Time to learn about the man behind many a story. He’s collaborated with the likes of Tad Pietrzykowski, created a sci-fi Anthology, wrote a story for ComX Studio’s very own SYDRiS comic and many more Comic creation feats. I present to you, Haydn Spurrell.
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Voice Over (00:00:03):
This show is sponsored by the Comics Shop. We hope you enjoy the show.
Leigh Chalker (00:00:25):
Good. Hey, how are you? It’s Tuesday Chinwag, episode 20. Welcome. My name’s Lee Chalker. I’m the creator of Battle for Bustle. It’s the 20th episode. It’s the evolution of the beard continues. So for anyone that hasn’t been watching or seen the show based on six words, prompting questions, who, where, when, why, and how. Sometimes we get through ’em, sometimes we don’t just, we talk about all sorts of things in between. And tonight’s guest, he’s a man with many hats and only one head. So he’s a writer, he’s an editor, he’s a publisher. My God, man, the list just goes on and creator Mr. Hayden Spiral. How are you mate?
Haydn Spurrell (00:01:17):
Good, Lee, it’s a pleasure to be here. I saw the intro and it rolls through all the faces that have been on here, so it’s sort of humbling. You’re in esteemed company and yeah, it’s a good show. It’s sort of watching you evolve here and becoming a better host by the week. And yeah, it’s just a real privilege.
Leigh Chalker (00:01:35):
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you mate. Nice of you. It’s fun to do these things, Hayden. Yeah, it was little bit, how are you going at the start? But for me anyway, but getting the opportunity on Tuesday nights to talk to fellow creators and people that are involved in arts and all this sort of stuff, man, guess we motivated. I look forward to my Tuesday nights and the variety of guests we have on. So man, if you’ve seen it before, do you know what the first one that’s coming at you? Yeah,
Haydn Spurrell (00:02:10):
The one I’ve been dreading the whole time ever since I said yes to this crazy idea. Was that First question’s going to get me. Okay. I’m Hayden Spiral as you mentioned, I’m a writer first and foremost I’ve been writing comics for not, not long enough to side, but about six years. I would say maybe seven or eight. You lose track. I am a letterer as well. I’m an editor sort of on an ad hoc basis. Last year published my first book in quite a few years which was Satellites which was an anthology including a whole bunch of really talented people. That’s the one with an incredible cover by Lauren Tan. She’s just immensely talented. So yeah, at the moment, working on a bunch of stuff working on a bunch of comics for Reary doing some stuff for Shane and Coms outside of a writer. I work in marketing for a day job which might sound like it’s writing or Creativity’s evil step twin, but I balance it, I make it work and it is actually a great sort of creative foil, I guess. It’s actually quite creatively liberating to play both sides in a sense. I’m writing night and I’m marketing by day and it’s sort of a kind of beautiful thing. Yeah,
Leigh Chalker (00:03:54):
Well they do in a weird way, walk hand in hand I guess, don’t they? Opposite ends of the spectrum, mate, but they’re a required I guess bond, aren’t they? Really Creativity. And then you got to get into the marketing of how you get your comic books out there and stuff like that, which is always difficult to begin with. I reckon it would be and is. I can tell you <laugh>, but look, Hayden, I went through my collection of stuff today because I collect Australian comics and there’s more, but I couldn’t get my hands on them, but I was man. Totally. You’re a prolific little bugger as well.
So I’m going to just run through quickly a couple of the things that I could find, but I’m going to take you to your first comic book, which is a three part series called Chime, and that’s through Reary and that’s issue one, issue two, and issue three. So you brought those out. There’s a story to that and I want to hear it and I reckon there’s people out there that do as well, mate, because now you started late, you said that you only been into comic books for a little while. What brought you to I Can Do? What was that road?
Haydn Spurrell (00:05:26):
Yeah so I came to making comics late. I came to reading comics late as well. I started reading them when I was about I think 18. And it was pretty sort of for the time for that time in history, it’s sort of a cliche entry in the comics. It was when The Walking Dead was blowing up and the Dark Night Trilogy was sort of at its height. So my entry was the Walking Dead and Batman <laugh>, nothing too sort of unique about it, but I was reading it. Got you here though mate. It got you here. See? Yeah, so I was reading Scott Snyder’s, Batman Run he and Greg Polo’s run. I was obsessed with The Walking Dead for a while there. I had my opinion on that series is warm ever since, but we won’t get into it. So yeah, sort of 18 to 21, I was sort of guess reading a lot of comics as much as I could.
And at the same time I, I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pen I guess. So I’ve sort of always been that writer. I draw a lot as a kid that sort of petered out because I don’t have nearly the talent that the people I’m working with these days have. So I doodle for fun from now from time to time, but definitely not my area of expertise. But riding, I sort of, hi Carrie. I got into it I guess through Harry Potter and a whole bunch of other things when I was younger. Tried writing prose for all through my childhood and adolescence thought that was my thing. Eventually it stopped being my thing and I kept trying different mediums. So I was trying to write film scripts. I was trying to try a bit of poetry at one point and I was no good at it.
And when I was trying film scripts and TV scripts, I felt like I was close to where I wanted to be, but it wasn’t quite fitting just yet. Then so I got into reading comics and then a few years passed before I found I guess <laugh>, the courage to be like, okay, why don’t I try and write one of these things And it has a few similarities or it sort of treads this line between your very structured script writing and your very non-structured sort of prose writing. So it has this element of you’re not writing a comic script for a reader, you’re writing it for an artist in the same way that you don’t write a film script or a TV script for an audience, you write it for a director and all the collaborators. So there was something about that. There was something about that collaboration that really drew me there. But something about maybe the scale, the scale is smaller, don’t, not a great word to use when it comes to comics, but your teams are smaller.
I find that there is more space for me personally to be creative because there isn’t strict rules to comic book writing and it is very much it sort of leans a lot on that interpersonal dynamic you have with an artist a lot of the time. And I think it’s that sort of fluidity and that flexibility to comics writing that was really appealing. And that’s purely talking about the structure and the script writing. Obviously there are rules to storytelling or there are guidelines to storytelling and you can break them, but it’s good to understand them and I think that they apply to most, the same rules often apply to across the board. We have a way of interpreting storytelling and there are ways that appeal to us as readers. I’m going on a bit of a tangent, but I’m getting there. So <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:09:39):
Tangent away mate. Tangent away.
Haydn Spurrell (00:09:41):
Yeah. When it came to Kyira, as I said, I was about 21 it took a lot of prodding from the people closest to me to be like, why don’t you just do it? You’ve been talking about doing it. Just get off your ass and do it. And the thing is, I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t know how to find the people to do it with as someone who wasn’t doing the art, who didn’t probably I guess have the discipline to learn to do the art. But I also didn’t have that sort of natural inclination to do the art because I didn’t know how to do it and didn’t know where to find people. I’d sort of found someone online. So I teamed up with a Brazilian artist who is very talented and he was very patient with me because I was, that is Mark Oliver, that’s the one.
And he works with me on all three issues of Kyira. As I said, very patient. My script writing, I, well I hope I don’t have those scripts anymore cause I don’t ever want to see them again. There was a lot of basically everything you should never do when you are creating any kind of art. I probably did in the making of Chime, whether it was delivering a script and then changing things retroactively asking the artist for unreasonable edits which was sort of magnified by the fact that he English wasn’t his first language. So it was a really, really thrown and deep thrown in the deep end sort of way to figure out how to make these things that we all love.
