Saturday, July 18, 2009


I think I've wanted to draw Rogue Trooper since he first turned up in 2000AD. Having been weaned on a diet of Warlord (warlord was to Battle as Multicoloured Swapshop was to Tizwas) and then moving over to 2000AD when the war comics ended (I suspect they lasted LONGER than the actual War, but not by much).

In order to bring about the ambition of drawing Rogue, I took a couple of swipes at it, with Gordon Rennie, I drew a daft one page Rogue Strip (before I'd gotten any work from 2000AD) called "The Adventures of Rogue's Other Biochip Buddy" - riffing off the barmy idea that Rogue's mate all had handy names that seemed to work well with the equipment Rogue ended up slotting their biochip's into ("Helm" ended up in the helmet, "Gunner" the gun, "Bagman" the bag) - Rogue's other biochip buddy was called "Buttplug".

The next step on Mission: Rogue, was to ask Si Spurrier to write me a Rogue strip I could draw for Zarjaz - Si and I were at the first gentle shoots of our careers (his is still moving on, mine feels like it's wilted). Si did it, I drew the first page (which I've included...) and then... Si revamped it as a story for Warhammer - which meant a) he got paid, and b) I ended up drawing that and I got paid to. Win, win. I took that strip (which was greywashed and very much set in a Rogue Trooper like universe - the Warhammer 40k world being filled with various places that look like they might have been nicked from 2000AD) and showed it (and Rob Williams suggestion) to Matt Smith (at this point, I think I'd done a Dredd and a futureshock). He liked it and said it'd really suit Rogue (I hadn't made the suggestion.)

Gordon Rennie was still writing Rogue at this point and then, when Staz Johnston moved over to DC and while I was on Honeymoon in barbados I received an email from the Mighty Tharg asking if I'd be interested in doing a six part series for 2000AD. And with that, my 2000AD career started properly.

This big image is a cover I did for Stak! - the Rogue Trooper fanzine. I haven't seen the fanzine so presume it's either been published and I missed it or it has yet to see print. Hope you like.

(and one final post script: I still think the page I did for the Si Spurrier Rogue Trooper strip for Zarjaz is the best page of Rogue I drew... sorry Tharg!)


Edward Kaye said...

PJ - These pages are amazing. They have that classic 2000 AD feel to them, kind of a similar style to how Cam Kennedy used to draw him.

I found the first 2 RT collections for cheap in a used bookstore (Dc reprints) and read through them recently. The art is amazing throughout, but some of Finley-Day's scripts - not so much!

David Ferguson said...

One of the more memorable 2000 AD strips. Was thinking of picking up the reprints. Nice work.

Will Sliney said...

REally strong stuff PJ. Really like the 4th panel in particular

FQP Dave said...

Actually PJ, that is going to be the next cover for Zarjaz. I'll be posting the final colured version soon.

Bunche (pop culture ronin) said...

Beautiful work, man.

While I always liked the look and concept, I always felt ROGUE TROOPER was one of those strips where the potential far outweighed the realization. Gibbons' art was of course choice, but other than that the series kinda went nowhere. Does anyone else second that?