I recently read a great original review of 2000AD by the legendary Mick Farren. Many thanks to Colin Smith for tweeting about it, and to Paul Smith (@compu73E) for retweeting it to me. Yes, there was a lot of tweeting going on… Continue reading
Last night my wife Lisa and I went to Casablanca. Our registration papers named us as married couple Marek Klement and Fanette Laforge, from Slovenia.
Biting the hand that feeds him.
Giving a boot up the genre on 30th April. From DC Comics
Deluxe hard cover collected edition, 480 pages.
I’ll be signing copies of Marshal Law with Kevin O’Neill at Gosh! in London on Saturday 20th April, 2-4pm.
The dark and sordid world of Superheroes.
Pull down the trunks.
You won’t like what you see.
When supermen go rogue, you call on the Court of Last Resort.
The government have commissioned living weapons of mass destruction to wage war on terror.
The survivors return home broken, bitter, insane.
Some form gangs.
Some go psycho.
Some turn into ‘A’ list celebrities with ‘A’ bomb fists.
The city is now a war zone.
San Futuro needs a Super Cop to enforce summary justice.
His eyes will reflect the rocket’s red glare.
He is Twilight’s Last Gleaming.
A bad choice is better than no choice.
Deluxe hard cover collected edition. DC Comics Late April
CAPITALIST SUPERHEROES – Caped Crusaders in the Neoliberal Age
By Dan Hassler-Forest, Zero Books
Just read this excellent book which echoes my mind-set in Marshal Law. Law was always more than a satire on men in capes, it is also a critique on the fortresses of the establishment – hence the hero hunter’s attack on the US corporations trading with the enemy in World War 2 and the role of the US in Vietnam. Continue reading
Delighted to confirm that Marshal Law is due out in the UK at the end of April, and to show you all the new cover that Kevin O’Neill has specially created for this deluxe edition.
The sadistically crafted, classic barbed wire-wrapped adventures of Marshal Law will be collected for the first time in a single hardcover edition. Featuring over 450 pages of cape-crushing action, this deluxe volume also includes an appreciative introduction from British TV personality and longtime Law fan Jonathan Ross as well as a new afterword from me and a special gallery section from Kevin.
Hatched from classified military labs to fight in America’s vicious secret wars, genetically modified “heroes” roam San Futuro’s broken streets in super-powered gangs, tripping each other’s hair-trigger reflexes in a never-ending binge of adrenaline-laced fury.
One of these discarded veterans, however, has made it his personal mission to bring law and order back to this urban battlescape. He feels no pain. He shows no remorse. His burning hatred for superheroes is all that keeps him warm. He is San Futuro’s finest. His name is Marshal Law.
“I’m a hero hunter. I hunt heroes. Haven’t found any yet.”
The other night I had an e-mail from an American comic journalist asking me for British fanzine information about Jack Kirby. I was baffled why he should contact me of all people. My comic Gods are Tardi, Druillet, Caza, Ledroit, Bilal, Gal and similar European artists, and I know little about the origins of modern day superheroes. So I gently explained this to him, but he insisted that maybe I could get in touch with my friends who, he was sure, would have the information on Jack Kirby he was after. Of course I knew they wouldn’t – superheroes are not a subject often discussed in my social circle, unless it’s a negative view of them as in Marshal Law or Brats Bizarre.
Maybe because of this e-mail exchange, or maybe because I’ve been proofreading the deluxe collected edition of Marshal Law (due out next April from DC Comics), but I had the most extraordinary nightmare that night. In it, a group of superheroes, splendidly cloaked and jazzled, were rushing down to breakfast, running on one leg towards me, in full “Crisis” mode, with mandatory gritted teeth and clenched fists. Crying out “Aiee!” as they leapt through the air to seize a packet of cornflakes, desperately diving for the fridge to grab the milk, heroically helping themselves to toast, and then hurling themselves at the cooker to scramble eggs.
Mercifully, that’s all I can remember; I woke up with a start and couldn’t understand why I found this dream so disturbing. Then I realised it was because someone was missing: a cereal killer. Marshal Law. He would have shoved those heroes’ heads in toasters, fried their asses and turned this Breakfast of the Vanities into a Bonfire of the Vanities. Now that would have made for a most satisfying dream.
Okay, it’s easy to criticise, but how would I interpret superheroes if an editor foolishly let me loose on the genre? Brats Bizarre – which appeared in Toxic!, brilliantly illustrated by Duke Mighten and co-written with Tony Skinner – gives you some idea. Living in a sentient house run by their dubious butler Bates, they indulged in every imaginable teenage excess. I’ve written about them in a recent issue of Comic Heroes and the images here show their very different attitude to their superpowers. More recently, Channel 4’s excellent Misfits did it bigger and better and shows the Young Ones potential in telling it like it is, but I still think Brats has something pertinent – and certainly offensive – to say, to challenge the world of fantasy currently on offer.
Marshal Law artist Kevin O’Neill said to me yesterday, “My Mayan advent calendar is a bit of a downer…today’s window shows Earth as a blasted wasteland.” I, too, took the Mayan prophecies seriously, so last week my wife Lisa and I went to the Last Supper Club, a pop-up restaurant in East London where we had a fantastic Mayan-style meal to celebrate the forthcoming end of the world. The pop-up ran for three weeks, with a different theme each week (The Salvation Menu, The Mayan Prophets Feast, The Doom’s Day Diner). The cocktails were top notch: mine involved tequila, horchata and grated dark chocolate.
But before dinner, two very friendly young priests had set up a confessional box, where diners could confess their sins before enjoying their last supper and preparing for The End. Naturally, Lisa and I went to confession and I regaled the priest with the most lurid sin I could recall committing. I think he was impressed, or possibly depressed, because he wanted to take our photos, perhaps to pass onto the police. But he used the most ancient, massive and funky-looking circa 1980s Polaroid camera I have ever seen which needed five minutes to warm up properly (!) and clearly had a dodgy viewfinder, so the results were thankfully rather ‘off-centre’.
But I loved the idea of their mobile confessional. The reverends revealed that they regularly de-sin clients at gigs like the Last Supper Club and festivals. So do look out for them if you feel the need to confess. I thoroughly recommend them and confession is a lot cheaper than therapy. Check out some of their pictures at uberschnap.tumbir.com.
I explained to the holy fathers that Kevin and I had also come up with the idea of a mobile confessional in our hero-hunting graphic novel series Marshal Law. The priest would drive through the red light district of San Futuro, California, imploring sinners to “Stop Me and Confess”. Like they used to do with ice-cream. I thought it was an excellent religious idea. A sinner could commit the most unspeakable sins, have them instantly forgiven, and then step outside and do it all over again.
Below are some images from Marshal Law featuring our mobile confessional to put all this in context. You’ll see our priest is also promoting Armageddon, spreading a message of fear to bring the punters back. And I have to say it works. I recall meeting a priest at a christening and asking him how work was going? Like you do. “Sadly,” he said, with a pious smile, “it takes a disaster like 9/11 to bring people to their senses (or their knees?) and fill the churches once again.” I’m just no good at faking it, he must have seen the expression on my face, because when he left early to “visit the sick” he deliberately avoided my outstretched hand.
This has probably been a good week for him.
The collected Marshal Law de luxe edition from DC Comics is available in April 2013. It comprises all our Law stories, apart from the cross-overs. More news on Marshal Law soon.