Saturday, 29 March 2008
Brendan: These designs were from a version of the THUNDERBIRDS live action movie that was developed by Working Title Films in London, with the director, Peter Hewitt, some years ago. I was hired to design new versions of the vehicles and costumes. I was going for a sixties style, to evoke the flavour of the original TV series, but obviously, updated. The idea was that the Baldwin brothers were going to play the Tracy gang with Robert Redford as Jeff Tracy. As we all know, this version didn't make it as the producers grew nervous and then hired Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes to start over from scratch... I can assure you, I had nothing to do with what followed.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Some thoughts on the death of Anthony Minghella from Brendan:

Anthony's death really took me by surprise earlier today. I worked with him on a bunch of his film and TV projects some years ago, largely before his career took off with 'The English Patient'.

He had written these beautiful scripts for Jim Henson's TV series 'The Storyteller', which I boarded and did the conceptual designs for. While I was working on the TV series, he asked me to help him with visualizing a new feature he had written: It was a smart comedy called 'Seven deadly Sins' where the sins, Lust, Greed, Envy etc are little creatures attempting to corrupt a man who is too wholesome for his own good. It never got off the ground, but our paths crossed again when he came to LA. I was over there finishing up the 'Coneheads' movie with director Steve Barron.

Anthony had recently arrived in Hollywood, so we both decided to go down to the local DMV together as we both had to pick up a driver's ID... He wanted to tell me about another film he had planned, a follow-up to 'Truly Madly' called 'Mr Wonderful' for MGM, to see if I'd like to work on it with him.

Whenever we chatted together, the conversation would often swerve off into quite surreal realms... a verbal tennis game with each of us trying to top the other. Something to pass the time. At one point I suggested to him that he should capitalize on the success of his British TV series 'Morse' and create a new detective based on the singer in the rock group ELO, who would, in this case be blind, as some sort of physical impediment was the rule in these types of TV shows...

I declared that the series was to be called "Blind Jeff Lynne" and would feature the actual Jeff Lynne with a white cane and an impenetrable "brummie" accent, maybe even subtitles. Anthony stared at me ashen-faced and gravely told me that Jeff was a close friend of his and was actually losing his sight and going blind. Anthony was a bit shaken up and weirded-out that our conversation had strayed into such an unfortunate coincidence. I was quite shocked and apologized. I really had no idea... We sat together in silence for a long while and were eventually called to pick up our licenses...

As we left the building Anthony roared with laughter, his whole Jeff Lynne story a well-acted sham. So, alright, he got me on that one.

But every time I bumped into him in the years that followed, he would always sing a lick from an ELO song and rib me about falling for his ruse. As many others have remarked, Anthony was a very funny, good-natured man.

Later, I worked on another movie with him that he'd written called 'Prince Charming' for Working Title Films in London. We spent a few weeks locked away up in the Lake District, visualizing the script. We had some great, interesting conversations about all sorts of ideas, from occult magick to cutting edge physics... and inevitably, Jeff Lynne.

God Bless you Anthony. It was a lot of fun!
Monday, 17 March 2008
Some of Brendan's storyboard work for Highlander 2

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Some thoughts on the life of Dave Stevens from Brendan:

I'm sorry to hear that Dave Stevens has died. He was a very nice guy and was personally very helpful to me when I first went to California, many years ago.

I was about 23 years old, trying to make a living in London as a comic book artist and subsisting on scraps from 2000AD. I really liked Dave's Rocketeer strip published by Pacific Comics. It made me think about getting a new comic going, with Pete Milligan and Brett Ewins and maybe in the USA. The British scene was too small. I wanted to break out of the 2000AD waiting line and make a splash somehow!

The Rocketeer came out just as the 80's revolution in comics was starting to build and was a big inspiration for me. It was different and it was good.

I called Dave cold when I got to LA. He was friendly and invited me over to his studio. I decided to walk to his place from my cheap motel in Hollywood, along Beverly Boulevard, which looked not too far on my tourist map... I had no idea that streets in LA can go on for days... And nobody walks! I got totally lost and even though I was about 2 hours late, he was really kind and funny - and he was the first comic book artist I met who actually knew people, like Steranko, Wrightson and Eisner.

He was also a very good looking, handsome guy and there were plenty of glamorous women hanging around (usually those Betty Page "rockabilly" look-a-like gals). This, I thought, was what the life a comic artist should be, instead of getting vomited on by sweaty drunkards back in England!

Dave was kind enough to give a good reference to a Pacific Comics' editor up on my behalf and eventually, Strange Days was born. Dave was a big fan of Paradax! but really hated Freakwave and later, SKIN and didn't mind telling me, either. He tended to go for 50's and 60's comic book art, and loathed anything too chaotic. We shared an enjoyment of Carmine Infantino's DC work and Royer-inked Kirby. He introduced me to the work of bondage artist Eric Stanton, which explained to me the elusive 'kink' feel in Ditko's Dr. Strange.

I bumped into Dave now and then over the years, whenever I attended the San Diego Comic Con. He once turned up in London and called me up to meet him at the Raymond Revue Bar in sinful, rainy Soho, of all places. He had accompanied some gorgeous lady over to London, who was dancing at the Bar on a touring floorshow. That was the last time I saw him in person.

Dave was one of the first people to get a creator-owned character onto the silver screen ( but sadly The Rocketeer movie was less than a triumph, being somewhat corny). But he was philosophical about how it all turned out though.

I thought he really was a "star" comic book artist, that rare breed with cool looks, a great attitude and talent to burn!

Dave Stevens, thank you!
Monday, 10 March 2008
An unused page from Brendan's issue of Solo

Monday, 3 March 2008
Brendan: ZYBORIA was created with Ian Pearson, one of the original writers of the hit animated series REBOOT. ZYBORIA was a pitch for a one hour follow-up TV series to REBOOT, the idea being to reach the "Star Trek" audience with a more "adult" themed animated mo-cap cgi Sci-fi show. It was pitched to HBO and the SciFI Channel about 6 years ago as I recall. No takers though. When I was living in Hollywood, I subsequently re-wrote it into a feature-length film and it was taken up by Francis Lawrence (I AM LEGEND) for a short while. but after touting it around the studios with no luck, I had to mothball it and get on with some other new projects. Shame really, as it was a very good story

Brendan McCarthy is one of Britain's most talented comic book creators and designers. His unique and distinctive style has influenced a generation of artists and writers. He has produced some classic UK graphic novels, written and designed some ground-breaking TV series and worked on many successful Hollywood movies

The Strangeness of Brendan McCarthy site was created in 1999 by John Kirkham and aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the work of Brendan McCarthy. This website is the official fansite and is put together with the cooperation of Brendan. So we will be bringing you the latest news, exclusive artwork and all things McCarthy related


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