Nothing says Xmas like interviewing the lord of darkness, Beau Jardine himself.
Time to meet the mysterious Beau Jardine and for Leigh to have a good ol’ fashioned Chinwag with him. And just to make it more fun Dave de Vries is joining in. Ho ho ho merry Christmas special.
TRANSCRIPTION BELOW (there may be errors in text)
Voice Over (00:00:10):
This show is sponsored by the Comics Shop. We hope you enjoy the show
Leigh Chalker (00:00:35):
And gk. I’m Lee Chalker, creator of Battle for Bustle, and tonight is a very special episode of Tuesday Chinwag. It is the I guess, the episode 17 Christmas special. So this evening there’s two guests, luckily enough, two of the legend of the Australian comic books. So looking very forward to this, we’ve got Mr. Dave Dev Rise up there and below down there we have the Prince of Darkness of Australian comics, the man that’s gone by many names. But for this evening, we will call you Bo Jardine. How are you mate?
Beau Jardine (00:01:11):
Good. I’m quite partial to Dark Lord as
Leigh Chalker (00:01:15):
Well. Yeah, yeah. I’ve
Beau Jardine (00:01:16):
Got a thing in front of you that I can’t see you. This meeting is being recorded by a host or a participant.
Dave de Vries (00:01:23):
Yeah, just say Okay, got
Beau Jardine (00:01:25):
It. There’s not an Okay. Oh there it is. Got it. Yeah. Okay. Gee, that was like
Leigh Chalker (00:01:32):
Excellent. So well. So just say everyone at home. And you guys know the shows both is basically just a show about the Chinwag in six prompting questions. So phrases who where went, why, and how Everything that happens. You guys control the direction of the conversation and I just sit back here and listen to the lovely anecdotes and enjoy the fun and the Good Times Ends Christmas and everyone’s happy. So gentlemen, I’m going to ask you just straight out, always like to start with who.
Beau Jardine (00:02:09):
Hi, I’m, hi, I’m Bo and I’ve been involved in comics for about 35 years. And I know I look so young. I know. And I met Dave as one of the first people I met and realized there were a few of us. There was the start of the Yuel Club. What happened is I met Frank McConaughey and Steve Carter in Land Beyond a comic book shop on George Street. And I had artwork with me, I had a folder on, I showed him the stuff and they invited me to Frank’s place to talk about this new venture. Fantastic. They’ve got the money for it and they’re going to do a horror comic. And it started off as Aus Comics. But anyhow, when Steve got control of it, it became fantastic and we were working on that and I think we’ve done about issues of that. When the Big Comic Con happened, the Richard Ray Opera House, Stanley wasn’t there. Comic Con and then I met Dave and because they were on panels and stuff and I was in the audience, but I first met Dave at Steve’s place. I’d been there once before just to talk to Steve and Frank about the magazine and what they wanted. And Steve was pretty dogmatic. He knew what he wanted exactly. Schlock horror. He didn’t want psychological horror. No way. He wouldn’t let me use the word Tinkerbell in a title once it got turned into night flight <laugh>, because I the Tinkerbell Syndrome. Anyhow, so
Leigh Chalker (00:03:41):
You two have known each other a long time because you both talk very fondly of each other and stuff. I could imagine you both quite like a beer or two or a wine say you must have had some good laughs over the years.
Beau Jardine (00:03:57):
Yeah, when I first walked in, Dave was sitting at a chair and he was drawing and he was drawing a picture that had biplanes on it, the Red Barron. And so I immediately wanna see the picture and Dave moved his arm like a kid in school protecting his food someone does in prison. So that I couldn’t really see the picture. And I just thought, oh shit, cuz I didn’t know anything. None of us really knew what we were doing in those days. We just wanted to do it and thought that we could and we were big fans of everyone else. And then almost straight away, fantastic finished after four issues. It was meant to go further than four issues, but events ensued. Cyclone started, the Southern Squadron started and I did my first night side in The Rock, which was the first comic that I’d ever done. And it was the first indie comic as far as I know. And oh sorry, that happens every five
Leigh Chalker (00:05:04):
Minutes. It just adds to the atmosphere, mate. I love it. <laugh>
Beau Jardine (00:05:09):
Get used to it. It’s dejavu. Oh yeah. Anyhow. And so I was off after nights on the Rock and I’m really, really ashamed of those three comics now that they, I’m really ashamed of them. They’re just not as good as Oh Night Shot. And the Rock got their powers off a ferry in the desert for no reason at all. They immediately were cops for no reason at all. The baddie shows up, it’s a girl who’s got control over machines, but she’s outta control. She builds a big robot to fight, grows up big but is a bit scared of the robot needs the rocks fighting power. So he is about that big and she squashes him into his stomach and now he takes control of the giant body and fights the robot that puts Luna Park’s face on so’s.
Leigh Chalker (00:06:01):
Just, how old were you when you were doing this?
Beau Jardine (00:06:04):
Oh, 28 I think. Yeah, I shoulda known that was, I’m just of it. It’s ridiculous. But that was the best I do at the time and I’ve had years since then, years. And so what I’m doing now, I’m really proud of, I’m finally giving them a redemption and Nightside gets a second type of origin, which is way better than the ferry in the desert. Yeah, the big monster thing that they fight turns out to be forged who’s a little girl who’s a 14 year old girl and she joins them straight away, just join. And when they ask about her power, guess what? She got it from a fairy in the desert. A terrible origin. It’s the
Leigh Chalker (00:06:49):
Worst remembered very fondly. I am aware. It was Big Cellar back in the day. For what were you doing? Was it you’d walk down the street, hand copies out and sell ’em? Or was that at the start of the whole getting the news agents or They
Beau Jardine (00:07:08):
Were in the news agents? They were in every news agents and we didn’t realize how good the news agents were to us. It was a gold mine and they were in the news agents and went out everywhere. So the second one, I got to double the size a gold, well not double, but I add another eight pages and the third one was double size. And so I charged a dollar more and that sold 44%. So that was excellent that nobody’s come close to that. And I got a t-shirt that said Mr 44% bought to the Eagle Club.
Leigh Chalker (00:07:45):
Have you got a photo of that anywhere you can? No, none of
Beau Jardine (00:07:48):
That. No. None of us had cameras back then. This is, none of us had a camera. I remember I went to a Halloween party at Chris’s place and everybody really dressed up really the makeup and the monsters and stuff. Fuck. And no one got a photo of it. Not one photo exists of that night.
Leigh Chalker (00:08:07):
Now were you in your dark Lord, guys at that particular point of partying, mate? Cause you able to slip into those sort of establishment.
Beau Jardine (00:08:16):
I played the part of an exorcist and I grew it my whole full bed and then shaved it down to here. So it was biblical and I had a hammer and steak and crosses and stuff. So I would’ve got in every photo if there were photos. But there anyhow was a thing. No, I had my first fang made when I was 15 and it was the second time I ever got paid. I was 15 years old. I got photos of them and I had to have them shaved down after a couple of weeks so I could speak if your, yeah, so I’ve been doing that for years. It’s kind of a, I don’t know, a performance piece. The vampire. And then I stopped for a long time because I had a son and I had to walk him to school and I was eventually teaching art at that school. And so I had to, you know what I mean, dial it all down again. But he’s now 23 and becoming a lawyer soon so I can wear what I fucking like.
Leigh Chalker (00:09:17):
Oh well no one will. One should tell you any different anyway mate.
Beau Jardine (00:09:21):
<laugh> and it’s fun. Little kids either are horrified of me or they want to talk to me and I tell stories little kids, we are waiting in line to get a picture of Santa the other day and they’re were little kids there. And one said, I love it when they asked their mum, is he a monster? Cause yeah, I like them to know there’s monsters, there are monsters in the world, they just don’t look like this Anyhow. And so I sat and talked to these two little kids, his brother and his sister. I told ’em about the war in heaven.
Leigh Chalker (00:09:51):
How did that go down? Were they enthralled?
Beau Jardine (00:09:54):
Oh yeah, they look at you. Yeah, it’s the bit where Lucifer sort of falls from Grace and a third of the Heavenly ho hosts are kicked out of heaven. And I tell ’em no, they walked out in disgust. They were sick of the operation system there anyhow.
Leigh Chalker (00:10:12):
They didn’t have a union mate. They <laugh> nothing they could do and
Beau Jardine (00:10:18):
Never got a book. All we know is in that other book. That’s not fair. Not fair. Yeah, there’s so much wrong with it. God,
Leigh Chalker (00:10:27):
You had fantastic and Night Side and the Rock and stuff. At what point did you had another two Southern squadron which everyone, if you’re watching, there’s a Kickstarter for Southern Squadron and Dark Nebular at the moment.
Beau Jardine (00:10:46):
This is true.
Leigh Chalker (00:10:47):
Follow the Facebook Southern Squadron, Facebook Dark Nebular, Facebook Kickstarter publications, Facebook and join up to that campaign. So that includes Dave de Briars P Shane Foley and Southern Squadron Dark, which is done by Jardine. Yes. So mate, you had Southern Squadron back in the day and then you came into with Jason Paulos, you had hair but the Hippo because my first encounter with you was hair, but the Hippo, number one, and I’m sort of getting to this because at that stage in those credits you were called Beaumont America. Is that true? I
Beau Jardine (00:11:35):
Leigh Chalker (00:11:36):
That’s it now mate. What? What’s with the different mos over time and stuff? What was that about? Just different characters that you formatted to.
Beau Jardine (00:11:47):
My father’s a criminal and he was in prison and he’s in there for being a pedophile and he’s been caught lots of times. Anyhow, he was in prison and when I turned 18 I started getting mail from him and from the prison. And the only way I thought I could do that is change it. So I changed my name legally to Bowie Ali Card. Yeah, Ali Card is Dracula backwards and then thought that that was stupid a bit later. And when I started with comics, I changed the Boin Lockheed Show, Tanya Manson America, the signature took up a whole page,
Leigh Chalker (00:12:25):
<laugh> gotta say a whole bottom of the page,
Beau Jardine (00:12:27):
The whole ego of it. And I was hoping that they would remember a name like Boin America. And because I didn’t wanna use the word America, I spelled it with a K and a H on the end. That’s the way the clan spells it. <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:12:42):
Beau Jardine (00:12:43):
That in. Yeah. So then I thought I need a more normal name. So was, I don’t know, about 15 years ago, I changed it to Beaumont Jardine, which Beaumont means beautiful mountain and Jardine means beautiful garden. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:12:58):
There you go. All adds up to beautiful man doesn’t it mate?
Beau Jardine (00:13:02):
And it’s Beaumont Aus Raphael Jardine Aus the first Thanassis, he’s the first person to be murdered by an angel. And Raphael’s the angel that did it. So I’ve got the two of the, but I just write Bo Jardine now. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:13:18):
That’s probably easier for people do remember.
Beau Jardine (00:13:23):
But was the most regrettable decision that I ever made because I’d finished with Night’s Side in the Rock and I was starting on Stranger Danger, which was a werewolf love story. And I’d finished the first issue and I had a chapter in there drawn by Glen, by Glen Lumps and a chapter drawn by Jason. And then Jason asked me could I write Hair Butt for him? And all he had was pictures of these characters. And I said, of course. And did it on the spot. Very, very, very easy. And these sort of characters and we pathos them off against each other. And I wanted it to be sort of cringey, sad humor. And he liked it and we didn’t know if it was going to work or not. And we did that for about 15 years. Yeah, we did really well. But I never wasn’t drawing and I wasn’t working on my own stuff.
And here but isn’t my own stuff, it isn’t his characters. And I should have done The Werewolf. The Werewolf. It was meant to be three issues of a werewolf story called A Stranger Danger. But there was bad luck too because there was this initiative by the government that come out about pedophiles and little kids called Stranger Danger. And bummer, I can’t call the comic that now. At first it was going to be called the Chippendale Wolf. Yeah. Because the railroad lived in Chippendale, the city. It’d pull you down through manholes, like a trapdoor spider in Chippendale. And it was Steve that says, don’t call you it that because people will think he’s a stripper.
Leigh Chalker (00:14:52):
Beau Jardine (00:14:52):
The Chippendale call that Bob
Dave de Vries (00:14:56):
Bowen. Fantastic. I’m sure
Beau Jardine (00:14:58):
You had a Yeah, yeah, I know. But yeah, but Steve said don’t call. Yeah. But that was, that was the first time I did that werewolf. And I’ve always have wanted to do this werewolf. I’ve got a great story about a werewolf, but then here, but that went for years and eventually I fell off the wagon and ended up sort of homeless and at loose ends and I lost a lot of that stuff. That werewolf comic, I’ve got about six pages of that and every page is rotted, every page has holes in it and stuff. I just lost a lot of stuff. But that happens.
