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2000 AD => News => : Dudley 05 September, 2021, 03:36:16 PM

: Pat Mills in The Times
: Dudley 05 September, 2021, 03:36:16 PM
Abusive monks were my model for Judge Dredd
The creator of the violent comic-book lawman drew dark inspiration from his Catholic upbringing. Now he too is seeking justice
Catherine Pepinster

Sunday September 05 2021, 12.01am BST, The Sunday Times

For more than 40 years a rampaging, ultra-violent lawman called Judge Dredd has stalked the pages of British comics, as well as featuring in films, novels and video games. A television series is even in the pipeline.

Yet behind the blood-spattered fiction of a ruthless enforcer lies a very different story: that of a vulnerable schoolboy who has never forgotten the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic monks who ran his school.

The man whose childhood misery inspired him to create the Judge Dredd character is now fighting for a public reckoning of his own.

As a boy, Pat Mills, a writer and publisher often described as the “godfather of British comics”, attended St Joseph’s, a private school in Ipswich that at the time was run by monks from the De La Salle order.

“Judge Dredd causes fear and terror, and those were the feelings we had around the De La Salle brothers,” Mills, 72, said last week. “Dredd was a composite bogeyman of all my recollections of fear of my teachers.”

Mills has spent years accumulating evidence from fellow former pupils who claim to have suffered sexual or physical abuse at St Joseph’s. A group of old boys is now calling for an inquiry into the way the school was run and the manner in which children were mistreated from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Appeals to Catholic authorities to take action have already resulted in the suspension of Brother Laurence Hughes, a former St Joseph’s teacher who currently heads the De La Salle order.

The Rev Des Bill, chairman of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education (SCOE), said Hughes had been suspended pending an independent investigation “to ensure recommendations and actions taken are objective and not influenced by any person within SCOE or the De La Salle congregation”. The matter has also been reported to the police.

Mills says he was sexually abused by priests and witnessed the physical abuse of other boys. He believes he was targeted as the child of a poor widow whose fees were waived because he had agreed that he had a vocation to the priesthood.

“I don’t know if I really did ... but they knew my life was difficult and I didn’t have a father figure,” he said. “It is easier to admit to yourself physical abuse, but sexual abuse is more intimate. I blocked that out until my forties, and then the memories came flooding back.”

He began recording his experiences on a blog eight years ago. Other former pupils have added their own stories.

Among the accusations levelled against teachers were of boys being lashed with cat-o’-nine-tails and hit repeatedly with other objects. Some of the most serious sexual charges were levelled against one teacher, Brother James Ryan, who is now dead.

Ryan was “renowned for his savagery”, said Mills. “I would draw on his anger — particularly for Judge Dredd.” When the judge set off to punish the fictional town of Repentance in one of Mills’s stories, he said, “Brother James was very inspiring.”

Mills also claims to have been abused by the school’s chaplain, the late Father William Jolly. Another monk allegedly involved in the abuse was the late Brother Solomon, who left to start a short-lived singing career as “the swinging monk”.

Founded in France in 1680, the De La Salle order has four communities in Britain, where it owned several voluntary-aided schools. Accounts submitted to the Charity Commission show that the order set aside £7.7 million in 2015 to settle a case of alleged abuse of pupils at the St William’s Institute, Middlesbrough, between 1958 and 1992.

The abolition of time limits on childhood abuse cases in Scotland has also left the order facing 60 claims, five of which have been settled at a cost of £762,000.

The order is no longer involved with St Joseph’s, which counts the musician Brian Eno and the Labour MPs Chris Mullin and John McDonnell among its former pupils.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Colin YNWA 05 September, 2021, 05:07:23 PM
Interesting.

Pat's role in creating Judge Dredd certainly seem to be increasing as time goes on!
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Funt Solo 05 September, 2021, 06:16:06 PM
I had assumed the connection to Torquemada would be stronger, but then Judge Dredd is a far more recognizable character. We might guess that the journalist has focused there.

I think it's very brave and laudable of Pat Mills to challenge his abusers and work to bring about some form of justice.

I know that even the more minor forms* of abuse I experienced at school (from teachers) have colored my perceptions of authority figures, so I can only imagine how more serious forms would tattoo themselves onto the psyche.


*Getting belted & having my work set on fire - and then a smorgasbord of the usual psychological abuse that 80s teaching favored. I was lucky I wasn't the young girl who got fenced into her seat and had a "do not feed the animal" sign posted next to her. 
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: broodblik 05 September, 2021, 06:25:53 PM
Interesting.

