Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Aaron Murphy, Ed Murphy, Garry Mac, Good Cop Bad Cop, Jim Alexander, Luke Cooper, Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Planet Jimbot, Rough Cut Comics, Savant, True Believers Comic Awards, Will Pickering, Wolf Country
Following a year that’s seen Jim Alexander’s GoodCopBadCop pick up a True Believers award, one of his titles winging it’s way to Dark Horse, a couple of his stories making it onto the small screen in The Metal Hurlant Chronicles as well as countless other titles on the go…….I managed to catch a gap in his schedule and fire some questions in his general direction…..
What drew you to the Jekyll & Hyde character for Di Fisher?
What repels me from the character more like 🙂 I think the most interesting characters are the ones that have an internal dialogue. Crank it up sufficiently and you have a fight for dominance and ultimately survival. It’s a thin line between the most polite and well-attuned character suddenly changing; becoming something different; more demented in nature. You don’t believe me then get someone to tickle non-stop your feet for 30 minutes.
I think it’s interesting how people with high media profiles aren’t allowed to have an off-day. Some dubious comment made a decade ago can still follow you around. Jekyll and Hyde means that your main protagonist can be completely consistent in terms of character while having him thinking and doing polar-opposite things. I like that. I like writing about that.
What difference has it made having Rough Cut Comics pick up the title?
Rough Cut puts a bar code on GoodCopBadCop, but it’s much more than that.
I’m a publisher by default. Planet Jimbot just happens to be the most expedient way I can get stories such as GoodCopBadCop among others out there. But the objective all along is to attract proper publishers like Rough Cut to step in and take a punt on our titles. Rough Cut can take the book places in terms of promotion, distribution and production that I’m unable to. Also, Ed Murphy has come on board as editor and he’s proven a great sounding board with regards to where I’m trying to take the story.
How does it feel after winning the award for your first GoodCopBadCop volume?
Well, I’ve been around in comics in one form or another since the ’90s and up until GCBC and True Believers I was nowhere near a sniff of a nomination, never mind being part of something that actually won something. Deep down I’m delighted of course, although I’ve become outwardly less delighted over time as more and more people have said to me that I should be delighted!
Helping raise the profile of the book and creators involved, that’s the main thing. If it adds a couple of units to the sales figures that’s a good thing as well. If it raises the bar and piles on the pressure for book 2 to kick on from book 1, well, that might not be so desirable… 🙂
Will there be more from DI Fisher and his two sides?
I’ve finished the script for book 3. GoodCopBadCop will go on for 5 books in total. I know how it ends, but only two people know the ending so far. My wife and the artist for book 3.
Is GoodCopBadCop an easy thing to write given the extremes of the main character?
No, I have to admit I don’t find GoodCopBadCop an easy story or character(s) to write. I think to be true to the character and the situations he finds himself in, I have to go places I’m not very comfortable with. The first draft of the script is particularly taxing and exhausting. I find myself in the position of not looking forward to writing the next page. Once we’re onto later drafts, I’ve developed enough of a professional distance from it.
You’ve worked with a couple of different artists on the character – does that change how you write or is it just interesting to see another take on the visuals?
I’ve always seen the character as open to artistic interpretation in the same way Batman and Judge Dredd are. Artists apply their own take on the character and I think with GoodCopBadCop this enriches the whole experience. It gives the narrative a bit more of an edge. Things are a bit more unpredictable. Garry, Will and Luke have all been on the top of their games. Their interpretations have been right on the money for the stories they’ve been drawing. I’ve really had to be at the top of my game to keep up with them. And I’m starting it all over again with the new artist for book 3, Aaron Murphy. I am that kind of glutton for punishment 🙂
Will we see more releases through Rough Cut Comics?
I’m always discussing stuff with Ed the publisher. So much so, he once tried to bludgeon me to shut me up, but it didn’t work.
What other titles are you working on just now?
I’m scripting something for Titan right now. I’m not going to say what it is in case I jinx it. Ask me again at the end of the year 🙂 We’ve just completed the first story arc of Savant for Dark Horse. There’s GCBC book 3 of course. Will Pickering is also currently drawing Wolf Country#3 for Planet Jimbot. We’ll also be winding up Amazing & Fantastic Tales with issue 5 at the start of next year.
A couple of your stories were adapted for the Metal Hurlant Chronicles TV show – what was that like and will you be involved with that more?
It was great. I wasn’t involved with King’s Crown, but I was asked for input in the script for Whisky in the Jar. My favourite line is, “I’m just a two-bit apothecary! These hands belong to a shill in a medicine show.” Probably because I wrote it and James Marsters spoke it on the TV show.
I’m still in regular touch with producer Guillaume Lubrano and yes I’m hopeful I’ll be involved in a few of the projects going forward.
Is there a character out there that you’d like to write a story for?
What you mean besides Captain Caveman? 🙂 The great thing about being a comics writer is that you never truly know what is lurking around the corner. I’m too long in the tooth – and my attention span is too stunted – to look too far in the future, so I think, do a good job on what I’m working on at the mo’ and let the future take care of itself. My message to publishers out there would be surprise me, and I just might surprise you back.
Catch up with Jim & Rough Cut Comics to get your hands on Good Cop Bad Cop & more at the following events in the coming months:
15th & 16th November 2014 – Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival
29th November 2014 – Edinburgh Comic & Toy Mart
6th December 2014 – Glasgow Comic & Toy Fair : Christmas Special
10th-11th January 2015 – Digi-Con (Doncaster)
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