Creator Interview: Bonding with PJ Holden over “James Bond: M”

In Dynamite’s latest one-shot James Bond: M, Declan Shalvey (Injection, Savage Town) and PJ Holden (2000AD, Judge Dredd) explore the hereto unexplored history of the man leading Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Before his life as a spy, the man would become “M” began his career as merely a foot soldier in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Like many men of his era, “M” had to navigate this complex political landscape during the tumultuous period know as “the Troubles” when Republican and Unionists clashed over not only religion, but national identity. Belfast and “M” may have changed, but some wounds don’t heal so easily and as our hero soon learns, the past has a habit of coming back to haunt you.

PJ was kind enough to join us to talk about his work on the project as well as all things comics and craft. Throughout our discussion we explore what is was like to collaborate with Declan Shalvey, the hidden history of the setting, and PJ’s desire to show a different side to Belfast.

“The very first published work I ever did was a book called Holy Cross, published by Fantagraphics in 1995 which was a story set in Belfast…but drawing something in 1995 and drawing something now, coming back to it twenty years later is just radically different. It’s a radically different looking place. What’s interesting about the story is the flashbacks to M in Belfast and the flashbacks to now…it’s an interesting exploration of the city and how it has changed. In some ways it speaks to what M is like as well.”

You can listen to our full interview below.

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Here’s the official synopsis:
“James Bond’s superior, code-named M, scrambles MI6’s secret agents across the globe. Sometimes, he knowingly sends them to their deaths, for the greater good. But a traumatic event from M’s early days in the field returns to haunt him, forcing M to return to the scene of a crime…HIS crime.”

James Bond: M is written by Declan Shalvey, with art by PJ Holden, colours by Dearbhla Kelly, and letters by Simon Bowland. The cover is done by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.

James Bond: M hits your local comic book store on 21st February 2018. The creative team will be signing copies of James Bond: M at Big Bang Comics in Dublin at 7pm on 21st February and The Comics Guys in Belfast on 22nd February at 6pm.

Gary Moloney
Gary Moloney
Some would say that he is a mine of information, too bad most of it is useless. You can read his own comic work over on Follow him on Twitter @m_gearoid.