FAQs  |  Comics

Could you tell me about the Comic Relief comic?

I recently acquired (finally) an actual true-to-life copy of the Fleetway Comic Relief comic. In it you are credited for co-editing, co-plotting, and writing some of the bits within this jam issue.

1st question: I have seen it written that you scripted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pages. Is this true? Any other specific pages you wrote (if you can recall)?

2nd question: The book is virtually a who's who of British talent. As I am familiar with your friendship with Alan Moore, and since he is usually pretty good about supporting charity projects, why was he not included? Melinda Gebbie has a few pages in the book. Did Alan help out (uncredited?) or am I missing something?

Alan had sworn not to work for Fleetway again, who were publishing the comic, but yes, he collaborated with Melinda on her two pages. Yes, I wrote the Turtles two pages, mostly because my son Mike, who was about 6 at the time, was a huge Turtles fan and also because no-one else wanted to. Other than that, I did an awful lot (along with Peter Hogan and Richard Curtis) to keep the book more or less consistent (ha!) and there are lines by me all the way through. Dick Curtis and I wrote the credits on the back page, because I'd always wanted to write some Baldrick stuff. Grant Morrison and Al Davidson did a wonderful job on their plot strands.

The comic sold out in minutes. The reason it never went back to press is because DC gave permission to use their characters but only if they were traced from the Standard Poses that they had, and we couldn't figure out how to do that without looking silly, so we drew the characters in action, figuring DC would realise that we had saved them from embarrassment, but they didn't see it that way....

BLAAM was a supplement to Heartbreak Hotel, wasn't it, with The Great Cool Challenge in? Other than some great Shane Oakley art you aren't missing anything.

Hey, Neil. I know you've been asked a lot of Delirium was based on Tori, and I know you are sick of answering. So there is another question of the same vain.

Are any early steches of Dream based on Bono of U2? This article ( on the MichaelVox U2 Pop Culture Database says something to the affect. Personally, I just think it's a coincedance.

I think I talked about this in Hy Bender's excellent Sandman Companion.

Dave McKean did a couple of early concept sketches, from my description of the character, where he based his sketches of the Sandman on stills from a Bono video, at the same time that Leigh Baulch did a few sketches of the Sandman as a white-faced, black-haired, black-cloaked Aladdin Sane period Bowie. These were the drawings that accompanied the original presentation to DC Comics. We didn't actually use either look, but DC included a couple of Dave's sketches in the back of Preludes and Nocturnes as curiosities, and I think (I'm far from home and cannot check) that one or two of Leigh's sketches might have made it into the Sandman Companion.

If I remember correctly Dave based the face on the cover of Sandman #1 on an image of Peter Murphy.

So not a coincidence, but not particularly meaningful either.