Dave de Vries (00:15:31):
Camera’s bow you. We You’re starting. There you go.
Leigh Chalker (00:15:34):
There you go. Yeah. You wanna see that Big S there on your chest, mate? There
Beau Jardine (00:15:39):
We go. It’s sit. It’s sitting on my sunglasses.
Leigh Chalker (00:15:42):
Yeah, slide down the angle. Hey dude. On your Facebook pages and stuff, Bo, because you’ve got you, I guess back in the day, you’re a bit of definitely out there promoting your work. Cause there’s like TV clips that you’ve put on your Facebook page of different stuff too.
Beau Jardine (00:16:04):
Cause you met these people at a convention and they kept inviting me and Jason to come on the kids show and talk about stuff when we’ve got something to talk about. So you’d ring them and they’d go, yes, come on straight away. And there was about eight of them. I never got recordings of. Oh, so there were some really good ones. Yeah. And I just remember my hair was that long. I haven’t had my hair cut in years. This is as long as it grows. But back then I could sit on it. I ended up hating the conventions. But they’re just conversations that don’t get you anywhere, that you don’t learn anything from. And I like to learn something, even if it’s only something about the other person. You wanna learn something. But we have the just vacuous conversations and the people I knew who were doing comics, it wasn’t like that with them, but the public was.
And sometimes they could be quite rude. They more or less say, why can’t you do better? And you just wanna deck and say, get up, why can’t you <laugh>? I’d get really angry at some of the people and I haven’t been to a convention in years and I don’t want to, some horrific things happened at conventions anyhow, when I’ll get back to the story. So it looked like when we were doing fantastic and I did nights and there was only about six or seven comics that I knew of that were Australian. And I figured there was about 10 people in Sydney and about 10 people in Melbourne. And then I went away from the scene for a really long time and I had to do more research into Sydney’s blossoming heroin trade. I had to. And when I got back, now there’s hundreds of them, there are thousands of comics.
And I thought, how did this happen? How did, there’s probably a lot of people who tell me, but so many people doing comics. And then I got an iPad and I worked it all out. That’s pretty easy to draw a comic nowadays. If you’ve got the right te, you still need a story, you know, still need a hook. And a lot of the comics I just don’t think are very good and give them time, I guess benefit of the doubt and stuff. But a lot of ’em, I just haven’t seen a good one. But Gary, of course, Gary cer, his stuff’s amazing. There’s some really great artists, but I just haven’t seen a great Australian comic yet for a while. I think they’re about to hit us.
Leigh Chalker (00:18:34):
It seems like a thriving community out there. It’s
Beau Jardine (00:18:37):
The best. Nobody’s doing superheroes properly and we’re the best to do them. So we should be doing superheroes.
Leigh Chalker (00:18:43):
So I wanna get to this, I like the concept of it. It’s a little off topic, but Southern Squadron dark. Well I’ve got the two of you here and the Southern
Beau Jardine (00:18:59):
Squadron. Oh, that started because
Leigh Chalker (00:19:02):
You with this crazy idea of dark, how did that
Beau Jardine (00:19:05):
Was just like because of lockup. Can you show any stuff, Dave? Yeah, sure. Yeah we were just talking and Dave was saying, he said it for few weeks in a row that he’d like to start again with the characters, with the sub. And I figured I’ll do a monster version of each of ’em. That’s probably it. That’s probably the first one I did. I know it’s the first Jackaroo that I did as
Leigh Chalker (00:19:29):
Beau Jardine (00:19:30):
Leigh Chalker (00:19:30):
The screen. All right. Yes it has mate. Perfect.
Beau Jardine (00:19:33):
Yeah. So I just thought I’d do monster versions of his characters and then I thought, oh, why wouldn’t I give him three pages each? And that ballooned out to 48 pages. Yeah. And actually when then I’d finished all the pins, I’d done 60. So yeah. But it was because I thought I wasn’t going to do this ever again. I drawn one picture in four years of a dead rat. Honest to God. When one of the rats died, I drew it. And that’s the only picture I’ve done in four years. But no, I’m working every night now and I’m doing it.
Leigh Chalker (00:20:04):
So Southern Squadron Dark, that was your first I guess, comeback after a period of time. Was it made? Yeah,
Beau Jardine (00:20:11):
I did. I did. Yeah. In the space. I wasn’t doing comics. I did smack freaking pothead. But they were different. They didn’t come out the stages.
Leigh Chalker (00:20:18):
Well there’s something we’ll come back to Bud. Cause they’re, that whole little segue there of your life is very, very interesting with those two comic cooks. But and you just, anyhow,
Beau Jardine (00:20:29):
Yeah, the start of this one was, I just wanted to do Dave’s characters my way and do it like a western and then fit everybody else’s characters in. There’s a couple I regret I couldn’t get in, but Darwin, I should have been able to get in somewhere. But then I got in everybody else I got in hair button and Air Hawk Captain. Good vibes. Yeah. See more eye from the torn people. Yeah. I got a lot of people to have little sort of cameos in it. That’s the front cover. Yeah. Early in the morning and the whole story takes about an hour and 15 minutes and then everyone dies at the end. Look at that. That’s quite a good one of the <laugh>.
Leigh Chalker (00:21:09):
Yeah, mate, that’s beautiful artwork. And you’re looking at that. You are obviously, from what I’ve seen your artwork in the past and stuff. And you hand write all your lettering yet you haven’t.
Beau Jardine (00:21:21):
Oh, not yet. Not anymore. I’ve been over this with Dave. I wanted to hand write it even though it would send me blind. And it was the most difficult part of it because I wanted there to be a voice, a proper voice. And I didn’t like the computer stuff. The computer stuff they’ve got now is amazing and Dave’s letter in my stuff and it looks way cleaner and way easier to read once it’s done that way. And he just surprised me the other night because I had big ugly musical notes in there drawn in for when it’s a song and he can put actual real beautiful fine music. Written music. Yeah. So now I like the computer lettering and in the stuff that’s coming up, I want forged to have a robotic font and that’ll help. And she turns human, she still has the robotic font and I want Nightside font to sometimes go heavy metal go Democ. Yeah. Yeah. The new stuff’s been fun. Yeah, right.
Leigh Chalker (00:22:26):
Beau Jardine (00:22:26):
From this started just from a conversation in lockdown on this hug club. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (00:22:32):
Dave de Vries (00:22:33):
Here’s an example of some of the work where it’s been actually got the lettering. So you can see that some of it is retained, its original style and some of it’s got the, I guess the more traditional style lettering.
Leigh Chalker (00:22:52):
Yeah, I think it’s beautiful. Oh dude. How long does it take you? Honestly, Bo, to do those bloody cathedral esque type he got, he’s gotta get a drink. How long does it take you to draw one of those cathedral type things, mate?
Beau Jardine (00:23:17):
Oh, it always depends. Sometimes it’s really easy and I can power through it and sometimes it takes days and then I just walk around looking at a half finished thing and fretting about it. It’s pathetic. Just pathetic. Sometimes I get stopped and I just dunno what to do next. But it takes this one here, this is an ad, which Dave? Oh, Dave’s colored this got a one. This one took a long time. I drew her and I drew him about a week later and all this stuff at the side, it meant to look like a tattoo that Yeah, this one probably took about three weeks altogether. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:23:54):
Beau Jardine (00:23:56):
Sometimes they take forever and sometimes I get a whole lot done at once. I dunno what the equation is, sometimes I just can’t do it and I just sit there looking for the pages and just staring at it and I’m just the very soul of Patheticness. Yeah, there it’s
Leigh Chalker (00:24:14):
Beau Jardine (00:24:15):
Yeah, it’s an ad and they’ve both gotta look normal, but they’re superheroes. They should look the way you can see him wearing the outfit. When I first drew that he was wearing the outfit and then Drew Fonzi over the top of him. You can tell that only superheroes stand that they’re meant to look like fake fashion models from Dolly Magazine.
Leigh Chalker (00:24:38):
Yeah, yeah. No that looks awesome man. It looks actually, whoa, I’ve got you here Bo. I do have to say mate that hang on, I has one of your pieces. Oh really? That’s where I went back and researched Old Bow, oh
Beau Jardine (00:25:01):
The eyes. Yep, yep. Yeah, it’s just the set of eyes. Yeah. Yeah. That took a week. That spray spray can on Unreal. Yeah, I sprayed into the air and just let the drops fall on it. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:25:13):
Yeah. Cause that was the first time I thought Ardine and then went back long time ago. Cuz that was where you and I first touched base I guess. Cuz that was a variant cover for Battle for Bustle issue one. So yes. Yeah. And no, that’s prior place mate next to the Oh cool board man. So it’s
Beau Jardine (00:25:39):
Nice to see frame. That’s
Leigh Chalker (00:25:41):
Lovely. Special peace mate. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Weird bond mate cuz you the only other person that’s ever had published art. That’s not by me for battle for Bustles. So you’re in you, you’re in my club mate. <laugh>.
Beau Jardine (00:25:59):
It was a shock to be asked. I thought there’d be a hundred people he’d asked before me. But yeah, I’ll tell you about smack free because it’s I important.
Leigh Chalker (00:26:10):
Let’s go to these books, man. What brought you to this?
Beau Jardine (00:26:14):
I was really, really lost and my baby little boy had just been born and I was staying at Grand Mill’s place for a first few weeks while he is just little and we are alone and everything and I had lots of time to myself and I realized that a lot of what happened with her when I was going to forget and sometimes that’s a huge blessing. Anyhow I started writing it down and then, I dunno how it started becoming a comic, but at first it was just something to do and I didn’t think anybody was going to see it. But then by the time I was about 10 pages in, I say, Hey, this could help. This could help. So I told the grittiest of stories I could without going overboard, I had to take eight pages out just for propriety sake. Children could read this.
So I had to take out some of the crime stuff, but I just explained where I was and how it hit me that heroin’s the problem and I have to stop. And it’s a fear. You’ve never known the fear of the unknown, that fear of everything, it’s just terrified. And I thought, okay, well I can address that. So I wrote the story for junkies more or less trying to tell ’em, look, I was in as deep as you and I know the fear, I know it. And sort of try to guilt trip them into getting help. And if they don’t want to think about the people around them, their partners and their parents and their kids and their families and the people who they love and how they’re hurting everybody. And I sort of guilt trip them into it. And then the story ends and then there’s eight help pages with phone numbers. They’re useless now it’s 30 years ago.
So I did the whole thing and I thought nobody was ever going to see it. You can’t sell it on the newsstand thing. This, it doesn’t have a superhero in it with big boots. And I didn’t really know what to do with it. And the fate decreed that I met this guy called Max at the Brooklyn and I went to the all the time and he was from out of town and I’d been across the road photocopy and stuff and he said, well what else have you got anything to show me? And I says, yes, I’ve got this useless thing that no one’s ever going to be interested in. And he gave me the money to get it printed. And so we printed up 10,000 issues and I could give them away. There wasn’t a cover price, so anybody in the street had a Wolverine t-shirt, got a free comic, but they went to halfway houses and detox centers and the prisons and places like that.
And it was the best mail I’ve ever received in my life. I got great letters go. I got stained ones that were 18 pages long from Long Bay Prison. I got one, it was one envelope, one stamp, but it had 10 letters in it from 10 different people all in the one. I got great letters. And there was two women who I kept in contact with God for years, for 10 years or something. And both of them say that it was the comic that stopped their sons using. And I don’t agree with it. I say that it’s a bigger thing than a comic book. They’d have to make a lot of decisions themselves. But if the comic book helped to blackmail them into feeling like that, then I’m happy is it’s always considered it the best thing I ever did. And I got to use all my skills, but not just to tell a dramatic story, to tell a true Dr. Dramatic story and try and help, just try.
