Thursday, 24 January 2013

Myth, Memory and Legend

Myth, Memory and Legend

Welcome to part 2 of

Picking up from last week, we have the superb Alan Davis relaunch of Captain Britain in which Alan has chosen to embrace Caps existing history and continuity while at the same time developing all the existing characters and to make them more real and to somehow fit in action sequences as well

As we can see from this next page all of these elements the characters, the continuity and the action sequences are addressed simlantaneously and all in a way that makes perfect sense, with Chief Inspector Thomas Dai (of the Metropolitan Police) reporting to his superiors on Captain Britain and his new findings…

With Caps history shown in  wonderfully balletic projected photos in flash back form...

Also we can see that both Jamie Delano and Alan Davis are credited as co-creators. Not of the characters but the comic strip itself, as Marvel Uk could not afford to pay very high page rates at all and this was their answer to that issue, that the artists and writer would jointly own the physical comic strip and would have to be consulted (explicitly give permission for any reprint) and paid whenever the material was reprinted

And reprinted it has been, many times over - so much that the various graphic novels which reprint the entire run of material have a treasure trove of background and development information from the point of view of almost every creator ever associated with Captain Britain, so it makes perfect sense to share some of that here, looking at the background history at the same time as the characters history as the story progresses

Captain Britain was as most people know Alan Davis first printed comic but why not let Alan Davis explain this from his introduction to Captain Britain Volume 5 - End Game

"I'm often asked how I broke into comics or why I was chosen to draw Captain Britain.  The short answer is dumb luck. I was in the right place at the right rime. AND, both enthusiastic and cheap!

I never had an ambition to work in comics.  Drawing was just a hobby.  Or at least it was until Mike Conroy and Les Chester asked me to contribute to their fanzines Fantasy Forum and Mea Culpa.  Just a matter of months later, Mike and Les convinced me to show my work to Paul Neary, then Editor-in-Chief of Marvel UK, who was searching for budding artists willing to work for low wages.  At the time Marvel UK had no budget to originate new material, other than occasional covers, so Paul hoped to use his limited finances to create a few short monthly stories to prove the viability of originating comics in the UK.

Well that was the dream, Paul made it clear from the start that he was trying to buck the system and the chances of success were slim.  This was fine by me, I had a full time job, so accepted the opportunity as a chance to make my hobby pay and maybe see my work in print once or twice"

Join me next week as we take a look at the history of Chief Inspector Thomas Dai...

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