TIME-WARPED

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This would have been handy to get back to the UK for the Marshal Law signing at Gosh! this Saturday. Instant travel would solve all those time lag problems.

This week I was over at EA Games Mythic studio in Fairfax, Virginia, to do some work and was amazed to find a Tardis in the corridor! Brilliant!  Creates such a cool atmosphere.  Working in a studio environment like this was a lot of fun and made me nostalgic for the early days of 2000AD where we had a similar vibe, although we annoyed the hell out of our funereal neighbours working on traditional boring comics next door. When I started playing Derek and Clive it was the final straw and they complained bitterly about our/my uncouth ways.  But if I could get a Tardis to take me back, would I change anything on 2000AD?  Not much.  Stronger design theme on cover. Different design on Dan Dare. Oh, and no Tharg.

While I was at EA, I saw the final version of Ultima – Quest for the Avatar which is out later this year.  I did a little work on it the last time I was at Mythic and it was exciting to see the final version.  It involves “Virtues” which have a significant effect on game playing as it means making moral choices. Huge potential. Going to be a superb game!

And on the subject of games, a filmmaking couple I know called Anthony & Nicola Caulfield are making a documentary movie called, From Bedrooms to Billions that tells the story of the UK Video Games Industry from 1979 – present and features virtually every major UK contributor in game development, art, music, publishing and journalism over the last 30 years. They are looking for support to raise additional funding to help with their archive and music licensing budget so are currently running a Kickstarter campaign.   Check them out at www.frombedroomstobillions.com.

I must tell Anthony and Nicola about Mythic – they have some great new  commissioned artwork by Oliver Frey – a major figure at the beginning of UK gaming – all over the studio walls to inspire the creative team. Cool idea.

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Fabulous fantasy that Mythic comes up with!

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Would have loved to have one of these when I was writing Doctor Who and the Iron Legion.

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Or Dead London for Doctor Who audio.
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They like to multi-task at Mythic: this is a combined desk and treadmill: you work and exercise at the same time. No spoof; this is for real!

Faster! Faster! More story! More story!

Faster! Faster! More story! More story!

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15 thoughts on “TIME-WARPED

  1. Pingback: Pat Mills Contributed to the Story of Ultima Forever

  2. Pingback: Ultima Forever Features Writing by Pat Mills : Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar

  3. I never knew that you were into videogames as well, Pat. Although I have to echo the others – Tharg is important to 2000AD, I’m genuinely astonished that you’d want to send him back to Betelgeuse. It’s the same for many comics mascots, in fact – whether it be Megadroid for Sonic the Comic or Baneblade & Gutspew for Warhammer Monthly, they add a lot of entertaining character and they’re a feature in and of themselves. Although the new Strip Magazine’s “Augustus Ape”, literally a talking monkey, is a bit lame…

    • Back in the day there were lots of readers who felt the same way. There was even a petition to get rid of him. And I recall a huge cheer at a convention at the prospect of getting shot of him. I think he’s been accepted now, so its a different set of circumstances.He’s a brand name now.But apart from the first year where I thought he worked okay, and was a useful device, in those subsequent early years I found him singularly unfunny, rather “young”,overly indulgent, and mildly embarassing and in this I was not alone. So as one of his creators I cringed somewhat at his over-use. Whereas Lord Gnome on Private Eye was genuinely and dryly amusing, with cool, clever, hard-hitting writing. Perhaps it was down to the writing and the sometimes silly way the character was used rather than Tharg himself.

      • The first year, Kevin O’Neill’s story about Tharg introducing 2000AD to a superhero fan, was really clever and funny. That was the standard I wanted for later Tharg stories, and instead they were something else.

      • That seems 100% right to me. (Which is a bit arrogant of me to say to the editor! I suppose I should say that it makes me feel that I must be 100% right, since I agree with you.)

        I remember Belardinelli’s strip, whichever it was, always being the one I visually fixated on when a new issue arrived. His work on Inferno lifted that strip from the commonplace to being a feast. I never understood why the visual look of Dan Dare himself was so completely different from the original, but I didn’t care that much because I was always looking at the aliens and the worlds.

        His art never benefitted from being coloured, I suppose because it was so intricate that it couldn’t be done in the detail it merited. They I remember it, what happened was that wide swathes of his drawings would be coloured with a single, uniform, flat colour, so that the detail was obscured rather than enhanced. His work looked best in black and white.

  4. Heh, that was my reaction. He may be a bit of a simplistic construct and a bit of an embarrassment at times but there’s a lot of love for old Green Bonce! Tharg’s presence these days also allows 2000AD not to take itself too seriously, which I think is invaluable. Anyway, he IS real, isn’t he? Isn’t he? Er… Great post, Pat!

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