So yeah, it came about slowly but surely. I think that first issue was finished around 20, 20 13, 20 14. I printed it myself. I took it to a comic book a Melbourne comics meetup years ago now, I think it must be. Yeah Gary der got his hands on it and Gary der did that thing that Gary der does. He has, he’s very confident, he’s very warm and welcoming and he invites you into the world immediately. And so it was a beautiful thing. He met me same day, he grabbed a copy of Kyira the same day. He said, I’ll give you a call. And so we got to chatting and he wanted to slap a re logo on Chime and we gradually got those three books out. The I’m proud of having done them. I can’t necessarily go back to them and feel like I’ve done anywhere near my best work, but I don’t think any of us ever feel like that about anything we put out. So it’s a bit of nothing statement but
Leigh Chalker (00:12:52):
You did ’em a good read
Making complaints, but we all get better from where we start. We mate. Totally. When you were writing this and talking to Mark, I guess some things I guess that lost you a and gain, depending on the communicative ability did you find that even though you’ve just said some of the issues, you were retrofitting and changing things because look, I’m notorious for that as well, mate, all of that, you’re getting new ideas and you want to put ’em in there. Yes. When will I learn were you getting things pages back from him that were prompting further thoughts from you for adding to the story? You were mentioning that for you yourself as a writer, I guess you find a bit of a sync with the artist you’re collaborating with. Did you find that you were syncing with Mark while you were doing these and doing good work and proud of what was coming in and stuff like that?
Haydn Spurrell (00:14:12):
Good question. I don’t think I had settled myself into the role of comic book writer enough to have established that synchronicity. I think a lot of the changes I was probably making were kind of what you said, getting new ideas. And some of them were prompted by the art. I’m getting art coming in and thinking, okay, where’s this going now? There’s one particular character in that book that sort of actually grew quite large, another character that character’s role completely changed by the third issue. So I started answering a question by saying no, and I guess I’m sort of flipping the switch and I’m saying yes. And yeah, I think that, so I was making changes and I think there were for two reasons some changes were for one and others were for another and some of them were because of that, because I was getting art and because I was having that sort of getting that spark. And then another reason was because I frankly didn’t plan ahead enough. I didn’t sort of map it out or either I didn’t map it out in a way that was, I didn’t map it out enough to suggest that the story wasn’t ready to go into production. And that’s a really valuable lesson to learn probably still learning it. But yeah, I would say Chime here was a great learning experience. I hope Mark’s getting a lot of work because he was great to work with, super friendly guy and very talented and yeah, as you said, it got my start it me to where I am
Leigh Chalker (00:15:57):
For sure because I’ll come back to another question, but it didn’t get you a start because we’ll get through it. But here’s come back to this too. There’s two points, but I want to show you this. Here’s one that you’ve done mate, Rick McCleon, second fastest down in the West issue one with a gentleman that we know well on the show and we are friends with, it seems to have become a regular collaborator with you Mr. Ben Sullivan. I mean you’re pumping stuff out. There’s this issue you’ve written there’s a handful more. So there’s three points I want to get into. And the next one is this. Once you’d done chime error and you’d sort of got your first issue in your hand, and this is even before the referee Gary Della meeting the comics meet up, you just weren’t aware that there was a community of varying other people where you live that had the same interests as you just got it in your head that you just thought, I’m doing it self-publish this thing, I’m going to get it out there.
Haydn Spurrell (00:17:11):
Leigh Chalker (00:17:12):
And I guess when did you first notice that there was a community out there?
Haydn Spurrell (00:17:20):
It’s almost egotistic to think that you’re the only one doing it, isn’t it? And I’m sure there’s lots of people who have felt that way where it’s like, oh, it’s all happening in America, so I’ve got to just figure it out on my own. I don’t know how I came across the Melbourne Creator Meetup, but that was kind of how I started to learn, oh, there are people doing this. And I guess Gary was played a big role in that. All the people I was meeting were really lovely people like Brendan Halladay and Tom Tung and a bunch of others that I’ll forget. But Gary, he’s a very enthusiastic man. He got my phone number and he started talking to me and he started opening my eyes to the fact that not only was comics happening, but it’s been happening in Australia for a really long time. And that was pretty crazy. That was pretty crazy to me. I didn’t realize that that was the case and it’s grown in the time that I’ve been doing and I feel like this community has been growing at the same time. Again, maybe it was doing that before I came along and I’m just being egotistic again. But I think that
Everyone just invites more people into the circle and it keeps growing and I think that’s a really wonderful thing. So it was those early days and it still felt really small, but I feel like it just kept getting bigger. As you mentioned, I got Chime, got me chatting to Gary, and then Gary chatted to me about doing this Weston that was kind of Rick Clus his baby. So it was a huge deal that he wanted to pass it off to a rider and especially a rider who’s barely done anything. So he gave me that project and I can’t remember what year that was. It’s all jumbled into one. It’s probably on the cover or the imprint but it was a really unique experience doing Rick because it was
Leigh Chalker (00:19:51):
18 mate 2018 that was it’s got in the indica so
Haydn Spurrell (00:19:57):
Isn’t that long ago. It was an interesting experience because it was his character, it was kind of his world, so did have he had some guidelines that you needed to follow. The same way that comics publishing or at least mainstream comics publishing runs in that similar way where you know are working on someone else’s project now. So you’ve got to exercise your creativity within those boundaries and you’ve got to meet a certain obligation and that was exciting to be able to do that. And in fact, it’s so exciting, it almost becomes a crux. It can get kind of comfortable to be in that position. So I wrote Rick number one and that’s one book that I am really proud of. It put me in touch with Ben Sullivan, who I’ll probably mention so many times in this interview that he might as well be on the show with us
Leigh Chalker (00:21:07):
And well, it’s fair to say you two have synced the amount of work that you’ve done you’re doing and is coming in the future. So I’m sure there was a funny story with you and Ben in that one wasn’t there? I’m sure I’ve heard around the traps that if I feel sharing that, mate, you should, cause it’s a good chat.
Haydn Spurrell (00:21:32):
He didn’t know that there was a writer. He saw the name on the script, Hayden Spiral, and he just, you’re going to have to ask him. He must have thought it was a pseudonym or a fake name. He just
Leigh Chalker (00:21:43):
Haydn Spurrell (00:21:45):
Pay attention to it. He was just like, Rick McClean, okay, I’m just like, whatever, I’m just drawing now. So he didn’t figure out that I was a real person until we met at a small comic convention in, I think it was Northcut in Melbourne. And I think that was one of the first things he said to me. We met Shook Cannes, we looked at this thing that we, we were seeing it for the first time together and he was like, are you this guy? I wasn’t offended. I <laugh>.
Leigh Chalker (00:22:23):
Haydn Spurrell (00:22:24):
Cause I was just blown away that I was just blown away that I got to work with the guy that whose art looked like this. I literally still can’t believe it to be honest. I didn’t know what to expect when I wrote the script. And then the book had a slow process. I probably wrote the script in 2016, late 2016, maybe early 2017. So as comics do, we all know they take time, especially when you’re doing them independently and it’s it’s not easy. We’re all busy, we’re all doing other things. So that book Cayman in 2018, as you said and people seem to like it, Gary said that people were responding well. Ben’s art was out of this world and it sort of just kept going from there. We’ve got Ben and I have another two books for that are in production at the moment one being Mr I, detective Agency, which the first issue is available now and another is a little project involving a character called Dark Nebula, if you’ve heard of him which was such an honor to work on, honestly, it was actually super challenging. That was probably one of the hardest projects I’ve ever written.
