In the Works: Joe and his Killer Robot Dad, featuring art by Mick McMahon

Veteran 2000AD artist Mick McMahon is part of a team that includes Sam Read, Steve Green, Steven Sterlacchini and Daniel Carey-George, of Planet Replicas, working on a new multimedia comics project, Joe and his Killer Robot Dad, to the joy of his many fans.

A promotion for Joe and his Killer Robot Dad for Thought Bubble 2019

A promotion for Joe and his Killer Robot Dad for Thought Bubble 2019

Young ‘orphan’ Joe is stunned when he is woken by a huge killer robot sitting on the end of his dormitory bed, but when the fearsome automaton declares that he is in fact Joe’s ‘deceased’ father, things really get crazy!

There’s no time for a reunion before the duo must bust out of ‘War School’ and go on the run, pursued by a fanatical human colonel on one side, and a dogmatic robot commander on the other.

Joe and His Killer Robot Dad is a new comic book for ages 12 years and up. The title will be supported with online mini stories and animations, as well as a range of merchandise and collectables, including models from Planet Replicas.

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad - "Dad" concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green. A peace-loving dude at heart, recent events have not been kind to Dad, but he won’t let his current predicament stop him looking out for Joe!

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad – “Dad” concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green. A peace-loving dude at heart, recent events have not been kind to Dad, but he won’t let his current predicament stop him looking out for Joe!

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad - concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad – concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad - Battle Robot concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green. Battle Robots are the foundation of ‘The Automaton Nation’. Obedient to the ever present ‘master control signal’, their ability to duplicate their consciousness to new bodies when destroyed can often lead to ‘interesting’ personality glitches

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad – Battle Robot concept by Mick McMahon, digital model by Steve Green. Battle Robots are the foundation of ‘The Automaton Nation’. Obedient to the ever present ‘master control signal’, their ability to duplicate their consciousness to new bodies when destroyed can often lead to ‘interesting’ personality glitches

Joe and his Killer Robot Dad - Action Pose

Written by Sam Read, with concepts, characters and layouts by Mick McMahon, the project’s he artwork utilises 3D digital models created by Steve Green, rendered to Mick’s layouts by Steven Sterlacchini.

“Mick’s concept designs and layouts ensure that the process doesn’t become too ‘computer generated’,” says Sam. “I think all the team have found it inspirational to work with Mick.”

“For this project, Sam’s writing is more like a television script,” Steve Green notes, “in that he needs to take into account ‘budget’ limitations such as the number of characters (actors), locations and props when telling the story.”

Integral to the project will be ‘off the page’ elements, such as memes and mini animations, alongside collectables and merchandise developed by Daniel Carey-George (Planet Replicas).

A collection of Mick McMahon’s concept work and layouts was released at Thought Bubble in 2019, as ‘Issue Zero’, with a limited run of 50 copies – you may have seen the stunning “Vespa Troops” on patrol there – and a web site has been set up for the project, too.

Regular downthetubes readers will recognise Steve Green and Steve Sterlacchini for their work on the 2000AD-inspired short fan films, Judge Minty and Search/Destroy: A Strontium Dog Fan Film. Steve Green also worked on the 2000AD short, Rogue Trooper: The Quartz Massacre.

A prototype model by Daniel Carey-George for "Joe and his Killer Robot Dad" based on concept art by Mick McMahon, a digital model by Steve Green

Prototype models by Daniel Carey-George for “Joe and his Killer Robot Dad” based on concept art by Mick McMahon, a digital model by Steve Green

A prototype model by Daniel Carey-George for "Joe and his Killer Robot Dad" based on concept art by Mick McMahon, a digital model by Steve GreenA prototype model by Daniel Carey-George for "Joe and his Killer Robot Dad" based on concept art by Mick McMahon, a digital model by Steve Green

“Use of digital models in comic art is nothing new,’ notes Steven Sterlacchini told downthetubes, “many artists employing them for reference. We’ve decided to push it a little further by employing animation style render techniques, to complete full artwork pages, using digital assets.”

“The process is heavily weighted towards pre-production,” adds Daniel Carey George. ” We hope to reap the benefits by being able to reduce turnaround for mini stories, animations and collectables, once the assets are finalised.”

“The multimedia stuff [they’re] doing is amazing,” enthused artist John McCrea in a Twitter discussion about the project initiated by Chris Weston. “I sat at Mick’s table for a while and looked through it all at Thought Bubble.”

The work on Joe and His Killer Robot Dad looks absolutely fantastic, and if the teaser work in the “Issue Zero” are anything to go by, this project will prove a real treat for those of us who’ve grown up seeing and enjoying Mick’s work in 2000AD and elsewhere. The team involved are dedicated and their track record on their video projects speaks for itself in terms of commitment and planning.

The first issue of Joe and his Killer Robot Dad is due for release summer 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

Mick McMahon is also currently creating storyboards for Rebecca, the Ben Wheatley adaptation for Netflix, as well as work on other film and TV projects – and has restarted work on his long-awaited Kestrels project, written by Ben Dickson.

• Find out more about at Joe and His Killer Robot Dad at www.joeandhiskillerrobotdad.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

• Catch up with the team: Sam Read, Steve Green, Steven Sterlacchini and Daniel Carey-George, of Planet Replicas.

Planet Replicas is online at www.planetreplicas.com

Final Boss: A 2019 Joint Interview With 2000AD Fan Film Directors Steve Sterlacchini & Steve Green

With thanks to to Chris Weston for asking what Mick was up to, John McCrea and TheGreenMan1971

Joe and His Killer Robot Dad created by Sam Read, Mick McMahon, Stephen Green, Daniel Carey-George and Steven Sterlacchini

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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