Monday, 27 April 2009
Brendan: I was clearing out some old cupboards and a few old copies of 2000AD fell out. I'd kept them because there were episodes of SOONER OR LATER on the back covers. This was a one-page strip that I did with writer Pete Milligan over 23 years ago. When I saw the dateline on the cover, I had a hard time believing it was so long ago.

Unemployment was the big social theme back then... and Swifty is feeling like a contemporary character again. I guess things really do go around in a circle.

Pete Milligan wrote S&L. We just knocked it up one afternoon on a phone call. We had the title first, but no idea of what it would be about. Pete named the hero after one of his favourite writers, Jonathan Swift. Tony Riot drew about a third of the strips with me and was the unofficial "other artist".

That reminds me, I must go and revisit Tony's one and only solo strip for 2000AD, "Tribal Memories", which also written by Pete. Wonder if anybody remembers it!

It's astonishing to think of the variety of strips that Pete was writing around that (white-hot) time in British Comics: Bad Company, Paradax!, Johnny Nemo, Mirkin The Mystic, Sooner or later, Skreemer, Shade The Changing man, Rudcliffe and Williams, The Extremist, Rogan Gosh, Skin... That's an amazing slab o' stuff! A very wide difference in tone and mood, from very dark violence to a surreal and foppish wit.

And, whatever happened to that 'Bizarre Boys' comic thing written with Grant Morrison and to be drawn by Jamie Hewlett? I saw one weird bit of art and that was about it...

Interestingly, it was Jamie Hewlett who took over Sooner or Later for a sequel, which was also written by Pete.


Sean Phillips said...

Beautiful stuff as always Brendan, very fondly remembered. Any of that original art for sale?

Duncan said...

Yeah, I'll have some of that! I colllected all of Sooner or Later and indeed Tribal Memories in sleeve files, both unique for 2000ad in hat they must have had the lowest body count but most pertinent ideas of all time. plus, bloody great art.

Strictly Kev said...

Put me down of a page of original art too please If you're selling. Still not got a McCarthy original in the collection.

spleenal said...

excellent trip down memory lane I remember trying (and failing) to copy bits and bobs from Brendans stuff when I was a kid.

Azraelito said...


really brilliant!!

you and peter are those kind of teams that are art for comics!!


Sketchybeast said...

I love this stuff, really takes me back. My favourite 2000ad piece of yours is an old Dredd story from an annual where he gets hit with some chemical or other and starts hallucinating. Still looks stunning and original.

delboydare said...

Those were the days. As you said, a lot of experimentation and wacky ideas flowing around from the Messers Milligan, McCarthy et al.

All fondly remembered. It's funny but those years seem more colourful now. Maybe I'm just old an' jaded.

Great stuff. Thanks for reminding us all.

Oh, BTW *cringingly* if you are putting any up for sale... *glup* put me down.

JohnK said...

Sorry everyone but the 'Sooner or Later' pages I put on the Blog aren’t for sale – I downloaded them off the original art section of the 2000AD website a while back.

spleenal said...

Aw wow Sketchy beast I don't remember that Dread strip sounds like something Ive got to see.

Which annual? any one know?

JohnMK said...

The story was called "Death of a Citizen" and first appeared in the 1987 Judge Dredd Annual. It was also reprinted in the 1995 Dredd Yearbook and a few other places (I think)

Here's a page:

The Dopper said...

Sooner or Later!....i loved those kind of big head vehicle type things and the strap on quiffs (I am remembering this right aren't I?)

Brendan McCarthy is one of Britain's most talented comic book creators and designers. His unique and distinctive style has influenced a generation of artists and writers. He has produced some classic UK graphic novels, written and designed some ground-breaking TV series and worked on many successful Hollywood movies

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