Leigh Chalker (00:23:52):
Well, that would’ve given you, because there’s a lot of mythos behind the dark nebula as well, so I could assume that that had a lane where you had to stay in I guess with the history and all of its
Haydn Spurrell (00:24:08):
Leigh Chalker (00:24:09):
That comes with it.
Haydn Spurrell (00:24:11):
And I know we’re sort of probably jumping ahead, but yeah, it’s speaking with Tad a lot in the early days trying to conceptualize that book which must have been in 2020. We were probably chatting at length about it. And this is guy that that’s been working on this character for so many decades now and he’s giving me the law and the backstory and I’m sort of madly taking notes, just trying to keep it straight in my head. I’d read all the books, but it didn’t prepare me for all the nitty gritty and all the mystique behind that character. And it was challenging but exciting and very early on, I think before I’d even spoken to Tad about the book, I sort of pitched it to Gary as, okay, I want to get away from earth. I want this to be just this crazy sci-fi thing.
And it just seemed to really come together organically in that way. So we were able to mine some of dark Nebula’s history and use some of those early stories is almost a launching off point in a way that didn’t make it so that our story required prior knowledge. But it felt like to me I was getting this really incredible opportunity to add to the dark Nebula Mythos and Tad’s just been so on board all along. He’s sort of provided editorial guidance and added his piece where it’s needed to be changed some dialogue where he is sort of said, dark Nebula speaks like this which that’s an extension of that experience working on Rick where it is. Okay, you’re working on other people’s characters, their worlds and it’s a privilege to be given the keys to those getting my metaphors mixed up now.
Leigh Chalker (00:26:17):
Well I assume though that because one of the things I like following I love is tracking where people, what their past were compared, like I’m not compared, but with their present. And I was just going to say, having a relatively new character with its own path and you would’ve got your first dibs in, okay, I’ve got to stick to this. I’m assuming Rick would’ve sort of got your mind, bring that in a bit to where we’ve got to fit it for the guidelines and stuff and then it would’ve prepped you, I’m assuming, for what was to come with Dark Nebula. And it is Dark Nebula torn Peter J. Lawson Tad is great. Can’t wait to see what you guys do together and when <laugh> going to collab with him, mate, is the question there.
Haydn Spurrell (00:27:12):
Well, and he’s aware of the project that Gary wants us to do together and I need to deliver on that, Peter, so thanks for the reminder. I need to get a move on. Yeah, I would love to work with Pete. His work on Torn is incredible, so it would be a privilege to work with him and hopefully that happens in the near future. But yeah, you’re totally right. And there’s sort of three books that I guess charter, a weird linear path in that sense of learning how to, I guess, plan other people’s sandboxes and all of them have Ben Sullivan as the artist. I don’t know if there’s a <laugh>
Leigh Chalker (00:27:57):
I think there’s something going on here, man. Yeah,
Haydn Spurrell (00:28:03):
So it’s Rick, it’s Mr I, which was, it’s a three issue storyline in the torn title and it’s taking a character introduced in the second issue of Torn and giving him his own story and his own cast of characters. And that was sort of a next step where I was using, not one, but I think I use about three existing characters from Gary’s torn universe and they’ve all already starred in their own books. So yeah, it’s a little different to Rick and I had to respect that they had their own starts, however minor of those starts had been, they’d already appeared in books. So I took that and took liberties where you take them, you make it your own as much as you can. I don’t think any of us can create and not do that. I think I don’t think Gary has ever been strict in his editorial oversight, which is a great thing. I don’t think good art comes of that. And then the next step is Doc Nlar Torn, which is a character just steeped in not only its own history, but Australian comics history, which yeah, that’s huge.
Leigh Chalker (00:29:36):
Well, it’s in its 40th anniversary this year too, so that would’ve been a big thing for you as well, mate, because Dark Ula goes back to 1983 with Tad and some of the great guys from the eighties mate have all worked on it, the challengers, the alums, ands the phrase, the Jardines, the Paul losses, a whole myriad of blokes that are still going and creators. So were you nervous when you were going back reading some of the old issues trying to catch up and you were seeing a few of these names popping up on the bottom in the credits and you a bit, or did you go into it I guess being new to comics and Yeah, I like that story. I like this, I like that. And then just took it with yourself men.
Haydn Spurrell (00:30:33):
Yeah, mostly the latter. So it was in my ignorance, I or hadn’t had that familiar familiarity with those creators and those comics until much later. And if anything, it was just a lot of fun to read dark Nebula books and call it research. It was <laugh> and take notes, but also like you would be reading and you’d be getting caught up in the storytelling because there’s some really great storytelling going on there. And then I would have to pull myself out and think, oh, actually you need to actually need to be taking notes. You need to be be actively paying attention to what’s going on here because you get to write this character. So I wasn’t nervous. I was probably nervous more so about the genre I was stepping into than using the character in a funny way. I love sci-fi, but I hadn’t actually written a whole lot of I guess, straights superhero work to that point.
I was working on some torn stuff at the same time, and Torn is very much that sort of Australian superhero universe. But I was probably writing torn dark name before I started any of that torn stuff. So it was really that first step into superhero writing and it felt nerve-wracking in a sense. It was sort of that feeling of what more can you say which is ridiculous because I still read superhero comics now. There’s plenty you can say, and that’s true of every genre and there are still people writing incredible stuff in that genre. But yeah, it’s different when you apply it to yourself. You’re like, for some reason different rules apply to you whenever you are being self-critical or you’re trying to figure out how you are going to do something, even though other people can do it, you set different rules for yourself. I don’t know if you understand that feeling.
Leigh Chalker (00:32:40):
I do I do. And to be honest with you, I think with me there comes a certain element of I have a tendency to overthink things very much if I’m really trying to find a solution to a problem in comic books and things. I think over the top anyway where it starts to cause me stress, man. So basically I just sort of tried to start maybe 12 months ago with everything trying to get back to the old Kiss principle mate, keep it simple, stupid. So if I felt myself, I just walk away cigarette, go back to the fundamentals, how does this move forward? Because I do, to a certain extent, Hayden feel that way too when I’m doing Battle for Bustle because it’s I guess lots of themes and stuff going on in that so you can get caught up and twist it up. So I’ve tended to find for me that even though the comic book characters are split all over it, so it’s a jagged type story, I tend to write the script now based on those, say 10 pages of those characters are in that scene and then go back and edit it to make my life easier.
Because at the start I was writing two pages and then having to go back and remember where it was at because just as you said, man, just finding new way writing mate because cause I don’t really talk to many people about writing myself. I don’t really see myself as a writer with Tam. Just, I guess I get so caught up in the artwork mate that you don’t realize you are writing. Yeah. If that makes any sense to you. Notes and sentences and all that sort of stuff.
