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ROK How we created...

OF THE

REDS By John Wagner

I say we because I’ve never created a complete comic story on my own. Some professionals are lucky enough to be able to draw as well as write, but I’m not in that category. For me they’re all team efforts and I’m glad that’s the case. It means I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of very talented artists (and other writers) who have brought their own skill and insight to the final product. The inspiration for a story can come from anywhere. It can be the product of a lifetime of observation, it can be a riff on another idea or concept, it can spring from something as simple as an overheard remark. The birth of Rok, though, is a bit more unusual and convoluted than most. Let’s go back 25 years or so. Co-writer Alan Grant and I live close enough to each other that we can handle our normal workload during the day and get together on other projects in the evening. It’s how we wrote Judgment on Gotham, the first Dredd/Batman team up, The Bogie Man and many others. The project we’re working on now is a big one, a new anthology comic comprising 7-8 stories. One of those stories, in the old British comic tradition, would be about football. But what? So many had been written, so many angles covered, it would be close to impossible to find something new, new and exciting, something that had never been done before. I can’t remember which of us hit on the idea – aliens. What about the world’s first alien footballer?

Orignal Rok of the Reds Rom concept drawings.

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