Here’s the second in a series of “Meet the Creator” interviews conducted by Morgan Spiceman with the writers and artists involved in The77 comics anthology. This time out, it’s a chat with writer Dave Bedford and artist Morgan Gleave, the team working on “Tempered Curse”, which will debut in Issue 1 of The77.
The77 recently smashed its crowdfunding target on Kickstarter, but you can still support it here – don’t miss out…
Please introduce yourself…
Dave Bedford: I’m the writer of the “Tempered Curse” in Issue 1 of The77. Along with writing, I manage The77 Twitter account and I’m an admin for 1977 to 2000AD Facebook Group. Well that’s by night – by day I’m a Civil Servant.
Morgan Gleave: I’m Morgan Gleave, I’m 50, artist and cartoonist living in the East Midlands.
What does the 77 mean to you?
Morgan: A return to the glory days of British comics!
Dave: The77 primarily is an anthology comic but I think it means so much more. It brings new talent together with established creators and gives people a platform to be really creative. So, it means to me creative freedom.
How did you get involved?
Morgan: I was contacted by Dave, who liked my artwork.
Dave: It started a few years back and joined the Facebook group. Through involvement, I became a moderator and that’s where the idea of publishing a comic was first floated. I volunteered to help with the Twitter account, but it wasn’t until I had a discussion about medieval history that I was encouraged to draft something.
What is the story you are drawing about?
Morgan: In a nutshell, The Knights Templar and medieval times.
Dave: “Tempered Curse” a true story about the fall of the Knights Templar’s and the curse that befell the architects of their downfall. I wanted to create something like the look and learn comics.
Who are the characters?
Morgan: Jacques de Molay, leader of the Knights Templar; Pope Clement and King Philip IV of France. It’s based on fact, but there is a magical, mythical quality to it.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
Dave: I first heard about it when studying Medieval History at University and it was one of those bits of trivia that stuck.
What are your hopes for The77?
Morgan: Good sales, quality stories and a real shot in the arm for the British comics industry. It’s great that it’s introducing new talent alongside bigger, established names. Introduce a whole new generation to great stories and art.
Dave: I hope it becomes a regular publication in its own right. I hope it enables people to take artistic chances and pairs creators up you’d never put together.
How long have you been doing creating comics?
Dave: I’ve written bits and bobs over the years, but nothing published. A bit of fan fiction, nothing more.
Morgan: All my life! My earliest memories are buying a comic on a Saturday, and drawing the characters. I’ve always drawn and been creative. I’ve been making comics in some form for a very long time!
Who are your favourite writers?
Dave: Alan Grant. His body of work is so vast, and I love his Shadow of the Bat run in the 1990s. But for me, Mazeworld was a game changer.
Who is your favourite artist?
Morgan: I’ve loved Kevin O’Neill, Mick McMahon and Carlos Ezquerra since I was little. My favourite ever is probably Mike Mignola.
What are your favourite comics?
Dave: I collect Batman, Symbiote Spider-Man, anything creepy, anything by Kelley Jones and The Goon. Oddly, I don’t have much 2000AD that I keep, as I just subscribe to the prog and donate them when I’ve read them.
Morgan: Hellboy, Usagi Yojimbo, Starman, The Phoenix – and 2000AD!
What are your influences?
Dave: In terms of authors it has to be John Fowles, just for The Magus. It changed my life after I read it. Not many Novels can do that. I can’t tell you why, as it ruins the book if I do.
Morgan Gleave: The biggest, probably, is Mignola. I love his storytelling. But McMahon is amazing, and inspires me so much too. Such an amazing style, so fluid.
What characters would you love to write, Dave?
Dave: Historically, I’d love to do something about Richard Byrd, the Arctic Explorer.
Morgan, what characters would you love to draw?
Morgan: Over here, Rogue Trooper. In the United States, Hellboy or Jack Knight.
Who would you like to work with?
Dave: Kelley Jones, hands down. His long-eared Batman that snarls and is covered in a bellowing cape is my Batman. Dave Gibbons, because of Rogue Trooper and Watchmen.
Morgan: Pat Mills and Mignola.
What advice would you have for upcoming writers?
Dave: So, myself? (Laughs). Research your subject and love it. Don’t make it up on the fly.
What advice would you have for upcoming artists?
Morgan: Stick with it! Keep drawing and writing, make art, make comics and enjoy it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from people you admire.
I’m lucky to have met some of favourite artists, and they have been really friendly, helpful and supportive.
• You can support The77 Kickstarter here | The campaign ends 1st March 2020, which means you’ve got until then to back us for exclusive 77 rewards, including artwork, the variant cover and many other goodies!
Interview cross posted with thanks to Dave Bedford, Morgan Gleave and Morgan Spiceman