Haydn Spurrell (00:34:42):
Yeah, totally. I mean, it’s the same way that I, again will mention Ben, the third guest on the show. He says he is not a storyteller. I’m like, dude, you’re a storyteller and you’re a writer. He, he’s just doing it. Yeah, I think I went through that phase a couple years back where I was overwriting where you sort of, you’re so hyper-focused on the structure of the story and where it’s going and what it’s doing and who’s doing in that story. And you’re trying to create a narrative, whether it’s long or short and it can become a little bit crippling. And I was finding that I was getting crippled quite a bit, and I think that did happen a little bit when I did Torn Dark Nebula or Dark Nebula Torn, I should say where I was writing I think it was probably the second issue. And just figuring out where are we taking this? And there are some really hard sci-fi elements going on in that book. And there there’s so much fun. And when you have those light bulb moments, they’re incredible. But it took a few of those sort of paralyzing experiences when you’re trying to create something to get there.
Leigh Chalker (00:36:06):
Yeah, yeah, no, I totally understand that, man. Totally get it. With you sketching and doodling and stuff, as you were saying, you do a little bit of earlier, do you find it’s easier you like a real stringent script, man, this is my script when it’s done and then say, send it to Ben, or do you have your script with maybe a little layout if something you’re thinking or you do it next to you, it’s there as you’re typing so you can flow through page movements. What’s your basic process and thought pattern there then?
Haydn Spurrell (00:36:43):
Funnily enough, my script writing is pretty bare. I guess I, I think I’m often worried about describing a panel. I really like the idea of allowing an artist the room to breathe and with while also knowing at the same time that some artists really appreciate that and sometimes you need to do that. So it really depends. I don’t thumbnail, I don’t do any doodles. My I and I definitely should and I’ve tried in the past, but it’s very easy to be typing away and you sort of fall into that rhythm and then it takes going back and looking at it and editing it to try and figure out what you actually wrote in the first place.
But yeah, I tend to try and adapt to my script writing process to the artist. And if it’s an artist I’ve never worked with before and don’t know very well, it might take actually starting that project to get into that rhythm and figure out what works best for both people. I’m working with an artist called Dan Eubanks on a torn story. We’ve done three issues of a book. We’ve done three issues of torn that should be seen the light of day pretty soon, and we’re working on a second sort of story arc together. And we’ve, I think by the third issue, we probably started to hit a bit of a stride together. And it was quite a great collaboration to be honest. We just chat over Messenger sometimes my panel descriptions makes no sense and he calls me out on it and he says, look, I don’t know I what you want here.
And I’m like, okay, good point. Let’s fix that. Let’s figure it out. And sometimes, Hey, Pete and sometimes I’ll message an artist and I’ll want to brainstorm a panel or a page with them because I’m not the authority on this story. I’m just a collaborator. And sometimes even most of the time the artist has an insight or some insight into the story and how it unfolds that I would never have feed out myself. Like working with Ben on Mr. I, detective agency. That book looked so different the first time I wrote those scripts. Very different story that who’s to say whether it would’ve been better or worse, I think better the way it is now. But it was such a
Leigh Chalker (00:39:35):
Haydn Spurrell (00:39:38):
It was such a joy. Ben and I would sit on the phone for hours at times or we’d catch up and we’d just be drinking beers, brainstorming about what to do with Mr. I, and we might hang out for four hours over beers at his studio. We get no work done. We might get 10 minutes of genuine storytelling done in that time, but we go away from it with our minds racing and it dictates where we take the story that we’re telling next.
Leigh Chalker (00:40:13):
I think that’s for me, what you’ve just said there. I think that’s also important to I think a good collaboration comes with being able to talk about those things because as you talk to people and you get to know them all, what their likes and interests are and that you sort of naturally, I guess build that affinity with them. And then sometimes you can lock in to a really awesome creative experience because you’re both on that same level. I mean, one might cars and the other might not, but somehow there’s, there’s other planes, but I know he’d like to go that way, or I’m not going to take it that you just, that’s that meshing thing, man, young, which is from chin wagon of people just talk and seeing where their minds at, what their likes are and things like that. It all works, man. Yeah, I don’t think you can just jump straight into, I’ve only collaborated with a handful of people in my time and I’ve found you never jumped straight into shop. You know what I mean? You just talked and got to know him a bit and then shop, I guess sort of sneaks its way through. What, I mean a minute ago you’re talking about something and now you’re deep on what you want to do creatively. Totally. I think, yeah, that’s a beautiful thing, man, when you hit that.
Haydn Spurrell (00:41:42):
And sometimes it’s not even when you are working on a story with that person, or sometimes it can lead to a story. A good mate Rob Lyle often, we’ve just been talking shit and then we’ve sort of had a moment and we’re like, that’s fucking cool. And it works both ways. So we worked on our story together at one point, and it was literally because, and it was a short story, it was one that appears in satellites, and we went to the Melbourne meetup together one Saturday. We walked back to his car. It was very romantic and then we just sat
Leigh Chalker (00:42:34):
Playing up against the car under a dim street light, like drizzling rain coming down. <laugh>
Haydn Spurrell (00:42:40):
Beautiful old, I’ll never forget it. We were standing by his car and had this story just came out of nowhere. And he was, and I don’t want to speak for him, so if I do and I misquote the story he can rage at me in the comments. But he hadn’t worked with a writer before, or he hadn’t done a whole lot of that work at the time. He’d done the art for his own in writing and just, I think it was perfect timing. The story sprung to our minds. We were friends, we’d been close mates for a while. I got on the tram home and I wrote the script on my laptop on the tram home. And then from there we just did very little work shopping on it, but he was swapping art back to me. It’s just a four page story, but I’m very proud of it. I hope he is too. And I threw it into satellites, the anthology that I put out there last year.
Leigh Chalker (00:43:52):
Yeah. We’ll get into satellites soon. I have, you’ve obviously from talking to you’ve, you’ve not just collaborated with Ben regularly, but you’ve had other people you’ve collaborated with from looking at yourself back in the early days to the this, I guess we’ll call it the reverie journey of titles and stuff like that for you so we know where we’re at. Mm-hmm. Up to Dark Nebula, have you found, what’s the one thing that you feel has made you become a better writer man? You know, obviously hear the point where you felt good when you were by yourself in your room, you know what I mean? Have you found having other people to bounce ideas off be motivated by, prompted you to get better? Yeah, yeah.
Haydn Spurrell (00:44:49):
It’s such a cliche, but the people around me that have made me a better writer it’s, I wrote Chime that first book in isolation and then put it out there and have gotten good feedback. People liked it, but there’s also things that can be better about it because every story can be better. But it was once I was working with people and bouncing off people that I sort of felt like I was starting to grow into, I’ll never be the writer I want to be, but getting closer to that aspir, that rider that you aspire to be. I mean, before this chat I’d sent Rob the So Dark neb, the first issue is ink and lettered. So I did the lettering on it of sent it to the right people that, the people that need to see it. And I sent it to Rob. Hope I don’t get in trouble for that. I hope Gary doesn’t mind that I shared it with Rob, but I shared with
Leigh Chalker (00:45:58):
Haydn Spurrell (00:46:00):
I shared it with Rob because I wanted his feedback. He’s developing an editorial eye of his own and I wanted to get him to give me some of his thoughts. And we jumped on a call before this chat and he ran through his thoughts and it was incredible. Every consideration he had was the right consideration. And it’s because your work is just better when other people are involved and when other people are helping, you can’t always going to miss things or you’re always going to I don’t know, I just don’t think you’re ever the best creator that you can be without the help of the people around you and the people who are really talented. So just use it. We’re not in this because we’re we’re not geniuses, right? All figuring it out together. So when I get to have that experience it’s terrifying when someone edits your work or someone looks critically to work. It’s horrifying but great things come from it, I think.
