Hope Falls and Doctor Who comics writer Tony Lee has bid an acrimonious farewell to Stalag 666, his first strip for 2000AD, which finishes its 15-part run this week.
Drawn by Jonathan Davis Hunt, the Prisoner of War camp-inspired strip sadly earned Tony and its creative team a plethora of abuse well beyond the usually more generally accepted forms of criticism, including hate mail and other unpleasantness to astonishing to go into here but reported by Tony on the 2000AD official forum last month.
“This week has the final ever episode of Stalag 666 in 2000AD, and to be honest, I’m glad it’s over,” he notes in an edition of his regular column for Comics Bulletin.
“Usually when a book finishes I have a sense of loss, an ‘aw, I wish I’d done a bit more in that world‘, but with Stalag 666? I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth and a sense of relief. And people who know my fun with fans over this book will hopefully understand… whether you loved it or hated it, thank you for your words on the internet. Whether good or bad, it’s made me a better writer by default.
“Obviously we’ve had the insane contingent and to them I give a nice and healthy ‘f*** you’,” he continues. “You made Stalag 666 one of the most notorious strips in 2000AD‘s history when we were all happy for it to slide away into obscurity, and the notoriety wasn’t in a good way. I hope you’re happy. And you’re probably not, as you made the bloody thing immortal when all you wanted was for it to stop.”
While Stalag 666 may have left a nasty taste in Tony’s mouth, a far cry from his enthusiasm for the story back in June, he’s still writing for 2000AD. His “Citi-Def: Field Trip“, drawn by Jack Lawrence, starts in Judge Dredd: The Megazine Issue 279 in two weeks time.
In my opinion, if you don’t like a comic, a constructive letter or post explaining why is definitely preferable to what Tony suffered and the actions of one reader have largely been roundly condemned by 2000AD fans.
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.