Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Mills, Patrick

(1949-    ) Innovative, award-winning UK editor and writer of UK and US Comic strips; he is credited with creating the highly successful UK weekly 2,000 A.D.

PM began working for UK comics publisher D C Thomson as a subeditor on the romance title Romeo before turning freelance and writing, in collaboration with John Wagner, a long series of strips for juvenile comics. In 1975 the two created the popular war comic Battle Picture Weekly (673 issues 1975-1988) and the violent, controversial Action (36 issues 1976). Both were innovative, using contemporary tv and movies as springboards for story ideas; they had remarkably high sales figures. In 1977 PM was invited to create a third title; this became 2,000 A.D., whose centrepiece character, Judge Dredd, has become one of the most widely recognized comics Icons in the UK and, with the 1995 movie, worldwide.

It was through his writing in 2,000 A.D., where writer and artist credits were introduced (from #36 1977) for the first time in the UK for many years, that PM's name became widely known. He had anonymously written the scripts for one of the UK's most widely respected war stories, Charlie's War (1977-1985 Battle Picture Weekly; graph coll 2 vols 1986). Its honesty and stark portrayal of the military incompetence of the UK campaign in World War I caused some editorial problems, and towards the end of its run both script and artwork were being censored. Concurrently, PM was writing two sf strips, both with a thread of cynical humour and Satire, for 2,000 A.D.: Ro-Busters and ABC Warriors.

Much of PM's work is set in a self-contained universe, with characters often switching between strips. This constantly broadening base allows him to encompass concepts within an established framework, and brought immediate popularity to such strips as Nemesis the Warlock (2,000 A.D. from #222 1981). Another meticulously researched creation was Slaine. Further creations include Marshal Law (#1-#6 1990-1991), the graphic novel Metalzoic (graph 1986 US), the disturbing Third World War (Crisis intermittently 1988-1990), The Punisher (Toxic 1991), Sex Warrior (Toxic 1991), Finn (2,000 A.D. 1992 and 1993), Punisher 2099 (1992-current US), Ravage 2099 (1993-current US) and Terrarists (1993-current US).

Collected editions of his UK work include ABC Warriors (graph coll 1983-1988 4 vols), Nemesis the Warlock (graph coll 1984-1989 9 vols), Ro-Busters (graph coll 1983 2 vols), Marshall Law (graph colls 1990, 1994) and the Slaine series. [SH/RT]

Patrick Mills

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.