Sick leave
Sick leave
"Rennie and Trevallion discuss the return of the cranky paranormal detective, Absalom!"
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 7 Nonscrots converting, 6 Squaxx Dek Thargo singing, 5 Galactic Groats, 4 Strontium Dogs, 3 Dictators of Zrag, 2 Art Droids and a Mek-Quake chewing on me.

We’re ploughing on through the 12 Days of Thargmas and, with Prog 2012 now available in UK stores and in North America in a fortnight,’s Ed Kaye talks to writer Gordon Rennie and artist Tiernan Trevallion about their follow-up to this year’s hit series, Absalom…

2000 AD: What can we expect from ‘Sick Leave’, and does it connect with the last story, ‘Noblesse Oblige?’

Gordon: It's pretty much a stand-alone, concentrating on some of Harry's underlings working a case without him, and also showing us a bit more about Harry and his terminal illness.

2000 AD: Absalom is a series very rich in supernatural elements. Tiernen, is this the type of story which you feel most comfortable drawing? And how do you approach illustrating an episode?

Tiernen: Well, I suppose I do, yes. Add a few robots and Teutonic warrior women and we're home. On starting an episode of Absalom I usually trawl through it to find all the reference I'll need. Often there are location specific scenes, usually some artistic licence is required. With this one I used a location in Peckham, It's a famous (or infamous) estate that's turned up in a film or two. Then I'll scribble out any new characters or creatures, and sometimes Gordon has a very specific idea about what he wants, so there's a bit of back and forth there.

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

Gordon: Probably the scenes with Harry having a matey drink with... a certain someone/something, and where we get to hear more about his past, and all the old famous ex-coppers who he learned his trade from. Some people will hopefully enjoy trying to spot the old British horror films and ‘70s TV cop series where Harry's one-time mentors all come from.

Tiernen: Favourite bit in this story was adding the 'wildlife' to the scenery... not saying nuffink else.

Prog 2012 – available now from all good Thrill-merchants!

Michael Molcher

Thursday 15th December 2011