This article originally appeared in Strangehaven issue issue #11, April 1999.
THE HECKLER #1 (Man With A Gun) 28 pgs + b/w covers, A4
Last Summer I had a visit from a young chap called Ben Graham who wanted to interview me for his publication Espylacopa. I had actually already met him over a year prior to that, at a UK comics convention, although I’d admit to not remembering much about it save for a copy of the curious fan magazine he had generously given me.
In fact, Ben sat next to me interviewing Paul Grist for the same publication which Ben kindly posted to me some months later with a request for an interview with me: The interview with Paul was funny, irreverent, informative and highly entertaining. I called Ben to say I’d be happy to be interviewed if it was as funny as Paul’s was. Ben then told me he was off on kibbutz somewhere in Asia for six months and that he would call me when he returned.
Having much experience of the attention-span of fanzine editors, I expected never to hear from him again and thus wiped these memories from my brain; so when Ben actually did call me back six months later, he was initially greeted with “Ben who?” and “Espyla- what?”
Well, Ben finally got to interview me and he finally got to publish it, but not in Espylacopa, but in his new zine The Heckler. In what appears to be an all-alien special, it contains a number of very funny spoof magazine-type articles and questionnaires, including an e-mail he sent to Bill Clinton. There’s also a substantial alien abduction comic strip, very competently written and illustrated (in a scratchier than Bill Sienkiewicz/Ted McKeever kind of style) and a four-page interview with me.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Ben has a very perceptive and deceptively funny writing style that manages to evoke a sense of atmosphere and convey information in a breezy and entertaining manner. Both Paul’s interview in Espylacopa #6 and mine in The Heckler #1 are among the very best interviews that I’ve read anywhere.