David Metcalfe-Carr is unashamedly Northern comic creator, who has been self publishing since 1992, with his most recent work being a re-release of the excellent ‘Being A Girl’, which concerned a man coming out as a cross dresser in the early nineties, and also a strip in the humour comic Crackpot.

Comicscene got together with David to discuss his new, semi-autobiographical comic ‘England Made Me’, on Kickstarter now (link below).

So, David, tell us about your comic.

‘It’s an ode to growing up in the north in the Thatcher years.The main character is Scam McNeill who I first wrote in the very early 90s in a comic called Modern Life Is Rubbish which was drawn by Chris Askham (who is contributing the back cover). There’s also a back up strip called Life of a Salesman by long time friends and collaborators Rol Hirst and Paul Barlow.’

Is there much real life stuff in there?

‘Strictly speaking, (and who doesn’t like to talk about Strictly) it’s not autobiographic. It’s got elements of autobiography in there but it’s 97% fiction. I’m just not that interesting.

What it is, is if you’ve read Love and Rockets, you know Jamie Hernandez has lived that life, only he isn’t a bisexual woman or a rocket mechanic. I grew up in Yorkshire during the miner’s strike but I wasn’t really affected as I lived in the middle of the Dales, but I do know what it’s like to go on strike as I was on strike with NALGO in 1989.

I need to stress that if you’re planning on buying a comic about the miner’s strike or Peter Sutcliffe, then don’t buy England Made Me, because that’s not what it’s about, They are the times and events that inspired and are mentioned in the book, just as much as the long hot summer of 76 and shellsuits do. What the book is about is growing up. It’s about being dragged places by your mum, making mates and falling for the first girl to say hello to you.’

You’ve been at this game for a while now. What inspired you to get into it?

‘I always drew and I always drew comics as a kid. I still prefer to draw laid on the floor truth be told. I went to art college in Bradford and wanted to draw comics. I’d grown up with Eagle, Tornado, 2000ad and then got into Crisis and Deadline. It was there that I found my first comic retailer as a stall on the Arndale sold American imports. I got into Shade the Changing Man and the Vertigo titles apart from Sandman which bored me to sleep. I left that to the Bradford goths and their odour of patchouli.

What else are you working on at the moment?

‘I’m working on two other projects. Firstly I’m doing an issue of Sentinel called Newtopia that’s a sci-fi noir, and I’m also doing a one off for Paragon – Spencer Nero and George Formby take on the Nazis. It’s taking a while as its set on Blackpool front.

After that I plan to do a follow up to England Made Me which is half written.

You’re well ensconced in the UK Indie scene. Do you think it’s a healthy place at the moment?

‘I think it’s a double edged sword. There’s plenty of good stuff out there. You have to applaud the Shift gang because of the quality of product that’s got them into WHSmiths. I’m not a fan of all of it, but there’s a lot of good stuff in it. Brawler from Time Bomb, Mary Boys, Department of the Peculiar and Sentinel I love. I’ll kill for anything by certain creators like Chris Askham and Rob Wells.

However there is also a load of crap out there and the problem with Kickstarter is that people who are good at marketing themselves can drag in big pledges without having the quality product to match. It’s like early days X Factor when the deluded would turn up and murder a classic but are adamant that they are the new Pavarotti.

In whole though I’d say we’re on a wave of creativity that will end when people stop getting funded on Kickstarter’

England Made Me runs on Kickstarter until 10pm Friday September 3rd, and we highly recommend it.


Chris Askham’s rear cover, inspired by Pulp’s “A Different Corner”

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