Just before the official release of The Mighty One: My Life Inside the Nerve Centre, former 2000AD editor Steve MacManus attended a launch event for this fascinating insight into the early days of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic at London’s award-winning Orbital Comics, and I was lucky enough to be there.
A number of comics writers (including “Judge Dredd” writer Michael Carroll), artists (including Rian Hughes), 2000AD owners (in the shape of Rebellion – hot on the heels of their purchase of Egmont’s classic comics brands) and podcasters (including 2000AD’s thrillcasting Michael Molcher) were all there to meet Steve. He spent about 45 minutes signing books and talking to fans before a Q&A session, before going back to sign books for people who’d missed out earlier!
Without giving away all the stories in the book, Steve spoke about his introduction to comics at Fleetway and the problems he, and his fellow punkish types, encountered with the more traditional pipe-smoking, elbow-patches-on jackets-types who had sustained Fleetway since the end of World War Two. He highlighted writer Grant Morrison and artist Glenn Fabry as the two creators who, such was there natural talent, needed the least amount of editing.
Steve continues to write and to be creative. He brought along a small portfolio of work relating to a proposed newspaper strip, Herb & Spaceman that never quite got off the ground. The last three years have seen Steve work on that strip and to write his Mighty One memoir, which he explained he knew he was going to enjoy writing by the time he’d written “chortle” at the end of the first page.
This book though, as he pointed out, is the story of ‘Good Steve’ and the adventures he has in publishing. The story of ‘Bad Steve’ and the adventures he has are for another day…
Steve was generous with his time, his insights and his memories and was a pleasure to meet.
• Follow Steve MacManus on Twitter @mac_1
• The Mighty One My Life Inside The Nerve Centre will be available in print from 8th September 2016 from all good book shops, Amazon, and comic book shops via Diamond
Richard Sheaf is a longtime contributor to downthetubes and has written for numerous magazines about British comics.