Steve White has worked for Marvel UK on such comics as The Real Ghostbusters, Thundercats, Transformers and The Punisher. He has also written Rogue Trooper for 2000 AD. He currently works for Titan Publishing, working firstly as a graphic novels editor on such series as Modesty Blaise and Dan Dare, as well as the first collection of legendary British comic strip, Charley\'s War and more recently as editor of The Official RAF Magazine and Wallace & Gromit Comic. He lives in London.
What are you doing at the moment?
I\'m currently senior comics editor at Titan Magazines, running a small department of three editors and an assistant ed that producers about 15 titles every four weeks. Most are repackaged US material but we originate several titles, including a new Transformers comic, which has been great fun to do - sure as hell beats working for a living! Aside from that, been working on a book about Jaws and its cultural impact, just for fun.
When did you get hooked on history and why?
Mainly through my interest in aviation. As a kid I always wanted to be a fighter pilot - too many war comics - and it was through a book called “And Kill MiGs”, which was just a catalogue of combat accounts, but which really fired me up. I started reading more on Vietnam, which kind of led to a more general interest in air wars, then war as a whole. However, I was interested more in a tactical level than a strategic one.
If you were any warrior from history who would you be?
Hmmm. I always wanted to take part in a cavalry charge, so I like the idea of being a Napoleonic Hussar. I also like the idea of being one of The Few - something so timelessly romantic about being a Spitfire pilot.
What is your favourite war film?
I\'d have to say the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Occasionally you watch a movie and think, well, things are never, ever going to be the same again. This has totally raised the bar on the genre - like Star Wars or Blade Runner or The Matrix in sci-fi. Characterisation and narrative aside, stylistically, it tore up the rule book. Just look at some of the films that followed, like Enemy At The Gate and Blackhawk Down.
Why do you think Military History is important?
Well it\'s the old axiom of those who don\'t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It sounds clichéd but clichés get that way because they\'re usually true.
What is your favourite quote from history/historical quote?
"Who was that masked man?" (To put that in context, it\'s from The Ravens by Christopher Robbins, about the secret air force that fought communism in Laos. He relates an incident where an anti-aircraft gun was holding up air strikes; a forward air controller was trying to get US bombers to hit the gun but they refused. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, this Laotian T-28 appeared, rolled in, and hit the site, destroying the gun, then just as suddenly disappeared, at which point the FAC asked on air, “Who was that masked man?” I thought it was the coolest, funniest thing I\'d read in a long time and stole it for a comic I wrote a few years later.)
If you could fly any plane or drive any tank from history, which would it be?
P-47 Thunderbolt - just a mean ugly/beautiful mutha of an aircraft. I don\'t like the idea of being in a tank but given the choice, I\'d probably go for a Tiger.
Best military cock-up in history?
Who is your military hero?
Randy Cunningham. Not sure I agree with his politics, but his attitude was inspirational to me as a young man. He took the gung-ho out of fighting and killing for me.
If you could pit two armies from history against each other, which two would you pick, and why?
This may sound weird but I\'d fight World War 3 in Europe between NATO and WarPac circa late \'80s. Just to see what would happen.
Elephants or horses? Discuss the pros and cons…
Armoured mass versus manoeuvrability and firepower (hey, I\'ve seen Return of the King...). Ironically, elephants seem a one-trick pony, useful really only as an armoured fist, whilst horses have flexibility. Elephants also make much better targets.
Favourite Michael Caine quote?
A classic: “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”
What is your favourite war comic?
Spartan or Roman?
Hmmm. Tough. Spartan, because Roman legionnaires couldn\'t get married for 25 years. I also admire the Spartan ethos.
What is your favourite Osprey book?