¦ Features ¦ Gordon
Rennie Interview Part 2
column in the Megazine, you seem at times to actively court controversy. Have
you ever written anything, eer in the column, or anywhere else, that you have
I've written loads
of stuff I've regretted. So has any other writer. As for the column, I dont
think Ive said anything controversial at all in it. It depends how seriously
you want to take it, I suppose. It's depressing how easy it is to wind up certain
types of people. Lots of people want to be 'controversial'. I dont want
to be one of them. You can usually spot them a mile off, because they'll tell
you never hesitate to tell you how shocking and controversial their work apparently
is. Twats, the lot of them.
Rumour has it you'll
be writing no more Rogue? Is this true, and if it is, why?
the last series - Realpolitik - is my last run on the strip. I told Tharg I'd
be stepping down after that one, so I don't know what's going to happen to the
strip or character now. I suspect he may disappear back into the chem-mists of
Nu Earth for a while again. With Realpolitik, I decided to do my one thing and
do a story about fascist power politics, which is a bit of an obsession of mine,
I was hesitant
at taking on the Rogue job; the strip seemed to be a bit of a scriptdroids' graveyard,
and Rogue's not....well....the most in-depth of characters. He's vaguely like
Dredd in a way, possessing a fairly single mindset because he was purpose-created
to do one thing, but with Dredd you've got a pretty big cast of supporting characters
like other Judges, and a city of 400 million mad crazy people for him to interact
with. Rogue, by his very name, is a loner, and he doesn't really interact with
anyone other than the biochips, who are
.also not the most in-depth
of characters. The fact that it's locked into an already-established continuity,
and we know what happens to him and the Traitor General in the end was always
going to be a problem. My first instinct was to do a bit of a reboot, and change
things around - especially with the back-story and the biochips - but that wasn't
on the cards. Rogue had been rebooted once, and the Friday stuff was a bit of
a disaster, really so I can see why Tharg wasn't keen on doing it again.
Nu Earth's still
a great setting for a story, and there's a lot there we haven't seen yet. Although
I tried to cover a lot more of it in my forthcoming Rogue novel - plug, plug,
again. I'm in discussions with The Mighty One about doing a Nu Earth/Nort-Souther
war spin-off strip called The Eighty-Sixers, but that's on the backburner at the
I'm also doing
writing work on the Rogue Trooper computer game, so I suppose Rogue and I haven't
quite parted company yet.
anything that takes him away from work" The words of PJ Holden. How true
first Dredd with PJ Holden
a lying little spudmunching bastard who better watch his lip. I can end careers
with a phone call. I've done it before, you know...
Do you, generally
speaking, get to choose the artist who works on one of your scripts?
if it's something major. Stuff like one-off Dredds tend to go to whoever's available
at the time, or Tharg might phone me up and say "Artist X is looking for
work. Can you write a Dredd for them?" Other times, I pitch some ideas, the
editor tells me which ones he wants and then he tells me what artists he's got
in mind for them. Unless I make particularly strong noises of disapproval down
the phone at the mention of any of those names, it'll go to one of them.
Have you ever had
an artist turn in a version of something you had written, and thought 'Oh No!
What have they done?!'
but what can you do? Not get on the internet and whine about how it was all the
artists fault your story sucked, thats for sure. The reverse happens
too, of course. You turn in a script you maybe didn't think was so great, and
the artist really brings it to life. That happened on a Dredd story I did called
'Couch Potatoes'. I quite liked it, but I thought there were too many corny lines
in it about mashed potatoes. "Blow it into French fries!" Stuff like
that. Cliff Robinson did an incredible job on it, though, and people absolutely
loved it. One day we'll do a Couch Potatoes sequel, maybe.
I've read interviews
with writers who say they never read another writers work, for fear of borrowing
from it, and others who do so freely and feel no guilt. Which camp do you fall
Dunno. I hardly
read any comics these days, to be honest. I buy collections and graphic novels,
but not monthly comics. This "never read another writers work, for fear of
borrowing from it" sounds like a lot of crap though, frankly. Writers don't
work in a vacuum, and nor should they. Besides, comics is inherently a rip-off