With our anthology set to come out next month, we’re going to take a few minutes to talk to some our great creators to give you a taste of what you can expect. Andrez Bergen is one of the few creators who came to use with a completed story in hand, to show how dedicated he is to the tale. His piece “Zig Zag,” with artist Drezz Rodriguez, is a moody tale that will remind you of Warren Ellis’ horror work.
Andrez, tell us a bit about Who You Are And How You Came To Be.
I’m Andrez Bergen, real name Andrew — I picked up the ‘z’ at school since there were two other Andrews in my class and I dug Zorro. Born in Melbourne, Australia, but moved to Tokyo 12 years ago. I’ve been making music (as Little Nobody and Funk Gadget) since 1995, and writing since I could hold a biro. I’ve worked with Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) on the English translation of one of his movies, and published 2 novels — Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011) and One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (2012) — and have a third about to be released. It’s called Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? and is a hybrid noir/sci-fi/pulp/comicbook beastie.
I was making crap comics in primary school, since I loved reading them, I was mad about writing, and I enjoyed drawing. I did strips for high school and university newspapers. The drawing, however, took a bit of a back-seat as I focused more on music and words — and in 2011-12 I started working with a bunch of sequential artists who were far better anyway. Prominent amongst these was Drezz.
Without giving too much away, tell us about your story Zig Zag and how you approached it.
Zig Zag started off as a short story vaguely related to the noir, dystopian, near-future Melbourne I created in the novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, but it was a standalone piece that I realized didn’t actually stand all that well alone — something was missing. I loved the idea of it, but it needed oomph, something to bring it out of its shell. The first time I laid eyes on Drezz Rodriguez’s online noir comic El Cuervo, I knew what that something was.
What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?
I’m going (again) through the entire series of Jack Kirby & Stan Lee’s Fantastic Four in the 1960s, and also reading Yukio Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
How did you meet up, and what’s your creative process like?
I contacted Drezz in February 2012, straight after discovering El Cuervo, and suggested working together. He didn’t know me from Adam, but luckily the guy was really cool and we chatted about ideas. I sent him the Zig Zag short story, and he came up with the incredible artwork we now have. The entire process was done via email as we live in different countries, but it sailed smoothly probably because Drezz is so darned professional and talented.
What else is in the works for you, and where can readers find your work next?
A reworking of the original Zig Zag story (the words rather than images!) will be coming out in my anthology The Condimental Op on July 22, via Perfect Edge Books. Also a different version of Drezz’s Zig Zag — along with the work of several other artists tweaking noir/dystopia — will be published in autumn in the anthology The Tobacco-Stained Sky (Another Sky Press). My novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? should be published through Perfect Edge Books by September.