Peter Milligan and editor Shelly Bond talk HELLBLAZER

Peter Milligan and editor Shelly Bond talk HELLBLAZER

By DCE Editorial Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Editor Shelly Bond and writer Peter Milligan discuss the HELLBLAZER ANNUAL: SUICIDE BRIDGE (in stores now!) and John’s return to Hell in HELLBLAZER #287 (in stores 1/18)! BOND:  So you forced our happily married mage to go back home to Liverpool to confront a lingering mystery.  What was the inspiration for SUICIDE BRIDGE? MILLIGAN:  Near where I grew up there is an old bridge above a busy road. I once saw the aftermath of a suicide there, dark blood splattered across the road. That image and the idea of suicide bridge stuck with me, and I’ve always thought it’d make a perfect, dark theme for a HELLBLAZER story. BOND: Why is it so hard for John to go home? MILLIGAN: There are some of the usual reasons.  The stench of lost youth, the only slightly less troubling stench of lost girlfriends. But for Constantine there is another, more personal and darker reason why returning to the streets where he and his friend discussed the general shittiness of the world evokes disconcerting memories. And a truth that John has spent over forty years trying to ignore.  A truth he will have to face when he steps onto suicide bridge. BOND: So it’s part present day and part flashback to 1968. Were John and his sister Cheryl part of the original Beatles craze?  And, if so, who would be more likely to refer to Paul as "the cute Beatle"? MILLIGAN:  Cheryl was into the Beatles but had a thing for Ringo.   John thought they were a bit soft. Except John Lennon, who he considered passable. BOND: In addition to bravado and biceps, what does Simon Bisley bring to the tale that only he can deliver? MILLIGAN:    This is a dark story.   It takes an artist who can access the darkest part of his artistic soul and dredge up what he finds there to really draw it well.  Simon is such an artist. BOND: Is it easier to write for Bisley or Cammo and Stefano or do you find them both to be artistically equal in theory and execution? MILLIGAN:   They are different artists; both are brilliant, both have their strengths. I suppose with Simon I’m a little more relaxed about pushing the story into some backwaters of UK culture, that Cammo being Italian might not quite get. Saying that, I love Cammo’s vision of London. It’s not quite the London I see around me but that’s what makes it interesting. BOND: Have you looked back on your 3-year run on the series to date and wished you took JC down a different fork in the road? MILLIGAN:  No. BOND: You've written about hell countless times in your 25+ years as a comics writer. What makes "Another Season in Hell," the next epic storyline in the HELLBLAZER canon different from all others? MILLIGAN:   I know that John Constantine has been to Hell on a few occasions. And what I was really keen to do in this story line was make Hell…hell. To create something that was personal and disturbing and difficult to take, even for someone who’s seen it all like Constantine. BOND: What's in John's upper-left breast trench coat pocket that he doesn't want anyone to know about? MILLIGAN:  A photograph of his first victim. Faded, black and white. Possibly faked. BOND: Why is Piffy always about to burst egos and fabric seams with her confidence and sex appeal? MILLIGAN:   That’s who she is.  She’s a young woman who survived and prospered in the unhelpful circumstances of being a criminal’s daughter and now a messed up magician’s wife.  I suppose you have to have something to do that. BOND: Since Suicide Bridge is a standalone story, what are two things new readers should know about JC? MILLIGAN:   John Constantine deals in his own special brand of guerilla magic.  And people who are around him too long tend to get hurt. BOND: Is JC more likely to adopt a capybara or learn how to drive?  Does he know how to fire an automatic weapon?  If not, could that be because he considers the automobile to be even more dangerous than an AK-47? MILLIGAN:  Jesus, how many closed questions can you fit into one paragraph?  And who says that John can’t drive? He simply chooses not to. BOND: What is JC's advice to President Obama on escaping the fiscal economic depression that's looming over the US? MILLIGAN:   John wouldn’t give any advice. He doesn’t care. BOND: Double Decker or Yorkie Milk Chocolate? MILLIGAN:  Cigarettes.