Still a bit zonked following the completion of Stickleback: Mother London - 19 pages in one month, 12 of them in the second 2 weeks! (My normal output is 10-12 pages a month, my highest ever was 22.5 pages for Batman in 1998).
Here are the references for Part 7. This is the one I did in a hurry because of having to sort my accounts out, so apologies for the odd dodgy bit here and there.
What's next? I'm already fully booked for the next couple of months, and I'll tell you more in the next post...
Page One - The Monarch Of The Glen
A reference to the famous 1851 painting by Edwin Henry Landseer, also a guest appearance by miniature Dachshund deluxe The Captain.
Regular 2000AD readers will have seen The Captain before; in Leviathan, the illicit hooch Captain McLean's Old Rot Gut is named after him (and he appears on the label). He's also the co-star of Captain McLean's Last Case, a Tale of the Leviathan from Prog 1465 (also in the collection). I understand that my old mate Mike Collins also put Captain McLean's Old Rot Gut into American Gothic, his and Ian's horror western for 2000AD.
Guest appearances by The Captain are a sub-set of our ongoing persecution of Aberdonian comic shop owner Mike McLean (see reference 3 for details).
Page Two - Runes
In the main panel, the runes under the image of the tree on the far wall spell out a message in English. The same message recurs on page three panel two.
If you want a go at decoding it, use the Anglo-saxon Futhorc.
Page Four - The Ongoing Persecution of Mike McLean
In the foreground, the three characters are meant to resemble (and I mean meant, my skill at likenesses is not great) the gang from Asylum Books And Games in Aberdeen. From left to right, Seonaidh*, Ultimate Steve and proprietor Mike McLean.
Mike's an old mate and has been making guest appearances in my comics since 2000. He appears as a dodgy punter in a strip club in Lazarus Churchyard: Finality (2000), as a judge in the control room in Judge Dredd: Tempus Fugitive (2004), as a victim/identity of the Nosferatu in Judge Dredd: The Horror in Emergency Camp 4 (2005), and as the Scottish anarchist who blows up the BBC in Scarlet Traces: The Great Game #1 (2006). His various cameos have had him blown up, sucked dry, and reduce to a twisted mass of scar tissue. I'm surprised he's still talking to me.
The character of Captain McLean from Tales of the Leviathan: Captain McLean's Last Case (2006) is only roughly based on Mike, because Ian and I didn't want Tharg-in-residence Matt Smith wondering why the same guy was always turning up in our stories.
Mike always gives a pained howl of "Oh God, not again..." whenever we give him a cameo, but on the other hand, he's admitted to me that they always sell twenty extra copies of anything we put him in...