Friday, December 09, 2005

The Old Order Changeth

So, Judge Dredd Megazine editor Alan Barnes has left the building. He's off to join the ranks of freelancerdom and 2000 AD editor Matt Smith takes the mighty Meg under his wing. Alan performed miracles with the Meg over the past four years, turning the title round and making it a vital, challenging read for the first time in a long time - he'll be missed. It'll be interesting to see how Matt copes with the added burden of the Meg. I've no idea whether I'll feature in his plans for the title.

My working career seems to have been inextricably linked with the Meg for all of its 15 year history. I joined the comic as assistant editor in July 1990, seven weeks before the first issue went on sale. By the end of 1991 I was editor, having been mentored by Steve MacManus. I departed the comic a week before Christmas 1995 to take over 2000 AD, but six months later I been given the Meg to run in my copious spare time once more. I managed to pass it on to my then-assistant Andy Diggle in 1998, but kept a paternal eye on the comic's progress. When I quit to go freelance in the Summer of 2000, guess what my first job was? Yep, editing the Meg once more. Fast forward to the end of 2001 and I thought my association with it was finally coming to an end as Alan Barnes took charge. But his first commission was aking me to write what turned into four years of features for the title.

Now Alan is gone and I've just delivered the last feature he commissioned from me. I've been contracted to write a six-part FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT strip for the Meg, with Colin MacNeil attached as artist. I handed in the first two scripts this week. Maybe my association with the Meg is finally coming to an end, but I've thought that before. Me and Megazine is like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III: 'Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in."

If this is the end, it's been quite a ride. Some torments, many delights and I've gotten to work with a lot of talented, stunningly creative people. What more can you ask for?

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