Here’s another 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 Heeley, writer on “The Only One” and “Division 77” which will debut in Issue 1 of The77.
The77 recently smashed its crowdfunding target on Kickstarter, but there’s just time to support it here, if you do it before 12 midnight of 1st March 2020 – don’t miss out…
Please introduce yourself…
Dave Heeley: I’m Dave from the Birmingham rad wastes, by day I deliver the post but by night I transform into a haunted figure hunched over a type writer slowly descending into madness.
What is the 77?
Dave: The77 is our response to the fairly constant calls for a British anthology that not only showcases the best new and established talent around but also embodies the spirit of the comics which we grew up with, such titles as Action, Valiant and 2000AD.
How did you get involved?
Dave: I got involved right from day one, we had been discussing future options for the 1977-2000AD group going forward and after a thread in the group asking if we’d consider producing our own comic Ben decided it was viable and myself and Steve Bull came on board as editors under Ben K Sy’s overall leadership.
What is your story about?
Dave: I have two stories currently in production. The first is “The Only One” – a tale of a man who’s reality is challenged and he takes extreme actions to resolve it.
My favourite movie is They Live and I wanted to write something that paid homage to it but also added a twist which I think works nicely.
The art is by the incredibly talented Karen Holloway, who has really broken through in the last year, working on both covers for 2000AD and an amazing “Future Shock” which graced the pages of 2000AD recently.
My second story is one I’m really excited about, it’s currently in it’s early stages but it’s titled “Division 77” and details a future war, where soldiers are fighting not just for their own survival but also the survival of humanity as a whole.
It has art by Sinclair Elliot, who I think will impress greatly. The character concept designs I’ve seen so far have blown me away.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
Dave: I work outdoors alone and so I get a lot of thinking time. I come up with all my plots there and jot them down when home.
How long have you been writing?
Dave: I’ve been writing for years, I used to write a lot of horror fiction online which was well received but kids and work got in the way of me ever publishing my stories. Comic writing is a fairly new territory for me and it’s been an interesting experience.
Who are your favourite writers?
Dave: My favourite writers are novelists Stephen King, Richard Laymon and Brian Keene ( I like horror ) and in terms of comics I love Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and Pat Mills.
What are your favourite comics?
Dave: In terms of comics I tend to follow creators, so I adore Moore’s work on Swamp Thing, From Hell and Watchmen.
I find Morrison’s run on The Invisibles an incredible body of work, alongside “Zenith”, which is my favourite 2000AD strip.
Garth Ennis’ run on Preacher was great and in terms of being moved, Pat Mills work on “Charley’s War” is, without a doubt, a masterpiece.
What are your influences?
Dave: The creators and comics I’ve mentioned, books and many more have influenced me over the years. The movies of John Carpenter also have inspired me greatly.
What characters would you love to write?
Dave: I’d love to do an Evil Dead story or a “Judge Giant” strip.
Who would you like to work with ?
Dave: Bill Sienkiewicz, Frank Miller or Dave Gibbons would be the pinnacle. That being said, I think the art coming through in the UK at the moment is incredible. Artists such as Dan Cornwell, Steve Austin and Paul WIlliams have shown that the future is bright.
What advice would you have for upcoming writers?
Dave: Don’t give up. And believe in yourself.
• You can support The77 Kickstarter here | The campaign ends midnight 1st March 2020, which means you’ve got until then to back us for exclusive The77 rewards, including artwork, the variant cover and many other goodies!
Interview cross posted with thanks to Morgan Spiceman