The story behind Bastard Galaxia
Bastard Galaxia is an online comic by Steve Gregson and Matt Simmons and its also really freaking funny. Bastard Galaxia is about a being named- you guessed it- Bastard Galaxia, who reminds me of a more cynical Darth Vader with a twisted sense of humour. Steve Gregson answered the questions I had for him and it made me like the comic even more, and I highly recommend checking it all out.
Hi Steve! First of all, how did you get into comics?
I’ve loved comics since I was a kid, and that lead me on to my love for cartoons! My love for cartoons lead me to pursuing animation at University, where I got a 1st degree honours in 2D animation. I work as a 2D Animator by profession, but I still wanted to be creative in my spare time…
Animation is a LOT of work, drawing hundreds of images to create a few short seconds, so after doing that during the day I didn’t want to do it at home, so I went back to my other illustrated love and started making comics!
What made you want to start creating them?
A lot of my day job animation is obviously very client based, so I don’t get to create the things I personally want, so comics gave me the option to be fully creative! Writing stories and seeing them come to life as a product other people can enjoy is incredibly satisfying to me!
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently with a good friend of mine, Matt Simmons, on a comic called ‘Bastard Galaxia’. It’s a story about the life of a cartoon villain from the 80’s. He’s locked in a contract with a toy company called ‘Mad-L Toys’, so he’s having to straddle the line between being evil and remaining marketable, all the while trying not to let his crew know that he’s sold out.
What can people do to support your work?
Read the comic! That’s all we ask! Its available free at BastardGalaxia.com! We’re hoping to venture into the world of printed comics this year too, so if/when we do you could always buy a comic! But seriously, if you read the comic and you like it, please let me know! That’s really all we ask!
Where did you get the inspiration for ‘Bastard Galaxia’ and what influenced you?
Well, Matt and myself are still big toy fans, so we’re aware that most cartoons from our childhood were just extended advertisements to sell toys, but we still love them! We looked back t the cartoons we grew up with and tried to work out what life must have been like for those character behind the scenes, and what that world must be like…
Basically, imagine the characters from your favourite cartoons knew about the toys being made of them, and the marketing that went along with it…. thats what we wanted to explore!
The name Bastard Galaxia comes from the realisation that lots of villains from my favourite childhood cartoons and comics have inherently evil names like Doctor Doom, The Shredder, Dr Blight, Skeletor, Doomsday, Apocalypse… the list goes on, but these people were destined for a path of villainy. These characters thought of themselves as evil, and I absolutely love that! I wanted to continue this tradition and exaggerate it. Eventually the name ‘Bastard Galaxia’ just somehow seemed to fit as the next logical evolution.
The roots of the comic start with ‘He-Man’ but go through to video games of the 80’s & 90’s, even lifting some influence from Japanese anime of the same era. Without going to far into spoiler territory, we will also be exploring a lot more recent inspiration too in the future of the story!
Where did you and Matt Simmons meet and how did you decide to work together?
Me and Matt have been friends for years, and we’re both comic fans.
We have a very similar taste for old cartoons, comics and movies and I knew he also loved the idea of making comics! I’d come up with this name ‘Bastard Galaxia’, like I said earlier, just as an exaggeration of those evil characters from the cartoons I grew up with, so I sent matt a text saying:
“I have this idea for a comic, I think it could be really funny, do you fancy trying to come up with some ideas together?”
But what I should have said was:
“I have written down a stupid name. Also lets write a comic.”
Luckily that’s not what I sent to him, as he agreed to come together and help to write it with me.
Do you yourself have a favourite comic or artist?
I’m a huge fan of Jamie Hewlett of Tank Girl and Gorillaz fame, but I really like the rough and ready look of the old Eastman and Laird’s Ninja Turtles comics. A lot of my inspiration comes from games and old anime too. I’m pretty sure all these things have rubbed off on my style, but I like to think I don’t emulate anyone’s work!
Who has been the biggest influence on your comic and how has that person changed your work?
Professionally? Probably the creators of the countless cartoons and comics of my youth! It’s those cartoons that made me want to make 2D artwork as a profession, and i’m lucky enough to say that I do so!
However, if you mean a specific person that has influence Bastard Galaxia I’d have to say that if I wasn’t working with Matt Simmons on it, it wouldn’t be happening! The regular sessions we have bouncing ideas off each other constantly shape the comic… I mean, we already know how it ends, and how we get there, but in term of world building and character development, that increases with pretty much every conversation we have!
Seriously, you owe it to yourself to bounce ideas off someone if you have a like minded friend who wants to make something creative. You’ll get way further than just listening to the ideas in your own head.
What would you suggest for young artists or people trying to get into the industry to do?
Don’t make excuses for yourself, and make something! We make Galaxia as a complete passion project, and I absolutely love making it!
Bastard Galaxia started off as a joke name, but since then we’ve developed it for a few years and created something that almost tells the story of our childhood…. in a weird… roundabout sort of way…
Hell, making this means we got to talk to animation Studio ‘Frederator’ (Of Adventure Time fame!) about pitching a cartoon!
Its been fun journey so far, and the story of Bastard Galaxia is still just starting!
I hope you’ll join us!
Did I mention that it’s free, so even if you hate it, that’s ok! But hey, you may like it, so it’s gotta be worth a shot, right!?
If you fancy catching up with the guys behind Bastard Galaxia, This Nerd has made it easy for you!
The comic: http://www.BastardGalaxia.com
Comic Twitter: https://twitter.com/BastardGalaxia
Comic Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BastardGalaxia/
Steve’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoboticSteve
Matt’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/SheriffFreak