Pat Mills is one of the godfathers of British comics and has helped launch the careers of Alan Moore and Garth Ennis. He has either created, had a hand in creating, or has been there for the birth of many of the staple characters of British comics, 2000 A.D., Judge Dredd and Flesh to name a few. I recently got the chance to interview Pat Mills about his upcoming sequel to Flesh in the most recent Progs of 2000 A.D.. Flesh is a series that debuted in the first issue of 2000AD back in 1977 and this current story is a direct sequel to the original.
Why come back to Flesh for a sequel?
Several 2000 A.D. serials from Prog One have come back (e.g. Savage). The original Flesh series was very popular and is still fondly remembered by readers, and the subsequent sequels by other writers weren’t in the same league. So it was a challenge for me to bring it back and to get it right. Not easy, I can tell you!
What made Flesh work then what makes it work now?
The same thing. It was an ecology story then and it is now. It’s fairly unique in monster stories in that the monsters always win. This is crucial because in Hollywood and elsewhere nature is usually seen as losing/triumphed over (e.g. King Kong). On a basic level this triumph of nature is shown by humans getting eaten every week. Without that, it wouldn’t work.
Did you approach Flesh different considering this originated in the early part of your career?
Pretty much the same. Only the readers are more critical now, so the standard of writing needs to be higher. There are new discoveries about dinosaurs which are incorporated.
Does the current social and political climate of 2011 affect the story telling of Flesh?
Definitely! The inquiry into the loss of Trans-Time’s Base Three is closely modeled on the BP disaster.
Brontosaurus Shank or Pterodactyl Foie gras?
I want to get into all the food products – possibly in Book Two. I figure dino-meat is like ostrich-meat (dinos are bird related) and therefore low on cholesterol etc. This means people in the 23rd can eat huge quantities with no ill effects.