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Author Topic: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?  (Read 2541 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #15 on: 21 May, 2021, 02:48:46 AM »
Pretty sure Groundhog Day was in February. Duh!

---

It's perhaps ironic that Mills' creations, more than most, I'd love to see other writers have a go at. Instead of Slaine being a vehicle with which to explore various historical mythologies, he might have created one of his own. Instead of the ABCs becoming a series of Returns, they might have moved onto a new thread.

As for Nemesis - we did get Shakara.

Other things I've been enjoying: even though it seems unpopular, I've been enjoying post-Smith Indigo Prime and Devlin Waugh, and quite liking that there's not a huge gulf of time between series. It would be great to see Smith back, but I don't dislike the new stuff. Also - really loving that the Dark Judges are so prolific at the moment (in my reading, I'm still in 2019), with Kek-W's Deadworld explorations and the Megazine's vari-authored space saga. Could mystery-Niemand be the new Dredd helmer I've been waiting for?
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

broodblik

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #16 on: 21 May, 2021, 05:33:26 AM »
I always have the greatest respect for Pat's creations and what he did for comics.

But this is how I see all his latest interviews:

import random
import time

listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains = ['The French Model so coool',
                                'UK Publishers ooh they suck',
                                'Other writers a lot of hacks (exluding Moore,Wagner, and Gerry)',
                                'My DREDD people my Dredd maybe Wagner a little bit',
                                'More Commissions (I actually ment only to me)(PS - publishers should get nothing)',
                                'Creators is the only people that count (forget to say Creators=Writers and Writers=Pat)',
                                'No one is allowed to write my stuff even if I have to rehash the same old same old theme to infinity and beyond',
                                'Spacewarp yeh baby yeh, Spacewarp !!!!!!!!',
                                'I created 2000AD, did I mention I created 2000AD',
                                'I am the man that created 2000AD !!!!!',
                                'lets do the Spacewarp again again again',
                                'The system oppress the freedom of the mind']

# lets give our toughs to an interview
i = 0
ii = random.randrange(11,101)
while i <= ii:
    print("Lets start here")
    # mmmmm lets see how many stuff we are going to say today
    y = 1
    yy = random.randrange(3,13)
   
    while y <= yy:
        # role the dice to see what we are talking about today
        talkingabouttoday = random.randrange(0,len(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains))
        print(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains[talkingabouttoday])
        y+=1
    i+=1
    # lets take a rest
    print("Enough for now\n")
    time.sleep(3)   
       
print("Now I am done by remember {}\n".format(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains[random.randrange(0,len(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains))]))
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

IndigoPrime

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #17 on: 21 May, 2021, 08:38:07 AM »
^ That’s pretty great and very apt. It’s also particularly interesting to see the artists thing mentioned time and time again. Mills does seem defensive on the behalf and appreciative of his artists, but they’re like people cycling through his band. He’s Robert Smith in his own Cure. Everyone else is dispensable, rather than a creator.

Funt Solo’s thoughts on post-Smith are interesting. For me, they show the entire range of what works and what doesn’t. Rory McConville’s scripts didn’t click with me. They seemed too normal. They were desperate to wrap up long-standing background colour that didn’t need addressing. They didn’t really nail the spirit and essence of the strip. Kot, on the other hand, has written scripts that feel like Devlin Waugh.

For me, Kek-W’s Indigo Prime sits somewhat in the middle. It wholeheartedly embraces the weirdness of the strip, and feels suitably epic in its world building. But some elements feel off, not least his infatuation with bringing back old characters to the Prog. (I wasn’t a fan of Armoured Gideon rocking up in another of his series either, nor the Sovs in Deadworld—although that ended up working a lot better than it looked like it would when it began.)

As for Niemand showrunning Dredd, I dunno. His strips have been by far my favourite of the ‘new’ crop of writers. Like Ewing, he just gets the feel and sound of the strip. But he does also frequently shy away from featuring Dredd. That said, the recent SJS story shifted the balance somewhat. I guess the question is what Matt Smith wants to do with Dredd now Wagner’s more or less retired. Does he run multiple (often conflicting) contained strands/worlds, or try to make it a more coherent whole?