Leigh Chalker (00:29:49):
And so that’s the piece of work that you reckon beared all of your soul and put everything into that pages,
Beau Jardine (00:29:56):
Man, just about me. It’s how I came off heroin. Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. And I wanted to come off heroin for years, but I was living under the ground. I was living under Central Station. It was all very disgusting, but a good story. So I wrote it all down and then it just did really well. I didn’t sell any of them so it didn’t do well in that way. And then a few years later I did pothead and pothead never came out, but that was about Matt’s stories about marijuana from other people. It wasn’t about me at all of us, but it was all true stories except for the last one. And the last one’s about a guy called, it’s called the Days Without and Days DA A Z D, the days without Marijuana. So it’s about a guy who stopped smoking marijuana and it’s his 30 days and I stopped smoking marijuana that night. So it was my 30 days as well to make it real. And that’s coming out bits and pieces now it’s coming outta chapter at a time.
Leigh Chalker (00:30:55):
Well I, I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure mate, that the first half part of Pothead was out. Was it Vexx? Like
Beau Jardine (00:31:08):
Leigh Chalker (00:31:08):
One or something? That’s through RERE Comics. If everyone, anyone’s looking for some of Bo Art, that’s a comic book that’s got this story in it pothead.
Beau Jardine (00:31:16):
So it’s great to see it come at you. He’s going to do a chapter each one for a little while. And there’s six chapters, I think five or six chapters. Five chapters. But that was the same kind of thing. It’s trying to help, I don’t have anything against marijuana or people smoking marijuana, but I have seen some people go absolutely nuts. Absolutely barking mad. So that’s, that’s the horror. The horror story. So I wrote about other people and at least it’s coming out in bit form, but yeah, that smack freak I’ve always going to consider the best thing I’ve ever done. You should read it sometime, Dave Dave’s not read it. This is how clue you’re talking about the bond that we have, right?
Leigh Chalker (00:32:01):
Hey, I think that comic book is out on one. You’ve released that the whole thing on one of your face on your Facebook page, didn’t
Beau Jardine (00:32:12):
Leigh Chalker (00:32:12):
So yeah, for anyone that’s out there, go to
Beau Jardine (00:32:16):
Leigh Chalker (00:32:17):
Follow, like, subscribe, do your thing. But read this comic book because I’ve read it
Beau Jardine (00:32:22):
And the help pages are outta date. Yeah, they’re useless now. It was so long ago, but yeah, that’s the smack fruit comic.
Leigh Chalker (00:32:31):
Yeah, but maybe you say it’s not many people can say their comic books save lives mate. So
Beau Jardine (00:32:38):
I dunno really honestly that it did. But
Leigh Chalker (00:32:41):
I think, well you know what Bo, we’re going to say it did.
Beau Jardine (00:32:45):
Leigh Chalker (00:32:46):
Know we’re going to roll with the story man. And if it didn’t, but hey, we think right here now it did. It’s say saved yours mate. So there’s a life. So that’s all that matters mate. When you got to, so you said that was you boomed won your soul at that particular time, then you went into a hiatus, came back with southern squadron, dark bit of light. You’ve been showing some artwork of Nightside and stuff like that on your Facebook. Yeah,
Beau Jardine (00:33:27):
I’m doing six issues of nightside coming back from the dead. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:33:32):
Beau Jardine (00:33:34):
The rocks, there we go. Yeah. And it’s about paparazzi, it’s about dark fame and she believes that she’s the most famous person on earth. So if she can stay the most famous person on earth, she can live forever. And everyone thinks that people, that’s the philosophy. But it turns out to be way different at the end. People want her to be a superhero, but she’s not a demonn from help. In the last comic of nighttime about 30 years ago, she raped demons to death in hell. Not a good girl,
Leigh Chalker (00:34:11):
She’s a tough lady. But look at that artwork mate. Yeah, yeah. For me, I love black and white artwork, man that, but that’s like, you’re really, really firing there, man. I’ve gotta say.
Beau Jardine (00:34:23):
Yeah. Yeah. I am failing sometimes I do throw stuff away, which I just have ruined that. That’s a good example of when the inks went well. It looked great in pencil, but I really didn’t know that. And I hate drawing those fucking cities. They’re so hard. They’re so hard. So
Leigh Chalker (00:34:43):
What sort of inks were those mate? Do you use pen? Do you use Indian in brush? What’s your favorite
Beau Jardine (00:34:50):
Outline? Oh 0.4. Yeah. And Sharpie extra fine. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (00:34:55):
Beau Jardine (00:34:55):
They’re all here. They line nineties. Just the very cheaper stuff that you can get. I don’t have any special stuff. Yeah, yeah. That’s one where the ink inking worked. Yeah. She’s meant to just look horrific to look at. She scintillates sparkles and she meant, she’s meant to be sort of Roger Rabbit or something. She, she’s just meant to look startling. And if I had room, I’d have people actually die seeing her. I’ve got this scene, I, I can’t fit it in. But all these people are waiting across the road and it’s walk or walk and it’s right in the middle of Sydney, in front of the town hall. And if I figured if one of those people turned in all black into a superhero and flew off, people could die. We’re used to seeing it on television, but to see it in real life and I’d love to do there’s driving into the city meant to be Paddington.
And at first it was going to be a straight origin where she comes back out of the campfire and she’s all blobby and grows her body and stuff. And I rewrote the whole thing. So that happens in the third issue now. And in the first issue you just see her like that, you see billboards of her and you see her in the distance and I’m going to build up the suspense. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. It’s a long time before you hear a talk. And then she’s friends with the other superheroes and talks with them just like they’re friends but they’re shit scared of her. They’re really, really terrified of her. And so yeah, I’m building up to that and I’ve got a big punchline ending. I’m going to lead everybody up the garden path through about eight red herrings. So everyone thinks they know what’s going to happen and then that <laugh> something else happens.
Leigh Chalker (00:36:46):
So with that, and Dave’s doing the coloring and stuff, when are you looking thinking about this touch and down? Man,
Beau Jardine (00:36:54):
I’ve no idea. I’ve really just gotta do nothing but finish it. Finish the fix issues, nothing. And I don’t worry about money or how I’m going to get rid of it. I’m sorry, I’ve still got your picture to do. I know it. I haven’t, haven’t been able to get to it because I’ve just got, I’ve also said no to Gary. To Gary Ch. I’ve also said no to somebody else who wanted, I’m the Air Hawk thing. They offered me the cover of Air Hook and Sizzle offered me something and I’ve just gotta power through and get it finished and then get to the other stuff. But I’m so scared it will be a false start, you know what I mean? If I
Leigh Chalker (00:37:31):
Mate, it sounds like you’ve got plenty of momentum at the moment.
Beau Jardine (00:37:35):
Oh it’s fun. As long as it’s fun. I get a lot of stuff done. Yeah, this one’s quite good. I had to have two characters sitting at a diner and looking straight into each other’s eyes and then I had to do it again. That’s quite nice. It can you see it? Lovely.
Leigh Chalker (00:37:56):
I can see that. Absolutely.
Beau Jardine (00:37:58):
She gives her headdress thing to him and he goes, oh I dunno, I didn’t even know that came off. And he puts it on and then she can use it as a flash drive and see one of her memories.
Leigh Chalker (00:38:10):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool.
Beau Jardine (00:38:12):
Yeah, they’re going well. I like the robot girl. She’s fun to draw. She’s got lots and lots of details.
Leigh Chalker (00:38:20):
So we got Southern Squadron dark through rere and the Kickstarter with Southern Squadron and Dark Nebula, which is out now. That’s your next book that’s available to the public, isn’t it? But that’s the one that’s out there now for people to get a copy of. And then the second,
Beau Jardine (00:38:43):
There’s the one of last rah. And then, I dunno when I’ve got anything after that at all, this is I, I’ve just gotta finish this and see what happens and maybe I’ll win the lottery, but if I’ve gotta wait on other people, there’s a two year lag once it’s finished, I’ve still got two years to wait till it comes out. If I have money, it’s different. I just don’t have the money to do it. But it’s not the point is it? The point is to have something to do every night. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:39:14):
Well I mean that’s the lovely thing about Art Mate is it’s it’s always been with you I guess. So it’s that,
Beau Jardine (00:39:20):
Yeah, you, you’re doing it for other people and you want other people to like it, so they’ve gotta be able to see it. Do you know what I mean? Because otherwise it just piles up here and it’s just a bit mental. I saw this show about the dark side of comedy a couple of weeks ago and there’s people who say that if you wanna be an artist as a life choice and you’re an artist before you, anything else that’s a type of mental illness,
Leigh Chalker (00:39:49):
I often think, man, there must be something wrong with me down here by myself in the granny flat with the dogs doing these drawers. Hey, you know what I mean? And thinking, oh yeah, and oh this is cool. I’m really having fun with this. And the rest of the world is just going about their business. And I do think to myself, why am I?
Beau Jardine (00:40:10):
And if you’re writing it as well as drawing it, sometimes you come up with these great ideas along the way, gags and things to put in and then you can just put it in. You don’t have to ring anybody and convince them at one stage she’s gotta kill a vampire. And so she’s gotta have a hammer and stakes to kill the vampire. And I thought, why not? Can’t it look like ths hammer? There were hammers that looked like that before Thor. So she’s got a thing that looks very much like the’s hammer and that’s just a gag. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:40:41):
Yeah. Hey with I’m just thinking now does my, my memory’s not always good but a long time ago, I seem to remember, and Dave you might be able to confirm this, while Boze off getting his drink did Bo and Gary Chalan did some artwork for a story back in the day? Is that
Dave de Vries (00:41:09):
Something? Yeah, that was a comic I did called Nasty, which was a sort of an evil version of the Southern Squadron. And it was a storyline where
Beau Jardine (00:41:23):
But they weren’t kinda evil, they were like punk rockers.
Dave de Vries (00:41:27):
And so what basically the idea was that these were characters drawn by artists And I so long ago now I forget the main trust that
Beau Jardine (00:41:38):
Destroyed but Page, the pages an artist had drawn got lost,
Dave de Vries (00:41:42):
But they were the clue to a killing. And so they had to find that the art and the storyline itself in the comic was actually a clue to the people who had they needed to find the storyline. And in the story there was a clue to a killer, a serial killer, something like that. And the characters of the southern squadron that were drawn in it were sort of nasty versions of who they really were. So the story was called Na as a result. And so what I ended up doing was I got Gary to do the pencils and then boated the inks and I said to Gary, keep the in pencils reasonably loosen. Then I drew up some character sketches, which sort of showed what the nasty versions of them looked like and then the guys worked on it from there. So it was kind of nice.
Leigh Chalker (00:42:38):
Yeah. Did that happen? Was that one of those planned things for two years we’ll get to this? Or was that one of those, Hey we’ll get Gary to do these pencils and we’ll get Boda Inc. It just a real sitting there one night, I’ve got this idea. Did that happen?
Beau Jardine (00:42:53):
Well strike the pages that got lost. They were found and it would be sort of wrong if they were Gary’s artwork on them. Do you know what I mean? The rest of the story. So they got me to do the pages that got lost.
Leigh Chalker (00:43:06):
Yeah. Oh dude. I love the whole idea of artists and creators having a, I guess, jam for a musical sense together in the last year. I’ve been able to do the same thing with a couple of guys that Ryan Valer and Ben Sullivan and Rob Lyle and that I, I’ve found the experience extremely invaluable for me as an artist and primarily an artist and a writer. So I would assume that would’ve been an awesome experience back in the day doing that cuz the artwork is awesome. I remember seeing it many, many years ago and really being,
Beau Jardine (00:43:45):
Well it was
Leigh Chalker (00:43:46):
Beau Jardine (00:43:47):
Good, it was easy for me because Gary handled all the anatomy questions and I just had to dirty it up. I just remember it was a very easy one and Gary’s easy to ink over. He’s such a clean style
Leigh Chalker (00:44:01):
And it’s just a good mesh mate, good mesh of styles. It just always stuck in my mind. That’s why
Beau Jardine (00:44:07):
That was the start of this one. The duck squadron, it was wanting to do them as monsters do them fantastic characters. The southern cross cop that the worst, he’s had some terrible accident where he is, had his legs pulled off and it’s just all gore and sometimes it’s pretty fireworks. He can glamor it and he’s magic. He’s got his guts hanging out and if he ever lets go of the stick, he dies and he can’t ever land cuz he’s got no legs, he can’t sit down or anything. And so he is got dragon skin wrapped around his wrist tying him into the stick so he’ll never let it go. And stick’s a big dragon spine with a side blade. I just kept drawing and yeah, there you go there and people worship him as they call him the cross and they worship him like Jesus. And I’ve got lines from Prince’s on the cross in there and he’s copped it, the words and he’s got two arrows, like Indian arrows sticking out of his back. And there’s no backstory to that. I just thought it would look cool. He, he’s never pulled him out and he’s sort of dead. Yeah, he is like a spook. Yeah.
