Bad Company Interview
14th August 2015
Why is the time right for a return to Bad Company?
Time heals all wounds but not the wounds of Bad Company.
There’s been a change in the line-up creatively after, sadly, Brett Ewins’ passed away? What effect has that had on the art of Bad Company?
Of course it has had an effect on the artwork but Rufus is the perfect person to do the pencils and initial layouts on this strip. It is odd but so many memories for me keep coming back while I am doing the finishes on Rufus’s artworks. After Brett passing on the 17th February earlier this year and meeting Rufus for the first time in a long time at Brett’s funeral in West London on the 11th March 2015, it seemed apt that the strip would rec-occur after this.
Pete and Brett and Rufus had spoken a few years back about further delving into the story. I thankfully saw Brett last year (for the last time sadly) at a book signing and that was great to see him in his element if you will. Brett was a very charismatic young man with an abundance of talent. I remember so much of his output, Sometime Stories, Strange Days plus Johnny Nemo, plus loads of 2000AD material, as I was there physically when most of this great work was being originated.
What’s it been like working with Rufus on the strip?
I really like working with Rufus; I have enjoyed seeing his pencils, at times it seems like he is channeling Brett and obviously has a great grasp of Brett’s dynamic layouts, style and graphic sense. I know that for Rufus, this is an unparalleled opportunity to work on a strip that he thought of as his favourite all–time comic strip.
I feel Rufus has an exciting, adaptable and anarchic style well suited to Bad Company. The fact he has pencilled for and inked Brett’s work in the past doesn’t hurt either. Rufus is perfect as an exceptional and original talent that reflects a lot of Brett’s qualities of line and also use of layouts and Brett’s energy.
The team at 2000 AD have always said that if Rogue Trooper was the comic’s ‘World War 2’ strip, then Bad Company is it’s ‘Vietnam’? Is that still true or is the strip now looking to more recent conflicts like Iraq in terms of it’s response to war?
You would have to ask Pete about that Matt but I think readers can adapt this to their personal stances on past and present day conflicts.
I think the anti-war aspect of Bad Company is even more apposite now, as we are entering a period I believe of intensified and spiritual darkness.
This is manifesting in further wars, anti-Semitism, the largest ever persecution of Christians, the potential realignment of financial systems and with much more seemingly to come. The world is becoming more deeply unstable in ways that people are finding harder to comprehend. I feel Bad Company has always had that feeling of volatility and carnage.
What do you think the secret of Bad Company’s success is? Why is it seen as a classic 2000 AD strip?
I think it was and is very fresh, yet fits into the 2000AD universe very neatly. It looked great and it had visual heft and a certain dynamic flow and stuff like the Golgotha Plains and the Krools in terms of visuals and design are spot on.
Are you excited about the return of Bad Company and about seeing the reader response to this new story? Or are you, perhaps, a little bit nervous… ?
This feels like a fitting time to do a new project and one can’t help thinking about both Brett then and through the years and the excitement of doing the original series in the mid eighties. I realised recently, I had known Brett for around forty-five years.
So, yes I am enthused with the work, working again with Peter and also working with Rufus – it’s all really good. I am not nervous but one realises that putting out any work is that one cam be critisced and that is a part of the “game” of doing visual and written published work. I am used to reviews and have had much personal press etc as I have been published as an author many times over the last ten years.