Lighter Shade of Grey
Lighter Shade of Grey
"Dan Abnett and Karl Richardson discuss Grey Area in Prog 2012!"
Winter may be pretty miserable, but don’t for a second think that this means 2000 AD is succumbing to the cold and grey. In fact, 2000 AD takes the grey and turns it into 100% APPROVED THRILL-POWER!

Grey Area is the latest thrill from writer Dan Abnett. Illustrated by Karl Richardson, this SF thriller is a what-happens-long-after-first-contact tale set in America, where the challenge of living in an interstellar community doesn’t exactly work out all Star Trek…

And with just DAYS to go till Prog 2012 hits newsstands this Wednesday and, as we continue our 12 Days of Thargmas,’s Ed Kaye talked to Dan Abnett and Karl Richardson about their forthcoming thrill!

2000 AD: Grey Area is a brand new Thrill, what sort of story is it, and what can fans expect?

Dan: It’s a tough, action-based procedural about the immigration officers who patrol Earth’s borders, and - in particular - police the Grey Area, which is a purpose built city where all extraterrestrial visitors are obliged to live while their entry visas are processed. It’s a classic 2000 AD strip - action, aliens, big ideas, strong characters, a little humour and a splash of satire.

2000 AD: Karl, what approach did you take to drawing this new story?

Karl: I'd already got quite a few drawings and sketches for an idea I'd proposed to Dan earlier. Although my original idea was more military orientated, I had a good starting point and it didn't take too much tweaking for the uniforms, and some of the aliens, to fit the new storyline. I actually toyed with the idea of radically changing my style, or even just painting it digitally, like I do for most of the covers I do, but I soon came to my senses.

2000 AD: What was your favourite thing to write or illustrate on this story?

Dan: Earth protects its borders very tightly because of a disastrous first contact incident a few years back, when aliens with benign intentions accidentally infected part of the human race with a nano-virus simply by setting foot on the planet. Those affected by the virus are known as The Gifted, and they are the subject of extreme prejudice. One of our team - Kymn - is a Greeted. The nanites in his blood mean that his brain is rewired to instantly speak and understand other languages... he’s really vital to the team, but most humans try to avoid him.

Karl: It probably sounds a bit of a cop out answer, but when you get the chance to design and draw characters for a new story it’s all pretty much fun. Any aliens are always cool to draw, and until this point I hadn't really had the opportunity to draw any for 2000 AD, so I was looking forward to it. Amongst the human characters, I probably enjoyed drawing Captain Janzen the most - he’s a grizzled man mountain, “seen it, done it” archetype.

Prog 2012 is out TOMORROW, earthlets! No 2000 AD? No Christmas!

Michael Molcher

Tuesday 13th December 2011