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