In Memoriam: Comics Editior, Co-Publisher Artist and Letterer Dave Evans, aka Bolt-01

Dave Evans at Thought Bible in 2015. Photo: Jeremy Briggs
Dave Evans at Thought Bubble in 2015. Photo: Jeremy Briggs

We’re very sorry to report the sudden and unexpected passing of Dave Evans, an integral part of FutureQuakePress for over 17 years, alongside Richmond Clements and webmaster Barny Shergold – regularly publishing the brilliant independent British comic zines Futurequake, Dogbreath and Zarjaz, both of the latter highly-regarded homage to 2000AD.

There is a JustGiving page to help pay for his funeral, and to help his family give him the send off he deserves. Unbeknownst to his family and friends, Dave was battling with his mental health and he sadly lost that battle on 5th May 2021.

As letterer Bolt-01, he contributed his unique skill set, honed over decades, to countless independent comic titles across the years, his work deservedly admired and much appreciated.

In all my dealings with him, mainly by email, Dave was as professional and skilled as any good mainstream comics editor I have ever worked with, dedicated to his craft. He was an integral part of independent British comics, who will be much missed by many; not only a damn fine editor, a brilliant letterer but also, clearly from memories shared and comments made online, a true friend to many, summed up simply, by Richmond Clements

“He is a legend. He always will be.”

FutureQuake - Winter 2020

FutureQuakePress started out as an exercise in script recycling by Arthur Wyatt, self-publishing three issues of FutureQuake utilising scripts that had been rejected by Tharg for 2000AD, before moving to America. James Mackay opted to continue the title, enlisting help from Dave and Richmond, Issue Four released in May 2005, joined in their endeavours by Barny Shergold as webmaster,.

“I can’t possibly say how shocked and saddened I am from hearing of his passing,” says Barny. “My heart and best wishes goes out to his family and close friends.”

“Dave was, hands down, one of the nicest people I have ever met,” says James, “generous to a fault, if he liked you there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. Generations of aspiring comic book professionals have benefited from his advice and encouragement. He leaves a real legacy there, but also in the love and admiration of all who knew him. And I do mean all – I actually can’t imagine that Dave made an enemy in his entire life.”

The team behind FutureQuakePress has since gone through many permutations down the years, with Dave, Rich and Barny its core team for several years now, and seen the imprint’s expansion to include MangaQuake (released in 2005, running for seven issues), and the annual horror anthology Something Wicked (2006). FQP is also the publishing home of both Dogbreath and Zarjaz, the fanzines for 2000AD, both titles well received, often featuring the work of pro creators alongside rising comic stars.

FutureQuake has often been fanzine of the month in SFX, and was deservedly nominated for an Eagle Award four times, and is a personal favourite, as it is for many others, a testament to the skill of the team behind it.

Futurequake Press were at Thought Bubble in force. Pictured are Dave Evans and Richmond Clements. Photo: Antony Esmond.
Dave Evans and Richmond Clements at Thought Bubble in 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond.

Many comic creators and comic fans, the numbers, to Dave’s much-deserved credit, too many to note them all here, have noted how important a role he and FQP has played in shaping the independent British comics landscape down the years, and Dave’s invaluable part in that.

“His death means we’ve lost a quiet engine that powered a massive chunk of the UK small press,” feels artist and writer PJ Holden.

“We are devastated to hear of the death of Dave Evans – also known as Bolt-01 – a much loved member of the 2000AD fandom.,” stated 2000AD, whose publications FutureQuakePress inspired . “Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

“Dave was like a landmark in the UK comics scene, as co-editor and publisher of FutureQuakePress, home of the FutureQuake anthology, the 2000AD-themed fanzine Zarjaz, and the Strontium Dog-themed fanzine Dogbreath,” notes fellow letterer and comic creator Jim Campbell in a touching, heartfelt tribute. “He was a perennial presence at conventions, his table laid out with comic book wonders, sought out by fans and pros alike.

“I’ve often described Dave and FutureQuakePress as the backbone of the UK small press, because it’s true. Dave and his co-editor, Richmond Clements, set the bar high for their contributors and many UK creators’ careers have their origins in the pages of FQP publications, in no small part due to the diligent, thoughtful editorial skills Dave and Rich brought to their titles…

“But that’s not who he was. Dave was a lovely man. A warm, genuine human being about whom I have genuinely never heard a bad word spoken. Everyone knew Dave. Everyone loved Dave. And he was my friend.”

Dogbreath #38 cover art by Kevan Maguire
Dogbreath #38 cover art by Kevan Maguire

“Rest in Peace, Dave Evans — you magnificent warrior,” commented 2000AD writer Michael Carroll. “One of the nicest, kindest, smartest funniest people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. You made the world a better place and you were a role model to everyone who knew you. Love you, mate.”

“I was shocked and saddened to hear that Dave Evans, who was my friend, and who I am proud to say was my ‘first Editor’ has passed away,” said comic artist and writer David Broughton. My thoughts are with his family. I miss you already, my friend.”

“I loved Dave to bits,” commented publisher, comic creator and convention organiser Shane Chebsey. “A lovely guy who was always a friendly face at conventions and an inspiration to a whole generation of self publishers, myself included.”

