A Chat with JOHN MCCREA at LSCC 2016!

LSCC - Mythic #8 After the Miracleman panel [article to come!] at LSCC I manage to catch Mr John McCrea at a comparatively free moment.
I’ve been aware of John’s work from early collaborations with top writer Garth Ennis on, for example, Troubled Souls. Their partnership continued over the years with Hitman, The Boys, and Dicks, though DC have just recently re-released their run on The Demon. His latest endeavour is MYTHIC with writer Phil Hester from Image Comics and, quite aside from the fact that mythic fantasy in the present day is very much my bag, it’s brilliant to hear a bit more from ‘behind the scenes’.

Given my own work and aspirations in the genre I’m particularly interested in how they’re approaching it, given it’s been somewhat flayed over the last decade by far less capable hands, and what makes Mythic something fresh. Well for one they’re drawing on lesser used myths – but then going to town on them, taking them in whichever direction they care to. John has also set them both the task of doing something new with the medium in every issue. Mythic #2 P3
To paraphrase John he’s told Phil to bring it and is getting his Jack Kirby on, working to the ‘epic scale’, and all of these points are epitomised in the pages he shows me of his native Ireland’s hero Fionn MacCumhail (Finn MacCool) depicted therein as a giant made of rock. There certainly is something of Jack in those images and, while it’s hard to imagine any comic artist not being a fan, John clearly appreciates his work and legacy: ‘It’s not for nothing he was called The King’ as he says.
I’m also interested in what other work artists take on outside of the medium and, somewhat tentatively, approach the subject. In the past he’s done bits of advertising work and bits of teaching as well. However, and this interestingly gives us a little bit of context of comics in the wider world, the latter dried up rather in the run up to the Olympics, funding for the arts being shunted then to sport.
Mythic #2 P4 But John (who has the pro’s ability to hold a chat while continuing to sketch) hasn’t in any respect been ruffled by this. He’s evidently happy devoting his energy to his original passion of comic art in the form of Mythic. It occurs to me that Image have been instrumental in bringing comics into – at least for established creators – a more stable phase, where passion, talent and time can be invested in a creator-owned ongoing series and reliably pay dividends.

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John’s just finishing up #8 which is scheduled to hit the presses in late March, wrapping up the first arc, but it’s straight onto #9 for John with more to come from himself and Phil.

The collected Volume 1 of Mythic is due in June, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be gracing these online pages on the monthly recommends in question.

Tim Bayley

@TimBayley1

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