Skin is a 48 page graphic novel which was originally intended to be serialized. This story was first commissioned by Fleetway for their Crisis imprint. Because of the sensitive nature they decided to take their lawyers advice and not publish it. The subject was deemed "too disturbing". Artist Brendan McCarthy explains: "It had taken a lot of effort to get this comic strip out to the public; we've had to get around serious amounts of repression and censorship, but it's been worth it." Tundra would publish the book instead. With Tundra defunct this book remains out of print.
The story follows teenage skinhead Martin Atchitson, born with Phocomelia; birth defects from the pregnancy sedative Thalidomide, prescribed during the 1950s. Set in England during the early seventies, and is centered around Martin's life as he struggles with Phocomelia. With the help from another skinhead, Crosseyed Rubby, he discovers the cause, those responsible and finally confronting them.
The idea of the story first came from Brendan McCarthy who remembered a Thalidomide skinhead when he was growing up, Peter Milligan as well remembered a similar childhood and the story grew from there.
For the German version of this comic, see Skin