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Author Topic: Pat Mills in The Times  (Read 2678 times)

Dudley

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Pat Mills in The Times
« on: 05 September, 2021, 03:36:16 PM »
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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.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #1 on: 05 September, 2021, 05:07:23 PM »
Interesting.

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

Funt Solo

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #2 on: 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. 
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broodblik

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #3 on: 05 September, 2021, 06:25:53 PM »
Interesting.

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



Then what is wrong with this picture?
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GordonR

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #4 on: 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.

milstar

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #5 on: 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").
Reyt, you lot. Shut up, belt up, 'n if ye can't see t' bloody exit, ye must be bloody blind.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #6 on: 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.
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WhizzBang

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #7 on: 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.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #8 on: 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.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #9 on: 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.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #10 on: 05 September, 2021, 10:16:21 PM »
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'I had created all the strips with the exception of Dredd, which I developed,' Mills says

Bishop, David. Thrill-Power Overload. 2007.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #11 on: 05 September, 2021, 10:26:34 PM »
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John and I ... talked about including his idea about a cop of the future.

Mills, Pat. Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! 2017.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #12 on: 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.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #13 on: 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.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Pat Mills in The Times
« Reply #14 on: 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.

I'm not sure I can be any clearer, so sorry if that doesn't explain my point.
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