Friday, August 25, 2006

Who says politics is boring?

Hmm, I was probably optimistic in expecting to finish the raw first draft of TPO today. I've been ploughing my way through the post-Diggle era, but have only gotten as far as spring 2004. There's still plenty of new Thrills and old school revivals to be covered yet. Plus I'm still waiting on responses from a few creators to my questions - Ian Edginton has promised me a fistful of facts and thoughts, for example, and he's been a key contributor to 2000 AD over the past four years. So I'm not finished yet, but the end is in sight. Target wordcount remains at 120,000, but the running total is now up to 115,372. Here's your extract of the day...
Diggle returned to the weekly twice in 2003 as a writer. He shared script duties with Wagner on the Dredd/Aliens crossover Incubus, before flying solo on Snow/Tiger, a heady mixture of high-octane action and post 9/11 geopolitics illustrated by Andy Clarke. ‘Snow/Tiger actually started out as a pitch for Vertigo,’ Diggle admits. ‘I wanted to write something that felt very current, right up to the edge of the present. We were living in strange and dangerous times, and I wanted to capture that in an action story. When Vertigo turned it down for being “too mainstream”, I just filed the serial numbers off and re-tooled it for 2000AD. I’d originally planned it to be 88 pages in US format, a mixture of paranoid politics and extreme violence - so I just took out the politics and left in the extreme violence. Hey, it’s 2000AD! It was never meant to be anything more than a bit of dumb fun, to be honest, and I suppose it succeeded in that.’
The political content stirred up a hornet’s nest of argument on 2000 AD’s letters page. ‘The fact the story pissed people off on both sides of the political spectrum suggests I probably pitched it about right,’ Diggle believes. ‘One reader got really wound up, claiming the story must be anti-American because villain was American, apparently without noticing that the world-saving hero was American too. People just see what they want to, I guess. Looking back, it’s all a bit corny and clichéd, and the characters are horribly one-dimensional. But there’s a part of me that always tries to see both sides of an argument, and to defend points of view that I don’t necessarily agree with, and I think that came across to a degree.’ Any plans for more Snow/Tiger stories were put aside when Diggle signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics.


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