Leigh Chalker (00:47:19):
Oh, I guess it’s anything to make the project better really, isn’t it? You know what I mean? I would agree with you too there, man, that if anyone that hasn’t listening to the show future or even now, that’s never I guess, collaborated with anyone there you go. Rob Oor <laugh>. But if you haven’t collaborated with anyone and you’re an artist, artistry to anyone that looking to improve their work, I mean, I can tell you from firsthand that where I am now how I feel within myself as my artwork would never have gotten to that point if I hadn’t collaborated or been in regular contact and learning with other people in the community as well. So I would think that’s such a super important little trick mate. You know what I mean? Because it’s even, I’m not really into the technical know-how of things. I sort of just pick up a pencil and whatever, pen’s close enough and go at it, but mm-hmm. Just to hear other people’s thought processes, what got ’em to those places, you know what I mean? And you can generally get a pretty good indication. I’ve found, again, you come to like that when we were talking about before, just talking to people, you can see how they’ve reached that point with their artwork and collaborations, even for people that are in isolated areas could be just devouring comic books and studying them as best as you can mate. Information is everywhere only to get you better. The craft is a beautiful thing.
We’ve come to my point where I want to get to this beautiful book. So you started publishing yourself before you got to, and then you are doing, you’re a busy man, you’re working, you’ve got comic books coming out. They’re coming out everywhere. One quick question. Do you write one script at a time or you all over the place?
Haydn Spurrell (00:49:45):
No, pretty manic <laugh>. Pretty much when I am, I’m most of the time I’m working on multiple projects at once, and I sort of just bounce between them, which kind of works for my creative brain, all a bit chaotic up there. So I sort of switching between them keeps it all I guess, keeps it fresh in a sense. It keeps me sane at the same time.
Leigh Chalker (00:50:11):
Yep, yep, yep. No, I get that, man. I totally get that. So you’re working on all of these projects. You’re writing away, you’ve got things happening, you’re in westerns, you’re in science fiction, you decide to dabble back in self-publishing. So with this book here, which anyone, if no one’s seen it, this is called Satellites and it’s an anthology book. So that’s many stories from Hayden and different artists are in. That might be the, oh, look at that. There you go. There’s your bey stories story, just he’s everywhere. This man. Yeah, and Ben’s in here. There’s a whole heap of people, mate. What was the beginning of this? Where did you come up with this idea? What really spurred John? Man?
Haydn Spurrell (00:51:08):
I guess it was sort of two things because apparently I can’t just give an easy answer. So it was sort
Leigh Chalker (00:51:15):
Of wagon brother what it is, man. Yeah,
Haydn Spurrell (00:51:19):
It was probably mid 2021 where I was at uni at the time. So I’d gone back to study a masters of writing and publishing heading towards the end of the degree. I needed to create a research project ideally in an area that I was interested in. So satellites was an opportunity. The project kind of kicked me in the gear on satellites because satellites was something I really wanted to do for a while. It was as you said, I’ve been doing a lot of work for Reary. I’m doing a little bit of work for X at the moment, which is really exciting.
But I hadn’t been doing my own storytelling, and I think I said sort of early on in our chat here that it can be easy getting comfortable in that sort of, I guess that system I was in with Revere. So without putting a hold on that I thought it was time to challenge myself again and do something I hadn’t done before. And so I was studying a degree in publishing and it just felt like the perfect opportunity to try and put some of the skills I was learning into practice in quite a formal way in the ways that I’d sort of been learning how to do. So I came up with this idea that I wanted to do a science fiction anthology. It was the theme broadly speaking, is around community and collaboration. So working with other people in a dire situation I liked the idea of setting it off of the planet and none of the stories are connected, but they all spawn from this premise of humans having had to leave the earth because they’d messed it up and trying to start again with the people around you as best you can.
And I thought that that just felt like a really poignant theme for me personally and for the book. So I got started in probably July, August. I wrote a bit of a call out. I invited writers and artists to send in their ideas and then I picked some of the scripts. I liked some of the artists from their portfolios that looked really promising and I paired them up. So the book is about and I do have work in there, so there’s a bit of nepotism at play, I think <laugh>. And so I sort of had to put the challenge to myself as well. I was pairing writers with artists that had never met before because I wanted to see what that would look like. I wanted to that was sort of an element of the project I was doing at university.
And it also just felt it really fitting for the theme of the book. So I guess it was a little bit meta in that way where the stories were speaking to collaboration and I was forcing these people probably to work together. And so <laugh> in my nepotism, I worked with Ben and I worked with Rob <laugh> onto the story, so really not following my own guidelines, but I did work with Brendan Halladay as well on our story. And we challenged ourselves to do Marvel style which was that I gave Brendan a really rough out outline, and he created the story from that outline, and then I worked the dialogue into it after that which was really fun. And working with Brendan was really great. He’s an incredibly insightful person. He’s been in and around comics forever. So I remember the first pitch I gave him he just said flat out, no, it just didn’t work. He was like, no, this, I can’t see it. So we went back to the drawing board, but that was great.
So I started pairing these writers and artists, some of those teams I worked closely with. So I would edit the scripts myself. I would work back and forwards with the writers on polishing those scripts. And as with the nature of it, some scripts need more, some scripts need less. And then after that, once the writer and I were happy, once the writer thought the story was as good as it could be we passed it on to the artist and we went from there. So it was this really unique opportunity for me personally to not only exercise those skills that I’ve been learning in publishing and editing and lettering further down the line in production, but to watch what collaboration looks like when I’m not directly involved and sort of see what the artists are coming back with and hear what the writers think. And in some of those collaborations, the writer and artist worked entirely separately. They barely had anything to do with each other. And then in some of them, the collaboration was really intense and really, really great. And I sort of felt like I was observing from the bushes in some cases where <laugh> chatting on Discord and I’m just that weird creep in the corner just
And trying to learn from what these people are doing. And one of the biggest lessons I learned from that whole project was that, and I probably knew it already, but what it reinforced was just how pivotal the artist’s role is in the storytelling. Some of these artists had entire ideas about who the character was and who and what the environment looked like and even the flow of the story. There was one story that started as a four page script and the artist, we ended up reducing it to a two page scripts through the script editing process. And then the artist sort of observed a panel in the script and said, this needs a whole page. So it turned into a three page story, and that one panel that turned into a page is stunning and was the best thing that happened to that story, I think. So it was such a really challenging project lie, there were challenges, there were areas in which as a publisher and an editor, I learned the hard way how to be better in that area and how to, and that’s in terms of maybe professionality a little bit of
Leigh Chalker (00:58:52):
Is that professionality with how you deal with the people that are working on the book or professionality with your thoughts on the publication look itself
Haydn Spurrell (00:59:06):
More the personal stuff, the working with people. So there were challenges at times and areas in which I won’t go into detail, but areas in which I learned that I need to be better if I was to conduct a project like this in the future in terms of the
Actual book itself and pulling the stories together, providing editorial that felt like, and still feels like my wheelhouse. So it was definitely the interpersonal relationships that’s working with very different people and you’re making decisions and you sometimes your decision making can be affected I guess in that such a what felt a really big, big project. So I learned lessons both as a writer or I learned lessons across the board as how to create books, how to write, how edit out a letter and how to work with people. I think it was yeah, I really valuable. I learned a lot of valuable lessons on that book and I’m super proud of it. It came out. I worked with as I mentioned, Lauren Tan was the cover editor, the cover designer. We worked really closely on it for quite a few months.
