Helen Donlon Interviews Jim McCarthy for Omnibus Press

Helen Donlon Interviews Jim McCarthy for Omnibus Press

Jim, your name has become synonymous with two musical areas in recent years, namely your ongoing work in the Latin Rock arena and your work on what has become a series of graphic biographies based around the lives of musicians. Let’s start with the second area. What was the impetus for the first book in the series, Godspeed: The Life of Kurt Cobain? Did you come in as a hardcore Nirvana fan? The first one (Godspeed) I wrote in conjunction with Barney Legg. Barney was a creative spirit and he was a Nirvana fan. I have always liked balls-out music and Nirvana had the rage on stage that The Sex Pistols had plus the dynamism of the first Move band in the sixties (along with The Who etc). I was not a great fan of grunge (I found it pretty uncharismatic and dreary) but thought Nirvana’s attack was superb. Plus Dave Grohl’s drumming was spot on. Plus Kurt’s undoubted song writing genius. I remember how Kurt’s death affected Barney at that time. I used to manage Barney in a band called Prettymouth. He was the main creative force and had a good voice and I liked his song writing at that time. We got them gigs all around London and even did a mad tour around the UK with Roy Wood. Barney was a really cool guy. He wrote a Bix Barton story ( a character I had devised with Peter Milligan; renowned comic writer) for 2000AD (Britain’s premier comic featuring Judge Dredd) that I drew and we also recorded some interesting music together. I liked our combined ideas...