Gerry Finley-Day

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For the American screenwriter, see Gerry Day.
Gerry Finley-Day
Nationality British
Area(s) Writer
Notable works
Hellman of Hammer Force
Rogue Trooper
The V.C.s
Fiends of the Eastern Front

Gerry Finley-Day was a prolific British comics writer from the 1960s to the 1980s, best known as the creator of Rogue Trooper.

He started out at D. C. Thomson & Co., before becoming the editor of IPC's girls' title Tammy in 1971,[1] for which he wrote strips such as "Ella on Easy Street"[2] and "The Camp on Candy Island". Tammy's stories were full of cruelty and adversity, based on research showing that girls wanted stories that made them cry.[3][4]

Finley-Day rose to become deputy managing editor of IPC's girls' comics department, but quit to become a freelance writer. In 1974 he was drafted in by Pat Mills to help develop characters for Battle Picture Weekly, launched the following year,[5] for which he wrote "Rat Pack",[6] "The Sarge",[5] "The Bootneck Boy",[7] "D-Day Dawson", "Return of the Eagle",[8] "Sergeant Without Stripes",[9] "Cold Steele",[10] "Skreamer of the Stukas",[11][12] "Glory Rider",[13] "Cooley's Gun",[13] "Action Force",[14] and many others. He had a particular penchant for creating honourable German heroes, including "Fighter from the Sky",[5] "Panzer G-Man",[12] "Commando King",[12] "Sea Wolf", and perhaps the best known, "Hellman of Hammer Force",[15] which started out in Action and transferred to Battle after Action was merged into it.[5] Other strips he wrote for Action include "Green's Grudge War" and "Dredger".[12]

He was one of the mainstays of early 2000 AD, writing "Invasion!", "Dan Dare", "Ant Wars", "Harry Twenty on the High Rock", "Fiends of the Eastern Front", and a couple of early episodes of "Judge Dredd", and became their specialist in future war stories, first with "The V.C.s", and then his most enduring character, "Rogue Trooper", which still features occasionally, written by other writers - although Finley-Day returned to the character for a one-off story in 2010. He also wrote "Blackhawk" for Tornado, and several strips for the revived Eagle, including "Saddle Tramp", "Sergeant Streetwise", "Jake's Platoon", "The Hand", and episodes of "The Collector".[16]

Finley-Day's signature style was the hardbitten solo action hero, typically an embittered renegade male between 35 and 50 years old, that became a defining feature of 2000 AD. In common with many creators of the day, his stories often incorporated elements of contemporary popular movies or television programmes. Harry Twenty, for example, was an escape story set on a maximum-security prison orbiting the earth, and had clear echoes of The Prisoner TV series, starring Patrick McGoohan (according to Finley-Day, he used to joke with his fellow creators that if McGoohan appeared at the reception of the IPC building, he was not to be let upstairs).[citation needed]

Finley-Day disappeared from the UK comics scene in the mid-1980s, allegedly after editorial disagreements with the 2000 AD management. Though he was severely under-appreciated during his time, many of his creations are now regarded as classic characters. Harry 20 on the High Rock was recently voted by readers of the 2000adreview fan site the best self-contained series to have appeared in 2000 AD throughout its 28 year history, closely followed by Fiends of the Eastern Front.

Bibliography[edit]

Comics work includes:

  • Slaves of 'War Orphan Farm' (in Tammy 6 February 1971 to 17 July 1971)
  • The Camp on Candy Island (in Tammy 28 October 1972 to 19 May 1973)
  • Serfs of the Swamps (in Tammy 13 September 1975 to 22 November 1975)
  • Invasion! (in 2000 AD #1-6, 8-35, 37-38, 40 & 42-51, 1977–78)
  • M.A.C.H. 1
  • Judge Dredd: "The Solar Sniper" (with Ron Turner, in 2000 AD #19, 1977)
  • Dan Dare (in 2000 AD #28-51 & 64-66, 1977–78)
  • Ant Wars (in 2000 AD #71-85, 1978)
  • Blackhawk (in Tornado #4-22, 1979)
  • Disaster 1990 (in 2000 AD # 19-139, 1979)
  • The V.C.s (in 2000 AD 140-143, 145-165, 168-169 & 171-175, 1979–1980)
  • Fiends of the Eastern Front (in 2000 AD # 152-161, 1980)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #228-232, 234-243 & 246-258, 1981–82)
  • Father's Footsteps (in Tammy 1982)
  • Cross on Court (in Tammy 1982)
  • Rae Rules OK (in Tammy 1982)
  • Jaws Three (in Tammy 21 May 1983 to 25 June 1983)
  • Sgt. Streetwise (in Eagle #1-11, 1982)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #260-62, 1982 Sci-Fi Special & #265-301, 1982–83)
  • Saddle Tramp (in Eagle #14-26, 1982)
  • Sgt. Streetwise (in Eagle #27-31, 1982)
  • Harry Twenty on the High Rock (in 2000 AD #287-307, 1982–83)
  • Sgt. Streetwise (in Eagle #32-38, 1982)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #303-355, 1983–84)
  • Jake's Platoon (in Eagle #41-57, 1983)
  • Sgt. Streetwise (in Eagle #41-43 & 46-48, 1983)
  • The Hand (in Eagle from #70-93 and continuing, 1983–84)
  • Sgt. Streetwise (in Eagle #76-78, 1983)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #358-364, 366-392, 1983–84)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #401-406, 410-419, 422-426 & 428-432, 1985)
  • Rogue Trooper (in 2000 AD #444-449, 1985)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jenny McDade, Creating Tammy - A True Story, Down the Tubes, 12 October 2008
  2. ^ Jenni Scott, Pat Mills at Caption 2004 (interview)
  3. ^ "Girls and Boys". Comics Britannia. 17 September 2007. BBC4.
  4. ^ Paul Gravett, Comics Britannia Part 2 - Girls and Boys, 2 December 2007]
  5. ^ a b c d David Bishop, "Blazing Battle Action part 1", Judge Dredd Megazine #209, 26 August 2003
  6. ^ Rat Pack series 1 at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  7. ^ The Bootneck Boy at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  8. ^ Return of the Eagle at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  9. ^ Sergeant Without Stripes at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  10. ^ Cold Steele at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  11. ^ Skreamer of the Stukas at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  12. ^ a b c d David Bishop, "Blazing Battle Action part 2", Judge Dredd Megazine #210, 23 September 2003
  13. ^ a b David Bishop, "Blazing Battle Action part 3", Judge Dredd Megazine #211, 21 October 2003
  14. ^ David Bishop, "Blazing Battle Action part 4", Judge Dredd Megazine #212, 18 November 2003
  15. ^ Hellman of Hammer Force series 1, series 2, series 4; Hellman of the Afrika Korps; Hellman on the Russian Front series 1, series 2, series 3; The Early Adventures of Hellman of Hammer Force at Captain Hurricane's Best of Battle
  16. ^ Gerry Finley-Day at Barney

External links[edit]

  • Charlton, Martin (June 6, 2006). "The Legend of GFD". 2000AD Review. Retrieved April 9, 2010.