Lost Works: Paul Harrison-Davies’ MCPD
Ok, here’s a thing. Lost Works was originally envisioned by me to be a feature talking about works that went by the wayside for one reason or another, either works started but never finished or works completed and criminally unavailable. I did something similar ages back with Uncollecteds. I have about 50 of these Lost Works in a long list somewhere and about 5 mostly written in draft as well. Loads of great things, loads of wonderful Lost Works.
But this week I realised it can also be for works that never really made it past the pitch, those Lost Works that still sit on an artist’s hard drive / notebook / wherever, those things that they really, really wish had gone somewhere.
Case in point… the great Paul Harrison-Davies. You know, he of the wonderful Astro Dog, the just as wonderful Paint Girl, editor & contributor to Boo (a second volume of which is coming soon!) contributer to Nelson, and busy, busy, busy man. He’s got a great comic called M.C.P.D.
Never heard of it? No wonder, it’s a fab idea, a fab pitch, just waiting for the right opportunity. How did I hear about it? Well, as is the way, came about through a chat on Twitter… A little while back I put up a fab Paul Smith piece on our regular Sunday Art For Art’s Sake posts – something from the long gone but much missed Leave It To Chance, the all-ages magical series written by James Robinson and drawn by Smith. Fabulous series, out in the late 90s, featuring the magical exploits of Chance Falconer, her dad the Dr Strange-ish Lucas Falconer and her pet dragon St. George.
Paul H-D was one of those who loved it, and got in touch to say so. In the subsequent Twitter conversation he mentioned he’d even gone as far as coming up with a series that took inspiration from Leave It To Chance.
It was called MCPD… Monster City Police Department.
These were the good guys…
And here are the bad guys…
Come on. THAT’S JUST SO BRILLIANT. How is this not happening? Surely we’re all getting a funny Monsters Inc. meets NYPD Blue kind of vibe here? The storylines just suggest themselves don’t they?
Well, sadly it’s not happening. Not yet anyhow. Paul H-D has pitched it around a little bit but no luck getting it in print (and frankly shame on those who passed it up – you know who you are). This really is something that should happen. Paul’s talking about putting it out himself if no-one picks it up, which would be lovely, but frankly it has all the possibility of a long-running regular series in a weekly comic for kids.
Asking Paul H-D about it, he had this to say…
“MCPD Blue is set in a place called Monster City where everyone, including the cops, is a monster. In charge of big business are the Mummies, because they always were royalty after all. At the very bottom of the pile is the zombies, oppressed, hated or ignored. Mummies hate zombies because they don’t like being reminded that they’re pretty similar – both being essentially reanimated corpses. The 1st MCPD Blue story is about a rookie cop who decided she’s interested in the plight of a zombie and all the headaches it brings.
Obviously the title is a play on NYPD, and Hill Street, Blues, but the idea of a small crime leading to bigger stuff always inspired by The Wire and the red character with the glasses was a nod to Lester Freamon.
I might have mention Leave It To Chance was an influence, but I think Top 10 was in my mind initially – basically swapping superheroes for monsters – but once I had the idea I remembered the setting of Leave It To Chance, which is probably why I decided to have a female lead. Some point during putting it together I discovered Frankenstein Mobster which has a lot of similarities, but in the end I figure original ideas are pretty tricky, and it’s just our personal take that gives them any originality.”
As for the future, Paul H-D has this to say…
“Me and Andy Waugh are finishing up the latest issue of Boo! and talked about doing some one off strips, sort of ‘Boo approved’ so I’ll be digging out the script for MCPD Blue to do just that. First off I need to do PaintGirl, a strip I’ve wanted to do for ages and is long over due! I’ll probably do both comics the same way I did Astrodog – serialising them online and collecting them once they’re complete.”
Yep, Astrodog was a great thing, Paint Girl looks the same, but M.C.P.D. could be fabulous, it really could.