Monday, October 10, 2011

What's in a Name?

When I first started this blog, I had a couple of people ask, "Why 'Autocratik'?" But when I added the header to the blog, with the red flag, it prompted even more questions, "Why the flag, dude?"

So, here's a quick answer to both of those questions.

Set the way-back machine to 1998. Since school I've kinda only really wanted to do one of two things. Write RPGs and draw comics. Well, in 1998 I had a go at the latter. I was unemployed, living off of the wifey's meager income from her job in graphic design, and I set up a company to publish comics. It was just at the tail end of the boom in black and white independent comics, and after going to a couple of comic conventions and talking to the indie guys who were actually getting their stuff out there, I thought I should give it a go.

And so Autocratik Press was born.

I created this comic series called "Missing", an epic drama set in an alternate (then) future at the turn of the millennium, in a vast hotel on the border between Scotland and an England under American rule. It was my "Twin Peaks", a soap opera like cast of dozens - the suicidal runaway, the local sheriff, suited criminals, dandy highwaymen on powered surfboards who held up the traffic on the flooded roads north, and the psychotic boyfriend seeking revenge. I had about 90 issues planned, but the indie comic scene was fading a little, and I had my distribution pulled.

Debs published a few little microzines, deeply moving stories of love and haunting, and groups of goths, under the Autocratik imprint, and I published a very cool one-shot by the legendary D'Israeli D'Emon Draughtsman, artist of Batman, Sandman, and more. A sequel to his awesome Timulo strip that used to run in British magazine "Deadline", "Consequences" was an epic and beautifully illustrated tale of hit-nuns and giant fish. You can read it in this excellent collection along with the original Timulo strip by purchasing the Timularo (The Complete Timulo) Collection.

In the top left corner of every issue of Missing, and Consequences, was the Autocratik Press logo. Inspired by Soviet propaganda, it was Debs and me with the red flag, leading the revolution in publishing. It was fun while it lasted, and Autocratik closed its publishing doors late 1999.

However, if I hadn't been working on comics, I'd have never contacted a certain game company about doing a comic for their RPG, which lead to writing books, and... well, that's another story.

When pondering the idea of going solo and doing my own game, there was only one name that came to mind - Autocratik.

No comments: