The Founder Of Modern British Comics

December 13th, 2010 | comics talk

John Freeman‘s gotten a fascinating tidbit of British comics history out of Pat Mills in this piece on the return of Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons’ ROGUE TROOPER character to venerable and venerated UK weekly sf anthology comic 2000AD:

Gerry was the creator of Tammy, from which Battle, Action and 2000AD are descended, so he is the founder of modern British comics. This has been pretty much ignored by comic historians and Gerry also had some insider-encouraged negative press on the web in years gone by, which made me seethe with anger with its inaccuracy and self-serving motivation.

The reality is fans loved his work, but it didn’t find favour with 2000AD editorial at one stage. Having been Gerry’s editor, I know the relatively small problems they faced (pacing and some story logic issues) but it was my view that it was worth dealing with them ‘in house’ because his stories were so popular. We all of us have our scripting faults and eccentricities and it’s just something I felt we had to accept. Editorial didn’t agree and I can completely understand why. But fans didn’t agree with them either and kept asking for Gerry back, so I recently seized the chance and facilitated it.

Much before my time: 2000AD launched not long after my ninth birthday, and while I also read BATTLE (and sometimes ACTION) previous to that… well, I was still in infant school then and can be forgiven for not knowing this, I hope…! Especially since Pat indicates that bit of truth has been swept under the carpet.

Of interest to no-one but people deeply involved in comics, I’m sure — and I’m sure there’ll be arguments in obscure corners of the web about it. But I’m still glad Pat said it.


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