Carey, Mike 1959–
Carey, Mike 1959–
Born 1959, in Liverpool, England; married; wife's name Linda (a writer); children: three.
Home—North London, England.
Writer. Comic book writer for various publications, including Rock-It Comics, Malibu Publishers; Inferno, Negative Burn, and Doctor Faustus for Caliber Comics; Lucifer, My Faith in Frankie, and Hellblazer, for DC/Vertigo Comics; Wetworks, for Wildstorm Comics; and Ultimate Elektra, for Marvel Comics, 2004. Previously worked as a teacher.
"LUCIFER" SERIES; GRAPHIC NOVELS
Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway, illustrated by Scott Hampton, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.
Lucifer: Children and Monsters, illustrated by Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Dean Ormston, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.
Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned, illustrated by Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Dean Ormston, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Jon J. Muth) Lucifer: Nirvana, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
Lucifer: The Divine Comedy, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Peter Gross) Lucifer: Inferno, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2004.
"HELLBLAZER" SERIES; GRAPHIC NOVELS
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Exposed, artwork by Marcelo Frusin, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre, artwork by Marcelo Frusin, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2005.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, artwork by Leonardo Manco, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2005.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Black Flowers, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2005.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Staring at the Wall, artwork by Doug Alexander and Marcelo Frusin, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2006.
Stations of the Cross: John Constantine, Hellblazer, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2006.
Reasons to Be Cheerful: John Constantine, Hellblazer, artwork by Leonardo Manco, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2007.
The Gift: John Constantine, Hellblazer, artwork by Leonardo Manco, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2007.
The Sandman Presents: The Furies, illustrated by John Bolton, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
My Faith in Frankie, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2004.
God Save the Queen, painted by John Bolton, Vertigo (New York, NY), 2007.
(With daughter, Louise Carey) Confessions of a Blabbermouth, illustrated by Aaron Alexovich, Minx (New York, NY), 2007.
Re-gifters, artwork by Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2007.
Writer of and contributor to numerous other graphic novels, including 9-11: Volume One, 9-11: Volume Two, Carver Hale, Companero Leonardo, Crossing Midnight: Cut Here, Crossing Midnight: A Map of Midnight, Faker, Legion of Monsters, Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence, Lucifer: Exodus, Lucifer: The Wolf beneath the Tree, Lucifer: Crux, Lucifer: Morningstar, Lucifer: Evensong, Marvel Holiday Digest, Spellbinders, Th1rt3en, Ultimate Annuals # 2, Ultimate Elektra: Devil's Due, Vertigo: First Offenses, Wetworks, Volume 1, Wetworks, Volume 2, What If? Mirror Mirror, X-Men: Supernovas, X-Men: Blinded by the Light, and X-Men: Endangered Species.
NOVELS; "FELIX CASTOR" SERIES
The Devil You Know, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Vicious Circle, Grand Central (New York, NY), 2008.
Also author of Dead Men's Boots and Thicker Than Water, both published by Orbit Books.
Also author of the nonfiction book Writers on Comics Scriptwriting, Volume 2, Titan. Author of and contributor to numerous comic books, including Mike Carey's One-Sided Bargains, Batman: Gotham Knights # 37, Batman: Black & White, V.3, Crossing Midnight # 1-19, Dr. Faustus, Detective Comics # 801-804, Lucifer # 1-75, Marvel Holiday Special 2005, Marvel Holiday Special 2006, Marvel Holiday Special 2007, My Faith in Frankie # 1-4, Negative Burn # 49 and volume 2 # 14, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere # 1-9, Ozzy Osbourne # 1, Pantera # 1, Red Sonja # 0-6, Sandman Presents: Lucifer # 1-3, Sandman Presents: Petrefax # 1-4, Spellbinders # 1-6, The Stranded # 1—, Toxic! # 30-31, Ultimate Elektra: Devil's Due # 1-5, Ultimate Fantastic Four # 19-20, #33—, Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual # 2, Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men # 1, Ultimate Vision # 1-5, Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four # 1, Vampirella Revelations, # 0-3, Wetworks # 1-9, What If: Fantastic Four # 1, Wolverine: Firebreak # 1, X-Men # 188-207, X-Men: Legacy # 208—, X-Men Annual #1, and X-Men: Endangered Species # 1.
