Review Fix chats with London Calling creator Joe Miskelly, who discusses his career in comics and why the series is a special one for him.
Review Fix: How did you know a career in comics was for you?
Joe Miskelly: I’ve been working in film for years and I got bored of the restrictions that came with working on and figuring out stories on indie-sized budgets. Comics allow me to go as far as my imagination will take me. Also, I feel comic audiences are used to darker stories and imagery which in film has a lot of red tape in the way where you constantly have to defend your choices to the dumbest person in the room and it often dilutes your vision and it’s never as good as intended.
Review Fix: Who inspires you creatively?
Miskelly: Mostly people from film, writer-directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Andrew Dominik, Quentin Tarantino, etc. Then I’m a huge Tyler The Creator fan and I’ve loved watching the arch of his career going from this young wild kid who would do and say whatever he wanted, to now being semi reclusive and only appearing when he’s got some cool shit to show You know, I find it very beautiful. Then from comics, I like folks like Alan Moore who just have zero patience for anything other than what they want to do.
Review Fix: What inspired this comic strip?
Miskelly: I came up with the idea for London Calling like eight years ago but it wasn’t really a story just a collection of a couple vague images of these tough punks fighting gangs and the government and every few years the idea would sneak back into my head and then when covid 19 lockdowns happened there was a politician in the UK called Rishi Sunak who put out this government ad campaign that depicted a ballerina and the slogan was “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. (she just doesn’t know it yet)”, And that just felt like a spit in the face to everyone that works in the arts and it enraged me, dude. Then those first images of London Calling came back to me. They have this punk vibe to them, this raging against the system aspect which seems so apt for the times. I was in lockdown and wasn’t able to do any film work so I just went hard at this comic.
Review Fix: How is it different or special?
Miskelly: I think its a really unique setting, it’s kinda this odd world London that’s set in our future but its also regressed in ways that make it very unpredictable and violent
If I had to describe the art style of the series at the moment it would be dogshit. Now look I’m obviously being facetious here but it’s partly what I think makes London Calling so interesting. Before I started penciling the series I wrote every single scene that’s going to appear in the entire series. I already know everything that’s going to happen, each issue was going to be twenty one pages long and it was going to release monthly. So I knew not having any money to spend on the series that I would have to do the art all myself.
I’m not an artist but I think that really adds to the series you know? That thing punks used to say, “If you want to make music just pick up a guitar and play.” Converting that punk ethos into the art of series and seeing how the art progresses with each issue as the characters do is really beautiful and rewarding to see.
Review Fix: Who do you think will dig it the most?
Miskelly: For sure if you aren’t a fan of swearing or violence it’s not for you.
If you think the government’s shady it’s for you.
If you’re a Nazi it’s not for you.
If you like a woman stampin’ on a Nazi’s head it’s for you.
If you’re a fan of Brexit it’s not for you.
If you like an untethered psychopath constantly dropping C bombs it’s for you.
If you’re a big fan of good art it’s not for you.
If you’re going to be a big fan of good art in like six months it’s for you.
Guys, it really runs the gamut.
Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Miskelly: I think it would be cool if people could look back on it a be impressed with how much it improves upon itself and inspire them to think “well if this idiot can do it, then so can I”. Something like that would mean the world to me.
Also, I would just like people to really connect with the characters and remember them and their growth long after reading it.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Miskelly: Issue six of London Calling comes out 30th June and then each issue comes out the last day of the month every month until it’s all over. Then I will rest.
Review Fix: Where can people find out more?
Miskelly: You can follow my Instagram that’s where I post all my updates and links to everything there: https://www.instagram.com/joe_miskelly/
You can get the comic book on the official website:
Or you can support on Patreon: