2000AD artist Mick McMahon announced as first UK guest for Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Mick McMahon

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced its first major British guest for the 2016 Festival weekend is Mick McMahon, who, while perhaps best known for his work for the top weekly SF comic 2000AD, also drew The Last American and Batman Black and White.

Mick McMahon, whose highly-regarded work has influenced many comic artists, became a regular contributor to 2000AD starting with Prog Two in 1977. He drew several characters for the comic, most notably Judge Dredd (including his first published appearance), Slaine and the ABC Warriors.

“And Superbean, of course,” he notes, wryly.

A page from Judge Dredd's first published appearance in 2000AD Prog 2 in 1977, drawn by Mick McMahon
A page from Judge Dredd’s first published appearance in 2000AD Prog 2 in 1977, drawn by Mick McMahon
The opening spread of the "banned" Judge Dredd episode from 2000AD Prog 72.
The opening spread of the “banned” Judge Dredd episode from 2000AD Prog 72.
While most of his comics work was for 2000AD, he also drew the memorable, much-praised two-part “Junkyard Demon” strip for what was then known as Doctor Who Monthly in 1981 (a strip written by Steve Parkhouse) – and one issue of DC Thomson’s Starblazer, “Jaws of Death”, published in 1982.

Mick's cover for the Com.X collection of The Last American
Mick’s cover for the Com.X collection of The Last American
One of Mick McMahon's favourite pages from The Last American (#3), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant
One of Mick McMahon’s favourite pages from The Last American (#3), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant
Mick sought pastures new in the mid-1980s. His most notable work during that period is The Last American, written with aplomb by John Wagner and Alan Grant, collected by Com.X, “probably my only work that troubled the scorers during my brief flirtations with Marvel Comics and DC Comics”, he says. “Although I did enjoy my work on Alien Legion and Batman Black and White, the latter being my only foray into writing (performed under the benevolent eye of David Gibbons.”

A panel from
A panel from “Decap Attack” for Sonic the Comic Issue 97. Script by Nigel Kitching and Richard Piers Rayner, art by Mick McMahon
Mick’s favourite strip out of all his comics work is the relatively obscure “Decap Attack” in the British weekly Sonic the Comic, scripted by Nigel Kitching. He also worked with Richard Piers Rayner and Lew Stringer on strips for that comic, and drew several covers.

One of Mick McMahon's covers for Sonic the Comic
One of Mick McMahon’s covers for Sonic the Comic
Pencils for one of the characters in Kestrels, written by Ben Dickson
Pencils for one of the characters in Kestrels, written by Ben Dickson
He is currently working on Kestrels, an upcoming series of graphic novels in collaboration with Ben Dickson.

2000AD will be publishing some of his previously uncollected “Judge Dredd” strips as part of their Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored title in July (see news story).

Down the years, Mick has also dabbled in designing for films and video games, and for a few years he had what he calls several ‘proper’ jobs, working in game studios.

“I’ve been to Cumbria a couple of times a year for quite a while now, and I am looking forward to being up there and having someone else telling me where to go and what to do when I get there,” he says, “although I’m sure I’ll manage the bar bit without any guidance…”

Commenting on the announcement, Festival Director Julie Tait said: “We’re thrilled Mick is joining us in October 2016. His work is hugely popular with both artists and fans, and he’s been a major influence on many creators – some past and future guests of the Festival. We’re looking forward to making Mick welcome in Kendal.”

The fourth Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 14-16 October 2016 in Kendal, Cumbria, celebrating great comic art from across the world. It is the only one of its kind in the UK taking over the whole town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, for a weekend.

The festival features comic artists from around the world, including Joe Kelly and Benoit Peeters, Britain’s first Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, as well as performance, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, master classes, live drawing and independent retailers and publishers.

The events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life. A free family zone provides drop-in activities for all ages, alongside a series of fantastic workshops for kids and teenagers.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival brings the town together for a weekend to celebrate the amazing world of comic art.

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival: www.comicartfestival.com | Find the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Facebook | Follow the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Twitter @comicartfest

Mick McMahon: Comics Checklist on ComicBookDB

Mick McMahon: Sonic the Comic Credits

All art featured above © respective creators or publishers. Thanks to Richard Sheaf for the Sonic the Comic cover featured and Lew Stringer for extra information

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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