Pat's role in creating Judge Dredd certainly seem to be increasing as time goes on!

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_JJEb2WKVSU/XGiTmj77kmI/AAAAAAAAC7M/6l7KXuvZrK8cjNhfFm--pav3WYVE6syggCLcBGAs/s1600/nerve_centre.JPG)

Then what is wrong with this picture?
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: GordonR 05 September, 2021, 07:02:28 PM
Interesting.

Pat's role in creating Judge Dredd certainly seem to be increasing as time goes on!

He’s been steadily gaslighting about this for decades, ever since the Mega-History book that came out at the time of the Stallone movie.  Now he’s advanced to being the actual creator, apparently.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: milstar 05 September, 2021, 07:34:22 PM
I always thought it's been a bit unfairly for Wagner and Carlos taking the sole credit for Dredd. After all, it was Pat who did The Cursed Earth.

Sad to hear about his abuse. Such schools should be completely devoid of pervs running loose and traumatizing young children  (in the name of "authority").
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 05 September, 2021, 07:57:12 PM
I always thought it's been a bit unfairly for Wagner and Carlos taking the sole credit for Dredd. After all, it was Pat who did The Cursed Earth.

…A full year into the strip’s run, featuring a Dredd who struck a noticeably different note from the character’s depiction both before and after. It was interesting to me that when I read the “Complete Judge Dredd” monthly reprints and finally read the first couple of years of the series in sequence, there was very noticeable point where Dredd became recognisably the Dredd of the modern era — specifically, the back end of the Luna-1 run and into the return to MC-1.

Wagner was firmly ensconced as the default writer, and Bolland squared off a lot of those round edges on the uniform, adding those SS lightning flashes to the visor. The moment where Dredd bellows at a potential leaper: “Don’t do it, citizen — littering the streets is an offence!” was the exact point where I saw the Dredd I knew emerge from an awful lot of throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks experimentation.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: WhizzBang 05 September, 2021, 08:04:51 PM
Pat Mills has repeated gone to great lengths to explain that he was not the creator of Judge Dredd but was heavily involved in the development of the strip. This must be the journalist's error and rather than Pat trying to grab credit as creator.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 05 September, 2021, 09:14:47 PM
Pat Mills has repeated gone to great lengths to explain that he was not the creator of Judge Dredd but was heavily involved in the development of the strip. This must be the journalist's error and rather than Pat trying to grab credit as creator.

I disagree. He’s been describing himself as ‘co-creator’ for a number of years now.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Funt Solo 05 September, 2021, 10:02:33 PM
There is no quote in the posted article, the focus of which is child abuse, where Mills claims to have created Judge Dredd. But carry on.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Funt Solo 05 September, 2021, 10:16:21 PM
'I had created all the strips with the exception of Dredd, which I developed,' Mills says

Bishop, David. Thrill-Power Overload. 2007.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Funt Solo 05 September, 2021, 10:26:34 PM
John and I ... talked about including his idea about a cop of the future.

Mills, Pat. Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! 2017.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 05 September, 2021, 10:32:01 PM
It's late, and I'm tired, and I have no idea what point you think you're proving… but if you want me to go away and Google a whole bunch of links where Pat describes himself as the "co-creator" of Judge Dredd or, at the very least, allows articles to stand* where he is described as "co-creator of Judge Dredd" then, fine, I'll see you tomorrow.

*Given that he's gone out of his way to make at least one blogger/podcaster correct their blurb to ensure that he was described as "THE creator of 2000AD" then it's fair to infer that he's happy to insist on corrections to creative attributions so that they meet with his approval.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 05 September, 2021, 10:38:19 PM
Also, if I'm honest, I'm disappointed that Pat chose to at the very least allow an inaccurate creator credit to stand in an article of some importance to which that point is more or less irrelevant.

I have nothing but sympathy and will give nothing but support to him on the actual point of the article, but this "I co-created Judge Dredd" thing has been part of Mills' largely fictitious version of UK comic history for some years now, alongside the whole "David Bishop and Andy Diggle 'dark days' destroyed 2000AD" crap that he's been peddling for a couple of decades.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Funt Solo 05 September, 2021, 10:45:34 PM
I see your point, and I'm not trying to be obtuse about it: but I wonder about the direction of travel of the thread given the subject of the article.

Or, to put it another way: there's a lot of room to have a discussion about Michael Heseltine's actions over pit closures in the early 90s, but not in response to his 2016 interview arguing against Brexit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubbSV5C9PXk).