Leigh Chalker (01:00:34):
It’s a strikingly good cover.
Haydn Spurrell (01:00:38):
She was someone that I got to work with in exactly
Leigh Chalker (01:00:44):
Haydn Spurrell (01:00:45):
Yeah, it was an artist I got to work with in uni so I immediately knew that that’s who I wanted to work with on the cover of satellites. So yeah.
Leigh Chalker (01:00:59):
How long did it take you to put this together?
Haydn Spurrell (01:01:02):
Too long. I gave myself a doubt. I think I gave myself, I wanted to have it out by the end of 2021. It didn’t come out till about mid 2022, which is not actually too bad about a 12, 14 month turnaround is pretty good when it comes to independent publishing. So I was probably just too ambitious at the start.
Leigh Chalker (01:01:32):
Oh mate, there’s nothing wrong with that here. It’s there. Hey, so ambition mate. Got that fire burning in your bud. So it’s there, it’s satellite, it’s out there. Hey one thing that once I’ve read it, I messaged you because there’s somewhere in here, let me find it. Where is it now
Haydn Spurrell (01:01:59):
If you out,
Leigh Chalker (01:02:02):
I’m just going to tell you that Hayden’s dad and I discovered have something in common the things you find out in the comic book mate and Hayden’s dad his favorite film like mine is David Lynch’s version of Dune and <laugh> Hayden lets both of us know that he probably didn’t quite pick up what we were putting down.
Haydn Spurrell (01:02:35):
No offense meant, it was sort a,
Leigh Chalker (01:02:38):
I laughed when I saw that. I cracked up laughing, man.
Haydn Spurrell (01:02:42):
It was and to be honest, it’s something I never had the courage to tell dad myself. He sort of would always rave about June and then I watched that movie for the first time at some point during the making of that book and I just, it just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t tell him that until I wrote it in that introduction and I gave it to him to read. And he had a good chuckle as well. I
Leigh Chalker (01:03:08):
Think he, yeah, yeah. No, it’s good. The things you find out about people in comic. Yeah, no. Now this is a tribute to your dad. Yeah. Mm-hmm. This book as well you mentioned? Yeah, a bit at the start.
Haydn Spurrell (01:03:25):
Yeah. I mean, won’t labor on it, but he did get diagnosed with cancer about the same time that I started working on the book. So I guess it was really present when I was working on it and it just felt kind of right. I did have a lot of concerns about dedicating a book. It felt a little bit, maybe a little bit hokey, especially when it’s an anthology and there are lots of people involved. I didn’t want to take away from the people that worked on it. I didn’t want to sort of steal the spotlight, so to speak. But I did just wanted to put a little bit in there and it was a really special moment when I got to give it to him and mom, they were really wrapped. So it was a really nice opportunity and I let myself have a little bit of a selfish moment with that one
Leigh Chalker (01:04:21):
<laugh>. Nothing wrong with that man. That I reckon in hindsight, further down the track, when you’re looking back on this little period of your life, that might even be one of the highlights, mate of that little moment of Sharon satellites with your dad. So this comic book is out and about. You can get that at the comic comic shop. So jump on board and have a look at that. It’s well worth to read some great stories in here and it’s excellent. And do yourself a favor, go and watch 1980 fours, David Lynch is June. There’s an extended version that’s even better and it’s great. But anyway, I digress. So I guess, mate, with you talking about satellites, you’re contemplating at some point in the near future having a little dabble at satellites issue too, somewhere down the track, or you’re just going to focus on where you’re at now with dark nebula and things like that coming up.
Haydn Spurrell (01:05:27):
What I asked myself this question, probably once a week, once a fortnight I think I would love to do another anthology, whether it was satellites two or whether it was a different genre or something different. I think that it, I learned a lot of lessons from it that I could probably put to really good use and potentially make something even better with and I want to work with people. I want to work with Australian creators that want to want to work with me if I’m so lucky. So look, it’s something I’m always thinking about, so I just need to sit down, put my brain into gear and come up with something.
Leigh Chalker (01:06:17):
Oh, these things take time though, don’t they mate? That’s definitely a labor of love. And God, you’re busy. You’ve got to find a balance in everything. I think that’s important as well. Working, you’ve got comic books, I’m sure you’ve got a life out there in between all of those things as well, mate. Say you just got to plug away at your little projects, man. And things can just, sometimes you get a bit waylaid from things, don’t you, man, because you get seduced by ideas sometimes, you know, can have a little thing and then, oh, I want to work on this project, but I might veer off onto that for a month and then suddenly six months later you’re still working on it. I can, yeah, I can get that. Yeah. The seduction of the idea, yes, can be challenging, but go through a lot of notepads, mate. You know, see that’s how old school I am. I don’t type it, I write it.
Haydn Spurrell (01:07:13):
I love a notepad. Yeah, yeah.
Leigh Chalker (01:07:16):
A yellow sticky man. Are you like a thumb stick man? Is your wall behind?
Haydn Spurrell (01:07:22):
No, no. I think I couldn’t be able to make sense of it but my note notepads or my notebooks are pretty messy. And I often find that when I’m writing notes, I don’t even go back to those notes. I just rewrite them and I don’t go back and forths because they’re so chaotic. But for somehow they connect the wires in my brain and they keep me writing more notes.
Leigh Chalker (01:07:48):
Yeah. Have you got a whole library cabinets in your brain that some days I’m going to work on Project A, click it open and it can take you back. I guess I’m getting at, does the writing of the word in your notepad in a weird way, cement the seed of the idea in your mind for
Haydn Spurrell (01:08:12):
Yeah, although I guess I’m not so much old school because that that’s the case. But on my hard drive, so I’ve got word documents with story names and I wish
Leigh Chalker (01:08:23):
I knew about hard drives. I’m just walking around with a brain full of bloody ideas, mate.
Haydn Spurrell (01:08:30):
Yeah, you’re sending pages to people in snail mail.
Leigh Chalker (01:08:36):
Well, look, it was last year I gave envelopes away, mate. Like I say, <laugh> all growing our slowly catching up, Hayden, I’m slowly catching up, man.
Haydn Spurrell (01:08:46):
You, you’ll get that.
Leigh Chalker (01:08:47):
Oh, hopefully it’s been a battle so far. Hey so I guess with your comic books, you tend to find, now that you’re writing and you’re feeling like you’re a bit more enveloped in the Australian comic indie scene do you still get time to read novels, comic books, to keep prompting you and stuff? Are you still going to your comic bookshop and getting your pull list? Or you’re a bit more specific? Because you mentioned earlier you know, were taken by the Walking Dead for a while. I’ve also heard you mentioned before that you’re a massive fan of Sandman. What are some of the other things, mate, that speak to you in terms of comic books that are out there?
