I'm pretty sure that there will be some inaccuracies in the previous 160,000 words; but it's my take, my impression, my life and my experiences; if something is slightly chronologically wrong or I get an actual fact wrong - tough. It proves that I'm human; I get things mixed up or wrong and I don't actually care. It's my take. My life.
Since joining up on Facebook, I have reconnected with a number of real friends from my years in comics and it was one of them who suggested that I serialise this book. His argument being that even if 90% of it is boring, at least it will be a fair and even handed appraisal and that is what I hope it is. I have not embellished the history; neither have I rewritten it; every personal experience in this is 99% as accurate as I can remember. I have omitted some things from the last 30 years, not because I’m ashamed of them, but because they were just really boring and/or irrelevant to the main narrative.
There is no specific order to the following; without the following people this book wouldn't have been serialised: Dave Brzeski (for his editing to make it better for later editions), Martin Shipp, Jay Eales, Andy Winter, Mark (Dan Black) Emerson, Mike Kidson, Peter Ashton, Selina Lock, Rad Kerrigan, Loriann Luckings, Kerry Hurley, Colin Campbell, Alan McKenzie; Les Chester, Kelvin Green, Roger Trenwith, Derrick & Phil Osborne, Brian Curtis, Rol Hirst, Jim Campbell, Colin Theobald, Luan Jones, Dez Sinclair, Sarah Bolesworth, Derek G. Skinn, Paul Eke, Lou Bank, Patty Jerez, Bob Wayne, Richard Johnston, John Parkinson, Simon Coleby, Bruce Paley, Justin Ebbs, Mark (& Linda) Ellis, Graeme Bassett, Andrew Cheverton, Will Vigar, Sarah Littlehales, Kevin Hill, Stan Lee, Mike Conroy, Billy Tucci, Chris Claremont, Scott Goodman, Denis Wojda, Irwin Perreira, Paul Cranfield, Mike Sivier, Shawna Gore, Michael Martens, Fabian Nicieza, Steve Thomas, Christina Jensen, Matthew DeMonti, John Brown, Warren Ellis, Ande Morgensen, Jamie Delano, Doug Gifford, Nigel Ballock, Richard Burton, Ron Hall Jnr, Toby Stanbra, Neil McOnie, Glynn, Megan and Gifford.
Finally, just a few things I’d like to get straight, just to dispel some urban legends that seem to have been created about me.
If I was as bad as Dez Skinn claimed I was at my job, why did he employ me for over 10 years; why did he pay me upwards of £25,000 a year during many of these years and why was he so scared of Borderline, my continued presence in the industry and me possibly being employed by whoever bought Comics International to the point he made it a stipulation of the sale of the magazine that I couldn't be employed on it. Sounds to me like someone who regards me as a complete waste of time and not worthy of his attention; does it to you?
I am not homophobic, racist, sexist, misogynistic, ageist or any other ic or ist you can think of. I've worked in social care for 10 years and if I was any of the things I have been accused of then I probably wouldn’t have (and so successfully).
I am sorry if, over the years, I have offended some people - for what it's worth you probably deserved a lot of it. Some people I’ll never be sorry about and you know who you are – both of you.
Time to finally move on.
For Patricia and Ronald Hall
and Paula Hall – who suffered, for much of it silently, for many years.