A perfect Sunday with...Michael Carroll

Woodworking, Hot Fuzz and works of genius!

A perfect Sunday with...Michael Carroll

Every week, a top writer, artist or creator reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great.

Today it’s the turn of comic writer extraordinaire and creator of Proteus Vex for 2000AD, Michael Carroll.

Michael’s perfect Sunday… brunch

My favourite meal is pasta with meatballs, especially the one I make myself. Although, to be clear, I’m not a great cook and the process is pretty much a case of getting out the big pot and loading it with the finest ingredients, by which I mean whichever items happen to be in the cupboard or fridge and are closest to their use-by date without having gone too far over. Helpful hint: Cook more than you’ll need, because that way you can leave the leftovers sitting in the pot and they’ll be even more delicious the next day. Plus, then washing the big pot is relegated to Tomorrow’s Problem.

But that’s far too heavy a meal for a Sunday Brunch – can’t really take the canoe out for a Sunday paddle if I’m laden with pasta-and-meatball-based ballast, plus I don’t have a canoe and I’m scared of the water – so I’ll go for Eggs Benedict instead. I reckon that’s a proper Sunday Brunch, but I’ve never attempted to cook it myself. The only time I ever eat anything of that nature is when I’m in a hotel. The Enniskillen Hotel (in Enniskillen: it’s not just a clever name) serves the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever encountered. That’s far from being the only reason to visit the Enniskillen Comic Fest, but it’s certainly a very strong one.

Michael’s perfect Sunday… read

Hmm… I don’t mean to boast, but I reckon I’ve read more than a dozen books in my lifetime, so it’s hard to pick just one. However, a book that I find myself going back to over and over is Bugs, by John Sladek. It’s the tale of a British writer who goes to the USA in the hopes of striking a deal with a publisher, and – because this is a book – it all goes horribly wrong. But being a Sladek novel, it’s funny and plot-twisty and clever and very disturbing at the same time. Much as I love Mr Sladek’s other works,  feels just about perfect to me. It’s a quick read, too. So quick that I always feel sad when it’s over because I want to keep reading it.

Michael’s perfect Sunday… comic

This is not easy… There are so many great comics from which to choose. I’m tempted to plump for Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War because it’s absolutely packed with great moments and phenomenal art. Lee & Kirby’s run on Fantastic Four is ground-breaking and mind-expanding at the same time. And then there’s Bone, by Jeff Smith, for the same reason, plus it’s adorable. Bendis & Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man run is utterly engaging and captivating. Watchmen, of course, is a work of genius and one of those rare books that no matter how good you already think it is, whenever you re-read it you discover it’s actually better than you remembered.

But, you know, I’m going to settle on 2000ADs adaptations of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat books. I absolutely love those comics! They got me reading Harry’s books, and I became a huge fan of his writing. Back in the late 80s, when I learned that Harry was to be a guest at a meeting of the Irish Science Fiction Association, I went along just to see him. Enjoyed the meeting so much that I immediately joined the association. If I hadn’t done that, I probably never would have become a writer, and I’d certainly never have met Leonia, the love of my life!

Michael’s perfect Sunday… movie

Hot Fuzz. Not just because it gave this feature its name, but because it’s one of my favourite movies of all time. Endlessly quotable, hilarious, inventive, and it’s simultaneously (and deliciously) both reverent and irreverent. It’s a modern masterpiece… And it immediately bumped Edgar Wright into my Top Five Favourite Directors list, where he has remained ever since. Which is only right and proper: it’s all for the greater good.

(Go on, you know you want to!)

Michael’s perfect Sunday… TV binge

I’m going back in time a little for this one. Victoria Wood’s sitcom dinnerladies (lower-case D at the start, always!) is one of my favourite things ever. It’s wickedly funny and very sweet and brilliantly delivered. On the surface it might seem quite twee and cosy – a bunch of women (and two men) working in a factory canteen – but that comfort often hides a very sharp edge. Plus, it features the brilliant Anne Reid, one of the gems of that movie where a big-city policemen moves to a small town.

Michael’s perfect Sunday… podcast

I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I’m quite addicted to Workshop Banter by Keith Brown and Matthew Smith (not the one who edits 2000AD, nor the one who played Doctor Who, nor the one who wrote Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy for the ZX Spectrum). Keith and Matt are two very affable and entertaining chaps who make things out of wood and regularly get together to talk about their projects. 

‎Workshop Banter on Apple Podcasts
‎Leisure · 2023

Michael’s perfect Sunday… album

I’m reluctant to pick just one album because the others will be jealous… OK, here’s a reasonably recent album that I’ve found myself playing over and over: Cinematica, by Globus. What I find fascinating is that Globus isn’t really a band in the traditional sense. It’s a collective of musicians and singers led by composer Yoav Goren, and as I understand things they started out specialising in creating music for movie trailers and ads. Their work was so well received they reconstructed and reimagined some of their pieces into “proper” songs and released their first album, Epicon, in 2006. This was followed in 2011 by Break From This World, and then Cinematica in 2022. They are all absolutely brilliant and deserve to be much more widely known!

Michael’s perfect Sunday… treat

After far too many decades creating virtual things on computers (games, books, websites, comics, graphics, etc.) making physical things out of wood is very much my go-to hobby these days. I’m especially fond of doing so on as small a budget as possible: I enjoy nothing more than disassembling a battered old cabinet or chest of drawers and using its component parts to make something new. I’m not especially good at it, mind you – certainly far from good enough to charge any money for my creations – but it’s a lot of fun and there’s a huge sense of satisfaction to be had when looking at something useful that only a few hours before was destined to end up in a skip (or, in some cases, a few hours before that was actually pulled out of a skip).

Proteus Vex by Michael Carroll is out now from Rebellion.

Another galaxy! A different type of hero! Proteus Vex is out now!

For fourteen brutal centuries, the Imperium Ascendant and the Obdurate have clashed in an intergalactic war that spanned planets and peoples. Then the war – and the Obdurate – came to a dramatic end. Now, the galaxies are picking up the pieces. In the midst of this sprawling, dazzling system of galaxies, is Proteus Vex, ex-soldier for the Imperium Ascendant turned super-agent. He’s fast, brutal, and he always gets his prey. But when he is sent to find his former superior officer, Vex finds himself caught up in a deadly conspiracy.

A non-practising assassin, Irish writer MICHAEL CARROLL has written forty-something books, countless short stories and countless comics, including Judge Dredd, Proteus Vex, and Dreadnoughts for 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine.

In his spare time, he runs the Rusty Staples comics blog and makes marginally amusing typos when writing about himself in the third person. He is married to Leonia who is so far out of his league it'd genuinely make you wonder if maybe magic actually is real after all.