Dave de Vries (00:45:19):
It’s really interesting that when though first proposed this idea I just said, yeah, go for it. And I actually gave him very little direction at all. It was for the most part, just go for your life and if there’s a problem I’ll let you know. And there never was. But what was sort of interesting was I was developing the reboot of the Southern Squadron and one of the things which I was working on is this idea that the Southern cross, he starts to develop a bit of a ego because he believes that he is like an angel and the, there’s religious groups that are thinking that the dingo is in fact the devil and kae and that he should be basically put to death. And then because he’s a werewolf and then likewise I think Southern Cross as an angel come to earth. And so this creates sort of an emotional tension between these characters. So I was really fascinated when sort of took the Southern cross and he ended up doing a similar idea that the character was being worshiped as a sort of an angel or albeit a fallen one. So yeah, it was
Beau Jardine (00:46:35):
That fits. I couldn’t do much with the dingo because he already is a monster, you know what I mean? So I couldn’t change him much. I could just, it more or less is the same dingo as in your comics, a wise ass, he cracks the jokes and everything’s sort of fun for him. And Lieutenant Smith, you can’t change her either very much. I gave the spider legs, but that’s something that she’s wearing that she’s just sort of tacked on. But otherwise she’s evil and selfish but still in control of the group and all of that still tells him what to do. And I didn’t get much to do with Adam because he’s just in action scenes. Do you know what I mean? You don’t get much work anything from him except the big action scenes. He goes along with it. They all know that they’re getting the food and the medicine medicine before anybody else in the town and that’s the way they want it. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:47:34):
No I mate, I’ve, I’ve just liked the thought process that maybe drawing those drawings you did with Nasty as it was called maybe many years later, those same ideas were still there to,
Beau Jardine (00:47:49):
I always wanted to do it again. The same is, I’ve always wanted a big fight between my werewolf and Daves and we did get a fight between those two werewolves, but I would’ve wanted a whole comic, I want fight right across the city and my werewolf can die. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? So what happens is the jacko, the dingo would snap his neck or something, he falls there dead and then a month later, full Moon in France and some woman goes all nuts and turns into a werewolf and is running around the loose for three nights and when she turns back it’s raff and curse.
Leigh Chalker (00:48:33):
Beau Jardine (00:48:33):
So he just gets a plane ticket home and you know what I mean, you can’t kill him. So I wanted a fight between the dingo and my wear book that lasted months. Cause he could always cool come. Yeah. And eventually they sort of become mates and he’s not going to kill him anymore. We think he says, the dingo says, I just don’t see the point, you know, gotta keep coming back like a bad penny. Let’s go and have beers and she can talk onto the night about what it’s like to be a werewolf. Yeah. But I wanted to old comic for that. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (00:49:09):
Oh man, that sounds very interesting to me. I like those sorts of things though dude. Yeah. Cause that from an artistic perspective that a test guy, you’d need some good writing behind that. You’d need some good choreography like art and stuff like that. You’d have to be on point. It’d be a good test.
Dave de Vries (00:49:27):
So Lee, this is some of the projects that we’ve been talking about. So obviously Southern Squadron Dark is the one that is coming out at the moment. This is in the Kickstarter. This is sort of like a two issue Kickstarter with that one. And this one here, rebirth, which is where we actually bring back the Dock Nebular and the Southern Squadron. I mean Dark Nibblers come back this year because this is the 40th anniversary of the Dark Nebula, the Southern Squadron there. This is actually, it’s not that far away actually. And literally from the beginning of 2023, that’s when the Southern Squadron will be 40 years old. That’s when they first appeared in I was comics.
But the Dark Nebula the original origin story of Dark Nebula was written in eight and published in 82. So This’s is 40 years now. This story was actually something that I worked on with Tad, where we actually took the characters and we rewrote the original Dark Nebular story and in inserted the Southern squadron into it. So we felt that this was a really good way to bring back these sets of characters. I think the first time they’ve appeared in color in a comic, I mean Tad colored up some of the earlier material for graphic novels, but this one they actually appeared. And I can show you a look at. So this is the Southern Squadron are actually, while the Dark Nebular is up in space dealing with an intergalactic monster, sort of like an alien character in earth. The Southern squadron are dealing with a space probe, which has been, which is linked mentally to the character up in space.
And this is happening in the Pilbara. So there’s a little touch of Mad Max about it because the Southern squadron the squadron is like a FJ Holden. So we thought we’d take that idea of the FJ Holden and then put it in, blend it with a tank and as it a p c. And then, so that’s what we ended up with. So those two are coming out as a Kickstarter at the moment. The next one that’s coming out as well is and this will also be the second part of Southern Squadron Dark, will then will then come out in another Kickstarter, which will tie in with the torn Southern Squadron crossover. So this is where we actually see that the Southern squadron sort of enter the torn universe. And I guess by extension the dark Nebula enters the torn universe as well. And because of that we’ll actually have there’s another comic that’s being developed at the moment with Hayden and Tad and Ben Sullivan where they’re doing the Southern dark Nebula crossing over with Torn.
So this is what, there’s TDS torn that’s torn Dark Nebular Southern Squadron, TDS three to the third, which is three series, three times. So three part series. So because we have the Southern squadron and the Dark Nebula and torn all linked together. And because Boin is working the Southern squadron into the Nightside universe, that means that the four titles have all sort of now formed into this sort of superhero universe. While we’re doing is just this the ultimate cover for or the second cover for the Dark Nebular Southern rebirth, which is cuz we’re building in a story where Lieutenant Smith and the Dark Nebula he’s an astronaut originally. So this was done by Ash Mattie and I did the Color art. So she was at Tru Learning to become an officer. She’s about five years younger than him. So he was, he’d sort of was graduating, oh he was actually in the backstory. He was actually one of her instructors in Office of Cadet training. Was and was.
Beau Jardine (00:53:53):
I like how he directs her hand there.
Dave de Vries (00:53:56):
Yes. It’s all very nice, isn’t it? And this one was one that I just had a little bit of fun with, which was the old cover to Sudden Squadron nine. And which was really, it’s got the dark nebula there. I’ve gotta change that. But what’s interesting about that one is that I, I’ve taken Gary’s original comics original and then darkened them up and made them more the way they appear now, which is a particularly night fighter who used to be very green and gold. And we sort of swapped him out and made him more sort of dark, darker black and green sort of a little bit more, almost like the, I guess the Green LANs color schemes cuz yeah, I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Green Lan. So what we’ve got is we’ve got stories coming out with both parts, both of those crossovers. So the first half of Southern Squadron Dark will come out in the dark in Rebirth story, the Southern Squadron Dark Ular Rebirth. And then the other one of course will then appear with the southern squadron torn. And then I guess eventually we’ll see the Nightside storyline coming through as well. And as if the second part beware the Southern cross appears in it.
Beau Jardine (00:55:24):
The third Well yeah, everyone two. Yes. In the third one that what I’m doing now, the Southern crosses in it and you’re about to see Lieutenant Smith and she’s got the FJ Holden, but I’ve got the whole back of the cab of the roof in. But I will put that gun on it. Why not? And it flies vertical takeoff. It flies, it’s got jets and you’ll see the two of them then. And then they also appear at the very end when there’s an intervention on night side. And I’ve got, or I wanna have all the superheroes show up. So there’s nobody there except superheroes, but they’re all dressed like normal people. Isn’t that cool
Dave de Vries (00:56:04):
Beau Jardine (00:56:06):
Villa? Bongs huge. But you know what I mean? Yeah. They should look normal. Just her friends have shown up and it’s like that line from Watchman where Laurie says, all my friends are fucking superheroes. Yeah. Her whole life is rubbish. It’s bullshit. And she’s not a superhero. A murderous monster have, I’ve got him showing up at the end there. Yeah. I did want another Bob Girl and Death Wish chapter in it, just 12 pages. And I’ve completely abandoned that idea. And that would’ve been great because you just gotta know that they’re in love, that first bit that you’ve just lettered. They’re meant to be like they’re in love and then you got their origins to, but I’ve had to abandon it because I just big pages with three panels, big pages, drawing all that millions of buildings and I just like that real fine art part of it. So now I’ve gotta take bits out that I love. Which is a shame cuz that origin story of theirs is great. Excellent. It doesn’t have any words hardly at all. It, it’s got the lines from Age of Aquarius, they’re in Vietnam and they’re down and down the gooks harmony and understanding.
Leigh Chalker (00:57:25):
You’ve got a bit of a pension for putting song lyrics in your artwork.
Beau Jardine (00:57:31):
Yeah, I like it. Yeah, I like it. Yeah. The Big Sinner is last Rah. This one that I’ve done for Dave, it’s, it’s about nostalgia. So that’s why I’ve got all these older characters in it. It’s about nostalgia. So it’s all the songs. We were listening on the radio at that time and I hate narration, so I put in the lyrics and I’ve remember I’ve stayed up here all night for weeks Googling lyrics to try and find bombs that’ll fit for weeks that happened. It was great fun. In the one that I’ve just done with, David’s got two, the girls singing while she’s driving along in a Mr. Whippy truck cuz that’s fun. And then just out of the blue I found this song called She’s Back again. She’s in my head and all of this. And it’s about Nightside coming back. There’s billboards of her everywhere. She’s on Tonight Show. She does pornos, she’s got a band is Jo, you see a huge in the city and all of that. Yeah. And it a was a good idea not to have you see a close up for a little while, you know what I mean? And see. Yeah. And she giggles a she, she’s pad, she’s got a voice like a chatty Kathy doll gone berserk. You remember Chatty Kathy? You pulled the string and it talked.
Leigh Chalker (00:58:48):
I didn’t know that. I didn’t know they were called a chatty Kathy. But I do know the dolls where you pulled that and they’d have a ya
Beau Jardine (00:58:54):
And it sounded like berserk. Yeah, this is Bob Girl and Death Wish. At the beginning she wore fish necks in a cape and she didn’t need any of that. I did not know what I was doing. But these are the first superheroes I ever wrote long before I did Night Sign the Rock or long before I, yeah, yeah, that’s them now they, oh, that’s how you, in the bottom there, that’s how they used to look. She’s got a cape and a fish nets and he’s wearing kinky boots like Cindy Lauper and he’s meant to be a military guy. Why is he dressed like that for Oxford Street? Yeah, it just, I didn’t know what I was doing. So you see the now picture of him that’s way better. He wears a long black coat, wears all black, and she wears all white and yeah, she’s a teleport like night crawler that, I’m never going to use the word teleporter. I’m going to say she relocates
Leigh Chalker (00:59:45):
<laugh> relocates bare weapon.
Beau Jardine (00:59:49):
And this is the one I’ve that Dave’s just finished lettering that I, I’ve finished, I don’t know, months ago now. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:59:55):
Yeah. No, that looks cool too. Oh yeah. When you are doing your layouts book, cause I wanna get back to a Southern Squadron question in a tick, but when you are, do, just from an art perspective, when you are doing your layouts, your thumbnails and that you obviously, have you already got the script written mate? Or are you just like you’ve got the idea in your
Beau Jardine (01:00:14):
Face? No, I make dummy pages and sometimes I’ll make four dummy pages on exercise paper before I start on the big page. And a lot of that the writing is in there because these are the words that are going to be said in stone which I haven’t written before. I don’t have a version of the script. And then I measure them and make sure they go on that it will fit onto the big page. And then I spend a lot of time in layout because I think layout’s interesting. It can be interesting. And Watchman is the best comic on earth until this one comes out just between us. And he often used just straight nine panels or six panels and that’s the rules. But if you learn the rules, you can break them and learn how to lead the eye around the page. And you do that a lot with the word clouds. And then I like to break the rules and make big massive things, but sometimes I really screw it up like the layouts. Sometimes I finish the whole page and realize if there’s a problem with the layouts, this is that shipped down. Hang on, I’ll do the light.
See there’s the future Sydney, the built up Sydney. And it’s just about to be blown to pieces
Leigh Chalker (01:01:39):
I know. Spoken important letter. And here subtle. It can be to guide the reader’s eyes around and stuff. Dave, just cuz you, you’re coloring mate. When did you start coloring in things? Because you seem to have taken a rule firm grip of that late. Can
Beau Jardine (01:02:00):
You see this
Leigh Chalker (01:02:00):
Coming out? Yeah man. Can
Beau Jardine (01:02:02):
You see that city?
