Meet the Creators
Lemme take you through the line up.
For starters, there’s me. Steve Sparke – Managing Editor. I like to eat bacon and read comics, but never at the same time. My life long goal was to be the millionaire that Time Life always told me I could be. That was until I picked up a Spider-man comic at the ripe old age of 6. Since then it’s been nothing but a life of panels & word balloons. I’m responsible for all the bad feelings you get from reading this blog.
Lee is a writer based in Melbourne (the city, not the production designer). He writes all sorts of things for all sort of places, but unlike Great Works, not everything he writes is in iambic pentameter. No, much of it is in dactylic triameter. What, did you think he was some sort of weirdo? He is best known for co-hosting the movie-themed The Bazura Project under the pseudonym “Lee Zachariah”. He spends most of his time writing jokes about prosaic meters and then repeating them. You should have him at your party.
TSHOLL is the singular dimensional facet projection of a sometime artist who –from alternative angles– is occasionally comic writer T.S. Holland, pretentious musician Hollandscottthomas, or nameless aspiring human character screen prop. Often, he is none of the above.
Go here to see what he spews in web form.
Coming in next is Tristan Nieto. He wears boots and makes films – in that order.
There have been too many times when Tristan has served me absinthe and sent me into a world made entirely from the edges of coins. Please don’t make me talk about it anymore than I have to. He’s written a dainty little comic about a young man’s psychotic visions, which goes by the title of Ars Moriendi.
Tristan upsets me a great deal.
Jake Strasser is not a well man. In fact, he’s a zombie. I met him some time ago when he was alive. We talked about making comics together and he was keen as mustard. He was so young and full of life. Unfortunately Jake got mixed up with the wrong crowd and he ended up dying in the arms of a diseased hooker.
Later on I learnt that he’d specified in his will that I dig up his rotting corpse and simply place a brush in his hands to keep working on our comics (ya gotta admire his dedication). Much to my surprise, this stinking bag of meat set to work immediately.
Believe it or not, the rigor-mortis actually assists him in drawing really clean lines.
And our next vile creature is Will Pleydon. My first meeting with him consisted of his confession that he often likes to play with his axe to relieve stress. I’d like to tell you that’s what he calls his guitar, but I’m afraid not. No, this man enjoys the feeling of slamming a sharp steel object into things. But when he’s not in his destructive mood, he likes to draw things. It’s usually just pictures of his axe, but I try to avoid bringing this up with him.
You can also follow Will’s art journal here. There are no pictures of his axe though. The government may pull down the site otherwise.
And finally, there’s Dave.
Fact: FEC might not have happened if it wasn’t for Dave.
I guess I should make it clear from the get-go. Dave passed away back in February. He’d been fighting cancer for almost the whole time we were working on comics together.
When Dave found out I was trying to make comics, his curiosity was piqued. He definitely had ideas & stories to share which would’ve been perfect for comics, but he’d not had the avenue to go about actually MAKING them. I was now his avenue and he intended to exploit that as much as he could! He came to me with an idea he’d been sitting on for quite some time. The premise was fantastic; what would happen the world if the bad guy wins the day? No if’s, no buts. Hero loses and villain wins. I was definitely fascinated to see where that could go, so I got behind it. I found him a really well suited team mate in Pleydo and the three of us began to bash it around.
The great thing about Epoch was that it wasn’t just one little story being told. Dave had built a whole world based around this concept. This kind of perspective allowed him the opportunity to tell HEAPS of stories. As soon as we got going, he started belting out pitches to me. I could hardly keep up with him! He had so many ideas that, rather than wait until I found him an illustrator, he began learning a program to do his own illustrations. This was the kinda guy Dave was – he would just pick something up and run with it.
I remember telling him on one of our long road trips that working with him was like having my very own Bendis. He had so many things going on in his brain – so many stories to tell – that I could just let him just go for it and he’d come back to me with piles of different tales to be shared. Just saying this in passing, I didn’t realise the effect it had on him. It wasn’t until months later that he confessed to me that moment had left him feeling quite chuffed. Hell – I’d just compared him to my absolute favourite writer – of course that’s gonna make a person feel pretty damn pleased with themselves. But I wasn’t lying – he really was an immeasurable asset to have involved with FEC. His passion seeped into the way I felt about this whole project. Every time I felt like I was going nowhere with this project, he just had a way of kicking my arse that would get me so fired up to push myself harder. It was always supportive, but with a ‘stop whinging, ya bitch’ kinda slant to it. The perfect blend of hard-arsed affection that only a true friend could manage.
It’s hard to not let my mind slip occasionally; forgetting that Dave’s not around anymore. Just small moments, where I’ll read a particular scene in a comic and my first thought is “Fuck, wait’ll Dave sees this!”
It’s only a second or two after this thought that reality kicks in and you’re left with that horrid reminder that you won’t be sharing these great things with them anymore. Who knows – maybe he’s up in doggy-heaven, reading the same page and saying to himself “Man, Sparky’s way off. The first panel on the next page shits all over this one.”
So that’s Dave. My very own Bendis. I’ll not find another creator like him and I’m certainly never gonna have another friend like him.