The Corinthian

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #18 on: 21 May, 2021, 09:10:15 AM »
Regardless of the merits or de-merits of Mills's broader argument, I can't imagine any situation where a fresh writer is handed a classic Mills-created character and turns out a strip as perfunctory and contemptuous as the final episode of Slaine.

CalHab

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #19 on: 21 May, 2021, 09:14:09 AM »
Hmm. I think I broadly agree with Pat's point. The fact that the messenger is not exactly consistent doesn't completely undermine that.

The jab about The Phoenix is unnecessary. It's an extremely well made comic, and nobody who reads one of Jamie Smart's anarchic stories would think it was for "Waitrose" readers.

IndigoPrime

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #20 on: 21 May, 2021, 09:39:17 AM »
Jamie Smart is a cartoonist who I firmly believe should be listed among the greats. Bunny vs Monkey and Looshkin are superb, but everything he’s done has at least been very good. His comics are funny, cleverly written, packed with anarchy, and dotted with emotional clout. The places Bunny vs Monkey went were quite daring for a children’s comic. Looshkin recently did a mind-boggling ‘mess with time’ thing that echoed Chronocops to some degree. It wasn’t as complex, but it ran across just two pages, doing something only achievable in comics. Again, that’s quite something for a strip aimed at children. It’s not about the obvious. I would genuinely buy Image-style HCs of both series, if the publisher ever went for that.

For Mills to hand-wave away the entire publication in the way he did, dismissing it as a comic for ‘Waitrose snobs’ just shows him up for being blinkered and, indeed, snobbish himself. Only ‘his’ comics are valid, along with those he likes. Well, fine, but at that point you’ve dispensed with objectivity entirely.

As for his broader point, I mean it works at its very broadest, which is: wouldn’t it be a good thing if creators had more control and got more money from their efforts? But, again, it entirely swerves the risk/reward issue that’s come up multiple times on this forum. As Jim Campbell has noted, the halcyon option of, say, Image is a fallacy for a great many creators; and, notably, Scarlet Traces went to Rebellion after a long time as an indie.

The other main point Mills repeatedly makes about creator control is something I have more sympathy for. If creator X has build a brand and strip over years, wrenching it away and giving it to someone else when the original creator wants to continue is cruel, even when it’s the smart business decision. However, has that ever happened throughout 2000 AD’s recent (Rebellion) history? Some strips have instead just stopped (which Mills also takes exception too, being miffed that a 2000 AD editor wouldn’t commission whatever he wanted to write). I know the John Smith strips carve-up remains controversial, but he fell off the map entirely for over 18 months. I understand the circumstances for John Smith were horrendous, but the editor wasn’t to know that because there was no communication. (Also: it feels like that was about timing. You wonder whether if there hadn’t been Indigo Prime in the tank if that strip would have just remained sleeping. Devlin, though, I think was something Matt Smith wanted to bring back.)

As I’ve said multiple times, I hope bridges weren’t burned and if John came to the then current Tharg with some ideas that were suitable and solid, they would be considered.

TordelBack

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #21 on: 21 May, 2021, 11:01:00 AM »
"Look kids, Big Ben,  Houses of Parliament". Perhaps, and I realise this is crazy talk, the issue here is that creators should retain control of,  and be appropriately compensated for, their creations, as they would if they had worked in many other creative fields. In this instance Pat (for it is he) would have an incentive to allow me or Grant Morrison (it's a toss-up really) write Nemesis Book XI, rather than seeing the fruits of their genius make someone else money; or indeed to write it himself if he was arsed to instead of trying get his own comic going against all reason; or say he didn't want anyone to write it at all, in the Moorish manner, and all original scripts should be burnt on his funeral pyre.

Maybe we'd be on Moore & Gibson's  Halo Jones Book VIII by now,  maybe Al Ewing would be doing revolutionary things with Zombo, maybe Rick Remender's ABC Warriors would be the greatest thing ever: who knows. What I do know is that none of us would be here without Pat Mills.

