Exciting News from Micheal Powell and David Hitchcock

I have recently had the pleasure to talk to Michael Powell and David Hitchcock about their upcoming collaboration in a future issue of Shift. It is titled simply with one word. "Leave" is currently scheduled to appaear in issue 6 of the current volume of SHIFT. I am personally very exciting to read the finished results of their joint creative endeavours. 

Photos note: In regards to the creator photographs MIchael is to the left here and David is to the right.



Paul: May I please simply begin by you both gentlemen what were the first comics each of you recall buying and enjoying?
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.David: The first comic that absolutely grabbed me was back in 1973, the UK Avengers reprint. It had a white cover but utilised Jack Kirby original cover in a slightly altered format. I pretty much bought everything Kirby since that fateful day back then.
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Michael: Marvel UK for me too, particularly reprints of Jim Starlin’s Warlock, Mantlo and Golden’s Micronauts and Tales of the Watcher from Lee, Kirby and Ditko. From then it was just a hop, skip and a jump to 2000AD and the many American titles I’d find in my local newsagent.
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Paul: For each of you what was your first paid published work?
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MIchael: My first paid published work was in the British anthology title ‘The 77’ in 2020 on a strip called The Last Man, beautifully illustrated by Phil Elliott. Phil and I had collaborated before on a strip called The Dummy that first appeared in an independent title ‘Bad Vibes’ and was later picked up and published by ‘Comic Scene’. Since then I’ve written for a number of titles including ‘Dead by Dawn’, ‘Aces Weekly’, ‘This Comic is Haunted’ as well as, of course, ‘Shift’.
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David: I actually can’t remember my first paid work in comics. It has been very sporadic to say the least, as I mostly self publish. I did a few stories in 2000ad over a five year period and I illustrated a short WW1 trench poem adaptation written by Pat Mills. Many years ago, after winning a much coveted Eagle Award, for both writing and drawing, Springheeled Jack, I was given the opportunity to illustrate a YA graphic novel in the vein of Harry Potter, based on a series of paperbacks called Faerie Wars. I was asked to make my work a little more cartoony for this particular book. I was at first a little dubious about changing my style, but by page 20 I felt very comfortable with it. And then the publisher had a huge management change around, and this and many other projects were shelved.. thankfully I did get paid for the 20 odd pages I produced. That was around 2007 or so, so conceivably that ‘may’ have been my first paid gig, possibly.
Michael: I’d been keeping an eye out for it as I’d really enjoyed Simon Furman and Geoff Senior’s collaborations in the eighties so was looking forward to reading To the Death in shift. It’s great to have a magazine on the high street with such a fantastic range or creators and original material rather just seeing the same characters being endless recycled. It reminds me of the days of Crisis, Deadline, Revolver and Strip. And I can’t wait to see David’s beautiful art for this story in print!
David: I had heard of the magazine but I hadn’t seen any of them as I’m a self confessed hermit. When Michael sent me his story I just had to be on board.
Paul: So without any dramatic spoilers can I ask about the story your have put together for Shift please?
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Michael: It’s a war story and a love story. It looks at what happens when someone is separated against their will from someone they love and considers what they’d do to get back to them.
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Michael: There are are some pretty dramatic and actually quite grizzly moments in the story, especially those taking place in the trenches of World War One. David really managed to balance this with quieter more tender moments too.
David: Michael’s script was a joy to read and I’m sure the readers will love it too. It’s a classically told tale, saying any more would be a giveaway.
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Paul: Could readers of Shift expect you both to collaborate together on more stories?
Michael: I’d really like that. I think we both have a bit of a flair for the gothic. The illustrated novella that Phil Elliott and I produced, Circus DeNiro and Hedrek, the series David and writer Laurence Alison are currently working on both draw from the same gothic well. David’s illustrations lined up so perfectly with what I’d envisioned as I was writing that I’d love the chance for further collaborations.
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David: I’m working on several different projects at the moment, will be some time before I see the surface.
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Paul: Apart from Shift where might readers expect to see your individual creative efforts next?.... this is an opportunity for some shameless self promotion.
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Michael:  I had a lot of fun writing the children’s character Captain Fishbeard for a strip in the Fishbeard and Friends book that’s just come out under a great cover from The Muppets’ Roger Langridge. Phil Elliott and I have a strip in the new Shift Presents The 77 collection, I’ve got a Matilda strip coming out before Christmas illustrated by the amazing Mike Collins and I’m also working on a bit of a dream project with Shaky Kane that I hope will come to pass!
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David: Apart from this Shift short story I’ve illustrated 2 issues of HEDREK a folk horror/detective tale written by Professor Laurence Alison, a story for DRACULA THE return, written by Chris McCauley and Denise Ciencin (Buffy) also by Scratch Comics. An EC type horror tale for an upcoming anthology for Berserker Comics, Nosferatu ll, by John Short for SHOKWAVE and various covers, currently trying to clear my drawing table for a large project for a U.S. comic company with writer supreme THOMAS SNIEGOSKI and Jeannine Thomas Acheson. Phew
 
Paul: Thank you both gentlemen.