Comic Book Diary: Andrez Bergen Part 4

ANDREZ BERGEN returns with more tales of hardship, hospitals and heroes. Here’s part four of his Comic Book Diary…

This week’s instalment is late ‘cos I got interred for a week back in the brain-injury ward; some hoo-hah about being over-happy, changing medication, and so on, blah, blah.

Let’s get this straight – I love life. Which is one reason I get so hyped and excited about things, which I’ve realized now can be mistaken for possible bi-polar symptoms, especially when I do tend to crash in between ups.

“Eccentric,” said one of the nice staff here, nicknamed Mousetrap (long story) said with reference to my seesawing side and me.

An up side of being in hospital is the weekly table-tennis meets we have – last week I beat the diabolically good Von Dutch, and we traded tees on the spot.

One thing I’m not up about is the new life I share with a seizure disorder thanks to scarring on the brain. These seizures – violent little whippersnappers that they can be – have not yet learned their place. These were the things that pretty much finished off Ian Curtis from Joy Division.

One even churlishly interrupted my enjoyment of the last AFL grand final and the Tigers’ victory. Huh.

I’ve discussed hiring myself out as performance art at live gigs and/or bar mitzvahs.

I try to maintain a kind of indifferent levity toward my new form of epilepsy as otherwise I suspect I might go still more mad.

Luckily I have people like Danny Zemp helping me to do so. Danny gave me the original of this drawing recently.

Captain Seizure?? Right on. As a villain? Hah! 
And I adore the added touch of a little girl, supposed to be my daughter, Cocoa, at the forefront there, and what she says, in a real “Yes, Virginia” moment.

Another ‘up’ thing I do get excited about with the upcoming Magpie anthology is the international feel to proceedings — this is not just your stock Anglo-Saxon cast. Previously the most exotic we got was making Maggie herself of French descent. Ooh La La.

Now we have one character Onna Bugeisha who has Japan stamped all over her, while Lady Timewarp is clearly of Southeast Asian descent – some people think Fu Manchu Oriental or more specifically Chinese and/or Indian. My Philippine nurses at the hospital were confident she must be Filipina. Kyle Saleem from The Dying Man looks to be of Middle Eastern origins. The Vibrator comes from still further afield, being an interdimensional traveller; yep, they do exist. Onna Bugeisha and Nameless Nobody also bend the rules a little in that they have an openly gay relationship. Yay for differences I say.

And we’re pushing perimeters story-wise in the new anthology. Some of it being a bit trippy, reminiscent of the Dr Strange stories I used to read in old issues of Tales of Suspense and Newton Comics reprints.

One of the first comic book stories I worked on, with the bloody brilliant Matt Kyme, from Tales to Admonish #1, was set in a comic book store called Gorgon. Hmmm. Wonder what that relates to? I find it funny a story that ended with such a definitive full stop is about to be continued by a different artist. More news soon-ish.


Credits from the top:
Feature image: Andrez in the Brain Injury Ward on Grand Final Day with his Dad
Captain Seizure by Danny Zemp
Onna Bugeisha art by Frantz Kantor
Lady Timewarp by Tony Davidson
Tales to Admonish art by Matt Kyme

About GC

Gary Chaloner is the creator of Flash Damingo and The Jackaroo, The Undertaker Morton Stone & Red Kelso. He's also worked on Will Eisner's John Law, Robert E. Howard's Breckinridge Elkins, Astro City, Doc Wilde and Unmasked. He's the co-convenor of The Ledger Awards and the host/publisher of the

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