I'm not sure I can be any clearer, so sorry if that doesn't explain my point.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 06 September, 2021, 08:22:58 AM
I see your point, and I'm not trying to be obtuse about it: but I wonder about the direction of travel of the thread given the subject of the article.

No, I think I agree with you, and I'll leave it at that.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Dudley 06 September, 2021, 10:13:55 AM
In this particular case, I'd forgive Mr Mills for claiming to have created Superman, Batman and the internet, assuming it got his case against the bastards who abused him a high profile airing like this one.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: sheridan 06 September, 2021, 12:55:34 PM
As mentioned in the article, this has been featured on Mills' blog for some time now (didn't realise it had been eight years though).  Interestingly I'm sure some of the blog posts had said that Mills was the victim of physical abuse but knew of other boys who had been sexually abused - this article has it the other way around.  I wonder if this is misremembering or if Mills was still blocking it out in those earlier posts?
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Colin YNWA 06 September, 2021, 01:31:37 PM
First and foremost sorry for setting this thread off on the wrong foot. I started with a comment and about creation of Dredd and that trivialised what should have been the focus here and I'm sorry for that.

I've been reading about the abuse Pat Mills suffered at the school for some time via his blog and its terrible that he had to endure this and credit to him for pushing the information out there into the public. I imagine that took an immense amount of courage and its something - as Sheridan has said - he's been doing for quite some time now.

Again sorry for my crass and insenstive opening remark.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Dark Jimbo 06 September, 2021, 05:01:48 PM
First and foremost sorry for setting this thread off on the wrong foot. I started with a comment and about creation of Dredd and that trivialised what should have been the focus here and I'm sorry for that.

In all fairness, this is a board about 2000AD and Judge Dredd, and the conversation was/is always going to skew that way.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: nxylas 06 September, 2021, 05:53:08 PM
'I had created all the strips with the exception of Dredd, which I developed,' Mills says

Bishop, David. Thrill-Power Overload. 2007.
And he repeated that comment on his Twitter in response to this article. It is simply untrue that he did not seek to correct the error.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 06 September, 2021, 06:11:35 PM
And he repeated that comment on his Twitter in response to this article. It is simply untrue that he did not seek to correct the error.

Then I stand corrected. My apologies. I stopped following him on Twitter some time back when I'd had enough of him constantly belittling and berating fellow creators.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Proudhuff 07 September, 2021, 11:43:05 AM
Also, if I'm honest, I'm disappointed that Pat chose to at the very least allow an inaccurate creator credit to stand in an article of some importance to which that point is more or less irrelevant.

I have nothing but sympathy and will give nothing but support to him on the actual point of the article, but this "I co-created Judge Dredd" thing has been part of Mills' largely fictitious version of UK comic history for some years now, alongside the whole "David Bishop and Andy Diggle 'dark days' destroyed 2000AD" crap that he's been peddling for a couple of decades.

What Jim says.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Richard 07 September, 2021, 03:01:27 PM
Bishop and Diggle saved 2000AD and kept it going long enough for Rebellion to buy it. It was their predecessors Richard Burton and Alan McKenzie who nearly destroyed it. (I don't know which camp John Tomlinson falls into.)
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: GordonR 07 September, 2021, 03:33:13 PM
Bishop and Diggle saved 2000AD and kept it going long enough for Rebellion to buy it. It was their predecessors Richard Burton and Alan McKenzie who nearly destroyed it. (I don't know which camp John Tomlinson falls into.)

John’s one of the good guys.  Nicolai Dante was created on his watch. when Burt & Mackenzie wouldn’t even look at Robbie’s stuff.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: nxylas 07 September, 2021, 03:42:25 PM
Bishop and Diggle saved 2000AD and kept it going long enough for Rebellion to buy it. It was their predecessors Richard Burton and Alan McKenzie who nearly destroyed it. (I don't know which camp John Tomlinson falls into.)
Now, that I do agree with. Mills's definition of 2000AD's "dark age" is very different to mine.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: IndigoPrime 07 September, 2021, 08:07:37 PM
Mills’s definition of 2000 AD’s dark age appears to be “editors who don’t like my work”. But then I temporarily dipped back into his Twitter again recently, and he’s still spending quite a lot of time slagging off the comic’s modern incarnation, so…
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 07 September, 2021, 10:37:38 PM
John’s one of the good guys.

