Tag Archives: Hunter Tremayne

I SHOCKED THE FUTURE: HUNTER TREMAYNE

5 Sep

Hunter Tremayne, author of Future Shock 28 ‘The Juggernaut’ was kind enough to answer some emailed questions about his experiences working for the early Tharg and how his story came to print. His generous answers give illumination into the early days of the comic, the comic-shop scene in 1970s london and where a particularly stuffy Base Commander from Dan Dare came from.

Base Commander Tremayne takes no guff from Dan Dare in 2000AD Prog 20 (1977)

Q) What age were you when your story, The Juggernaut, appeared in 2000AD and what sort of exposure had you had to comics at that time?

A) As I am an actor as well as a playwright, I like to keep the date of my birth a secret! But I was a teenager. I read a lot of comics as a boy, but mainly American ones. Make Mine Marvel!

How did the submission to 2000AD come about?

I was working at the London sci-fi bookstore ‘Dark They Were & Golden-Eyed‘. Also working there from time to time was Steve Moore, who was writing Dan Dare for 2000AD (he wrote a character called “Tremayne” into Dan Dare, who socked me on the jaw for talking too much – I was a bit of a chatterbox as a teenager!) I had written several articles for British comics fandom, mainly Martin Lock’s BEM, and when I expressed an interest in writing a Future Shock, Steve Moore put me in touch with Kelvin Gosnell.

'That' Punch - Dan Dare Socks it to Hunter Tremayne in 2000AD Prog 21

Did you have much contact with either the Editorial Staff or the artist Garry Leach?

The way “The Juggernaut” was published was unusual. What happened is that Garry Leach and I were friends, and when I told him that I was planning to write a story for 2000AD (I hadn’t yet rang up Kelvin Gosnell) we went down the pub and came up with the idea for the story. Then Garry drew and inked and lettered it all up, I called Kelvin Gosnell and the following day Garry and I showed up with “The Juggernaut.” Kelvin was expecting story ideas and art samples, but here we were with a Future Shock that was ready to run, so that’s what they did! The only change they made was to turn the Russians into “Volgans”, which was a bit daft as the tank had a huge hammer and sickle on the side!

How did you feel about the published piece at the time – do you still hold a copy of the prog in which it appeared?

Pretty chipper as I was published at my first attempt! I no longer have a copy, though: I lost almost all of my writing and published work in a fire in 1991.

Did you read 2000AD before or after your Future Shock? If you lost interest in it was there a reason why?

When I went to Kings Reach tower with Garry the office was filled with middle-aged men bashing away at typewriters. I was a teenager and decided that this wasn’t something I wanted to do for a living. And writing for children’s comics was never appealing to me.

You’re credited with working on Graphixus ‘The Adult Comix Showcase’ around the same time, what can you tell us about that and did you do any other comics work?

Well, Mal Burns published Graphixus and we were big friends, so I did some stuff for him. I wrote quite a lot of other stuff, actually. I wrote some “When They Were Young” scripts for Look and Learn. I wrote a girl’s serial story for Bunty. The best of it was for an adult anthology comic called Pssst, for whom I wrote a ton of stuff. ! I think the last comics work I did was for an issue of Load Runner.

Did you submit other Future Shocks that never made it to print?
No.
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Do you still read any comics or keep a passing interest in the medium?
No. In 1986 I was involved in a comics project called Bordeline (which is how Neil Gaiman met Dave McKean) and when that crashed and burned it broke my heart, and I never wrote another script or read another comic until Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I read the sequel to that, too. They were great fun, but by the third Alan had vanished up his own rear end, so I gave up halfway through.
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You’ve written several plays and novels since your 2000AD script, what can you tell us about them?
Well, as for the novels, “Archangels” was published in 1996 and is still out of print. In Fear and Dread is a novelization of a screenplay I sold to 20th Century-Fox and is still available from Amazon as a POD book, though the British edition has some enormous typesetting errors that still haven’t been fixed. My latest short story “The Dealer In Strange & Diverse Curiosities” will be published in BIG MAGIC 2: SOUVENIR this Christmas.
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I have principally been involved as a writer with the New York theatre. I am a playwright, actor and director. My proudest achievement is VERMILION WINE, my tribute to great noir movies like THE BIG SLEEP and OUT OF THE PAST. It has had two runs in New York, and I will be directing a production of it next spring in Barcelona, where I currently live. This September and October the Riereta theater in Barcelona will be presenting SIX IN THE CITY, six of my one-act plays. I am directing three of them and acting in two.

.Is there a central theme or interest that has characterised your work?

Unrequited love and the Orpheus myth.

.Do you have any websites or ways for people to keep up to date on your current work?

My main website is  www.huntertremayne.com. There are also Facebook pages for me, SIX IN THE CITY and VERMILION WINE
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Many thanks from Futureshockd to Mr Tremayne for his time and generous answers,. If you enjoyed Hunter’s interview and work be sure to check his forthcoming productions.
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FS 28: RADAR O’REALLY?

26 Aug

PROG:58 –  The Juggernaut

Script: Hunter Tremayne

Art: Garry Leach

Letters: Tony Jacob

Plot: Several tanks enter a training exercise not realising they are mere cannon-fodder for a new behemoth of a tank, The Juggernaut. With its new tracking system and ability to fire over 20km the super-tank soon disposes of its targets however just as they are about to end the test another massive tank shows on the tracking system’s sensors. Feeling The Juggernaut has been duped into a final test against a similar super-tank the Commander orders the ‘detector missiles’ to be fired

Shock: The novice crew had miscalculated their new range-finder and the tank on their sensors was their own. The detector missiles swing back and destroy their target: The Juggernaut.

Thoughts:  A fascinating Future Shock for all sorts of reasons other than the story itself, although this classic version of the ‘problem of scale’ Future Shock, last seen dispatching an Alien spaceship  in FS 3, is by no means bad. The Juggernaut is both impressively named  and looking; with a ‘super-gun’ that would have put Saddam to shame.  The fantastically monikered Hunter Tremayne only featured this one time in 2000AD as well as appearing in the long forgotten ‘Graphixus‘ (”The Adult Comix Showcase’ which also featured Bolland, Hunt Emerson and John Higgins) comics magazine before seemingly departing comics for literary fiction and writing plays. The script suffers from a bit too much ‘tell’ and not enough ‘show’, the whole initial duplicity against the smaller tanks is dealt with in exposition and some general ‘Juggernaut looking mean’ establishing panels rather than being played out in action but for a first attempt it doesn’t make a bad fist of its premise. More significantly the strip is also the first 2000AD appearance by iconic UK artist Garry Leach (VCs, Slaine, Dredd, A1) ; although the subs droid sadly misspelt his first name in the credits box. Leach came to 2000AD from art school and immediately turned in some unfussy but impressive work on this strip. The panel layouts go a bit awry in the final page and there is a dubiously sitting helmet on the hapless radar operator but the figure work is solid and an impressive variety of angles used in the composition. His style is also quite distinct at this early stage and, as with many of this emerging generation of talents, different to both the traditional British look and the European / S.American style of many early 2000AD artists.  Also of note is that a year on from Bill Savage having to fight ‘Volgs’ instead of Russians, The Juggernaut is clearly a soviet machine with the Hammer and Sickle on proud display. This may be because the tank’s soldiers aren’t invaders, just incompetent.

Shock’d?: The ‘other’ tank could indeed have been real opposition although failure to make more of The Juggernaut’s own duplicity against the smaller tanks means this is slightly underplayed. There is no real surprise when the ordnance turns back to destroy the tank but you do think they might have trained their troops a tad better.