“Dave was instrumental in many of today’s artists and writers start points in their careers,” noted comic creator, writer and artist RoboMonkey, who recently provided the script for a ‘Halo Jones’ prequel story for Zarjaz. “As editor of Dogbreath, Zarjaz, FutureQuake and a contributor to many other small press comics he was a major influence and well loved man. Sad to see you go, Bolt!”

“Along with Rich Clements, Dave gave me (and many, many others) my first shot at getting a published comic out into the world, via FutureQuake,” notes writer Lee Robson, “which started off a long and fruitful collaboration, and – more importantly – a friendship that’s lasted over a decade. We’ve worked together on countless stories and proposals, in his capacity as both letterer and artist… His contributions to the UK comics scene are truly immense, and can’t be overstated.”

“Dave was and always will be my first editor,” noted Judge Anon on Twitter, “the first guy who took my scripts and gently ushered them into existence, who offered all the advice and encouragement I could ever need and more. Overall, what always impressed me about Dave is how he never seemed to give up on a script.”

The77 team member Dave Heeley notes Dave’s role in the supporting the title, describing him as a mainstay of The77 letterers, including his own strip, “Division 77”. Describing Dave as “an all round good guy”, they first met when he worked in a comic ship in Walsall, back in the early 1990s,

“He was a customer with a great knowledge of comics (weirdly, we never discussed 2000AD),” Dave recalls, “and we socialised quite a bit back in those halcyon days. Fast forward to 2015 and I ordered some Zarjaz copies from FutureQuakePress and had a lovely reply asking if I was the Dave Heeley. I supported Zarjaz from that moment forward and was lucky enough to chat to Dave again in person at various conventions we both attended after that. I was blessed to have Dave letter ‘Division 77’, and I will miss him greatly.”

A panel from “Division 77” from The77 #4. Script by Dave Heeley, art by Sinclair Elliot, coloured by Darren Stephens, lettered by Bolt-01
A panel from “Division 77” from The77 #4. Script by Dave Heeley, art by Sinclair Elliot, coloured by Darren Stephens, lettered by Bolt-01

“Dave was an amazing person, always generous with his time and support, a brilliant editor, one of the best comic letterers around and he gave us more zarjaz and thrillpower through FutureQuake Press than regular humans can handle,” commented Brendon Dann, owner of Australia’s Dee’s Comics. Dave made it possible for us to share the amazing work of so many writers and artists. I could never thank him enough for his support of the shop and making it possible for us to offer the awesome books from Futurequak… Dave will be missed, he really was a total class act in every way. I will miss our late night e-mail chats. I will miss the little sketches in every delivery that read ‘I drew this for you, Brendon’.”

Dave’s support for independent comic creators not only extended to contributors to FQP titles, but other comics, too.

“Dave was a huge help to us here at Sector 13 when we started out,” says comics editor and writer Peter Duncan, “going through the early issues and giving us the benefit of his experience. His perceptive and forthright thoughts on our first two or three issues shaped Sector 13.

“It was a very generous thing to do and was always appreciated. What could have been a rivaIry, turned into a mutual appreciation for what each group were trying to achieve. It says a lot about him that he embraced and helped the upstarts from Belfast!”

He was also genuinely supportive of fandom. And fans.

“An underrated part of his story is how prolific he was on the 2000AS forum,” noted software developer Daniel Banks. “A lovely presence, often getting involved in the art comps etc. He’ll be missed everywhere.”

“Dave Evans worked tirelessly on our programmes every year,” says Lawless convention organiser Su Haddrell, who plans to pay further tribute during this year’s virtual event this coming weekend, “and it was always so good to get a hug from him when he came to the show. He’s known by so many of the community, his loss is going to feel like a chasm for some time. He was one of the family.

“RIP Bolt-01. You were awesome.”

My thoughts with Dave’s family and friends at this difficult time. The body is gone; his body of work, honed with so many, many others, lives on and should be recognised for the amazing, incredible creation that it is.

All the very best to all who knew Dave at this difficult time, especially his family: his wife, Julie and his three children Danni, Thomas and Izzy.

John Freeman

There is a JustGiving page to help pay for his funeral, and to help his family give him the send off he deserves

Richmond Clements, writer and co-publisher at independent British comic house FutureQuakePress, kindly offers his thoughts on his friend

FutureQuakePress is online at www.futurequake.co.uk

• The Lawless convention takes place this weekend, online this year, an event of which Dave was an integral part. Organiser Su Haddrell is asking for stories, photos, jokes and tall tales those who knew both Dave, and fellow independent British comics stalwart Colin Noble, who has also passed, that you may wish to share about them both, with the aim of dedicating a page to them on the Lawless website in their honour. You can post your memories here in Facebook

• The official 2000AD forum has responded to the terrible news of Dave’s death in a way only they can – creatively. This sketch competition is dedicated this month to the beloved Bolt-01. Do join in!

Portsmouth Comic Con: Let’s Look At The Letterer: An Interview with Dave Evans

Dave Evans, RIP – A Tribute by Jim Campbell

Dave Evans, RIP – A Tribute by Lee Robson

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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