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In the Biography section, you can find the life story
of everyone involved in the creation of the Heart of Empire Comics: Bryan
Talbot, Angus McKie, Ellie
DeVille, and even the story of those only involved in this CD - James
relationships with SMS.
1960's: A bungalow and sheds lie becalmed in midsummer Hampshire
countryside. An abandoned tram is a galleon filled with firewood.
A small boy keeps watch with a plastic telescope from the tram's
bare roof. Above him, seagulls resist being sucked into the blue.
In a minute he will jump to test his theory of flight. Just before
he does, he is trying to match his view of a wood through the telescope
with that of his naked eyes. Abruptly, he realises it is him that
is seeing this.
1970's: The edge of the New Forest, a three story Victorian
gothic house is surrounded by the rolling black shapes of wind-tossed
trees. The building's size is hinted at by dim night-lights at the
windows, it's mock-Tudor facade given frozen solidity by close-glaring
lightning. Rocked by the driving rain between jagged roofs, a teenager
is replacing slippery slates. He is often called up here by insistently
dripping ceilings. Over his shoulder, the thunder is intimate as
a rugby scrum. Below, one of the senile inmates of the nursing home
wails in confusion. There is no better time to be alive.
1980's: A Victorian tenement near Waterloo station: Two squatters
in their very early 20's watch as their home is wrecked to maintain
the property industry. An immaculately suited Council employee,
having smashed the junction box and the gas meter, shatters the
toilet bowl and cistern with a crowbar. Opening his flies with professional
dignity he efficiently pisses into the jagged enamel. In a couple
of days the building will be completely uninhabitable. This is the
sixth building the squatter in the corduroy jacket has mended and
furnished in a year. Some of the buildings were modern high rise
developments. Some, prestigious Victorian houses. Some, 1930;s flats..
All of them were a home for someone.
The landscaped buildings of Southampton University are a scale
model for Utopia. Nearer the town, students sit in front of lorries
to stop houses being demolished for an already abandoned road development.
When the campaign succeeds, the philosophy student who dragged them
into this returns to drawing and co-editing an amateur comic. Southampton's
Archaeology Department survey the Norman Walls. In an undercroft,
one of them draws comic strip layouts in his lunchbreak.
1980's: Southampton in midwinter: There's no roof, back wall,
water, gas or electricity. The air is full of brick dust. The men
paid to do most of the seven months work think the owner isn't taking
the building seriously enough as he stops work early. In whichever
room that has a floor, he draws comics to pay for materials. Seventeen
months after he submitted the designs for this rebuilding, the Council
says this is the only possible time to make those drawings solid.
Designing The City Of Agartha, he knows that this is a dumb
time to be in a building site.
1990's: Even with a stepladder, it's impossible to reach the
apex of the attic room. The walls have been taken down to afford
more space and through the new windows, it's possible to see between
the trees at the edge of Rochdale to three different locations that
need reclaiming, rebuilding or protecting. In between; there's slices
of the city of London to redesign
He misses that roof
a decade of drawing people, technology and organisms, Sms seems
to have drawn a lot of buildings. The Heart of Empire project
is the first time he's been asked to just do the buildings alone.
Bryan, for the patience.
a variety of small press, 2000AD, Arcane, Interzone, Games Workshop,
Marvel UK and Marvel US.
Kerosina, Games Workshop, Penguin, Pan, BBR, Marvel UK and,
mainly, Interzone for which he's frequently been voted 'Best
Art award: 1998.
a variety of things onstage, Has demonstrated Alien Sex, given birth,
been decorticated, demonstrated the ghosts of extinct species and
ritually disembowelled a Clanger. Regularly presents the robot battle:
Beyond Cyberdrome at Eastercon SF conventions.
trying to save a barn.
architecture in proposing to Eira, who, in between circus,
were held at a ruined Gothic Folly, a lake and a Victorian Gothic
he is involved in writing and directing a film project. A period
yes, the buildings do play a large part.
in comic strips:
Sanctum of Absolute
Contiguity: Of our Complex Ideas Of Substances in Mad Dog.
Solent City: Syd. Coaster. Aquaduct complex: Screaming of the Beetle,
Arcane. Orbital Freewill Project The Good Robot, Interzone.
The Cold Designs. City of Arartha/Temple of Arartha: ABC Warriors,
2000AD. City of Oogst/Threshing Plaza: Empty Maker, Games
Workshop Graphic Novel. Tube Transport Complex: Down The Tubes.
Ice City: Demon Queen, Red Fox. Alien Temple: Warheads. Overkill
Hell labyrinth Original Sin, Hellraiser.
Click here to
return to the top of the page.
Also see the other biographies:
Bryan Talbot, Angus
MacKie , Ellie DeVille and James