Leigh Chalker (01:02:04):
Beau Jardine (01:02:04):
There you go. Blind doing that stuff. But it looks great at the end too.
Dave de Vries (01:02:12):
I started coloring back in cuz I went to art college back in the late seventies, early eighties. So when Glen and I started working for Malibu comics we sort of started working for them because they wanted to take the Southern squadron. They’d already signed the Jack Ru to the repackaged for the Americans. And then they asked Gary Cener if he had anything else and he said, yeah, I, I’ve done this Southern Sulo material. So they got in touch with me cuz the first two episodes were with Gary’s work. So they bought the first four well that those two and then the next two. And then I had material that I hadn’t published including that nasty story that we’re talking about that hadn’t published in Australia. So we did a second series and while that was all getting done, we also were doing The Bodyguard, which was a series that we’d done for Penthouse Magazine.
And then we’d done some stuff. There was a series called Rip Snorter, which was a biker magazine and Full Throttle, which no Raw tonnage, which was a trucker magazine character. So we combined them into a book called Full Throttle. And while all that was going on I did the old Jack Kirby thing. And when I was at Malibu I said, look, I’d love to do something. What do you guys have that Glenn and I could do O and I’ll take the shittiest thing you’ve got, but just what I would like is just the free to do whatever I like with it. And they said, look we’ve got this thing called the Puppet Master, which was these little puppets that sort of ran around and murdered people. And the backstory was that it was set in the modern era, but the puppet master had actually created them in Nazi Germany.
And I thought, ah, little puppets running around murdering people in Berlin and with the Nazis that that’s so I just said, can, I don’t wanna do their story, I just wanna do my own. And they said, yeah, go for your life. So Gary and I, sorry, Glen and I had a look at it and I said, okay, I think we can really have some fun with this. So I’d worked in horror of course because as Beau was saying, we’d done stuff like that with fantastic. So we created this four part series and Charlie Band, who was the full moon guy he loved it. And so he said they were willing to kick in some extra money to get them colored and asked if I’d be willing to color them. So I ended up coloring that. Turned out that was the first color comic that Mala had ever done, which was really cool.
And they like that so much that they then they’d actually, oh they liked my color art on the covers as well, so that they actually had this comic, which was a combination of ape the planet of the Apes and Alien nation. So they called it Ape Nation, where the planet, I think the alien aliens went to the Plant of the Apes. So same sort of idea. And they asked me if I’d be happy to color that. So I said, all right, I’ll do that as well. So I was sort of doing a lot of color art at that stage mainly because I didn’t
Beau Jardine (01:05:31):
Know that didn’t the puppet master was their first colored
Dave de Vries (01:05:33):
One? Yeah, it was. And then when we got to America for the next trip Charlie, we met Charlie Band and he said I’d like to buy the artwork the original art. And it was a flat fee. I can’t remember the exact amount. It was in the thousands, a significant amount of money at the time. And so we said, yeah, okay great. And then they said, oh by the way, we really liked the storyline you did. And so our third puppet master movie is based, well we sort of said loosely based on that script and was actually, it was more than loosely based. Some of the characters had the same names that we’d invented and the whole premise of the story was exactly what we’d wrote written in the comic strip series. So that was a lot of fun. We never got any official credit for it, which I would’ve liked.
But the moment they credit you then they have to start paying your money. So I kind of saw that and I always felt that the fact that they bought the original art was a sign. It was kind of our payment. I think that was cuz it was a very generous amount that they offered. So we thought, okay, well what the hell. But yeah, that was a bit of fun. So I retained sort of the role of colorist. So when we did the phantom, I colored that as well and we started out doing a lot of hand color art, but over time it sort of shifted over to computer. And that was kind of a bit hard in the beginning because you’d actually, you weren’t sure how detailed you needed to color it. And then often you had to provide written notes and even give them what was the pant and colors for them or these days you’d give rrgb or hex values.
And then what they would then do is they would then color it on the computer. So in effect you were the color, you were setting up the color guides and then they would actually do the physical work. These days of course you just color it yourself. I started coloring on computer probably mid nineties. So that was when we were doing the full moon stuff. That was what in 90, 91, 92. Computer colors back then were really simple. It was almost just colors with maybe a bit of radiation and so forth. The sort of level of coloring didn’t really get going until, I don’t know, maybe if you look at the colors in the nineties, they were pretty ordinary. I think it was probably I am trying to think cause he may maybe late nineties that we actually started to see color starting to look like it does now these days I think the color art is so impressive that some of the black and white art starts to lose its dimension. See I think always think black and white art should stand up without the need to be colored. But a lot of colors these days are doing, they’re providing the tonal values as well in Bo, he’s he, if you look at his art, alright, well look at this one here. So you can see that mean the color has provided a certain amount of the modeling Beautiful. And he’s got a little bit of a, what’s her name Cher look about her.
Beau Jardine (01:09:07):
Dave de Vries (01:09:12):
Which I really like. But the point is that in black and white that holds up. It doesn’t need the color to the color enhances and I think it does improve the overall look. But
Beau Jardine (01:09:28):
I’ve got four pages of last rah that are colored and it looks better in black and white. It’s why I bother with it if it looks as good as it does in black and white. I like it in black and white. And you can see from my stuff that I try and do half black and half white. I also like the huge amount of detail and I hate the idea that somebody’s going to put dark blue all over that I know I’m happy in black and white for the moment. I got the iPad given to me, but I haven’t used it. I don’t have the patience to learn how to color. But the stuff I’m doing at the moment, I’m pleased with the best stuff I’ve done. The story’s going to blow their minds if they ever get to read it. It’s a joke. It’s gotta a punchline. Yeah,
Dave de Vries (01:10:15):
I mean the approach, every artist has their own style. This is sort of an example, this is where torn and the southern squadron meet for the first time. It goes up against the dingo. And what I wanted to do there was because the villains are these little it, this is a little fairy card would love that. And this is a little goblin. So I wanted the colors to have a feel of almost like those really early Disney like snow white type things where and you can see that the colors, most of the work in the color is actually done in the selection rather than in the modeling. So for example, those leaves, as you can see they’re flat color there’s a lot of gradient work there, but there’s actually very little to no modeling on the characters themselves. I’ve really tried to keep them, allow the Ben’s art and his placement of blacks to do all of the work.
The colors are already there to just add a little bit of accentuation to what’s there. So really what I’m working with mostly is the hue and to some extent the brightness and the level of saturation. But in terms, so I’m playing around a lot with the actual colors themselves but not actually modeling the colors. Because I think once you start modeling, you are beginning to take on some of the roles of some of the penciler artist. And that’s not of itself a bad thing but I try to limit that as much. So where’s what I have done is with Lieutenant Smith, I’ve tried to give a little bit of shine to her uniform. But the other color, other characters, again, other than a bit of modeling the night fighter’s got a few highlights just to give it a slightly shiny look. But again, you can see there that the intent is more just to capture the sense of it’s really just set in some part from mainly narrative clarity.
I guess maybe cuz I’m a writer, I tend to think in terms of color providing narrative clarity and there are different mean you can use for a number of different ways just as you can do any type of art. You can make it where it’s or it’s actually telling the story or you might use it for symbolism or you might use it for emotion or you might use it just for aesthetics. Just for decorative qualities. I guess for me the primary thing is first, first and foremost is to enhance the storyline to give it that drive. And then I’ll like to create a sense of time and place.
But aesthetically too, I like to have a, how would I describe it? Give each scene its own color what would you call it? Its own color signature. So yeah, when people are actually, for example, when you’re actually in a moment, so for example, we’ve decided at the moment that this came outta working on this in the dark neighborhood at the same time that anytime they’re using sort of telekinetic or magical powers, I’m kind of using purple and different types of purple to create that sort of look. When we are looking at this character here, I’ve sort of tried to go with a very steam punky feel. So it’s all sort of very much golds and browns and was slightly sort of green. Feel that every time you’re in that environment it sort of very much that you’re in that place
Beau Jardine (01:14:14):
That go back one Dave, go back one this one. Go back one. No, the one before there. That panel one go forward one
Dave de Vries (01:14:23):
Beau Jardine (01:14:24):
Yeah, this one panel three of that’s excellent. Yeah. Yeah, that’s excellent. Yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s a great panel, isn’t it Great drawing people flying. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (01:14:41):
Are you thinking about this, there’s another, before you see the artwork Dave, or do you get the artwork in and then you start, do you already have the colors and the ideas and stuff worked out like that you’re going to go with before you see the artwork? Or is it not until you’ve seen the art that you start like, oh, that had worked there, that had worked there? Or are you already, this is what it’s going to look like in your mind
Beau Jardine (01:15:07):
From a we have to see the art. I think,
Dave de Vries (01:15:10):
Look, it’s a little bit of both. For example where am I?
Yeah. So this is an example where I like working with a lot of layers. So this, originally what I did was I knew sort of what the colors were of the main characters because the night fighters kind of predominantly green. Southern Cross is predominantly blue Lieutenant Smith’s pop predominantly purple. And the dingo’s predominantly orange. So that makes it easy because those characters are not primary colors. So they all sort of set, well I guess left the southern crosses sort of, when I say blue it’s really more of a cyan. So that’s sort of again, a secondary color, but you get the idea. So the beauty of those four character colors is that you can then stick them against primaries very easily. And so they sit out of that environment. But with this one what I started with was just, I laid down just flats of blue green and various different green hues.
And then I said, okay, well this is at night, now I’m going to knock the green right back. And so as you can see, what I’ve done there is those have been desaturated to the point where they’re becoming more gray. And so I’ve got other areas here where some of the background areas I’ve allowed to become a little greener just simply so they stand out against the, so that there’s trying to create the sense of the distance. And rather than coming out of a black background because the night fighters costumes dark effectively, it’s a almost like a moon lit reel effect. So to some extent, as Bo says, you kind of need to see the art, know which way you’re going to go with it. But in terms of the narrative colors, I kind of know what they’re going to be going in. So I’ll know that this is going to be a predominantly orange scene or a predominantly red scene or whatever.
But then within that you start how much of the saturation is played with, how much of the brightness the luminosity, that really depends on how that’s less about the story and more about trying to make it, well I suppose it is story cuz you’re trying to make it narratively clear to separate the characters out. I don’t like stories where the colors are overwhelming the line art and overwhelming the visuals I’m a big fan of with a poster, I reckon if you put it across the room and everything stands out clearly and you can identify the key dynamic elements that’s working. But if you look across the room and it becomes this big muddy mess, at that point I start to think, okay, not the hierarchy of visual is starting to get a little bit lost. And I sort of feel that if that is true at a distance, that should also be true on the page. So for me, if I feel it’s getting a bit lost, I’ll step right back, go to the other side of the room and look at it. And if the geometry is still holding together then it’s working. If it’s not, then okay, then I’ve gotta start to work it back. And I reckon Beau, that’s the same with Black Knight, isn’t it? Your work holds up very well because I think all of your pages work almost as posters because you don’t clutter everything up in the way you use your black and white art.
Beau Jardine (01:18:48):
Oh that’s the dummy pages. That really helps me. Sometimes I have four dummy pages before I start on the big page and I know it’s going to fit. And then I draw way too big. This I draw way too big and then I photograph it, send it to Kelly, measure it, say I want this at 12 centimeters long. And then she’ll bring it back and then I’ll cut it out and stick it on the page. And so I’ve got a time where I can shift stuff around on the page. You cut ’em out, paper dollies and you can save room that time and have more room for words you’re fighting for the whole time. But no, it seems to work. I gave up on the idea of learning colors because it’s not going to help me tell a story at all.
I wanna learn how to tell a story properly. I’ve got stories in mind, I’ve got good ones. And the colors, learning how to do colors isn’t going to really help me that much. So I’ll continue doing what I’m good at doing. Yeah, but you’ve always, I’ve come maintained I’ve come with really good. How often have you ever colored in the past? I can’t really think of something. Oh, I did the tarot cards and I’ve done stuff, but that was on Photoshop and oh the Terra cards, I had them already drawn for a long time before I managed to learn how to color them and I picked the ones I wanted to do first. And you can really tell some are really quite primitive, the colors, they’re really quite bucket here, bucket here, yellow bucket here. Yeah, there’s, that’s one that Dave colored, which you
Leigh Chalker (01:20:29):
Beau Jardine (01:20:31):
At the end of the tarot cards I could do quite well. But that’s the only kind of posters and things like, yeah, see the dingo always has his mouth open. So yeah, see, see is like an angel, isn’t he the sub cross? Yeah. Yeah you could. Yeah, that’s why I wanted them sort of worshiping him. But he’s got the dwarf nebula.