Haydn Spurrell (01:09:45):
Yeah, I guess I’m very heavily inspired by the sort of eighties, nineties well the nineties Vertigo line of books, I think and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. So as you mentioned, Sandman, which was a Vertigo book sort of early on in its life. Alan Moore Swamp Thing, which I know is not a Vertigo book technically. That was one I only read in the last couple of years. But I’ve found that just incredibly creatively inspiring because that series goes in so many places and goes from horror to sci-fi, and I find it really alluring, I guess that kind of writing outside of that, I do try to read as much as possible contemporary comics, but so I’m shocking with my reading habits all sort of moving in and out of things quite rapidly. But I
Guess one of the styles of comic books that I’m most drawn to a Maxi series, so it’s sort of like your 12 issue kind of book. There’s something about that and I think it’s appealing to me. I mean, for one hand it’s probably less daunting than trying to get into a long running book at this stage where I just know I’m not going to keep up. But for another, I’m really drawn to that structure, that sort of 12 issue, one and done. They feel very specific and very honed. And it’s not only but I guess Mini to Maxi series. Those are, I guess where I do most of my comics reading these days, where I know that it’s a very specific intent on the part of the creators and they start something and they finish something and it’s all there on the page. Whether it’s good or bad they left it all on the table. But yeah, I try to vary my reading as much as possible. So I’m reading as many comics as I can, but I’m trying to read some non-fiction. I do a little bit of non-fiction writing, so it only makes sense to read it as well.
I don’t read so many sort of fiction novels these days. I listen to a lot of podcasts some audio series such as the recent Sandman one, which is really good. So I think as much as I don’t think I am drawn to mythology, I must be, because Sandman is very steeped in mythology. I think Swamp Thing is very steeped in mythology.
Leigh Chalker (01:12:41):
Well, there’s Constantine and Preacher I assume that you would’ve had a look at. Yeah, that’s totally similar sort of stuff.
Haydn Spurrell (01:12:49):
And I think that those books in particular we’re talking about that nineties era. Again, there’s a lot of really challenging progressive storytelling going there. I know those, progressive is a word that can be thrown around very easily these days, but I think for its time, you can look at what was happening in the world and you can think that there was this whole line of books that was doing things that were quite different to everything else. And they didn’t come out of nowhere. They sort of spawned from the underground comics of the sixties, seventies which was another really fun thing that I was able to dive into for that my university project was looking at the history of comics and looking at how everything spawned everything else. So yeah, I think I’ve lost track of the original question, but
Leigh Chalker (01:13:44):
I guess I You’re doing well, <laugh> doing well, mate.
Haydn Spurrell (01:13:49):
Yeah, I’m looking for books that sort of challenge me. I think it’s very easy to get comfortable with your reading habits, so I do like to try and vary it and read things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally. And usually when I do that I find my new favorite book.
Leigh Chalker (01:14:09):
Yeah, no, I like to change it up a bit too, mate, with a lot of different stuff. Just try and keep the old brain, tipping them ticking away. And I do find what you said because I’m a little bit older than you and then there’s people that are a little bit older than me, but I love going back to those Sandmans and even your Watchmen and your V for Vendettas. And when I read them when I was probably your age and was like, wow, this is cool. They influenced me often. They were already history in the line of comic books. And then as I’ve talked to more people and seen what a huge influence they’ve made to them, it’s taken me back in time to think, as you were saying, those comic books in their time would’ve been mind blowing men. Do you know what I mean?
Because it was just, no offense to anyone that read it, but I guess there was a certain element of SSIR Fair, the usual stuff was coming out every month and then suddenly these other comic books were coming through. And I think they’ve left a huge markman and certainly changed my thoughts because I grew up with the amazing spot look like Marvel dad was a huge Marvel collector and I loved that pop and everything about the bands and the Blams and loved it as a kid. And as I got older and started finding my own comic books, I was gravitating to what you were finding a little bit later than me, man. So the time was beauty of the comic book story, man, it’s a awesome medium. It goes to show you too, that you just got to put in hard work, just get it out there, let it live, and hopefully people gravitate to those stories.
A strong story is really what it’s all about. And I, I’d say for yourself, you can confirm or not if you like you can have so many ideas, but I guess it’s fish and men, you know what I mean? There’s heaps of little fish and this is a analogy that here mine David Lynch uses is like there’s little fish on top of the water and there are lots of ideas or you can fish deep and catch the big fish and some ideas go and others stay and time is what it is. So that’s my philosophy for the evening. So
Haydn Spurrell (01:16:47):
I agree. And I also think you can use those little fish they can come back and play a role in those bigger projects or they can become their own little projects, I think. But I think it’s fun when you do have an idea that that never goes beyond being an idea. It just means that your brain is ticking over and you, you’re working on it even if it doesn’t become anything. I think one of the things about writing that probably crippled me in my early years was that every idea felt like it had to be the idea and it’s absolutely not true.
Leigh Chalker (01:17:32):
Yeah, yeah. Getting back to Chamara is one of those little fish that became a big fish over time, or was that one of those ideas that, here’s this idea, I like it and boom, you just went at it.
Haydn Spurrell (01:17:52):
Yeah, I think it was a little one that turned into a big one. Yeah, it just came about quite suddenly, but it wasn’t Gest take for too long, but it did feel like it probably grew quickly. But I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve had ideas and I had ideas before I had Camira that mm-hmm. Were big ones and they’re probably still big ones that I’ve never ever gotten to. There’s sort of things that have been swimming in my brain for about 20 years now. It’s crazy. I’m sure the feeling yeah, that chime sort of was an opportunity to write a sci-fi that felt quite close to home on an emotional level so that the protagonist was going through some things that I felt like I was going through mentally speaking. So it, not autobiographical in any sense of the word, but it was definitely spurred on by what I was going through at the time. And I think that’s probably partially what helped it come into being, because was so,
Leigh Chalker (01:19:21):
It was cathartic in nature?
Haydn Spurrell (01:19:22):
Yeah, I think so. And that’s probably why I have a hard time looking back at it now, because I think I’m a very different person to who I was then. But yeah, it, having play that role and having feeling this sort of, I guess closeness to that main character helped it happen because I was having so much trouble just putting pen to paper. I was sort of getting in my own way.
Leigh Chalker (01:19:49):
Yeah. Oh, well that was your first one, mate. So had you done any, oh, here we go, Hayden, is there a comics writer that you look to for guidance or inspiration?
Haydn Spurrell (01:20:04):
I mean, God, I feel like it’s a cliche to say Neil Gaiman, but I find his work is inspiring and I find everything he does for his image inspiring. I think that he I’ve read so many sort of interviews and critiques on his work and I think that his approach to storytelling is really refreshing and he’s very I mean, that guy doesn’t stop thinking of ideas. It’s exhausting thinking about all the stuff that he’s done and continues to do these days. I do find myself quite drawn to Tom King’s work. I think that he’s doing really interesting comics work. I haven’t loved everything he’s done, but he has a style that I find quite invigorating in a way in which I quite love the nine panel grid and what you can do with that. And he toys with that quite a bit. So by extension, I guess Alan Moore is a writer that I quite like, I haven’t read all of Alan Moore’s work, but what I have read, I find his work for the most part is intellectually stimulating if not emotionally. And so I feel like there are lessons that I’ve learned there as well in terms of I guess how structurally speaking how he tells stories is very purposeful. And I found that was quite inspiring early on. Yeah, I guess I could keep going Dave, Dave die is one of my inspirations.
