“The Unwritten” creator Mike Carey stopped by the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International 2012 to talk about his current work on the long-running Vertigo series, his incredible five-year run on “X-Men Legacy,” the British comic scene, prose work, his upcoming project “The Lycan” with Thomas Jane and more — all as he brandishes a Comic Book Resources kazoo.
“It’s been a really, really wonderful experience writing that book,” Carey said of “The Unwritten.” “Comics is a collaborative medium, but I’ve never worked on a book that’s so collaborative as ‘Unwritten.’ It’s [artist] Peter [Gross’] every bit as much as it’s mine. We do the plotting together and the editor is usually drawn in as the third head of that monster. … We really get this synergistic thing going. It’s been a totally organic journey and it’s just been a joy all the way through. Which is why when it came to the crunch and I had to give up either ‘X-Men’ or ‘Unwritten,’ it was ‘X-Men’ that I chose to give up.”
Carey also noted that his “X-Men” pages outnumber his 75-plus issue run of “Lucifer” and spoke about possibly revisiting his “Age of X” reality to continue the story. The writer further spoke about the dark side of his writing, attempting to identify why his work tends to gravitate toward the dark and gave an overview of his upcoming six issue miniseries “The Lycan,” created in conjunction with Thomas Jane and Tim Bradstreet.
“It’s a werewolf story set against a historical backdrop,” he said. “It’s a time before the Napoleonic Wars when Britain and France are very wary of each other and it’s set on a remote Scottish island, which is infested with Werewolves. It starts with a ship crash-landing off the coast of this island with its cargo hold full of tigers. … We definitely needed to do tigers vs. werewolves at some point. It’s a tragic love story in a way. One of the guys on the boat has a history with the werewolves and there are some very cool reveals. Gorgeous art, it was a fun project.”
The British creator finally spoke briefly on the current American resurgence of British comics including the 2000 AD series “Judge Dredd.” “I think you’re right, we have a natural tendency toward self-deprivation, toward playing ourselves down,” Carey said. “I think the other thing is that it’s so tiny, so insular, that everybody knows everybody else. It’s got an incestuous vibe to it. I haven’t noticed it getting noticeably more positive, but you’re right, there does seem to be a British resurgence going on.”