Hellblazer has been adapted as a feature film titled Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves.
British comic-book author Mike Carey has proven to have a versatile touch with series work, creating dark, brooding scenarios with works such as the "Lucifer" series, comedy with My Faith in Frankie, and a world of superheroes in Wetworks and the "Ultimate Elektra" series. Arune Singh, writing on the Comic Book Resources Web site, noted that "meeting Mike Carey, the first thing that'll strike you about him is that he is truly a comic-book fan." Carey cut his teeth on comics as a youth in postwar Liverpool, beginning his writing career by submitting reviews to a small fanzine. By the late 1980s, he had begun submitting story pitches to comic imprint Trident. Ideas for a psychological horror series and for a superhero book were contracted, but Carey's debut titles died when his publisher went bankrupt.
He went on to do work for hire in the early 1990s for other small publishers until he was brought on by New York's DC Comics to work on several series titles. The first of these was "Lucifer," a spin-off character from Neil Gaiman's classic adult comic Sandman. Carey's "Lucifer" presents a character who is, basically, the devil. More than an antihero, Lucifer is "unrepentant," according to Katherine Keller on the NinthArt Web site, "utterly chilling in his penetrating intellect, cold gaze, and utter lack of empathy or compassion." Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway collects the initial four issues of the series, as well as the three-volume miniseries, in a paperback.
Carey's miniseries finds Lucifer working for God, who wants some minor gods stopped before they gain too much power and disturb the balance of the world. The initial volumes of the ongoing series set up the ongoing storyline, with Lucifer Morningstar living among mortals and running a Los Angeles nightclub called the Lux. The sophisticated Lucifer is so self-centered that he has no regard for human life and will use his powers with no regrets. His "retirement" on Earth is continually spoiled by visits from people in his past, however, and soon he is busily setting up a parallel universe that will be in direct competition to God's universe. The first book also introduces major characters such as Jill Presto and Elaine Belloc. Keller felt that the two parts of this initial publication should have been broken into two books. Apart from that, however, she found that Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway "should serve to give new readers an ample taste of one of the most delicious titles to come out of Vertigo in a long time"; furthermore, she praised Carey as a "writer of dynamic vision and savage wit." Reviewing the same title on the Log-Book Web site, Dave Thomer wrote that "Carey succeeds [in this book] because the focus of the series is not so much on Lucifer's dealings with mortals, but with the forces of heaven, hell, and other spiritual realms." Similarly, Tom Knapp, writing on the Rambles Web site, observed that "Mike Carey certainly gives the devil his due, and I'm glad to see one of Gaiman's characters in such capable hands. Lucifer may be an unlikely protagonist, but this series is worth checking out."
A second "Lucifer" collection appeared in 2002, Lucifer: Children and Monsters, which includes issues five through thirteen of the ongoing series. Here, Lucifer travels to Japan in search of his lost wings, deals with the destruction of his nightclub, and sets himself to battle the forces of heaven. Concatenation Web site contributor Tony Chester noted that "Carey has done a brilliant job of continuing this series, creating a Lucifer of great intelligence, ruthlessness and humour."
Issues fourteen through twenty were gathered in Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned, a collection that demonstrates, according to Chester, that "Lucifer" "is easily one of the best comics available today." In Lucifer: Nirvana, Carey serves up a stand-alone book outside of the "Lucifer" comic-book series and story line. According to Randy Lander on the FourthRail Web site, this book "is mostly about a young Chinese woman seeking peace and a fallen angel seeking revenge." For Lander, Lucifer: Nirvana is "an example of a great story, told in one issue."