Frankly, he deserves some kind of medal for being the poor bastard that had to roll up his sleeves and start working through the mouldering piles of accumulated Michael Fleischer scripts and flat files full of sub-par artwork largely painted in mud that had been stuffed away by the previous editorial team. A task that was still ongoing when Mr Bishop ascended to the Right Hand of Tharg.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: nxylas 08 September, 2021, 03:03:27 PM
Mills’s definition of 2000 AD’s dark age appears to be “editors who don’t like my work”. But then I temporarily dipped back into his Twitter again recently, and he’s still spending quite a lot of time slagging off the comic’s modern incarnation, so…
Yeah, it's funny because he has previously praised Matt Smith as "the best editor 2000AD has ever had". But then, he's full of contradictions and double standards; for example, with regards to writers other than John Wagner writing Dredd. He's justifiably proud of his work on The Cursed Earth, but seems to object to newer writers such as Rob Williams and Kenneth Niemand putting their own spin on the character.

I tend to cut Uncle Pat a lot of slack because of all the brilliant work he's produced, and because I think some of his anger at the way the comics industry treats creators is justified. But I'm not blind to his faults, and don't want to come across as some squeeing fanboy who thinks he can do no wrong.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: IndigoPrime 08 September, 2021, 03:12:38 PM
I was done a while back cutting him slack for his past achievements. Don’t get me wrong—they are massive. Without Mills, etc. But. That is no justification for consistently and constantly slagging off other creators and frequently positioning Rebellion as some kind of modern-day evil.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Richard 08 September, 2021, 10:32:43 PM
Without Pat Mills, 2000AD would not exist.
Without Rebellion, 2000AD would no longer exist.
Mills has been brilliant, but he should give people a break.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: James Stacey 09 September, 2021, 08:49:38 AM
I was done a while back cutting him slack for his past achievements. Don’t get me wrong—they are massive. Without Mills, etc. But. That is no justification for consistently and constantly slagging off other creators and frequently positioning Rebellion as some kind of modern-day evil.
Very much this. His services to thrill power can't be understated and Nemesis is still one of my favourite comics, but his bitter attitude and the fact his output for the last decade or so quite frankly has been largely unreadable (bar a couple of stand outs) kinda damages his legacy
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: nxylas 09 September, 2021, 02:57:11 PM
As with Alan Moore, I don;t agree with everything he says, but I believe his stance on creator ownership is basically correct. The idea of the rights to characters being owned by publishers rather than creators has been normalised in comics for so long that it's easy to forget how fucking weird it is. Without wishing to get into a debate about the merits or orherwise of JK Rowling, for example. could you even imagine her being asked to sign the rights to Harry Potter over to Bloomsbury Publshing?
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: IndigoPrime 09 September, 2021, 03:29:23 PM
I can imagine that, yes, because it’s pretty standard in an awful lot of publishing as well. I’ve signed away probably 90% of everything I’ve ever written as WFH. At best, some publishers revert non-exclusive rights to me after six months. Others don’t. Books vary. It depends on the contract.

Also, it’s not like WFH is your only choice in comics. Creators are welcome to self-publish or take a riskier offer from the likes of Image. The real question is whether the balance is right—and that’s something only those working for publishers can say. (Mills clearly thinks not. Others must be happy enough or they’d do something else.)
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: Jim_Campbell 09 September, 2021, 04:22:51 PM
I can imagine that, yes, because it’s pretty standard in an awful lot of publishing as well.

Yup. There are an awful lot of Star Trek/Star Wars/Warhammer/etc novels out there, and no one's getting a rights deal on those. For all that you can criticise work-for-hire* it has the advantage that you get paid to just write (or draw).

There's a lot of peripheral stuff involved in either self-publishing or going creator-owned with someone like Image — a huge amount of hustle and promotion is required, unless you already have heavy name-recognition in your chosen market, or there's a real chance that you'll make next to nothing.

* And I've said, repeatedly, that it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to devise a contract that safeguards the publisher's investment but is more equitable to the creator(s). Publishers who insist on work-for-hire could offer a very modest percentage of secondary exploitation (foreign language editions, movies, TV, computer games, merchandise) it would probably be enough for the vast majority of creators.
: Re: Pat Mills in The Times
: A.Cow 04 November, 2021, 01:03:11 PM
it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to devise a contract that safeguards the publisher's investment but is more equitable to the creator(s).

True, but such injustices are not unique to comics.  In music, although a writer and a performer will get royalties, the arranger gets none.  As an example, Andy Sumner got £0 from 10 million sales when Puff Daddy replicated Sumner's distinctive guitar part from Every Breath You Take, yet "creator" Sting reportedly made $2000 per day from Daddy's track.

Copyright laws are practically medieval and need a firm overhaul for the modern age.  (Preferably without Disney flexing their muscle like they did with the DMCA.)  I'm with Jimmy Wales on this.