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As a prime mover in U.K. comics since the 1970s, Pat Mills has been directly or indirectly responsible for promoting entire generations of artistic talent. He was IPC’s go-to guy for launching comics in the mid-’70s, and even after his stint editing 2000AD; many great artists there tended to get their first breaks working on his strips, which surely can’t be coincidental. Similarly, although he didn’t edit Crisis, he was arguably the driving force behind the comic, where again an entire generation of new comickers earned its stripes 00 and then yet again at Toxic!, where several noticeable new artistic talents worked on strips written or co-written by him.
Mills is at it again, bringing on Fay Dalton as co-artist with Clint Langley on American Reaper in the Judge Dredd Megazine. Mills was on the panel of judges when Dalton won a competition ran by the illustration agency Pickled Ink in 2010 to find an artist to draw the graphic novel Party Girls by Jenny McDade, some sample pages from that project can be seen at her website, her work then revealing the possible influences of James Jean and Frazer Irving. A further look around her website now reveals an artist influenced by the golden age of commercial illustration, such as the work of Robert McGinnis, and her comic pages (as previewed at Mills’ blog) show some influence from Look In-era John M Burns. She’s came a helluva long way in the three years between the two projects. Here’s hoping she stays in comics for the long run: her work is like nothing else being produced in the form right now.
From the mind that brought you seminal UK magazine 2000AD and some of the most memorable Judge Dredd stories available comes the story of a sci-fi future where senior citizens are given a second chance at life by digitally possessing younger people. Titled American Reaper, the series by writer Pat Mills and artist Clint Langley is set to debut next month in the pages of 2000AD.
American Reaper is described as a “sci-fi police procedural,” with law enforcement weighing in on the issue of older people assuming the bodies of those younger than them, sometimes by agreement but sometimes by force.
The series has been in the works for over three years, with Mills & Langley optioning the concept to Moon producers Xingu Films back in 2008. Mills and Langley have worked together numerous times, with Slaine popping up first and foremost for most people. As of late, Langley’s been doing covers for Marvel.