Monday, 7 February 2011

Indigo Prime & 2000AD magazine

As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of 2000AD magazine. One of my favourite writers for the comic and writers in the comic book and graphic novel genre entirely was John Smith. There is more about him and his work here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithiverse#The_Smithiverse

I really enjoyed his "New Statesmen" series (dealing with genetically engineered 'supermen' who represented their US States as superheroes rather than politicians) and also all of the "Indigo Prime" series, about regenerated dead humans who are reborn as agents for the universe, dealing with malign influences and metaphysical problems within different worlds and entirely different dimensions. More about "Indigo Prime" here:

http://www.2000ad.org/thrillpower/dcindigo.html

It was disappointing that Smith became bored of the 'Indigo Prime' series as the characters were fascinating and the stories were well-drawn. Smith's ideas were brilliantly original and his stories stimulated my own imagination.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with his more recent work. There is an interview with Smith here: http://www.2000ad.nu/classof79/JS_interview.htm and it is fascinating how his own influences and favourite writers mirror my own: he is a big fan of Stephen King and Peter Straub, just as I am. He likes films by directors such as Cronenberg and Lynch, like I do. It's interesting how, bearing those influences in mind, he became my favourite writer in 2000AD. I also enjoy how- repeated in this interview- he always states that his literary ambition is to write a sequel to the Bible!

I also like his lines in this interview regarding his method of inspiration for his work:

"The truth is everywhere. A big one with me is watching films, reading books, and realising the writer or director hasn’t taken the idea to its logical conclusion. People are always telling me that I have this morbid urge to always take things one step further than I really should. That’s what I love so much about David Cronenberg’s stuff. He takes an idea to its ultimate logical conclusion. Odd imagery also often kick-starts my thinking along weirdly divergent lines."

He was also asked about what he would do if he wasn't a writer for comics. He replied:

"Optimistically - writing novels or I’d have gone on to study Film at university or parapsychology at Edinburgh. Or perhaps working as a librarian. I love libraries and here in Blackburn we have one of the best in the country. The head librarian is apparently a witch and she always gets in the latest weirdo magic and conspiracy books imported from the US…"

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