When Leigh Shepherd was figuring out the Strontium Dog timeline, a few interesting things were thrown up. Well, interesting to those of us obsessed with the seemingly pointless details of whatever comic strip or TV show we’re into. Okay- not ‘seemingly pointless’… just ‘pointless’!
Anyway- one of the anomalies thrown up by Leigh’s research was a three year ‘hole’ in Johnny’s life were Wulf somehow went missing. Where did he go and how did he get there..? As we discussed this, we sensed a series in it. So, coupled with an offhand remark by Wulf in an early strip about ‘The Triton Wars’, it became ‘Berserker’.
The next step was to find a writer…
As we publish Dogbreath twice a year, and the story was to cover a three-year period, we reckoned on six parts. The initial idea was for me to write an outline for the series, and then ask a different writer to script it. Then I thought: I’d hate someone doing that if I was the writer! Which then lead on logically to: “well sneck- why not write it myself!?”
So I did.
When I’m writing a script, I usually start with a couple if images. In this case I had Wulf’s POV shots as he wakes up, with the whole world on its side because he’s lying down, and the image of the bad guy running away, only to get hit of the back by Wulf’s flying hammer.
I enjoyed writing it. But then the first episode is not much more than a long action scene and some establishing dialogue.
Finding an artist was the next task!
For this I can take no credit at all- this was all Dave’s doing. We needed an artist who could and would by foolhardy enough to commit to a three-year project! Dave suggested Stephen Hills, and incredibly, he said yes!
I could not be happier with what Stephen’s doing with this strip. I’ll give you an example: I’ve very lazy when it comes to panel descriptions- Alan Moore I am not! One of the panels in the first episode said something like ‘Three aliens with big guns’, and the designs Stephen threw out for this were astounding!
Then there was the final page- I ran out of puff and couldn’t think of enough to get to the end, and because of that, the final page became a single page splash. It looked good in my head… but on the page, when distilled through Stephen’s imagination- it is pure brilliance!
So… did that go on a bit? Hopefully it was interesting, and I think I enjoyed it enough to maybe write another ‘commentary’ on episode two when I get the time, and on episode three once it gets printed.