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Thread: Interview - UK Comics writer - Mike Wild

  1. #1
    Scrolls Reviewer Jukka's Avatar
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    Interview - UK Comics writer - Mike Wild




    -Hello Mike Wild and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview about your participation as a writer for the UK "Masters of the Universe" comic book!

    Thanks for the questions. Hope the answers give you some insights!

    -Can you give us any information on London Editions Magazines and their ultimate fate i.e. did they go out of business, get bough out etc?

    London Editions was a subsidiary, based in the same building, of World International, publishers of, among other things, the Doctor Who annual, before the rights went elsewhere.

    They were based in Manchester and earlier known as World Distributors and had been publishing many TV tie-in comics and books since the 1950s. When they ceased their London Editions magazine subsidiary because, I think, though donít take this as gospel, sales were declining, it really marked the end of any kind of tv-tie involvement. They moved to much smaller offices and continued publishing childrenís books for a few years thereafter but then, as far as Iím aware, just faded away.

    A great shame considering their glory days Ė all the Gerry Anderson stuff, Man From UNCLE, you name a classic 1960s TV series, they published a book/annual/comic album about it.


    -Can you tell us about your involvement with the Masters of the Universe Magazine?

    Only that there wasnít much of it, Iím afraid. As I said, I only worked on that title twice.


    -How did you get hired to work on the MOTU comic?

    I was already working for World International on a freelance basis. Iíd done a Doctor Who annual, a K9 annual, Simon & Simon, Fame, Space Invaders, and a best-forgotten teenage romance called ĎTides of Loveí.

    I also advised on upcoming TV properties, which was great fun because I got to see all the new US series before anyone else. London Editions was, as I already said, in the same building, and as everyone knew everbody else it was simply just a case of did I fancy doing a MOTU/She-Ra script?



    -You mentioned you worked on Masters of the Universe twice? Can you tell more about those instances and the stories you wrote?

    Actually it was really only once. To explain, the script I wrote for MOTU (The Nowhere Bomb, issue #35/87) was originally scripted for She-Ra, and was about twice the length. After I was asked to edit it, I seem to recall the schedules getting rejigged and the space taken in She-Ra. After another edit it became the He-Man story.





    -Did you have a favourite MOTU character to write for?

    Iím afraid I didnít really work with the characters long enough to form any kind of bond. Sorry.



    -Was their any kind of approval process by Mattel (Mattel UK possibly?) or did Mattel give any kind of restrictions or directions?

    Not that I personally came across, although having said that Iím sure there were, as these were childrenís comics. I do know that I had a story pulled for re-editing from ĎMy Little Ponyí because one of the characters ďtalked to a strangerĒ and they didnít want to encourage the kids to do that. I imagine the same concerns applied to MOTU.


    -The Magazine featured several origin stories for characters which were based on information from the Mattel Style Guide. Were you specifically asked to include these origin stories for new characters that had been released as toys?

    Oh yes. I mean the comics, like the TV series, were essentially sales catalogues for the merchandise. That sounds mercenary, I know, but is just the way of all TV character licencing.


    -As you may or may not know the character of Horde Prime in the magazine has a design that is not seen any other MOTU media. Do you know where/who this design came from? i.e. was it from Mattel or designed in house by the magazine?

    Absolutely no idea. Sorry.




    -The magazine is hosted by a character called Scrollos. Do you have any insights on this character, his design and who created him?

    Scrollos was the then Managing Editor, Brian Clarke. In Brianís absence I think Scrollosí duties devolved to the desk editor, a guy called Mike Butcher. So, yes, he was in house, and created really to form a more personal link with the readership, much like Tharg in 2000AD.


    -The identity of letters-page "Scrollos" has been unknown for years so I thank you for that piece of information. But there were also illustrated comic-stories "The Secret Files of Scrollos" where a shadowed figure would highlight a certain character's origin. Do you know anything about this character?

    The Secret Files Scrollos would have again been Brian's creation, as the entire Scrollos mythos was in-house rather than of Mattel construction.


    [image scan from Busta Toons' blog]

    -You mentioned "The Nowhere Bomb"-story was originally meant for She-Ra. How did the setting work for her originally? (were the roles reversed or did the original version differ drastically?)

    Yes, essentially, the roles were reversed, the only difference being that in the original script we see the initial battle where She-Ra has the bomb planted in the folds of her cape and, of course, all relevant companions were altered. Incidentally, I was wrong about what I told you regarding the reason the She-Ra script wasn't used - it was actually because at that point the She-Ra title got cancelled!


    -What other properties have you worked on?

    As I said above, Doctor Who, K9, Simon & Simon, Fame. Also Blakeís 7, ĎAllo ĎAllo!, Starhawk in Starblazer and original novels based on the 2000AD strips Caballistics Inc. and ABC Warriors.


    -Are you still writing and if so what are you currently/recently working on?

    Certainly am. I have most recently finished writing my fifth and final Kali Hooper novel for the Twilight of Kerberos series published by Abaddon Books.

    All the best

    Mike






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    Interview by 13977 and Jukka (mostly 13977)
    [may 2012]
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Zodak's new shoes's Avatar
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    Nice job Juka! In the past year I've been trying to find out all I can about the but am just finding fragments here and there. I wish I could get a hold of them online. I also wish we could get some figures such as Keclar made I to figures.
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  3. #3
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Thumbs up to you for getting all these interviews. This was a very interesting read.
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  4. #4
    Lord of the Patch baronterror's Avatar
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    Information on scrollos alone was worth the read. Very cool. Very interesting.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Rodster6's Avatar
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    The issue with that story in is one of the few I had as a child. As little info as it was, it's still really interesting reading about those UK comics I loved so much as a child. I was always more into the NA issues they did. Filmation was the go to MOTU for me but the UK comics were in some ways superior to the NA cartoon so I found myself more intrigued by them as my go to NA.

  6. #6
    Evil Warrior Invicta's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interview, Jukka!

  7. #7
    Warrior of Evolution 13977's Avatar
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    Great to see this finally posted I can't believe it was that long ago we did the interview

    There's some good information on London Editions Magazines. It's interesting to find out they were a subsidiary of World International Publishers, as WIP also published the MOTU Annuals.

    It's good to get some information on Scrollos and his creator, but a shame he's doesn't know anything about Horde Prime, I'd love to know the origin of that design.

    Its just great to finally uncover some of the mysteries about the UK comic
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