Now Al Ewing has his say about Zaucer of Zilk with Brendan Mccarthy:
CBR News: How did your collaboration with Brendan McCarthy on “The Zaucer of Zilk” come about?
Al Ewing: It’s [Brendan’s] idea. How it basically came about was that he had the basic idea, and he sent various sketches of various concepts to me. Brendan, he’s absolutely packed with ideas. He’s this astonishing creative talent. [The initial ideas] were kind of unconnected. They were almost a series of dream images, and over the phone he told me some scenes and basic ideas he had for the plot. I took all that and balled it up in to a ten-episode story. The way we worked was that we went over the plot and pitched it back and forth a lot before we sent it to [“2000AD” Editor-in-Chief] Matt Smith.
Can you lay out the general premise for “The Zaucer of Zilk?”
There’s this kind of wizard or sorcerer of a realm, a celebrity magician who ends up going on this quest across various other dimensional realms in order to rescue somebody. I don’t want to give too much away, but thematically, Brendan would describe it as “Dr. Who” meets the “Wizard of Oz” with a heavy influence from “The Mighty Boosh.” I put a little bit of “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” in it, as well.
There’s a hint of this god-like, arrogant element in the main characters. He’s learning humility. It’s almost a classic Dr. Strange story, with the main character starting out as this arrogant, young, full-of-his-own-power person who grows up. He’s learning to take responsibility for himself and for other people.
I think we’ve got something that’s very whimsical and witty and fun. There’s that “The Mighty Boosh” element of that slightly anarchic sense of humor to it, but at the same time it’s got these deeper levels, if you want to look for them. It’s the comics equivalent of a Pixar movie.
Every five or ten years, “2000AD” tends to go through a stylistic and thematic change, from McMahon to McCarthy to Bisley to Flint. Do you think “The Zaucer of Zilk” will herald the next phase of “2000AD?”
I’m walking a fine line between being very proud of the work I’ve done and being very excited about it and a little bit boisterous. Not wanting to boast, I think this is gonna be a biggie and this is gonna draw a lot of people in. If you haven’t been reading “2000AD” for a while, you’ll probably want to read it. To be honest, as a fan of Brendan McCarthy, I’ve seen the first and second episodes, and getting those pages in my inbox was an astonishing day. I was just sitting there looking at them and being blown away. There are some absolutely astonishing things he is doing.
Trust in Al and Brendan - this is one you’ll want to read. However, Al has more coming up:
I’m glad you brought up “Damnation Station.” Having Simon Davis, who for my money is the best artist regularly working on “2000AD,” and Boo Cook rotating main penciling duties is an insane dream team.
Oh, God, yeah. The second series of that is actually going to be the last series. I wanted to do one trade that was a complete story. I wanted to do something that was quite compact. It’s going to be 30 episodes, and I’ve done 15. I left it at this place where Earth is going to war. There’s a terrible betrayal in the last episode, and I’m going to pick up from there. With the last 15 episodes, again, it’s going to split in to four smaller parts with rotating artists. Almost certainly it will be Davis and Cook again, but you’d have to ask Matt Smith. Ben Willshere might do one too. That is something that Matt Smith will decide. There’ll be lots more weird aliens and moral mazes. Quite dark stuff, everything’s going to get worse for everybody. Everything is going to come to a head and finish. Hopefully, I’ll get all that done by Christmas.
So, you’ve got “The Zaucer of Zilk,” “Zombo” and “Damnation Station” coming up in “2000AD.” Anything else you’d like to work on in the prog?
I’d really like to get in to writing more Judge Dredd. I’m doing the Christmas episodes this year, and I’ve got a couple more at the beginning of next year. There’s also something quite huge that’s in the pipeline. I’m going to be quite cagey about it at the minute. In the future, a couple of other people are going to be talking to CBR about it, and it’s going to be huge.
Excited yet?? I might need a lie down.
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