Carey has also written a graphic novel that continues other Sandman characters. With The Sandman Presents: The Furies, Carey introduces three separate story lines that link up in a tale of Greek gods and goddesses. Among other characters are Cronus, the last in the Titans lineage, Hippolyta, Hermes, and the Furies themselves, who are "dogging some of [these characters] for varied sins of patricide," according to Booklist reviewer Ray Olson. While Olson had praise for the "excitingly lurid artwork" of John Bolton, he was less positive about what he termed Carey's "lurching scenario" and an air of "New Age … sentimentality."
In addition to his "Lucifer" books for DC Comics, Carey has worked on "Hellblazer," featuring the adventures and misadventures of John Constantine, a character originally introduced by author Alan Moore in Swamp Thing; on Wildstorm Comics' Wetworks, which features a band of mutant aliens who work in covert operations; and on his creator-owned comedy series, My Faith in Frankie. Speaking with Singh on the Comic Book Resources Web site, Carey was sanguine about future projects: "I can't say what the future will hold because my present is full to bursting. I will say that almost everything I'm doing at the moment is taking me into new places in terms of genre and narrative technique. I'm having a great time, and I think I'm writing more organically and more powerfully than I ever have before. I hope it doesn't end any time soon."
Carey has continued to produce graphic novels and has also embarked on a career as a straightforward novelist. In his continuing graphic novel series featuring Lucifer Morningstar, the author presents Lucifer: The Divine Comedy. This time, Lucifer has created his own world where nothing is allowed to be worshiped. However, Lucifer's position as leader of all is soon threatened when others arrive from God's kingdom. "Carey's writing is full of intrigue and surprise," wrote Steve Raiteri in the Library Journal. Carey collaborated with Peter Gross to write Lucifer: Inferno, which features a duel between Lucifer and the angel Amenadiel. Kliatt contributor George R. Galuschak noted that the book "should appeal to fans."
The graphic novel John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, with artwork by Leonardo Manco, features the ex-punk-rocker-turned-magician John Constantine running into a demon from hell after the granddaughter of Constantine's friend Chas Chandler falls into a coma. Steve Raiteri, writing in the Library Journal, commented that "this book would make a fine introduction to the character and should please longtime fans." Gordon Flagg wrote in Booklist that the novel "provides longtime fans with a satisfying adventure."
Another novel featuring Constantine, titled John Constantine, Hellblazer: Black Flowers, finds the anti-hero protecting a woman who goes on to develop bravery equal to that of her protector. School Library Journal contributor John Leighton called John Constantine, Hellblazer: Black Flowers "a dark, complex, brainy book." John Constantine, Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre features Constantine searching for his niece and meeting an old woman who has a portal to hell. Once again writing in the School Library Journal, Leighton commented: "The dialogue between the sarcastic Constantine and everybody else is amusing." In Stations of the Cross: John Constantine, Hellblazer, Constantine is wandering the streets of London without his memory or his powers. Reasons to Be Cheerful: John Constantine, Hellblazer, finds Constantine's three demonic children out for revenge on their father. Constantine travels to hell to rescue his sister in The Gift: John Constantine, Hellblazer.
God Save the Queen, painted by John Bolton, was described as "a midsummer's nightmare" by Booklist contributor Francisca Goldsmith, who noted that the story borrows from Shakespeare. In this tale, Linda lives in modern London and becomes involved with a very different group of squatters and, through her mother, discovers that there is also the world of Faerie. Goldsmith noted "the horror and wonder of Carey's script." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "a treat for any fan of the fantastic."
Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel provide the artwork for Re-gifters, a tale by Carey that features martial artist Dixie falling for a fellow martial artist named Adam Heller. The plot revolves around Dixie trying to impress Adam by winning a martial arts contest and Adam getting a gift from Dixie and re-gifting it to some other girl he likes. George Galuschak, writing in Kliatt, noted the graphic novel's "quirky characters, spot-on dialogue and a fast-paced, entertaining plot." Booklist contributor Francisca Goldsmith commented on the book's "welldeveloped characters, plot, and setting."
