Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon

In the early nineties, Jim Boswell and me walked into a Macclesfield pub with photocopied, stapled issues of ‘Weird City’, our first self-produced comic, and amazingly – they sold. If I ever get around to it, I’ll scan a few copies and put them up here. My contributions dwindled to nothing almost immediately – leaving Jim as editor for the rest of the five (or was it six?) issue run. And as I buggered off to University, he started attending ‘graphic narrative’ courses (or whatever they were called) in Manchester. Soon, a whole bunch of brilliant new people were contributing. Weird City ended up being called ‘a potential jewel in the small press crown’ in some review or other, and, by the time the thing folded, Jim had even managed to convince Glenn Fabry to draw a cover, gratis, after interviewing him about his work. I’ll transcribe that interview another time, but for now, here’s an interview that was printed with the fantastic Mike McMahon – a huge influence on many of the cartoonists I’ve spoken to who, like me, had religiously bought 2000AD as a kid. (The interview was by Peter Walker, by the way. Some time in ’93). Weird City: How did you first get into comics? Mike McMahon: I sent some samples to the War Picture library editor, and he thought they were alright, but he didn’t want to use them. So he sent me round to an agent, who was a nice middle class guy who assumed my name was Mike. Everyone really calls me Mick. I didn’t want to upset him so I said...
Alice Neel's 'The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson and Julia)'

Alice Neel's 'The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson and Julia)'

I saw this 1970 painting of Neel’s in the flesh on Sunday, and loved every inch of it. Exaggerated, beautiful and full of life. And I like the way you can work out the character of each subject from their shoes; the ones on the left are stylish as hell, but could probably kill you dead. It (and other pieces in the show – all the 1970 onwards stuff, anyway) made me realise how one-note my drawings are; and inspired me to get some more observation into the stuff I’ve been doing, really. Not that I’d ever be this good, but I’ve realised how much I rely on tricks; and how I seem to draw the same three or four characters over and over...