With The77 Issue Three now on general release, here’s another in our series of “Meet the Creator” interviews conducted by Morgan Spiceman with the writers and artists involved in British comics anthology. This time out, it’s a one-on-one chat with writer Dave Bedford, who wrote “The Trackless Depths” for this edition, drawn by Mac.
What is The77?
Dave Bedford: The77 is an anthology comic that supports new and established creators. We give freedom to the creators to develop new ideas and characters to support the comic industry. I think supporting the industry is particularly important to us in this rather unstable time.
How did you get involved?
Dave: I’m one of the Directors of The77 and I also run The77 twitter account. BenKSy paired me up with Mac for “The Trackless Depths” for the latest issue and his art on is superb. The detail and the perspectives are phenomenal
What is your story about?
Dave: “The Trackless Depths” is set on a Victorian clipper in the Pacific it starts off tranquil but something sinister is lurking and luring sailors into the sea.
Who are the characters?
Dave: The main characters are Charlie and Hugo who are officers on the clipper. The supporting cast included the Captain Burrows, Second Officer Seddons and Surgeon Williams.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
Dave: I like sea faring stories and my favourite is We, The Drowned by Carsten Jensen. I wanted to do a Hornblower or Master and Commander type story but with a gothic horror element in there.
For me, the deep sea is an unexplored wonder that could hold many things we have yet to discover. That and I hate swimming in it when I cant put my feet down in case I tread on something
The title comes from something the Submariner says in a Marvel Super Villains team up which has always stuck.
What are your hopes for The77?
Dave: Bi-Monthly has been a challenge as all the team have full time jobs. Luckily for me, I had “The Trackless Depths” finished before COVID-19 happened. I hope we continue to grow and become established.
How long have you been writing?
Dave: Since I was about four. It was a long time ago so im gonna be sketchy on the dates.
Who are your favourite comics writers?
Dave: John Byrne’s Fantastic Four run, Alan Grant’s Shadow of the Bat and any of Simon Furman’s stuff from the 1980/90s (Death’s Head, Dragon’s Claws, Transformers)
What are your favourite comics?
Dave: I read a lot of Batman, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man at the moment, but I go through phases of what I prefer. I really enjoyed Rebellion’s collections of Mazeworld and The Trigan Empire recently – and some of the older Valiant stuff that’s coming out.
What are your influences?
Dave: I’ve always liked horror. As a kid the first novel I ever read was Dracula and I always stayed up late to watch Hammer films.
The other side I has always been obsessed by history and facts. I used to have an old history book with pictures when I was little and it started there, through school, University and now my bookshelf. If it’s a historical oddity or about death I will want to read it.
What characters would you love to write? I
Dave: I just like writing my own stories and growing the idea. It starts with a concept then that doubles in size and so on. I’ve never tried to write an established character – that’s for the professionals.
What are your plans for the future?
Dave: In The77, I’m going to be working with Morgan Gleave again, the artist on “The Tempered Curse” and “Sk8te Worm”, on a story called “Memento Mori” which is a mix between Danger Mouse and Terry Pratchett. I’m also going to be doing a solo anthology with Andrew Richmond (Trompe La Mort, Doctor Mondo) which will have several new gothic stories in.
David, thanks very much for your time an the very best of luck with all your projects!
The77 Issue Three features a stunning cover by Ade Hughes featuring Anat from ‘V’ | Available for priced £6.95 for 64 pages in oversized format.All editions and back issues, posters and other merchandise available from Get My Comics here
Contributors include Dave Bedford, Conan, Conor Boyle, Steve Bull, Joe and Jeremy Dunn, Phil Elliott, Sinclair Elliott, Anna Evert, Filippo, Bambos Georgiou, Morgan Gleave, Dave Heeley, Ade Hughes, Kek-W, Hal Laren, Mac, Leonardo Manco, Sarah Millman, Michael Powell, Jon Roydon, Andrew Sawyers, Neil Sims, Lew Stringer, David Thomas, Dan Whitehead, Brendon Wright
Variant 1 cover by Paul Williams; Variant 2 cover by Neil Sims
The77 is also available from these UK comic stores: Atomic Comics, Bath; Calamity Comics, Harrow & Hatfield Castle Bytham; the Community Village Store, Lincolnshire; Gobsmack Comics, Horsham; Heroes, Isle of Wight; Krackers, Taunton; Mega City Comics, Camden, London; Millennium Comics, Northwich; Not Just A Comic Shop, Eastbourne; Ryhall Village Store and Post Office, Rutland; Scorch Comics, Eastbourne; Sheffield Space Centre, Sheffield; and Wow Comix Bury LLP, Sale and Stockport