Sentinel Comics Special Anthology to Remember Dave 'Bolt 01' Evans Q&A

Sentinel Comics Presents BOLT

On Sunday, Sentinel Comics announced that they are working on putting together a special anthology to remember Dave 'Bolt 01' Evans. With all profits going to a mental health charity it's a wonderful idea that should get potential collaborators interested.

The whole idea though gives us some questions that Alan Holloway has graciously answered.

What gave you the idea for the anthology?

Both myself and Ed Doyle (Co-founder of Sentinel) worked with Dave Evans several times. In my case it was early in my writing journey, and he really helped me shape stories better, usually by telling me to cut out a page or two, forcing me to write tighter. He was also great at finding the right artists for the scripts, which meant that I'm the only writer the brilliant Andy Lambert has drawn for. In addition, we also did a few newspaper strip style funnies which he did the art for. He was always very encouraging.

Ed came a little later to his publications, but we did manage to get our Slaine origin story in Zarjaz, and Ed also did a story in Futurequake, something I never tried. We were both impressed with Dave's professionalism.

We have been saying that a special issue of Futurequake would be a great idea to honour Dave, but there didn't seem to be any interest, so when the first anniversary of his death came up we just decided to bite the bullet and do it ourselves. We thought there must be loads of creators out there who feel as we do, who would want to contribute in his memory, and it seems we were right!

How big page/story-wise are you wanting it to be? And what format? Same size as Sentinel issues or a more traditional comics size?

We're going traditional with this one, full size in colour and black & white. Our initial aim is 96 pages, card covers and square-bound, but who knows what we'll end up with. It's a big project and will be a lot of work, but it just seems like the right thing to do. No one is making any money, as all profits will go to a mental health charity nominated by Dave's family, so it's genuinely a labour of love for all involved.

Sentinel Presents Bolt cover

What kind of stories are you looking to tell in it?

Ideally, we want science fiction, horror or fantasy stuff, but nothing aimed solely at adults. We're talking, I suppose, 2000 AD levels maximum, so not strictly kids stuff, but nothing sweary or too gory. Speaking of 2000 AD, Dave had permission to use their characters in Zarjaz and Dogbreath, and we hoped they would be on board with this, but the powers that be shot that down, which is a shame. We already have a few scripts that would have appeared in Futurequake, and it's great to get them out there, but I know for a fact there was also several unpublished stories from the 2000 AD fanzines that we would love to have used. Shame, really, but I have a feeling that Rebellion are happy to draw a line under anyone else playing with their characters, and I doubt it will ever happen again. We may also have adverts for other Indie titles, for that extra bit of charity funding.

Will this be a one-off or is there the potential for more?

It's definitely a one-off, a tribute not a set-up for a money-making enterprise. We have enough on our plates with our day jobs and Sentinel, and I know that anthologies are a real ball-ache to produce, so it's not something I'd want to do as a regular thing. I much prefer working on my own stuff. That said, who knows how we'll feel in twelve months with a gorgeous volume of BOLT in our sweaty paws. Either way, there will ONLY be one volume of BOLT.

How much will it sell for? How will it be funded? Where will it sell?

Grud only knows what we'll charge. First, we have to see what's going to be in it, then get costings from a printer, then work out how much we want to raise per sale, etc. We will then use Kickstarter to fund it, and print maybe fifty more than we need so non-Kickstarter people can get one as well.

Anything else you want to add about it?

I just want to reiterate that this is being done out of pure respect for a man whose stamp was all over the UK Indie scene for many years. When I first decided to try being a writer he helped me and supported me, ultimately improving me. So many people in the scene have had a similar experience, and it was an awful, awful day when we lost him at such a young age. Anyone who wishes to help, be it writing, art, colouring, lettering or layout, please get in touch with me at alan_holloway_2@hotmail.com.

If you want to be part of this special tribute publication then get in contact with Alan Holloway (@Emceehamster) or Ed Doyle (@EDDREDD) via Twitter the Sentinal Facebook page or email at alan_holloway_2@hotmail.com

And if you're attending Lawless next weekend (28th and 29th of May) then go and speak to them in person about it. Be part of creating something truly special.

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