chicken/egg question as to which came first.  That said, if the facts didnt undermine his argument, he presents a cogent set of concerns as to the direction of the comic, even if he doesnt alway aim at the right target.

Elsewhere there are a good few nuggets of new info, more outside of his 2000AD work.  Given the fun he seems to have had doing his French stuff, you can't quite believe he bothered hanging around the prog - I'm grateful he has remained a presence, even such a divisive one at times. 

Other than the facts SNAFUs (and some weird proof reading - "ehaviour"? "lavor"?) the only real thing that irks is he is prone to say "that's too long to go into here" at just the time when he is about to tell you something you didn't know - not sure if this is due to some of this being from his blog or not?

You are definitely left with a better picture of Pat and he does effectively descrbe a fair amount of imbecile and chimp behaviour that might account for his reputation for a short fuse/lack of patience with said imbecility (delete as applicable)


Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #31 on: 05 August, 2017, 08:02:24 pm »
Also, those reading the "not sure it is me of the prog...?" thread would probably be interested into his insight into why modern 2000AD (which he mostly praises) suffers from certain forces at work - he seems to be as annoyed at the "Slaine/Savage/Flesh will return in Book 7" as we are!

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7181
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #32 on: 05 August, 2017, 09:36:06 pm »

Cheers, Leigh. Mills's feuds are enormously entertaining, but I take the rationales offered with a pinch of salt.

Maybe his attitude towards Tharg is unnecessarily confrontational - then again, none of Mills's characters are currently * being farmed out to other writers ...


* or have ever been

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #33 on: 05 August, 2017, 09:39:01 pm »

Cheers, Leigh. Mills's feuds are enormously entertaining, but I take the rationales offered with a pinch of salt.

Maybe his attitude towards Tharg is unnecessarily confrontational - then again, none of Mills's characters are currently * being farmed out to other writers ...


* or have ever been

As much as I can recall, we had an Abnett Flesh series and the Rennie Satanus mini series.  There were also the very dodgey ABC Warriors and Slaine novels, though that would be Rebellion Era (and the Mills authored first ABC book is ace)

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7181
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #34 on: 05 August, 2017, 10:09:58 pm »

I've never even heard Mills mention the White/Abnett Flesh effort, let alone complain about it *. I think that was before he decided all the Prog One strips were his babies.

That Satanus strip - appearing at the time Mills felt most insecure - seems to have been the point where he realised his deep and lasting affection for stuff he hadn't touched in decades.


* Maybe he doesn't know about it. Nobody tell him.

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #35 on: 05 August, 2017, 10:26:44 pm »
It is frustrating when Pat makes basic errors when ascribing actions to specific editorial members, as it undermines a general argument I broadly agree with:

2000AD wanted to chase the trendy "Deadline" crowd and appeal to comics fans over a general audience and in doing so lost its own identity, with the likes of GFD and Bellardinelli paying the most obvious price.

None of that happened on Bishop or Diggle's watch though - they had the unenviable job of picking up the pieces  - Pat spends the first half of the book saying how you have to be a monster to be an editor, and at times trample all over creators feelings to get results. He then complains about David's "hobnail boots" and Andy's script doctoring.... I can see how he might perceive a difference, but it would be nice if he addressed the possible hypocrisy in this.  It's almost as if he prefers the "it's only a bloody comic" attitude of the previous encumbent Thargs.

Greg M.

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2581
    • View Profile
    • The Beat of His Own Drum
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #36 on: 05 August, 2017, 10:30:53 pm »

I've never even heard Mills mention the White/Abnett Flesh effort, let alone complain about it.

He has mentioned it - his response was something along the lines of "How would Dan Abnett like it if I started writing Sinister / Dexter?"

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7181
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #37 on: 05 August, 2017, 11:15:50 pm »
Pat spends the first half of the book saying how you have to be a monster to be an editor, and at times trample all over creators feelings to get results. He then complains about David's "hobnail boots" and Andy's script doctoring.... I can see how he might perceive a difference, but it would be nice if he addressed the possible hypocrisy in this.

Exactly. This is the guy who brags about rewriting the first twelve issues of the comic.

I love Mills, and wouldn't want to see him get the John Smith treatment,  but he doesn't seem to realise that he's now the equivalent of the old IPC staffers who wanted everything done the same way because that's what worked in the past.

Or Tom Tully, stretching out stories for as long as possible, keeping the same old characters going long past their sell by date.*


* To be fair, if Mills wasn't writing Sláine and ABC Warriors, someone else would. And Pat wouldn't get a penny..

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #38 on: 05 August, 2017, 11:20:20 pm »
Pat spends the first half of the book saying how you have to be a monster to be an editor, and at times trample all over creators feelings to get results. He then complains about David's "hobnail boots" and Andy's script doctoring.... I can see how he might perceive a difference, but it would be nice if he addressed the possible hypocrisy in this.

Exactly. This is the guy who brags about rewriting the first twelve issues of the comic.

I love Mills, and wouldn't want to see him get the John Smith treatment,  but he doesn't seem to realise that he's now the equivalent of the old IPC staffers who wanted everything done the same way because that's what worked in the past.

Or Tom Tully, stretching out stories for as long as possible, keeping the same old characters going long past their sell by date.*


* To be fair, if Mills wasn't writing Sláine and ABC Warriors, someone else would. And Pat wouldn't get a penny..

