An interview with writer Ian Edginton

 

How did you first become involved with 2099?

Ian: Itís all a little vague so youíll have to bare with me but I was introduced to Marie Javins who was an editor on Marvelís Epic line, a sort of precursor to DCís Vertigo imprint. Via Marie I had a series lined up and ready to roll when at the 11th hour, the artist admitted heíd already signed on to do another series for DC. I think in the end it took him years to complete so I dodged a bullet there. My series, a fantasy pirate yarn called Red Seas was going to be the last one Epic would do as they were shutting down the imprint. Instead of finding a new artist, they simply shut Epic down early and Red Seas was canned.

In one of those strange twists of fate, about ten years later I pitched Red Seas to 2000AD with Zenith artist Steve Yeowell. It was accepted and ran for over ten years so it worked out well in the end.

But I digressÖ

Marie introduced me to Joey Cavalieri and we hit it off from the start. There wasnít a regular title to jump on to but I was given fill-inís and short stories to keep me ticking over with. It was great proving ground, where I cut my teeth on how to write US format comics. After that I was offered a regular gig on Blade, several Star Trek titles and later, X-Force.

How did you come to write the last issue of Ravage 2099? Did you know it was to be cancelled? Were you given any specific instructions (i.e. kill off Ravage and co., remove Hellrock, etc.)? Was it difficult writing the last issue of a comic you had never written before?

Ian: Joey simply asked me. I knew it was going to be cancelled but it was work and also, if Iím honest, the idea of killing off a headline character like that had a macabre appeal. Certain plot threads had to be tied up but how I did it was up to me so I just took it and had fun with it. I was sent some of preceding issues to bring me up to speed on what had gone before and that was that, no more Ravage.

How did Lachryma come about?

Ian: Joey asked for new characters to showcase in the 2099 Unlimited bi-monthly anthology. I wanted to do a futuristic spin on the vampire lore and so Lachryma was born.

What recollections do you have about the art and artists who drew your stories? David Klein (Lachryma), Steve Pugh (X-Men), Malcolm Davis (Chernobyl), Tom Grindberg (Spider-Man)?

Ian: As far as I can recall they were all great, no problems. I still talk to Steve Pugh, heís a good friend not to mention being best man at my wedding. I think the only grumble I had at the time was with Chernobyl. It wasnít Malcolmís fault but the character was supposed to have been comatose in a downed Soviet submarine since the Cold War, so I wanted him to have a retro-Russian Captain America look that would have fitted in with the period he disappeared but it didnít happen. All things considered though, I was really pleased with the way it turned out. 

Do you have a favorite of the stories you wrote? Or fav 2099 character?

Ian: Itís the X-Men 2099 story I did with Steve Pugh in the X-Men 2099 Special. X-Man Shakti Haddad, was travelling the country, looking for mutants and found this small, Norman Rockwell-type country town but it harboured a dark secret. The townsfolk were sacrificing anyone who had even a glimmer of a mutant gene to a demented, half buried Sentinel that they revered as a kind of god. It had a very American Gothic feel with tones of Shirley Jackson's classic story The Lottery. Steve did a cracking job on the art chores. It was a great little story that Iím still proud of to this day.

Is there a 2099 book you would have wanted to write for but didnít get the chance?

Ian: I always wanted to work on Ghost Rider 2099. He was such a great looking character. I got close once but it didnít quite work out.

What recollections do you have about working with editor Joey Cavalieri?

Ian: He was great. Hands off for the most part but if he ever had to step in, his comments were spot on.
If you were having any problems with a story or wanted to talk anything through, you only had to pick up the phone (no email in those days!) and heíd be there. I learnt a lot working with Joey.

Did you write anything else that was not published?

Ian: I did get my wish and write a Ghost Rider 2099 story but the book got cancelled before it saw the light of day. It was set in an abandoned under water city, enclosed by a huge dome. I wanted to use it to take a look at what had happened to Namorís world but the series ended before I had the chance. 
 

 


 

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