This week saw the announcement of a new, one-off publication dedicated to the memory of Dave ‘Bolt 01’ Evans, a leading light of the UK Indie Comics scene who passed away in May 2021.
‘Bolt’ is the brainchild of Sentinel comic founders Ed Doyle and Alan Holloway. They both worked with Dave via his 2000AD Fanzines, ‘Zarjaz’ and ‘Dogbreath’, and also the general fantasy publication ‘Futurequake’. Dave was a prolific letterer as well as a respected editor, and had a hand in many UK Indie titles. ‘Bolt’ will bring together many creators who worked with him and who want to honour his memory.
We spoke to Ed and Alan to get the lowdown on the year long project.
Comicscene: So, tell us more about ‘Bolt’.
Alan: Well, myself and Ed have been saying for a while that some sort of tribute would be a great idea, as Dave touched so many people’s lives in the Indie community. When the first anniversary of his death came around it seemed the right time.
Ed: He’s just such a constant presence when I read my back issues of Indie publications. They give a Bolt 1 award at Lawless in his honour, which last year went to his good friend Richmond Clements, and we wanted to do our own thing, but something that would involve all sorts of people, not just those from Sentinel. It’s not about us, it’s about Dave and those whose lives he touched.
Comicscene: Have you spoken to his family about it?
Alan: Yes, and we’re delighted to have their backing. We will be funding through Kickstarter and any profits will go to a mental health charity nominated by them.
Ed: We also want one or more of his family to pen an introduction as well.
Comciscene: What can we expect inside?
Alan: The honest answer is we don’t know yet! We’ve had a great response so far, including some scripts that were going to be printed in Futurequake before it had to be cancelled. That’s great, being able to give these stories a life in a magazine dedicated to the man that commissioned them.
Ed: One thing you won’t see is 2000AD related material. Even though Dave ran two 2000AD fanzines for many years the powers that be at Rebellion have refused permission to use their intellectual property.
Alan: It’s a shame, as there are scripts that had been accepted like with Futurequake, and now they will never be seen. One of them was mine, and I know of a few others, too.
Comicscene: Are you going to be approaching any professionals?
Ed: We’re both at the Lawless convention this weekend, and there’s plenty of brilliant creators there, both amateur and professional. Some of the artists got their start in Dave’s fanzines, and some of the pros provided covers so I hope we can get a few to join in, even if it’s a pin up.
Alan: The holy grail for me would be a short story from John Wagner and Dan Cornwell, both of whom are there and also thoroughly decent sorts. Bolland may be tricky, though (laughs).
Comciscene: It all sounds fantastic and a great way to commemorate Dave’s life and work by people who knew him. What are you after from people?
Alan: Ideally, we want people who worked with him, but that’s not a concrete rule. We want scripts of up to five A4 pages featuring original characters, plus artists to draw them, colourers and letterers. It’s a case of seeing who is up for it and going from there.
Ed: Hopefully we’ll end up with a ninety six page card covered square bound book that will look great on anyone’s shelf.
Alan: We are also open to pin ups, and we can raise extra money with adverts for other indie titles as well. The focus, though, will be on comic strips. The cover we have here was a mock up, but we really like it so may stick with it – who knows!
Anyone interested in contributing to ‘Bolt’ can contact Alan or Ed via Facebook or Twitter, or can email Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org