BOLT-01 is currently funding on Kickstarter, and it's a tribute to the legendary UK indie creator Dave Evans, who sadly took his own life not too long ago. Sentinel Comics duo Alan Holloway and Ed Doyle decided to put out a call to arms to creators who were influenced, helped or worked with Dave over the years for an anthology to celebrate him as well as giving a load of money to SOBS, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, as requested by Dave's family.
The first page features a lovely introduction from Danni (mini-Bolt) and the Bolt Family. It's a lovely, touching way to kick things off. It's the kind of opening that will bring a tear to the eyes of anyone that knew him.
We're going to do this review a bit differently than normal. There are over 140 pages, with loads of artists, writers and letterers. As much as I would love to, I can't review every single strip as the review would feel like it's never-ending. So instead, we're just going to go through what makes this special - because it is special. I will, however, list everyone at the end because everyone involved deserves that, at least.
There is a huge array of artistic talent on display throughout, with a good mixture of colour and black-and-white art. Some really detailed strips, some cartoony, some more simplistic but just as beautiful as the detailed work. There are literally two or three that weren't to my tastes, which is pretty good considering there are over 30 strips in Bolt-01.
Storywise, it's much the same. I'm a sci-fi fan, I generally love the Terror Tales in the 2000 AD Prog. So many of these strips would be at home in as a Terror Tale - or perhaps more fittingly, sitting in a copy of Zarjaz or Dogbreath. Along with the ones that are rather Terror Tale-like, there are some strips that include Dave, and they're my favourites, offering a little insight and humour into who Dave was from other's perspectives.
Interspersed throughout are some pin-ups, and honestly, these might be my favourite parts of the book. There's so much to enjoy with the strips and then you get some lovely pieces of art that are a pure, clear, dedication to a man that helped so many on their comics journey. And this little dedication shows so much. Having them scattered throughout instead of just in a collection at the beginning or end is a great choice, giving a little reminder of what this book is for.
COVER: DAVID BROUGHTON
LOGO: Michael Carroll
KRASNYY ROBOTSKI SCRIPT: NOEL K. HANNAN. ART: AZZA. LETTERING: BHUNA.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: ANDREW SAWYERS.
BOLT-01: FLAWLESS SCRIPT: PETE HOWARD. ART: GARRY WHARTON. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
MOGSTERS SCRIPT: ALEXI CONMAN. ART: ANDY MEANOCK. LETTERING: BOLT-01.
GALACTIC ZAPPERS SCRIPT: DAVID THOMAS. ART & LETTERING: PAW-SPENCE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: JAMES GRAY.
HOLDING ONTO YOU SCRIPT: YOUSAF KHAN. ART: KATIE PINCH. LETTERING: BOLT-01.
THE HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS SCRIPT: NIELS VAN EEKELEN. ART: TORGO WELLS. LETTERING: BOLT-01.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: LAURENCE ALISON.
ANOTHER PROBLEM CHILD SCRIPT: MARK HOWARD. ART AND LETTERING: EDWARD WHATLEY.
MY LAST GRENADE SCRIPT/ART/LETTERING: COLIN MAXWELL.
DOYLE & RHLSTP IN "FORCED LABOUR" SCRIPT: ALAN HOLLOWAY. ART AND LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
FURRIOUS FOUR IN PIRATES OF THE CAT-RIBBEAN SCRIPT: ALAN HOLLOWAY. ART AND LETTERING: MORGAN CLEAVE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: JOHN FARRELLY.
EVERYBODY LOVES ZARKON SCRIPT: ALAN HOLLOWAY. ART AND LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: BOO COOK.
THE WEDDING SCRIPT: JOHN WAGNER. ART: DAN CORNWELL. COLOURS: DYLAN TEAGUE LETTERING: JIM CAMPBELL.
...UNTIL I SET IT FREE SCRIPT: CRAIG DAWSON. ART: SCOTT TWELLS. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
THE 7TH DOOR SCRIPT: DAN POLLARD. ART: MIKE COLLINS. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
POOL SCRIPT AND ART: MAC ART. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
CINECRYPT PRESENTS: ATTACK OF THE EGO SCRIPT/ART/LETTERING: ASH REDBURN.
HUMAN SCRIPT: TROY MARTIN. ART AND LETTERING: TORGO WELLS.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: ALY FELL.
SURVIVAL STAKES SCRIPT: ANDY SMITH. ART: IAN BEADLE. LETTERING: FILIPPO.
DRIVE-U SCRIPT: SAM BOOTHER. ART AND LETTERING: PAUL WILLIAMS.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY SCRIPT: ED WHITING. ART AND LETTERING: MATT SANDBROOK.
THE MARCH OF THE HARE SCRIPT: BADEN JAMES MELLONIE. ART AND LETTERING: DOM REARDON.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR SCRIPT: LEE ROBSON. ART: BRYAN COYLE. LETTERING: BOLT-01.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: DAVID ELLIOT.
AKAI YAIYOU SWORD OF THE SUN SCRIPT: PAUL "DEADEYE" DICK. ART AND LETTERING: BOBBY DIAZ.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: ADRIAN BAMFORTH.
DOWN THE TUBES SCRIPT: ARTHUR WYATT. ART AND LETTERING: ADRIAN BAMFORTH.
"TOP O' THE MORNIN TO YA" SCRIPT: STU PERRINS. ART AND LETTERING: ATHOLL BUCHAN.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: STEVEN AUSTIN. COLOURS: DARREN STEPHENS (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS A COVER FOR FUTUREQUAKE ISSUE 28).
BRAIN ROBBERS SCRIPT: CHARLES MURPHY. ART: GARETH SLEIGHTHOLME. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: MATT SANDBROOK.
GET FLEEZE SCRIPT: DAN POLLARD. ART: DAN GOODFELLOW. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: GINGER DAN.
YOU CAN'T GO BACK SCRIPT: MIKE MORGAN. ART: DAN GOODFELLOW. LETTERING: ED DOYLE.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: ED DOYLE.
TECHNOFREAK: GODS & MONSTERS SCRIPT/PENCILS: JOHN CHARLES. INKS: JOE CATTANO. COLOURS: JOHN CHARLES AND YEL ZAMOR. LETTERING: FILIPPO.
BOLT-01 PIN-UP ART: LYNDON WEBB.
THE LETTERER SCRIPT: PETE HOWARD. ART AND LETTERING: SIMON CHINOOK.
BOLT-01 is a fantastic collection of what the UK has produced creator-wise. There are so many styles on show that there's bound to be one or two that aren't to your tastes, but if you like 2000 AD, or read Zarjaz or Dogbreath, then I think you'll find an awful lot to love here. This is a book made out of love for someone that has helped so many, and it shows. BOLT-01 is as fitting a tribute as you can get, and the charity aspect is wonderful. I can't recommend this enough.
You still have time to back this, and you can do so here: BOLT-01: A Tribute To DAVE EVANS by alan holloway — Kickstarter
Suicide is no joke - so please, if you're struggling and need help, talk to someone. There are always people that will listen, even if you might think otherwise. I've suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts for years, and finally talking to some people about it helped massively and got me the help I needed. If you don't feel like you can talk to someone you know, the Samaritans are always available to listen - you can call them for free from any phone on 116 123. Don't suffer in silence. Talk to someone.