Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Credit cards, Starlord and more

Feel like I starting to get a firmer grip on this project. Today's chunk covered the introduction of credit cards, the decision to launch Starlord and the consequences of that. I'm amazed how much material I had to leave out my original TPO articles for the Megazine. Some of the key moments in 2000 AD history are covered in such brevity as to render the storytelling utterly staccato. 'This happened, and then that, and then this and then something else! Next issue: more stuff happens!' Hopefully the book version gives everything a bit more breathing room. Right, here's today's sneak peak:
For Gosnell, the task of launching what became Starlord proved a poisoned chalice. ‘The early days of 2000 AD was a time I considered the happiest, most productive and rewarding days of my life. It’s hard to convey the sheer, raw enjoyment and creative satisfaction I derived from being involved with that launch. I believed in 2000 AD passionately, tried to carry on the fierce, committed, unique creative spirit with which Pat had inspired me. I gave my heart and soul to 2000 AD. I laughed, I felt good – it was a time of joy. Then Sanders tasked me with launching another science fiction comic, which became Starlord. I didn’t want to put my creative resources into launching a look-a-like for something very good, I thought that was totally wrong. But somehow I got talked into it. I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.’ Gosnell discussed the new launch with Mills, but his mentor was non-committal. ‘I learned the craft of making a comic from Pat. If he had said tell Sanders to stick it, I would have. Starlord shouldn’t have been done. It was like trying to bump-start Concorde uphill.’

Mills’ reticence may have stemmed from a chill in his relationship with the Youth Group’s assistant managing director. ‘Sanders wanted to come in with Starlord hard and fast. I thought it was far too soon, and said that Kelvin should settle in on 2000 AD before starting a new comic. But I was already in Sanders’ bad books for refusing to create a female 2000 AD. I would dearly have loved to do this because of my background in girls’ comics, but I wanted a share of the profits. Sanders said it was impossible, so I left.’ Mills’ involvement with Starlord was restricted to creating and writing a strip called Ro-Busters. ‘I did this really as a favour, and as a way of pissing off the managing editor who pitched an idea to me about ex-servicemen with super power who deal with disasters. It was a dreadful idea and I bypassed it by doing Ro-Busters, which he loathed – so I knew my story would be a hit.’

Target wordcount: 120,000. Current wordcount: 16,873.


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