Carey teamed up with his daughter, Louise Carey, to write the graphic novel Confessions of a Blabbermouth. The novel focuses on young Tasha, who writes about the problems of her life on her blog, titled Blabbermouth. The blog turns out to be immensely popular, even with Tasha's mother, who is always bringing home new boyfriends who are regularly berated by Tasha in her writings. The plot revolves around yet another new boyfriend and Tasha's efforts to help the man's daughter change her life. Andrea Lipinski, writing in the School Library Journal, noted: "The dialogue, and especially the humor, rings true."
Carey has also written nonillustrated novels, the "Felix Castor" series, beginning with The Devil You Know. The novel features Castor as a private detective who works as an exorcist. "The noir stuff just came naturally as I was writing," the author told Andrew A. Smith on the ScrippsNews Web site. "Castor is a gumshoe exorcist—an exorcist out of a Raymond Chandler novel. It's fun to write him like that, as a man who's essentially walking the mean streets and doing the only thing he knows how to do to pay the bills."
Although the author is neither an exorcist nor a detective, he told Alex Dueben in an interview on the California Literary Review Web site: "There's a lot of me in Castor. It's a little bit out of control. I started out deliberately giving him aspects of my past, just little bits and pieces. He comes from Walton in Liverpool. His dad works in a factory. Stuff like that I put in because I could write them with absolute conviction because I knew them. And then weirdly I began to realize that a lot of Castor's back story is like a coded or a disguised version of my own story in ways that I can't even begin to explain."
In The Devil You Know, Castor has left the exorcism business behind him after a mishap that caused a demon to become incorporated into a friend's soul. He's working as a cheap stage magician at birthday parties when he reluctantly accepts a job ridding a museum of a faceless ghost. "Carey deftly melds gripping plots, memorable details, and dark humor, making Felix Castor and the beginning of this series irresistible," wrote Laura Blackwell on the Strange Horizons Web site. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Carey transcends his comic roots in this quirky, dark and imaginative tale that compels readers to keep turning pages long after they should have gotten to sleep."
The next novel in the series, Vicious Circle, finds Castor being hired by grieving parents to find the missing ghost of their daughter. "Although it's enjoyable and easy to follow on its own, the second book builds on events from the first," noted Blackwell. "It even picks up minor points from The Devil You Know and expands on them, suggesting that the series may have some overarching plot as well as these self-contained stories." Titles in the "Felix Castor" series also include Dead Men's Boots and Thicker Than Water.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2003, Ray Olson, review of The Sandman Presents: The Furies, p. 966; January 1, 2005, Francisca Goldsmith, review of My Faith in Frankie, p. 844; February 15, 2005, Gordon Flagg, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, p. 1070; August, 2005, Ray Olson, review of Lucifer: The Wolf Beneath the Tree, p. 2010; February 15, 2006, Gordon Flagg, review of JohnConstantine, Hellblazer: Staring at the Wall, p. 55; March 15, 2006, Tina Coleman, review of Lucifer: Crux, p. 37; September 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Lucifer: Morningstar, p. 69; October 1, 2006, Gordon Flagg, review of Stations of the Cross: John Constantine, Hellblazer, p. 46; March 15, 2007, Francisca Goldsmith, review of God Save the Queen, p. 35; June 1, 2007, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Re-gifters, p. 71; July 1, 2007, Gordon Flagg, review of Batman Black & White, V.3, p. 45; July 1, 2007, Gordon Flagg, review of Reasons to Be Cheerful: John Constantine, Hellblazer, p. 46; September 1, 2007, Tina Coleman, review of Crossing Midnight: Cut Here, p. 68; September 1, 2007, Gillian Engberg, "Core Collection: Sports Fiction for Girls," p. 135; November 1, 2007, Gordon Flagg, review of Hellblazer: The Gift p. 34.
Bookseller, December 9, 2005, review of The Devil You Know, p. 34.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of The Devil You Know.
Kliatt, July, 2004, George R. Galuschak, review of Lucifer: Inferno, p. 33; July, 2007, George Galuschak, review of Re-gifters, p. 34.
