To say that this comic changed my life is an understatement… first of all when I was thinking of getting into web design I cast around for a subject that I cared enough about to update a site every two weeks without fail – and the only think I could come up with was the works of Bryan Talbot… so I started work on the official Bryan Talbot fanpage, and I have not stopped work on it over the ten years since then. All I ever learned from making a website usable and compelling I learned on that site, so in some ways it is responsible for my entire career and every penny I have earned since that date.
However, that is the superficial level – the level that everyone else can see….
On the deeper level it affected me profoundly – it rearranged my mental landscape and changed the lens through which I look at the world. Incidentally it also probably ruined almost every other comic, because none of them could ever quite live up to the emotional depths and heights of that novel in graphic format – that masterpiece that is the Adventures of Luther Arkwright. It showed me the unspeakably poignant and soaring crescendos possible in the comics form and touched me on a deep and personal level. It took me to places I did not know existed and showed me things about the human condition that were shocking but true.
And all this from a comic! Say it loud and say it proud – the most compelling work of art – of literature I have ever seen in my entire life is a comic!
After all this how could I not create a website publicising the work and it’s author with the stated aim of telling more people about it!
And then, as a result of working on the website I got to meet my own hero – the man who had created this work that affected me so deeply.. the one person on this planet (perhaps alongside Nelson Mandela, and contending only with Bill Watterson and Freddy Mercury) who I would be truly and utterly impressed by … and then he goes and makes me a mate! – not by any cunning design, but by his genuine human warmth and decency. How amazing is that?! – the person I hero worshipped like a star struck schoolgirl becomes a mate?! YES!!
And then – after many years another fan re-scans the Adventures of Luther Arkwright, and it is finally at a level that Bryan is happy to publish as a webcomic.. and I have another mate who can do all of the programming – and then suddenly there it is; the Adventures of Luther Arkwright is online as a webcomic. The degree of satisfaction that this is online is just overwhelming… and that people are paying money to read it is just stunning… (only five quid by the way!) – and finally that I am able to bung the comic maestro Bryan Talbot honest cash for his work is just amazing. This is just great you know?! It really don’t get much better!!