Interview with Blazer! Creator Steve MacManus

Steve MacManus is a British comic writer and editor, particularly known for his work at 2000 AD and Creator of the New upcoming Comic Blazer!

What is Blazer!

Blazer! is a 32-page, indie anthology comic in the style of the British newsstand weeklies of the 1970s such as Battle Picture Weekly, Action, 2000 AD and Starlord. In one sense, it is more a reflection of Lion comic or Valiant comic in that its strips cover a variety of genres rather than being specifically about war, sport or science fiction.

Blazer! No 1. Cover by Jim Stewart

Who are the crew working on it?

In real life, the group editor is Ben Cullis, ably assisted by the designer and sub-editor Andrew Richmond. Dan Cornwell, Colin Maxwell, Peter Western, Filippo Roncone, Andrew Richmond and Ian Baker draw the strips. Dominika Brodowska appears as sub-editor Dom Tom and the photographs of her are by Peter Western. Blazer! Is published by The77 Publications Ltd. 

Will it be ongoing?

The Kickstarter went so well, exceeding £8,000 pledged, that Ben Cullis and his publishing team have green-lit a second issue. However, as you will understand, the notion of Blazer! being a monthly or even a weekly is unrealistic at this time. Think of it more as blazing comet-like ball of nostalgia that will shoot across the firmament from time to time in the future.

Is it connected to your novel The Sheerglam Conspiracy ?

Yes. Indelibly! The SheerGlam Conspiracy tells the tale of a circulation war between two rival comics publishing companies in 1970s London. To establish an outright dominance in the market, one of the companies hires two scriptwriters to create a new title, which is codenamed GNP 13. As the novel progresses, we see the different strips for the title being created and learn that it has a working title of Blaze. The scripts for these strips are presented at the back of the novel and it is these scripts that form the strip content of Blazer! 

What was the first comic story you wrote?

Ignoring a rather verbose attempt at the Swots and Blots, my first comic story was episode one of The Running Man for Action, the comic created by Pat Mills.

Where did you get the idea for Blazer! ? 

I found some preparatory notes about it in the dustbin of a well-known comic strip writer, whose name must remain a secret for a jolly long time.

Blazer! Concept art

How do you come up with names for your characters? 

I follow the Gerry Finley-Day method, which is to find a name that suggests the character of the owner. For example, to me, the name Clive Clitus sums up perfectly someone who would edit a horror comic (especially when you add the nickname ‘Cobweb’). As such, I thought the name Gloria SheerGlam would do very well for a powerful female figure in the 1970s comics publishing industry.

Gloria Sheerglam

Writing is a solitary pursuit. Editing is highly interactive. Take your pick!

2000ad prog 86

Do you think 2000AD fans will enjoy it? 

Indubitably, my dear sir… it will be a hit with them — a very palpable hit!

Back the Blazer! Kickstarter here

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