Library Journal, September 1, 2003, Steve Raiteri, review of Lucifer: The Divine Comedy, p. 138; July 1, 2005, Steve Raiteri, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, p. 61; July 1, 2007, Martha Cornog and Steve Raiteri, "Graphic Novels," p. 64.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July, 2005, Charles De Lint, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, p. 36; October-November, 2007, Charles De Lint, review of God Save the Queen, p. 28.
Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2003, review of Lucifer: The Divine Comedy, p. 42; January 12, 2004, review of The Sandman Presents, p. 39; January 3, 2005, review of My Faith in Frankie, p. 38; January 31, 2005, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, p. 51; November 27, 2006, review of Red Sonja, p. 38; February 19, 2007, review of God Save the Queen, p. 154; June 4, 2007, review of Re-gifters, p. 53; June 4, 2007, review of The Devil You Know, p. 34; June 25, 2007, review of Crossing Midnight, p. 41.
School Library Journal, February, 2004, Hillias J. Martin, review of Lucifer: The Divine Comedy, p. 174; July, 2005, Erin Dennington, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, p. 128; September, 2005, John Leighton, review of John Constantine, Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre, p. 242; March, 2006, John Leighton, review of Hellblazer: Black Flowers, p. 252; November, 2007, Andrea Lipinski, review of Confessions of a Blabbermouth, p. 155.
Blogcritics http://blogcritics.org/ (August 27, 2007), Scott Butki, "An Interview with Mike Carey, Author of The Devil You Know—Part 1"; (September 11, 2007), Scott Butki, "An Interview with Mike Carey, Author of The Devil You Know—Part 2."
California Literary Review, http://calitreview.com/ (October 16, 2007), Alex Dueben, "Mike Carey: Novelist and Comic Writer."
Comicbookbin.com, http://www.comicbookbin.com/ (February 5, 2007), Al Kratina, "Mike Carey's One-sided Bargains."
Comic Book Resources,http://www.comicbookresources.com/ (October 20, 2003), Arune Singh, "Care(y) Bear Countdown"; (May 23, 2004), Arune Singh, "Make Mike's Marvel: Mike Carey First Marvel Comics Work, Ultimate Elektra"; (January 3, 2006), Arune Singh, "In Depth with Mike Carey: Marvel, Vertigo & More"; (April 10, 2007), Arune Singh, "Mike Carey Celebrates the Present in ‘Regifters’"; (December 4, 2007), George A. Tramountanas, "X-Position Week 28: Mike Carey."
Concatenation, http://www.concatenation.org/ (December 22, 2002), Tony Chester, review of Lucifer: Children and Monsters; (April 17, 2004), Tony Chester, review of Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned.
FourthRail, http://www.thefourthrail.com/ (August 28, 2002), Randy Lander, review of Lucifer: Nirvana.
KQED.org, http://www.kqed.org/ (January 23, 2007), brief profile of author.
LogBook, http://www.thelogbook.com/ (June 14, 2004), Dave Thomer, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Mike Carey Home Page, http://mikecarey.net (January 23, 2008).
Mike Carey Home Page (U.K.), http://www.mike-carey.co.uk (January 23, 2008).
Mike Carey MySpace Web site,http://www.myspace.com/mikecareyauthor (January 23, 2008).
Newsarama, http://www.newsarama.com/ (May 27, 2004), interview with Mike Carey; (January 23, 2007), "Spoiler Sport: Mike Carey on X-Men # 2000."
NinthArt, http://www.ninthart.com/ (August 3, 2001), Katherine Keller, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Rambles, http://www.rambles.net/ (February 8, 2003), Tom Knapp, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
ScrippsNews, http://www.scrippsnews.com/ (September 18, 2007), Andrew A. Smith, "Talking with Comic-book Writer—and Novelist—Mike Carey."
Strange-Haven, http://www.strange-haven.com/ (December 14, 2003), Jennifer Contino, interview with Mike Carey.
Strange Horizons, http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (September 7, 2007), Laura Blackwell, review of The Devil You Know and Vicious Circle.