Leigh Chalker (01:20:51):
<laugh> looks awesome. Great art, great colors too.
Beau Jardine (01:20:55):
Yeah, there’s little forge with the guns and the female dark nebula. Yeah, yeah, the dark fantasm. Yeah.
Dave de Vries (01:21:04):
So that’s where I’ve sort of started to get into the modeling a little bit with the metallic stuff. I find that anything that’s naturally shiny a little bit might.
Beau Jardine (01:21:14):
Yeah, there’s gorgeous lights on the gum. Yeah, metal. Yeah. And made her look real three dimension. That’s a beauty. That’s where she actually glows, isn’t it? Yeah. And it’s a bondage theme and it’s a wine glass, so it’s the Princess of cups.
Leigh Chalker (01:21:32):
So for anyone that’s looking at this artwork and being blown away, I am, where can you pick up these? Well these
Dave de Vries (01:21:41):
Will come out as add-ons or
Beau Jardine (01:21:45):
Dave de Vries (01:21:47):
Cards and posters and so forth to these series. We’re still working out how we’re going to do it. So you can see that the basic approach here is I I’ve, I like to keep the palette limited, usually use complimentary colors. If there’s modeling in some part of the image, for example with her, then I’ll just limit the background to either flats or usually some sort of gradient. Same with that. So that you create an element of dimension. The eye has to seek out one thing over another. So if the whole thing is, I hate what’s called chocolate box, where everything, you know, open a chocolate box, the whole point is that everything’s supposed to jump out at you so you can pick things apart. Yeah, I like unity and hierarchy in it. So again I there that’s a very limited palette, but we’re using saturation
Beau Jardine (01:22:47):
Dave de Vries (01:22:48):
Rate, the colors out and luminosity obviously. I mean the colors there are remarkably similar in that respect, but used in, again, the rocks there, it’s all about the saturation. Mainly. When they’re originally placed, they were quite brown and then they started off almost like a sort of cracked earth. And then over time they started to get reduced. That’s about as limited as a pallet as you can get. It’s just green and sort of works with a shift, shifting the green into the yellow in some areas a little bit of cyan just pulling the green in the other direction. But other than that, it’s really all tone and saturation’s doing 90% of that. That was the first one at, again very limited palette and with it’s all, but you can see there’s a shit load of modeling in that. That’s probably the most modeled of all of them.
Leigh Chalker (01:23:52):
And so this artwork here, is this part of what you were saying, Beau? You did a 48 page story for Southern Squadron Dark and as some of those other drawings you were talking about?
Beau Jardine (01:24:04):
Yeah, they’re what jumped it from 48 pages to 60. Gotcha. I did all of those.
Leigh Chalker (01:24:12):
And these will be add-ons in this campaign or in further campaigns?
Beau Jardine (01:24:18):
No idea. Yeah,
Dave de Vries (01:24:19):
I think we’re still playing with those ideas. I ultimately a set of cards and a set of pinups that will be used whether we do it all in the one campaign or we split them up over two or three, I’m not sure. We’re still working our way through that.
Leigh Chalker (01:24:39):
Yeah, no, that’s cool. And can you
Beau Jardine (01:24:41):
Send me under that finished stuff to my phone, Dave, so I can get ’em printed out and show the guys?
Dave de Vries (01:24:48):
I thought you had all of these.
Beau Jardine (01:24:50):
Yeah, no, some of ’em I haven’t got the shoe one. I haven’t had the ones where you’ve had to put sparkles on them.
Dave de Vries (01:24:56):
Beau Jardine (01:24:57):
Leigh Chalker (01:24:59):
Hey, so we’ll sort of start winding down a little bit. Now there’s always two questions that I like to ask the guests that are on. I take it from my perspective of being a dude up in far north Queensland that really until Covid happened and happened and meeting you guys meeting other creators and artists and stuff in Australia, I always like myself to, if you are that lonely person sitting somewhere that wants to do comic books and doesn’t know how to do, as we’ve all sort of been there and started off, what are the hows and what are the whys as in to get yourself motoring along the first steps that you found back in your times and stuff?
Beau Jardine (01:25:58):
I used to tell the kids at art the why you’d want to do art is to make yourself happy. And if you are happy you won’t do any art. And sometimes it’s a way to fight boredom and sometimes it’s a great way to comment and hold a mirror up to society. I told ’em, I tell ’em when they’re born, that’s the time when you do art and any art, even if you’re not happy with it at all and you throw it away, is worth something because you are going to learn from those mistakes. The why we do it sometimes it’s a, it’s philosophy isn’t it? I do it because it’s the only thing I’m good at and it keeps me together. I look forward to the nights where I can sit up all night and I’m writing it and drawing it at the same time and I just know it’s going to blow their minds. And I’ve never written a story like this before. I’ve never written a story like the one I did for Dave Eva. But the thing that’s common with my stories is that everybody dies at the end. Yeah. Yeah. It happened at first with nighttime The Rock. And so we could never do an issue four because everyone died at the end of issue three. Everybody and this one with Dave, yeah, everyone dies again except for the Jacko and side. She escapes into outer space and he escapes back in time, but everyone dies.
Leigh Chalker (01:27:30):
So for you though, how was it that got you your first gig, mate? Where were you? What did you decide to do to I can draw. I wrote a few pages, what am I going to do?
Beau Jardine (01:27:42):
I was getting the Phantom and I was in the Phantom Club and they send you this magazine called Jungle Drums and there was a competition in the magazine and you had to do a two page story about how the Phantom Me’s dog. Now they get that wrong. It’s a Wolff. It’s a Wolff,
Leigh Chalker (01:27:59):
Beau Jardine (01:28:00):
You think they would know. Anyhow, so I did two pages for the competition and the Phantom looked too much like the vision from the Avengers a bit. But anyhow, I did these two pages and I won. They gave me this.
Leigh Chalker (01:28:16):
Yeah, yeah, cool.
Beau Jardine (01:28:18):
And I had that broke a couple of years ago and I went and had it fixed and it’s worth about $400 in silver. It’s
Leigh Chalker (01:28:25):
Really, yeah, right.
Beau Jardine (01:28:27):
And so I’d started, I’d drawn two pages and I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know where to put word clouds, I put ’em in the wrong place. And then Kelly and I, we went to Kats Harbor for two weeks to live in a caravan on the beach and it was May holidays and it was my birthday and she got me how to draw the Marvel way.
Leigh Chalker (01:28:50):
That’s the big John Bema book, isn’t it?
Beau Jardine (01:28:53):
Yeah. And I copied everything that was in that book and drew lots on that two weeks. And I’d just started, started properly and thought, I wanna do this for a living. I wanna be able to do this to make money. It looks like I’m learning. And yeah, I’ve still got some of the pictures from that first couple of weeks. But up till then I just sort of doodled. I did comics in school a little bit. You’d, you’d pull out the two pages from your exercise book and you make that into a four page comic. And it was about a guy who went to a private school like mine and it’s all I knew. And teachers would cae kids to death and that kind of thing, but at little bits and pieces. But getting that book, how to Draw the Marvel Way, it shows you exactly what to do. It shows you what works and if you wanna fuck around with it, you that’s on you. But now I learned how to do it from that. And it still is. I’ve, through the 11 years I did art about 10 kids book that book. And when they had the book fair, I made sure that there was a, they’re in paperback now, but they’re still the same thing. And it’s an excellent book. It’s an excellent
Leigh Chalker (01:30:06):
Book, mate. Mate, I can tell you that I actually bought that book when I was a kid because I used to love the trade paperbacks that had the pencil sketches and how a comics put together in the back of them. And
Beau Jardine (01:30:18):
Yeah, there was some things that I could see but they just weren’t, there was one page, I know it really well. I had a guy looking like Tarn I guess, and he’s standing there with his arms folded and then next to him you have Captain America, which had that wow factor and you realize, yeah, they stand their legs further apart and he’s the top half of hims wider. And you could see that first guy looked pretty athletic, looked pretty strong, but no, not next to Captain America. And
Leigh Chalker (01:30:48):
They show quite as dynamic how sort
Beau Jardine (01:30:51):
Leigh Chalker (01:30:53):
To make things a little bit more exaggerated in that sort of sense to answer.
Beau Jardine (01:30:57):
And when you’re drawing faces, you keep it as simple as you can so you can use expression. And that’s one of the real tricks that you’ve gotta learn is if you are drawing read Richards, that drawing has to change every panel. But it always has to be read Richards, you know, have to learn how to do the character from any angle and still be that character. And that took a lot for me. That was difficult. And the real big one was hands. I would try and hide the hands. I would have people in the leather jacket pockets or their hands behind their back. I would try and hide and then, and I told the kids at the art class, don’t worry about the hands, they’re too hard. Fuck what an idiot. I eventually got a book on hands and I worked it out a wedge basically.
And anyhow I learned how to draw hands really well because I didn’t like it that I had that hole in my education. And now I realize you can use hands to tell the story. Hands and eyebrows gesticulating. You can have a character say something, but his body language tells you that he’s lying. Yes. And it gets interesting there. Ben is really good at this realism, this gesticulating that he does. His characters, when they’re walking, they look like they’re walking, they look like they’ve got weight and I wanna get there. But Ben’s way ahead of me. I wanna drink his blood. Tell maybe
Leigh Chalker (01:32:28):
Get some extra power with there mate. Oh
Beau Jardine (01:32:33):
No, no. The point, no, no, don’t get extra just point is just stick live longer. See if you can get, get some of his talent off him because he’s way ahead of me.
Leigh Chalker (01:32:45):
And that’s Ben Sullivan you’re talking about mate. Yeah, that’s the artist that’s doing the southern squadron dark nebulous stuff.
Beau Jardine (01:32:53):
Yeah, he sent me a thing about Charron, the guy, the Ferryman that takes you across the rivers sticks to the capitol city of hell. And he’s got a story about that and I don’t wanna blow smoke, but that’s one of the prettiest comic stories I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean Australia, I mean I’ve ever seen, he sent me that, it was beautiful. I’ve gotta go and print them out and put them in order so I can read the story cuz it’s all muddled up. But God, he’s good. God he’s good. He’s got an eye to make things look three dimensional and round and fat and depth. He’s real good. Well
Leigh Chalker (01:33:32):
I had man, I had the pleasure of doing a inking some of Ben’s artwork for Ring Around the Rosies, which has a little comic book from Rob Low myself. Yes. And Ben Sullivan. And you’ve seen a lot of the artwork and made his pencils strong, really strong, knows what he wants. And to ink over the top off taught me huge lessons just from, cause I ink myself, I’m quite loose with my pencils and that was the first time I’d come across, wow, this dude’s really prepped this page so that there’s not heaps of questions just yeah, no great artist man. I’m a hundred percent with you. Good dude too. Halla dude.
Beau Jardine (01:34:17):
Yeah, I have some Jason stuff at one stage and we didn’t need to use it. It was just stuff that he wasn’t going to use and it was just fun to do Jason’s stuff. Yeah, it was just, or hair, but it was just very, very simple. Very proud of hair. But that did well that was 15 years that we worked on that thought. I
Leigh Chalker (01:34:40):
Bought hair, but the hippo and issue one, two, and three from a news agent, I think it was called the Northtown News Agents in the Townsville City Mall mate when it first came out. They’re sitting over there in my portal.
Beau Jardine (01:34:53):
They used to used to hair butt out and I’d see them in the news agents and there’d be other Australian comics in there too. There was Tim’s comic, there was Dave’s comic and I would pinch the hair butt ones and they still have to pay for them because they don’t have the mask Tims. And then I’d just give them a
Leigh Chalker (01:35:16):
Fair business decision I guess. Matt <laugh>. So Dave, for you, what are your whys and hows, mate, for anyone out there listening that you’ve trailed blazed Australian comics as well as Bo has, and why do you do it to yourself, Dave? And
Dave de Vries (01:35:40):
Why is Pretty Simple was the first time I ever did anything where I could see, I remember doing it then saying to myself, I could see myself getting up and doing this every day for a living. I farted around whether things before that, even other art projects. But this was the first time I could actually see, okay, I can imagine myself getting up in the morning going and going to the studio and this is what I would do. And I think that to be successful in anything, they talk about visualizing and manifesting and that can get a little bit wonky, but there’s some underlying truth to it, which is that I talk to people like if they want to get into film directing or film writing or comics or whatever, and they say, how do I do it? And my answer is, you need to just start doing it.