We all understand the realities of the contracts that weren't or weren't signed with open eyes or otherwise, the concept of work-for-hire that most of us that type stuff for living experience, and the production/promotion costs and likely marginal profitability of 2000AD that would be affected by retrospective creator deals and IP ownership. We're not babies.

But if you don't ask,  and piss and moan,  and make yourself an irritation you don't ever get, as anyone who has ever had a weekend off, a hardhat or paid leave must surely know.
« Last Edit: 21 May, 2021, 11:06:32 AM by TordelBack »

Colin YNWA

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #22 on: 21 May, 2021, 11:22:13 AM »
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

That said I have refered to The Phoenix - and my love of the comic is well rehearsed in these parts - as more 'Middle class' than the action comics that Mills created and championed back in the late 70s and I stand by that, well even if its a very clumsy shorthand that probably says more about me and my origins and insecurities than anything! Even if this was entirely true and justified it doesn't make it a bad thing - its still an excellent piece of craft. In addtion to Jamie Smart there's a host of wonderful talent, Neil Cameron's adventure strips (and Robert Deas) Jess Bradley and Joe List's surrealist humour, the list could go on.

It may feel safer than the comics of the seventies both 'girls' and 'boys' comics, but that is because its made for a different time, for different sensibilities. Its from a time when class shouldn't matter so much (even if i can't get over it!). As Indigo Prime says its so much more inclusive, not just in not having to be a boys or girls comic but in so many other ways.

What this all misses is it still has a wonderful different angle and non-standard approach. Not based on grit and violence, instead its based on surrealised humour, anarchic hijinks and poo jokes. Its more Monty Python at time than anything else... there I go showing my age again.

If Uncle Pat is having a pop at it he too misses that as he too is stuck in his own origins, as I am, and at times seems to miss the world has moved on and can get a little singular and simplistic in his take in things. Even if his principles are to be applauded more often than not.

All this said acknowledging that Tordelback is largely right as well - as ever!
« Last Edit: 21 May, 2021, 11:25:46 AM by Colin YNWA »

GordonR

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #23 on: 21 May, 2021, 11:31:39 AM »
Always a joy to see Pat take a pop at the abhorred middle classes....from his ex-pat gated community home in Spain.

Professor Bear

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #24 on: 21 May, 2021, 11:56:50 AM »
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

"Three years ago, I certainly didn’t like the sound of a proposed Slaine-light for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers and, thankfully, neither did they in the end."  Seems he was referring to a pitch to the Phoenix that never went forward?  Given that it never went forward, I can only imagine that the makers of the Phoenix shared Pat's opinion.
If you're reading this, The Phoenix, bring back NO COUNTRY, you bastards.

At a stretch, you might argue that Pat was probably thinking of Mezolith - that he saw some of the painted art and assumed it was a Slaine knock-off and got confused between the Phoenix and the DFC, but you'd have to argue in pretty bad faith there.

Leigh S

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #25 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:18:23 PM »
My guess would be whatever he is referring to originated from some shit stirring from the usual suspects who get off on winding Pat up at any opportunity.  "Hey Pat, this creator is talking about pitching a Celtic mythology story to the Phoenix on website X - they are ripping you off again!"

Colin YNWA

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #26 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:19:28 PM »
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

"Three years ago, I certainly didn’t like the sound of a proposed Slaine-light for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers and, thankfully, neither did they in the end."  Seems he was referring to a pitch to the Phoenix that never went forward?  Given that it never went forward, I can only imagine that the makers of the Phoenix shared Pat's opinion.
If you're reading this, The Phoenix, bring back NO COUNTRY, you bastards.

At a stretch, you might argue that Pat was probably thinking of Mezolith - that he saw some of the painted art and assumed it was a Slaine knock-off and got confused between the Phoenix and the DFC, but you'd have to argue in pretty bad faith there.

Yeah that was my reading of it I have to admit.

And YES to more 'No Country' - it was quite superb. I nosed at the trade collection in Waterstones the other day and it retains the 'To be continued' - which I think was been said in the comic itself too so fingers crossed more is on the way.

