Richmond Clements, writer and co-publisher at independent British comic house FutureQuakePress, kindly offers his thoughts on his friend Dave Evans, also known as letterer Bolt-01, whose death last week has shocked and saddened the whole comics community…
Plenty of others have said some lovely, moving and true things about Dave. I thought I should join the chorus and share a few memories of the man.
You’ve heard how generous he was with his time. Not only generous, but selfless, too. If you asked Dave for something, then you got it. And as I saw someone point out in many of the tributes I read (forgive me if you’re reading this, but I can’t recall who and don’t want to make it worse by guessing), Dave never ever asked for a favour in return. Because Dave was a nice guy.
Dave made me write my first comic strip. I’d written some cheap joke on a thread there, this must be fifteen years back at least, and he offered to draw it up as a strip. I gave it a go and it worked out okay, because here I am all this time later still doing it.
Shortly after that, Dave and James Mackay invited me on board to help edit FutureQuake. And the reast is history. We put out a lot of comics between then and now. Most of them pretty good. Some of the quite brilliant. And some of the other kind, too. But no matter what the quality of the finished book, We always did our best.
Dave most of all.
Make no mistake. Dave was the captain of the ship. I was going to say that he always got the last word, but that’s not true. Make a good enough argument and he’d change his mind. Because he was a nice guy. (Although when he said a proper no, you knew the difference!)
I’m utterly bereft at this and I can’t even begin to imagine what Julie and the family are going through. I hope they see and can take comfort in the outpouring of love for Dave since his passing.
I remember staying over with them on the way back from a convention. Cardiff, if I remember correctly. Dave was recounting to Julie something that had happened earlier at the con. Dave and I were looking at a dealers table replete with various bits of nerd-related jewellery. We chatted a but then wandered off. Dave said that the women at the table probably thought we were a couple.
There was a pause as Julie looked from Dave to me. “But you are a couple,” she said.
She was right. I will miss my friend.
• 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!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.