And then one comic book writer, right? Comic book artist draw. And if you are drawing comics, you’re a comic book artist. That’s it. Then getting good is a result of doing it over and over, often enough screwing up. There’s nothing like putting a comic out and nobody buying it to force you to realize that all of those theories that you had are bullshit and that you need to start thinking about, well what works. And you very quickly learned that the people who have come before you were not idiots and they were not ignorant and they probably knew more than you. And so there’s a lot to be said for just looking at the way other people have done things, finding the one that is doing it the closest to the way you would do it, and then starting to emulate that work. You can call it, you can call it cloning, you can call it ripping off, I don’t care what term you use, but it’s, look, if you said, ah yeah, but if I start drawing Kirby, I’m just going to become a Kirby client. Oh you should be so lucky. I mean seriously, it won’t happen. You’ll end up, well, you
Beau Jardine (01:37:44):
Evolve, you start evolving
Dave de Vries (01:37:45):
Your own work will get your own work gets in there whether you like it or not. And so there is no real danger of losing yourself. That’s a guarantee. So my genuine belief is that if you want to draw Jack Kirby or John Emer or Jardine, then actually do a bit of research about who they are, not just as artists, as people. Where do they live, what do they do? What did they eat, where do they go? What pub do they drink in? I mean all I know that sounds crazy, but no,
Beau Jardine (01:38:21):
It says it’s writing. You work from a higher framework and so you learn as much as you can. That doesn’t seem to be anything to do with what you wanna do eventually, but you, it’s higher framework.
Dave de Vries (01:38:34):
Well, when Gary c and I met Mike Grell he and Mike Barron interested in kept me meeting. They both said, you guys should come over to America, you should come to the San Diego. Back then the San Diego was not much bigger than what the cons are here in Australia. It might have even been a little bit smaller to be honest. But it was great. Three quarters, there were three main groups who were there in almost equal numbers. There were the professionals who were the artists, there were the professionals who were within the industry itself. And then there were the mug punters. So the punters only made up about a third of the total and we all kind of interacted and got on with each other really, really well. And Gary and I went over there with one purpose in mind and it was just to get a feel for what it involves whether what we were doing was in alignment with what they were doing in the States and moreover would the Americans be even interested in working with Australians.
And we met guys like Neil Gaiman and Garth in us over the years and became very friendly with them. And the beauty was that those guys had trailblazed, they were Bretts and they’d got in there. And so the idea of working with Australians didn’t seem that outrageous that yeah, there’s the time zone and look, it’s so much easier now. Back then there was no internet, so it was much harder to get the work in. But after we’d been to San Diego, we just went and hung out with Mike and I went to Mike Grill and I hung out with guys, John a Strand, and literally just spending a week with at their house, you making that your base then going off and seeing the Marvel DC editors, but just hanging out and realizing these are real people, this is a real career, this is what they do.
They get up in the morning, they sit down at their desk, they do this, this, and this. And you just slowly develop an idea that, yeah, this isn’t a dream. This is actually a real job with, and that’s what I would say to any budding creator, getting out there is imagine your life as an artist or a writer and if you can’t then find them talk, go to buy the creators who you admire a beer and just say, so what do you do in the morning? What do you do from 10 until 12? How many days do you sit at the desk and you just sort of develop friendships and relationships? I know that sounds sort of complicated, but it’s not really, most creators are pretty easy to get on with. Mm-hmm. And usually as Lee, we’ve got the Yuel Club where a lot of the guys just hang out and chat on a Thursday evening.
There’s a lot of people who I, if I was an artist, I would definitely get involved with with the guys from Comics, comics, ex, and get involved on the drink and draws on a Friday night, talk to people in about it and just do it and you will get better. Just do I look through all of those books on how to draw and so forth. And I took away some of it. But it’s funny how you’re doing a Don at the same time. It’s very hard to get rid of yourself. And so, I don’t know, I don’t think there’s any one way to achieve it. But other than just saying, just do it. So if you are a writer and you wanna write comics find an artist who doesn’t and work with them. That’s always a good starting place. If you are an artist and you want to draw, just start drawing. Find a writer that writes. Talk to people who are already in the business and say, well will you work with me? And if they won’t, well do you know somebody who will and you know, can start pointing people towards each other and all else fails. Just start writing scripts or start drawing drawings even if you don’t have an end use in mind. Because trust me, after you’ve done that for two or three months, find a reason to do it properly. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (01:42:42):
100%. But if you have to
Dave de Vries (01:42:44):
Ask yourself why, then you probably it’s it’s in your blood. I think you one, if I said to you, Lee, why do you do it? You say, because it’s who I am. I mean it’s it. No, if I said you can never draw a right again, what would you do?
Leigh Chalker (01:43:02):
I don’t know. I pondered that question myself with these weird existential questions. You have jokingly with mates sometimes what would happen if you went deaf or if you went blind? People have those yarns. We’ve all had those yarns. And man, I would much rather, I can tell you go deaf myself, I wouldn’t like to do either of them or anything bad. But because if I lost my eyesight, you know what I mean, I wouldn’t be able to draw. And for me, drawing is a compulsion. I can’t tell you why I do it, mate. Just I need to do it. It’s one of those things I’ve worked into the routine of my life I guess I’ve said to other people, it’s my meditation time to get away and reflect and put my vision of the world, what I’m feeling that day onto paper and whatever I’m writing with Tam at that moment. One thing I definitely will agree with you on though man is like, cuz I’m only a baby in comparison to where you two have been and for how long you’ve been in Australia comics and stuff like that. But the thought of having people that are now friends and people like yourself, Dave Gary cer Bo, that when I was a kid, I was picking up your comic books from news stands and comic shops and knew who you were. Not visually
Beau Jardine (01:44:32):
Probably owe you some money now.
Leigh Chalker (01:44:34):
Yeah, no. But to have that opportunity is amazing. And to be able to talk to you guys. I mean I’ve spoken to you, all of you and even friends man, other people in the X Community and other people, you do pick up snippets, you learn through talking to these people. I’ve, over the last, I guess 12 months just become a huge just information sponge on particularly Australian comic book history. Loving just talking to people about what happened in the thirties, forties to where to the eighties period where you guys kicked it on. I mean the Gerald car stuff. I love learning this stuff, man. And
Beau Jardine (01:45:27):
There was that one guy that was a murderer, don’t you?
Leigh Chalker (01:45:30):
Oh yes, yes. Yeah, no, Daniels told us all about. Yeah,
Beau Jardine (01:45:34):
I’ve got the book here.
Leigh Chalker (01:45:35):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No good book that it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a good yarn. And there, there’s all levels of people. But that’s the beautiful thing about it is just create. So I, I’m a hundred percent with both of you. So look I’ve loved talking to you because I haven’t seen either of you in quite some time. So it’s always nice to catch up and yarn.
Beau Jardine (01:46:04):
Well, you’re welcome at the thing on
Leigh Chalker (01:46:06):
Thursdays. I know I just get stuck working mate. I don’t get home till seven o’clock and stuff, so I can’t sort of pop in all the time. But Christmas coming up you’ll probably see me head in cuz it’s like I’ve got some time off. As I said, just everything’s slowing down a little bit at the moment so I can live a little and breathe and stuff. So as is a nice thing to do at the holiday season. But Dave and Bo, for anyone out there that’s watched this show, where can we find your works now? I know. Be that your stuff. There’s a lot of stuff on Facebook which is smack freak
Beau Jardine (01:46:45):
And.com. If you do go onto Smack Freak, then you’ve gotta press the button and then wait five minutes because it’s like 82 pages. It takes a long time and then to it. But yeah, I’m happy to show it off now. It came from a very, very dark place. Just the stuff that happens in that is real. And I had to take out stuff at the very last minute. My ex said, this is about prostitution Bo. And I says, I know you think it’s glorious, I can do this sort of scary horror thing about drag queens getting beat up. And she says, you’ll get your head kicked in. Don’t. So I took out eight pages. It originally had more in it, but yeah, I’m proud of it now. And at the time it was very God, it was a weird thing to just hand it to people.
It’s like an open confessional. It’s saying this is what happened, this is what happened to me and now I’m okay. And now I’m done a comic book about it. It was just the best thing I’ve ever done. Yeah, I can can’t, I can’t ever do it again. But it was a good thing to do at the time. I’ve got one copy of it left one out of 10,000. Well it’d be lovely to see that Earl Print again one day. Oh, it’s the money and it’s 82 pages. Nobody’s going to wanna do it and it’d be ridiculous to try and divide it up into three. That was the problem with pothead. It’s also about 80 pages. And the social worker ladies who said they would get the money so that I could print it disappeared. They ghosted. And I asked a few people around why did that happen? And yeah, because it’s 80 pages, it’s huge. Yeah, yeah. I’d put ’em out again if I had the chance or well, if somebody wanted to do Print on demand, but I don’t wanna do it. I’ve only got so many brain cells left <laugh>
Dave de Vries (01:48:53):
For the new material Lee. People can go on Kickstarter if you just, yes, of course. If you just put in Southern Squadron Dark or Dark Nebula I think if you put in Dark Nebula, that will take you to the Dark Nebular Southern Squadron crossover. And then the Southern Squadron Dark Work will be in there as well. The Kickstarter campaign continues through until I think we’re about halfway through it. So towards the end of this month it’ll conclude. There will be opportunities for people to pick up the workers, I guess with subsequent Kickstarters. But there’s so many people sort of talk to me and say, ah gee, I really wish that I could have been there in the early days of Cyclone when you guys were starting out. And I guess the argument then I would say is that if you are one of those people, then this is a renaissance which is actually happening.
And it’s really hard for people to get a feel for it until they see it in the rear view mirror and go, oh wow, there it is. But what we are talking about taking what I think was the spirit of the Cyclone Universe, which was where there was myself and Tad and Gary and Glen were all working together on, started out on our own characters, but very quickly by the second or third book, they were all working into each other’s storyline. So rather than a four part anthology, it became a collective of what became effectively the cyclone universe. Gary is still playing with the Jacko and Dark and Flash Domingo on his own, but the Dark Nebula is still part of that little universe and so is the southern squadron for that matter. And we’ll never completely pull those worlds apart. So what we are talking about here is unifying the southern squadron and the dark nebula or reunifying them together cuz they’ve appeared in the past. Then we are bringing them in with the torn characters. The Southern Squadron have appeared with Nightside and The Rock before, but it was sort of almost like a guest starring in each other’s sort of storylines. Bo’s definitely working the southern squadron more centrally into his storylines. I’m planning on returning the favor. So you’re talking about, well
Beau Jardine (01:51:19):
This story really needed to have somebody and the Southern Cross was perfect.
Dave de Vries (01:51:24):
Yeah. Just so we’re getting this sort of, and revere, I think people need to realize Revere’s having their for it’s 30th birthday too. Yeah, that was around at the same time. It’s one of the oldest publications and certainly would be the oldest current publication because Revere was around before Cyclone. So I mean, you’ve gotta give Gaza sort of chops for that. I think it came out in 82, so same year, this is its 40th anniversary as well. So you’re seeing a pretty sort of exciting rebirth of these characters, hence the title. And it is mean. We had to come up with a name for this period, cuz when we were doing it in the eighties, we didn’t know it was called the Bronze Age. That was just something that was sort of dumped on it later. And we said, well what’s this era? And nobody could really give it a name. So we said, well I guess it’s a renaissance.
But yeah, there’s going to be a lot of stuff coming out in the next two to three years. Where are we going to see a lot of Southern squadron, a lot of dark, maybe a lot of nightside a lot of torn. So for those people who want to be in on that now’s the time and look still. Got you. But I’ve still got my old vinyls. And when you’ve got a copy of Led Zeppelin four or Revolver from the Beatles, cool for two reasons, not just because you’ve got a copy of that album, but because the reason why that album became popular is because people like you got off your ass, put your hand in your pocket and went and paid your money. So you are a small part of the success of Led Zeppelin or of the Beatles or whomever, because if nobody had bothered to buy their records, they wouldn’t have become who they were. It’s kind of the same, everybody who actually bought a cyclone or bought a Nightside or bought a dark nebula or a Southern squadron or whatever.
