Meet The77: Comics Writer Mike Powell

Meet The77: Comics Writer Mike Powell

The first issue of The77 anthology has been on sale for a few weeks now, but here’s another in a series of “Meet the Creator” interviews conducted by Morgan Spiceman, just in case there are a few hold outs there who haven’t bought it yet

This time out, it’s a quick chat with Mike Powell, writer of the story “The Last Man”, drawn by Phil Elliott. He also runs the popular Facebook group Why I Love Comics.

What is The77?

Mike Powell: The77 is a new anthology full of the spirit of 1977, the year that punk broke, 2000AD launched and Star Wars came out. Many of the creators working on or featured in the first issue like Ian Gibson, John Wagner and Tharg-himself, Steve MacManus are all alumni of classic 2000AD with others like Kek-W and Steve Austin the cream of the current crop.

How did you get involved?

Mike: I knew the editor BenKSy from Why I Love Comics
and his excellent 1977-2000AD Facebook Group. He’d read my story “The Dummy” when it was published in last year’s Comic Scene Summer Special, alongside Steve Tanner’s Flintlock and Andy Clift’s Captain Cosmic, and asked me to join the team.

"The Dummy" by Michael (Mike) Powell and Phil Elliott, which first appeared in "Bad Vibes"
“The Dummy” by Michael (Mike) Powell and Phil Elliott, which first appeared in “Bad Vibes

What is your story about?

Mike: It’s very much in the style of a classic “Tharg’s Future Shocks”. It’s beautifully illustrated and coloured by the mighty Phil Elliott, who’s worked with Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore in the past. It really looks amazing.

The story’s been described as “Brexit in space with killer robots” – and that seems about right to me!

The opening page of "The Last Man", written Mike Powell, with art by Phil Elliott
The opening page of “The Last Man”, written Mike Powell, with art by Phil Elliott

Who are the characters?

Mike: On the surface, the main characters are the humans
of the future who are living with the consequences of living on a polluted planet with no natural resources left. Really, the main characters are their robot servants who can see who’s caused this devastation and decide to do something about it.

Where did you get the idea for the story?

Mike: I’m naturally drawn towards this sort of story, having grown up on a steady diet of “Time Twisters”, “Future Shocks” and “Tales of the Watcher”. As for the Brexit angle…well, it was in the news a fair bit last year!

What are your hopes for The77?

Mike: I’d love to see it flourish and continue to be published regularly. It would be great in the future to see it available to buy in mainstream outlets like Forbidden Planet.

Hopefully, it will inspire a new generation of comic fans, like 2000AD and Warrior did when I was growing up.

Who is Mike Powell?
Who is Mike Powell?

How long have you been writing?

Mike: I only really started last year. Since then, I’ve written for the anthology Bad Vibes, which downthetubes ran a feature on, had a story published in David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly and the first story I produced with Phil Elliott, “The Dummy“, appeared in Comic Scene.

I’m currently developing a strip for The77 with illustrator and writer Sarah Millman, creator of NPC Tea, who’s also written and drawn for Rebellion’s 2019 Tammy and Jinty Special, working on new material with Phil Elliott, and a strip the second volume of Andrew Richmond‘s horror anthology, Dr Mondo’s Shock-a-Rama, again with Phil.

Phil Elliott’s montage of his takes on all The77 Issue #1 characters
Phil Elliott’s montage of his takes on all The77 Issue #1 characters

Who are your favourite writers?

Mike: I love writers who can mix the dark with the very funny and the absurd like Daniel Clowes, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. Then there’s Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Steve Gerber, Jim Starlin, Al Ewing, Brian K. Vaughn…

What are your favourite comics?

Mike: I grew up reading pretty much anything Marvel and DC published, as well as reading 2000AD, Warrior and Eagle. I’ve recently enjoyed Rusty Brown by Chris Ware, Patience by Daniel Clowes – and Saga and Immortal Hulk.

What are your influences?

Mike: Different elements from different comics: the world-building and atmosphere of Sandman, everyman figures like Peter Parker at the centre of extraordinary events, humour from books like Captain Britain, Ambush Bug and Sam and Max: Freelance Police.

What characters would you love to write?

Mike: Spider-Man, Doomlord, Rom, anything in the Star Wars universe.

Who would you like to work with?

Mike: Alan Davis, Fiona Staples, Kelley Jones, John Ridgway, Chris Weston and Brian Bolland!

What advice would you have for upcoming writers?

Mike: Keep at it. Try different genres. Redraft. Play to your artist’s strengths. Have fun with it!

Follow Mike on Twitter @kirbyesque

• Check out Mike’s Facebook group Why I Love Comics

Phil Elliott is online at www.elliott-design.com | Patreon | Twitter

• Order The77 #1 now here from GetMyComics

• You can pre-order The77 direct from the team, too. Message the team via the title’s Facebook page or email – the77comic@gmail.com to place an order. Payment by PayPal

The first issue of The77 costs £6.95 for the standard print edition with a cover by Ade Hughes (£4 PDF). Please note the Variant Cover edition by Nick Percival has sold out

Also offered are a copy of the comic, plus a signed writer’s script (£17); a copy of the comic plus an A3 signed cover print by Ade Hughes (£17); comic plus T-shirt (£20); or the comic plus A3 Ian Gibson signed “Lifeboat” print (£27).

• Join The77 on Facebook and Twitter @77Comic and Instagram @The77comic 

Interview cross posted with thanks to Morgan Spiceman

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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.



Categories: British Comics, Comic Creator Interviews, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, SF Comics

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