TordelBack

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #27 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:20:49 PM »
That would be quite a stretch alright (although it goes without saying that Mezolith is beyond wonderful). And Leigh S is correct, Pat's social media following is heavily invested in creating argy bargy.

I should probably add here that I hate seeing Pat knocking/dismissing other creators/editors and comics, trotting out somewhat, err, singular recollections of events, or even being vocally angry with the folk that unquestionably saved 2000AD and gave it a new and wonderful second wind.

But I also hate having to walk home because a protest march has blocked the tram line, or seeing irritating people going to Unite workshops in Mexico City on my hard-earned dues, or having to take time off work because of a teachers' strike. But like Pat's rants, I accept them as a necessary evil in an unfair world. 

And unlike my Union Rep's account of the free bar in Acapulco, Pat actually has done something for me lately.
« Last Edit: 21 May, 2021, 12:24:18 PM by TordelBack »

Steven Denton

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #28 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:35:57 PM »
"Look kids, Big Ben,  Houses of Parliament". Perhaps, and I realise this is crazy talk, the issue here is that creators should retain control of,  and be appropriately compensated for, their creations, as they would if they had worked in many other creative fields. In this instance Pat (for it is he) would have an incentive to allow me or Grant Morrison (it's a toss-up really) write Nemesis Book XI, rather than seeing the fruits of their genius make someone else money; or indeed to write it himself if he was arsed to instead of trying get his own comic going against all reason; or say he didn't want anyone to write it at all, in the Moorish manner, and all original scripts should be burnt on his funeral pyre.

Maybe we'd be on Moore & Gibson's  Halo Jones Book VIII by now,  maybe Al Ewing would be doing revolutionary things with Zombo, maybe Rick Remender's ABC Warriors would be the greatest thing ever: who knows. What I do know is that none of us would be here without Pat Mills.

We all understand the realities of the contracts that weren't or weren't signed with open eyes or otherwise, the concept of work-for-hire that most of us that type stuff for living experience, and the production/promotion costs and likely marginal profitability of 2000AD that would be affected by retrospective creator deals and IP ownership. We're not babies.

But if you don't ask,  and piss and moan,  and make yourself an irritation you don't ever get, as anyone who has ever had a weekend off, a hardhat or paid leave must surely know.

Lots of creators got screwed and continue to get screwed but Mills isn’t one of them. 2000ad never stopped heavily commissioning his work and although he thinks he’s owed more he gets a back end for reprints. His constant overlooking of co creators and mean spirited attacks on other creators has probably worn away my sympathies for his arguments which I would normally have a lot more sympathy for.

Creator rights have changed and that brings a whole different set of challenges.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s creators we’re definitely exploited and taken advantage of, with massive sales figures and shitty page rates. Now with low sales and being very much a minority interest medium there is a lot less to exploit.

Having said that The film companies still screw the creators of the source material. 

TordelBack

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #29 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:55:50 PM »
Lots of creators got screwed and continue to get screwed but Mills isn’t one of them. 2000ad never stopped heavily commissioning his work and although he thinks he’s owed more he gets a back end for reprints...

No argument there, I have an entire bookshelf of luscious Pat Mills reprint. The share of reprint fees and royalties versus revenue generated, I don't have enough info to judge, beyind raising eyebrows at claims. 

Quote
Back in the 70’s and 80’s creators we’re definitely exploited and taken advantage of, with massive sales figures and shitty page rates. Now with low sales and being very much a minority interest medium there is a lot less to exploit.

All true, and obviously I'm writing on fan forum as an ignorant fanboy and not someone with any inside knowledge of the industry, but the creations of the 70s and 80s are still being exploited, are still the backbone of the comic and its public identity (such as it is), and the potential value of the IP determines the value of the entire concern.

The whole thing only exists because of those seminal creators. It's not unreasonable to see that as an outstanding issue, or that creators might see little point in continuing to create something they'll never own.

But...

[/quote]
...mean spirited attacks on other creators has probably worn away my sympathies for his arguments which I would normally have a lot more sympathy for.   

...Also this^^^. He makes it difficult, he really does.