If you were one of those people, thank you. You were the reason why that stuff happened. Why we would’ve kept going in some form, but if nobody had bought it it wouldn’t have been the phenomenon that it was. And so I guess we always felt this with, and we made this very clear in the letters and the editorials that we’re not doing this on our own, we’re doing it with you. You guys are as important to this as we are. I know that sounds a little bullshit, but it, it’s kind of true. Anybody ever says, oh, I bought stuff. I still feel incredible gratitude in the sense of humility actually, that we were just screwing around and the idea that people actually liked it and were hanging out for it. That is just very humbling. So my goal going forward, and I think this is the same with you Bo and is with Tad, is that at some point we are going to be under the ground. Nobody lives forever, but it would be nice to think that long after we are gone, our characters continue and become part of the what Australian comic history is all about.
Beau Jardine (01:54:36):
It happened with love
Dave de Vries (01:54:37):
40 years ago, but after 40 years you start to believe it’s possible. So
Beau Jardine (01:54:41):
It happened with Lovecraft, he had these characters, he died and all of his science fiction cronies took on those characters. And they’ve sold thousands and thousands of books of his characters between other cosmic or God monster type squirmy things that he did. And that continues on for this day. Those characters with the same names, you hope that you’d hope somebody else, some little kid will see outside on the Rock and wanna do their own. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (01:55:13):
Yeah. Well obviously, which is great to hear. Got plans to work together for as long as you can with both of these comic books and you’re doing your coloring and stuff. I mean,
Beau Jardine (01:55:24):
Dave has to do my lettering. You should put your name on it, Dave, when it says Story and pictures by Jardine, you should say David Dee’s lettering because I didn’t do it. You should put your name on. Yeah,
Dave de Vries (01:55:35):
I’ll, I’ll whack that in somewhere. Yeah,
Beau Jardine (01:55:38):
Yeah, yeah. But
Dave de Vries (01:55:41):
What made the Southern Squadron for me a lot of fun was the fact that we did crossovers with Boris the Bear in America, and they appeared in Grim Jack. So the characters were allowed to play in other people’s universes. And I’ve said this before, any creator in Australia who wants to put the Southern squadron in the storylines just let me know and we’ll work something out. I don’t want money. I just think it would be great to see these characters continue. I think that, and
There was a very long period where I sort of moved over into film and television where I still maintained an interest in comics and still kept my hand in comics. But the Southern Squadron basically won the hiatus from about 95 through till 2015. So for 20 years they were still being published and repackaged and so forth, but no new material was being created. And I honestly thought that was just a part of my life that was sort of interest, but I was doing other things and I didn’t think that I would come back to them. And then here we are. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (01:56:57):
Have you got any other plans to reprint some of your classic indie stuff like we were talking about with nasty and things like that before?
Dave de Vries (01:57:07):
At some point, maybe
Beau Jardine (01:57:10):
If they want it, if it looks like they want it, then we’ll consider it. But otherwise probably not. I
Dave de Vries (01:57:16):
Reckon mean what I really wanna do, Lee, is reestablish the characters. So I’ve got a 12 part story that Gary Dells me to get into print as soon as possible, and that’s the next step. So there’s the fact that they’re appearing in six issues next year. Three with torn, three with Dark Nebula should give readers a good sense of what they’re doing. Doing four short stories for the comics presents God so many of these, which I promised. But they’ve just, again, these things just take a lot longer than you think. The gets excite. We’re all kind of jumping in during Covid it nothing to do. So once Covid sort of relaxed, everybody suddenly realized, hey, there’s a world out there other than just doing comics. And so things have slowed down a little bit compared to where they were in those heady days a couple of years back.
But yeah, I’ve got some material that has actually was between the years of AZ comics and the years of Cyclone, they’re really early stuff. And I may repackage some of that just as a little special 40th anniversary thing. I don’t know. But to be honest, I really want to just do new stuff. The older stuff will get redone at some point, I’m sure. But to just start repackaging that again, you’d be just saying, okay, well I mean I’m a different person 40 years down the path or 30 years now down the path from there. And you are the same boat. I mean, what Bo’s doing with Nightside now, it’s doing the best of what he had in the eighties, but he’s then bringing a lot of new ideas into it as well. And that old stuff is, it’s gotta be fun, but
Beau Jardine (01:59:13):
Yeah, it’s gotta be more adult. I think that Watchman changed a lot of us once we read Watchman, we really, really had to lift our game. But you can’t do these same stories again and again and again. You’ve gotta have something new and you’ve gotta have mirror to society, that kind of thing. So the last one was nostalgia, and this one’s fame and I’m really fucking ripping on fame. It’s a nasty thing. Nobody should wanna be famous. I’ve never wanted to be famous. I’ve wanted my characters to be famous and I could hide in the background. Yeah, well I dress like a vampire. I wanna be infamous.
Dave de Vries (02:00:01):
I, I’m lucky I live in the Barossa and everybody’s famous here because it’s a smallish community. I just recently got elected, reelected to the council. So I’m the deputy mayor so most people know who I am. So
Beau Jardine (02:00:14):
Who the Nazis are, I don’t
Dave de Vries (02:00:16):
You, but they don’t really know me as a comic creator here, which is kind of interesting. So they don’t,
Beau Jardine (02:00:21):
The people at the bar, well
Dave de Vries (02:00:22):
They kind of know I did The Phantom when it comes up, everybody tells you how much they love the Phantom and that’s great and then they assume that you did the stuff that was in the newspapers and I don’t set them straight because it doesn’t really matter. And when you explain the full story, they’re just as impressed in you guys.
Leigh Chalker (02:00:44):
Yeah, yeah. Well I did watch a little YouTube clip I think of you and Glen Lumsden mate going on a show to talk about.
Beau Jardine (02:00:55):
Yeah, that’s hilarious. On Steve Ard.
Leigh Chalker (02:00:57):
Yeah, that’s what it was. Yeah. Hey, question cuz I did chuckle through it. How nervous were you two Man?
Beau Jardine (02:01:08):
I didn’t think they were nervous.
Leigh Chalker (02:01:10):
Oh, I did. That’s just me looking at it now. I would’ve been absolutely packing me. Bridge isn’t, mate,
Dave de Vries (02:01:16):
We, we’d been getting wasted in the green room. So <laugh>,
Beau Jardine (02:01:22):
What the horror is with that thing is that they were going to do a whole of Steve Viza on the Phantom in a little while, but the show got ax before that.
Dave de Vries (02:01:32):
Yeah, that was a shame. Yes.
Beau Jardine (02:01:34):
Dave de Vries (02:01:34):
Mewell was a real fan and he wanted to do an entire show based on The Phantom. So that was a petty but yeah,
Beau Jardine (02:01:43):
Dave de Vries (02:01:44):
To hang out with ’em after the show. Pretty cool. And then we went out and did the town and went to a nightclub where one of the singers on the show was, and they’d reserved a front row seat for us with a table down at the, oh, it was really cool. So it was our little night of celebrity and that was good.
Leigh Chalker (02:02:07):
Yeah, no, they
Dave de Vries (02:02:09):
Put us up in the, the Luxury suites, which was pretty nicer, but it’s
Beau Jardine (02:02:16):
Never had a night of celebrity. I saw David Bowie once and it was one of the saddest things you’ve ever seen. He was in the Mansel room and he had to go down the stairs, like a big windy staircase to this sort of basement. And he was there with some other people, probably, I dunno, six other people. And he was completely inundated with humanity all around him, everywhere, everyone trying to catch his eye. And he was like this on the table like that.
And I wanted to talk to him too. It’s David Bow. I don’t have a clue what to say, but there were a thousand people ahead of me and I just thought, oh no, they see that’s dark fame. He couldn’t leave that place. He would’ve had to fight. So they’ve gotta have security guys come in and get him and push people around to get him outta there. Cause he’s absolutely trapped. Yeah. And there was that moment with Mary Costas that wasn’t really a night of celebrity, it was about a two and a half hours. Who Mary Costas is
Leigh Chalker (02:03:23):
From Acropolis now?
Beau Jardine (02:03:26):
Leigh Chalker (02:03:28):
Oh, there you go. Hey, I’m sure that’s a story for another time. The way you were smirking there, mate. <laugh>.
Beau Jardine (02:03:35):
Dave de Vries (02:03:35):
I’ve heard that one.
Leigh Chalker (02:03:37):
We might just take
Beau Jardine (02:03:40):
The absolute truth. Yeah, the absolute trick is, I dunno what happened. I forget. I
Leigh Chalker (02:03:46):
Don’t, well we’ll leave it that way.
Beau Jardine (02:03:50):
It was there. It was lovely Then, I dunno, just, I woke up. Yeah.
Dave de Vries (02:03:54):
But what’s kind of cool, Lee, is that you know, get to meet all of the people who you grew up loving. I mean, probably for me the most exciting one was spending an afternoon at Jack Kirby’s house with Glen. And that was pretty cool. But there’s no real look there. I guess there’s a hierarchy within the comic world, but the really good ones, the people who like that are worth getting to know. They don’t treat you any different. And so before it, your friends. And so we were incredibly lucky that when we first started knocking on the America’s doors, that they treated us one of their own. And very, very soon we were in there and we were doing it. And I’ve kept those friendships today and that, that’s terrific. But I think we all kind of returned the favor. So they would talk about this abo that, you know, go along to the Oz comics, Oz Comic Con in the early nineties, and everybody was all in it together. And the Yanks who would come down, guys like Claremont and that they would just hang out in the bar with the rest of us and the mug punters would join us all. And there was no sense of, you know, don’t have a right to be that sort of thing. And yeah,
Beau Jardine (02:05:13):
There was one guy from Marvel who bought us all Lebanese food at the end of a thing once
Dave de Vries (02:05:19):
Beau Jardine (02:05:20):
Dave de Vries (02:05:20):
Beau Jardine (02:05:21):
Yes. And there was Strike 20 people
Dave de Vries (02:05:23):
And we took him to the love machine. And in the Phantom comic there’s there these characters running through the street and there’s a poster which says Tonight only Skip deets. And the Love Machine playing on the love machine is a rather salacious. It’s a place where you can see women who are skilled in acrobatics, put it that way.
Leigh Chalker (02:05:48):
Dave de Vries (02:05:49):
Yeah. In King’s Cross. Yeah.
Leigh Chalker (02:05:51):
Yeah. Patti’s Eyes open that night after a couple of bloody like a bit of a meal. We’ll take you to the love machine mate. Rock on
Dave de Vries (02:06:00):
<laugh>. That was pretty cool.
Beau Jardine (02:06:04):
Leigh Chalker (02:06:05):
We might leave it there.
Beau Jardine (02:06:08):
Well thanks very much dude. Thank you. No, that’s all and stuff
Leigh Chalker (02:06:14):
Mate. It’s an absolute pleasure mate from both of you. I would like to just let everyone know again now that we’re ending the show, you can get Southern Squadron Dark Nebula Kickstarter out now Rev Comics Southern Squadron, Facebook to go there kicks,
Dave de Vries (02:06:34):
They’re all over Facebook. I know that Shane’s promoting it. Yeah. Gary Dell is promoting, you are promoting it. So
Leigh Chalker (02:06:41):
On X, everything there. Yep. And it’s going successful
Dave de Vries (02:06:46):
Dms and we’ll let you know. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (02:06:48):
Yeah. Sweet. And it’s going successfully. So if everyone wants to see one of Australia’s greatest super teams in the super CR creation and
Beau Jardine (02:06:56):
Just jump on board, just jump on board because we are not finished yet. Yeah, yeah. We’ve got more good stuff coming. We’ve got good ideas
Leigh Chalker (02:07:04):
Coming. No, we wanna see it mate. We wanna see it. We wanna see your stuff come to fruition too. Southern Squadron Dark and the new stories that you’re working on and all that with Dave, it’d be unreal to see that. So we’ll wind it down. I’d just like to thank you to our two desks guests, Dave DeVries and Jardine who are available. You can reach out to them, say Goodday like as Dave said, and Bo said, always happy to have a yarn. I would like to thank Shane and Carrie for letting us pop on here and say good day. Have a very merry Christmas. Keep an eye out on Kickstarters. Keep an eye out on Australian comic books. There’s the comic shop, there’s owner Indie coming back in January’s Friday night Drinking drawers. There’s a couple of other news shows. The Tuesday Chinwag will be back in early January and take care, be good and thanks lady. See you Dave. See mate. See you all later. Take care. Okay, bye bye. Bye.
Voice Over (02:08:12):
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