Described as “the best idea I’ve seen for a comic in years” and “Genuinely original,” by none other than Mark Millar, the comic is about an STD that enhances your abilities but kills you in six months. It documents the chaotic final months of an artist, a musician, and a comedian who find themselves with unwanted super-abilities.
Artists and writer Montynero creates 2d and 3d artwork and writes, mostly for computer games, and spend a bit of time each year teaching digital painting/3d modelling at computertrainingacademy.co.uk.
Mike Dowling is a London-based comic book artist who has previously published work with Insomnia and Ubisoft, and was a regular illustrator on Torchwood Magazine from 2008 onwards. His first story for 2000 AD, ‘Six Brothers’ written by Alec Worley, came out in August 2011, progs 1743-5.
He’s been drawing ‘Rex Royd’, written by Frankie Boyle, for CLiNT magazine and is involved in several independent projects in development.
We caught up with Montynero for a brief chat about the Death Sentence project…
downthetubes: What’s the point of the comic?
Montynero: To entertain, firstly, and then to explore some fine sequential storytelling. The idea’s interesting enough, but really its all about how you tell the story.
Mike and I both got into comics for the love of the medium, and its narrative possibilities – so we spend ages fine tuning the sequentials to make them as punchy and poetic as possible. But its commercial entertainment, not high art.
downthetubes: Who are the characters?
Montynero: Three twentysomethings. Verity’s a graphic designer – tattoos – sexually adventurous. Weasel’s an addict and a noted singer songwriter. Some call him a genius, others a talentless bullshitter. Monty’s a movie star and comedian. They all react to the virus in radically different ways, and the conflict becomes explosive.
downthetubes: How did it come about?
Montynero: A reaction to life, really. I was driving home from a comic con, my wife was three months pregnant, and everyone was telling me my life would no longer be my own when I became a dad. So it felt like I only had six months to do something creative.
I’m fascinated by the decadent lives people lead, and the nihilistic attitudes pervading Western culture, and we wanted to document and explore that. I mean, It’s supposed to be entertaining, funny and irreverent – but by the end of the series you get a very clear idea of what we think about it all.
Ultimately it explores the point of life – though you’ll have to read the whole thing to get the big picture.
downthetubes: When it coming out?
Montynero: 2012. Though there are advance copies at Dundee Comics Day and Thought Bubble in Leeds in November. Advance purchasers get signed/ personalised editions – and their names enshrined on the Death Sentence website for posterity.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.