Surf­ing the Zeit­geist

Mad Max- in­spired comic Freak­wave is a path to Fury Road for Bren­dan McCarthy

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Mad Max -

Set in a flooded, fu­ture Earth, Freak­wave was in­spired by Bren­dan McCarthy’s youth­ful love of Mad Max 2. Co- writ­ten by Peter Mil­li­gan, it was se­ri­alised in Strange Days, their 1983 Eclipse Comics an­thol­ogy with the late Brett Ewins. Three decades later, it has led to the artist be­ing hired to not only cre­ate vi­su­als for Fury Road but to also col­lab­o­rate on the script with Ge­orge Miller. “Mad Max 2 blew the younger me away to a de­gree that I haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced in a movie be­fore or since,” says McCarthy. “Freak­wave was an at­tempt to cap­ture that vis­ceral ex­cite­ment on pa­per. At the time, no one had ever done a de­cent surf­ing strip, and mix­ing that up with the post- apoc­a­lyp­tic Mad Max world was a lot of fun. Even­tu­ally, Freak­wave evolved into a very psy­che­delic fu­sion of Road War­rior and Alice In Won­der­land.”

De­scrib­ing his work with the Aus­tralian as “a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence”, McCarthy’s ex­panded role on the film evolved nat­u­rally. “Ini­tially, Ge­orge asked me to do sto­ry­boards and come up with new and orig­i­nal de­sign con­cepts, as I had a style and de­sign take on the Mad Max uni­verse that ex­cited him. But he also liked my story ideas and then asked me to co- write the film with him.”

Claim­ing that they “ham­mered out the story like two fu­ri­ous fighters in the Thun­der­dome,” McCarthy be­lieves that Fury Road will also stand the test of time. “I love the ac­tual look of the movie, the tribal de­sign, the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and, of course, the manic ve­hic­u­lar van­dal­ism and ‘ the de­light in de­struc­tion’ as one critic fa­mously noted of Road War­rior,” he says. “Hope­fully, the in­sane new char­ac­ters we’ve in­vented will be lov­ingly wel­comed by Toe­cut­ter, Hu­mun­gus, Wez and Mas­ter Blaster into the Mad Max Hall of Crazed Lu­natics!” Stephen Jewell

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