Name: Rob Davis
Currently working on:
Writing and drawing second Volume of Don Quixote and working on strips for The Phoenix.
First memory of 2000AD?
I bought prog 1 of 2000AD from the newsagents on Ashley Road in Parkstone, lost the spinner down the back of Chris Morrel’s fridge. I couldn’t read very well as an eight year old, but I loved Belardnelli’s Dan Dare art. Space Hyper Hero!
I probably read most of the first 100 issues more by the pictures than the words. Within a year or so I was doing my own 2000AD style comic called “Space”. I still have issue 3.
Favourite character or story?
Favourite character as a child was Robo Hunter. Halo Jones stands out to me as a writer because it spun everything around, made writing about anything seem possible. Dredd is the great icon of the comic and contains all the cleverest and most witty writing, it’s what 2000AD is all about.
Artwise Mick (then Mike) McMahon’s work surpassed, and surpasses, anything else in British comics and waking up one Saturday and rushing to the newsagent to get my hands on Prog 335 to see the first pages of McMahon’s Slaine work on ‘Warrior’s Dawn’ is the No. 1 art experience of my life. Not sure I’ll ever recover from the moment I saw that opening page.
Having said all that, my personal favourite read ever was the first book of Nemesis. Genuinely alien and familiar, futuristic and historical, mythical and satirical. Top stuff!
What you like about 2000AD?
2000AD tricked me into thinking this is how thinks are; there’s a 12p newsprint rag I could pick up every in the same shop that sells my dad his fags and it contains more invention, creativity, peerless art than I’d ever encounter in one place again. I thought that is what we should expect, it’s what I intended to do with my life – keep that illusion going, make the world seem that impossibly giving to kids so they’d grow up as bursting full of imagination as I was.
Sadly the comic wanted to grow up with me, but it grew up to be a retarded, heavy metal fan who thought women smelt of magazine paper. I didn’t want to be its friend anymore.
What would you like to see in 2000AD as it heads for its Forties?
We don’t keep in touch, but I’m assured it did grow up and sort itself out. It keeps the best of company now, so it must have turned out ok, I’ve seen D’Israeli’s marvelous Stickleback for example! We probably just grew apart and we’ve gone our separate ways.
Part of me harbours an ambition to do something for the comic, but it would have to be an homage to one of the great inspirations of my life and therefore would have to be startling original and staggeringly good.
If you worked for 2000AD, do you have an anecdote to share about Tharg and his minions?
And here’s the rub. I did draw Judge Dredd for a while in the 1990s, in Lawman of the Future, and I found the experience draining and soul destroying. I had nothing to add to Dredd that could improve upon what Mick McMahon had done. I could do something different, for the sake of it, but nothing better. This didn’t appeal to me. I had no kids or mortgage in those days so I just walked. I didn’t like the scripts or the ideology or the lack of ambition. Sadly the very thing that had made me want to make comics ultimately made me give them up as a career.