Indeed - I think Pat has finally convinced me that his 90s output was adversely affected by the powers that be "constraining" or at least befuddling and de-energizing him. I'd love to see more of his European work, such as Torturer - sounds like he was having more fun there, and that showed in the work he did for the progs at the time

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7181
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #39 on: 05 August, 2017, 11:33:32 pm »

I've never even heard Mills mention the White/Abnett Flesh effort, let alone complain about it.

He has mentioned it - his response was something along the lines of "How would Dan Abnett like it if I started writing Sinister / Dexter?"

Cheers, Greg. Mills has a point; it's very unusual for a 2000ad writer to be replaced on a strip they created, provided they're still willing to work on it.

Hopefully we'll be given some indication of whether the forthcoming series of Devlin Waugh and Indigo Prime represent exceptions to Tharg's general practise.



TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 23235
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #40 on: 06 August, 2017, 11:03:47 am »

I've never even heard Mills mention the White/Abnett Flesh effort, let alone complain about it.

He has mentioned it - his response was something along the lines of "How would Dan Abnett like it if I started writing Sinister / Dexter?"

But didn't Flesh have 4 or 5 writers in its first 6-month run, and then someone entirely different for Book 2? The White/Abnett stuff (which i've never read) was just continuing a tradition.

Mills is fighting his corner here, there's no shame in that. In the absence of his creator's rights the only weapon he has is the threat of the gaffer's Ragin' Fury, more power to him if it works.

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #41 on: 06 August, 2017, 12:12:49 pm »
Yeah, Flesh is an easier call for editorial to overlook Pat as first choice writer given Pat only wrote the first one/few. Satanus, given the "terrible thing he would do" is a central hanging thread in Pat's story (though didnt he do the terrible thing in Nemesis?) not quite as forgivable as an "oversight"

In that sense, I can see how the cock ups of the early 90s might have passed under his radar - They left Pat alone and didnt challenge him or call him out - when Bishop and Diggle decide (rightly) they need to get their hands dirty and do something drastic (as Pat had done), they fall foul of him - I think he has genuine grievances on that score, but this then overlooks comepltely that if the comic had stayed in teh hands of those who didnt care, it is doubtful it would have crawled into the new Century to be saved by Rebellion.By asscribing all the failures to the latter end of the 90s, he is mis-selling his argument and underines it consderably - the book makes it easier to see why he is more emotionally engaged in his gripes with the later editorial, but also makes me wish Pat could step back and see a wider picture and if there were mistakes (I'm sure there were), see they were made out of a love for the comic an desire to "save the patient" - a much better attitude than the DNR it seemed to hae over it's head prior to Bishop and Diggles tenure

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 23235
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #42 on: 06 August, 2017, 01:13:43 pm »
Spot on there, Leigh, those are exactly my feelings: the editorial process that that aggravated Mi!ls also saved the comic. Have to get the book now!

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7181
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #43 on: 06 August, 2017, 04:07:35 pm »
Mills's response to Abnett writing Fleshl) was something along the lines of "How would Dan Abnett like it if I started writing Sinister / Dexter?"

But didn't Flesh have 4 or 5 writers in its first 6-month run, and then someone entirely different for Book 2?

Absolutely. Mills has a very weak case for exclusive authorship of Flesh or any of the other Prog One stories, but ...


Mills is fighting his corner here, there's no shame in that. In the absence of his creator's rights the only weapon he has is the threat of the gaffer's Ragin' Fury, more power to him if it works.

Yep. The occasional cries for Sláine or ABC Warriors to be given to other writers lead me to question the ability of readers to learn and understand the history of the medium:


Quote
... one of the reasons I did Flesh with Tony Skinner was to prevent one of these marvellous new talents at Fleetway taking it over. I think they'd be better sticking to their own material. I'm very aware at the moment - and it's a source of some concern to me - that if I'm asked to do a strip and I'm too busy, there might be some miserable bastard out there who'd be scab enough to pick it over. I'm quite possessive about my stories, and I make it very clear that it's hands off. I'm quite militant about it. Perhaps, if one of my strips was important enough to Fleetway, my wishes would be steamrollered, but on the whole people are extremely reasonable ... Perhaps I'm a little paranoid thinking it could happen

Pat Mills in Comic Collector, 1992, quoted in Thrillpower Overload, p157

I sometimes wonder whether the strips where Skinner is credited as co-writer were really more recreations of Mills's role as launch editor* - a way of earning the equivalent of royalties from the continuing exploitation of his creations.

Maybe that's the way forward for the Mills stable of strips, now his self published prose is taking up an increasing amount of his semiretirement on the Costa del Sol.


* collaborating on devising a scenario then polishing the script once it came back to him.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 23235
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History by Pat Mills.
« Reply #44 on: 06 August, 2017, 04:27:51 pm »
Maybe that's the way forward for the Mills stable of strips, now his self published prose is taking up an increasing amount of his semiretirement on the Costa del Sol.

* collaborating on devising a scenario then polishing the script once it came back to him.

Interesting idea, but the Skinner examples don't inspire confidence.  I think we-the-reader (as opposed to Rebellion-the-IP-owners) are better served by new strips like Rennie's Aquila, which despite being a notional descendant of Blackhawk is far closer to my eyes to a replacement for Slaine, and Shakara worked better than fine as a replacement for Nemesis (which is finished anyway).  Plus the most recent books of ABC Warriors and Savage have been great fun, as good as anything from those strips' histories.