Yeah, no, so they’re pretty, I guess cliche suggestions, but there have been many over the years that I mentioned Batman in The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman was an inspiration early on, not so much anymore. I often felt like I have reread the Walking Dead comic and I’ve sort of felt that there are elements of it that really worked for me at the time. And there are elements that I’ve think helped it gain its mass appeal, but that don’t necessarily work for me anymore. Scott Snyder I found quite inspiring, but another example of one where Kirkman, I was inspired early on by his work and today I’m not so much I, I’ve sort of moved on from that inspiration I guess but I find he and Capullo’s dynamic really inspiring. I sort of read an interview with them a number of years ago and it sort of speaks to that sort of writer artist relationship that we were talking about earlier where Snyder and Kaul, they’re great friends now, but early on Snyder was very precious about his scripts. And Capullo would get those scripts and he would say, no, this is too much. You’ve written too many words for me. I you’d over describing this stuff. And Snyder sort of tried to double down and stress that it was his vision that needed to be put on paper and he got put in his place by this artist who’d been in the business for so much longer than him. I think that was an important interview to read early on in my comics writing journey because I’m sure it was very humbling for Schneider.
Yeah. So I don’t know if I’ve answered your question, Dave, but many people and they’ll continue to be new inspirations all the time, I think.
Leigh Chalker (01:23:50):
Yeah, I think that’s healthy though too, mate. I think we can all say we’ve had favorites for periods of our life and then something new comes along and it’s no disrespect to that old favorite, but it’s always good to be on the lookouts and new things, I think that fire those creative synopsis and stuff. So Hayden, we’ll mate, we’ll slowly start winding down, man. And this is a question that the two last words, I always love to ask other creators because people who watch the show regularly or know why I do it, but anyone that doesn’t watch the show regularly, I always ask this because I, I’m from far north Queensland, so I don’t know too many people that do comic books in my neighborhood. So before the community came about, I was one of those people, like Hayden I were talking about before that was just in their room drawing away doing stuff and you know, can feel a little bit like wow, what am I doing this for? So mate, why do you do it to yourself? Why do you do this crazy thing called comics?
Haydn Spurrell (01:25:13):
I don’t know. I think that I just was looking for that outlet to tell stories for so long with me. It was sort of this monkey on my back all the time. I wanted to write things, but I didn’t know what those things were or how they were going to look. So when I came to comics, I discovered very quickly that they are a slog. They’re a challenge. They’re one of probably, I don’t want to say they’re one of the hardest mediums because that’s all hard mediums, but it had so many learning curves for me as someone who didn’t read them as a kid, I sort of threw myself at them for some stupid reason. But they’re so rewarding. I think that sometimes those scripts are so hard to write. Sometimes they’re easy, but a lot of the time they’re really difficult.
But then you start working with people and you start seeing art and you start might start lettering if you’re a letterer and then you get it printed and you see this thing for what it is and it’s the product of so many people’s work. And I think that’s an incredible thing. I think that that’s primarily what took me to comics was working with other people to create something that no one on their own could have done. Which is not to say there are a lot of us that are doing writing in our that write and draw our own books, so might have to bite my tongue on that one. But
Leigh Chalker (01:27:02):
We all have our different paths, mate. Yeah, we all have our different paths.
Haydn Spurrell (01:27:08):
So for me I do this thing because I have somehow found people that have allowed me to do this thing.
Leigh Chalker (01:27:16):
Yeah, yeah. Artists that are willing
Haydn Spurrell (01:27:18):
To read my
Leigh Chalker (01:27:19):
Scripts. You’re going to keep pumping these comic books out for the foreseeable future, mate.
Haydn Spurrell (01:27:26):
That’s the plan.
Leigh Chalker (01:27:27):
Yeah. Good man. Good man. Because you’re certainly doing a hell of a job on it. What was it like getting your envelope by your box with these issue one for the first time? I love to say
Haydn Spurrell (01:27:46):
It was this sort of awe inspiring moment, but honestly I was just like, okay, time for the next one. That’s sort of what a new book does for me. And not even in a negative sense that it’s, I get the book and I wrote that thing probably a while back and I, I’ll probably read it. I’ve read Rick number one for example before, and I, I’m still quite proud of it, but I get that book and I think, okay, incredible. What’s next? Where do we go now? And that just keeps me going, keeps me writing.
Leigh Chalker (01:28:21):
Yeah. Yep. No, it’s good mate. It’s a good body of work. So before I go, anyone out there, we’ll find out where you can get these from Hayden in a tick, but Hayden is a machine. This is only a little piece of what Hayden is doing in the Australian comic scene at the moment writing all of these comics. So if you haven’t got ’em, have a look at getting them where you can go. There’s the comics shop, there’s owner Indies, there’s Reary publications, there’s support comic shops go in there and ask ’em if they’ve got any Australian independent comic books available for people to read because Hayden, this is just a slither of what Hayden’s doing and it’s a small piece of the beautiful rich creativity that’s out there amongst Australian comic book creators. Now Hayden, where can people find your stuff, mate?
Haydn Spurrell (01:29:18):
Well, you can find satellites on the shop as well as came one to three. You can find my revere work. So you can find Mr I and Rick clu on the Revere Publications shop and you can find everything I’ve done on owner India as well. I’ve got a store up there.
Leigh Chalker (01:29:40):
There you go. And if anyone’s chasing Hayden for something or maybe want to get into the second issue of satellites that he may or may not get around too. But I’ll bet you he will. I’ll bet you he will. Hayden’s available around too for a chat mate. As you can see, he’s a good dude and he’s a hard working and fell mate and I wish you all the best mate and your creativity and your productivity in the near future. Alright, so everyone out there, don’t forget to and subscribe the channel there’s little bells and all the things that’ll remind you shows are coming up and it helps out the algorithm and all that to do its thing and bump the side up and everything. So I’d like to thank Shane and Carrie for coms for sponsoring the Tuesday Chinwag every Tuesday. Thank you very much for that.
Now there are several other shows that are also on the Comics Network. Tuesday is the for Chin Wagon, so I’ll be here next week with Morgan Qua. It will be my next guest. Wednesday night you have the AZ Comics show and Dave Dye is the guest tomorrow. So looking forward to that and seeing what he’s got to have a yarn about Friday night drink and draw for everyone out there. Now the topic is sabertooth, so you can start drawing now. Send in your artwork. It’ll be shown on the show and even if you’re a little bit late, it’ll get shown on next week and all the interwebs and stuff. So you can get your stuff out there. And the guest is Duncan Cunningham. And on Sunday night is the Sunday Spotlight with Peter Wilson and Shane and the guest this week is Peter Lane. Also, there’s a comic book called Sizzle and Doug that’s out at the moment, numbered one to a hundred.
I’d love everyone out there if you haven’t got a copy to get a copy because comics is not free. It’s an independent studio that basically opens up doorways for the comic book creators and communities all over Australia and far off lands. To do exactly what Hayden said tonight, collaborate, communicate, get in touch with people. You never know who you might meet on these shows or what you may learn. So go ahead and do that. And look, I also want to give a big shout out to Hayden’s dad for being a Dune fan. If he’s watching or if he watches this sometime in the future. Long live the fighters, Mr. Sparrow, and he’ll know what that means if you’ve ever seen Dune. And yeah thank you. The comments. Thank you for everyone watching. Thank you for the comments. Thank you for Hayden and where to find Hayden. Where to find me? Tuesday Chinwag. Alright, remember, community is Unity. Thank you. See you later. Be good.
Voice Over (01:32:51):
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