Gosman and meAs I’ve said elsewhere, the name Faren Gosman came to me in a dream. I scribbled it down in a notebook in the middle of the night. However, when I woke in the morning, the wonderful dream-logic it was built of had evaporated. There was a reason for that name, and why it was so cool, but it’s gone… for ever.
At least it’s unique. The name Steve Davies isn’t. I became aware of this when there were two other kids in my school with the same name. On the plus side, it led to some adventures based entirely on confusion. Which was exciting, and a life lesson. But that’s a story for another time.
The first Policy Police story had a super-heading (? – I made that up) that said, “the fevered mind of steve presents.” These stories were addressed entirely to people who knew me, so this clued them into what to expect. But I kept the “fevered” because it distinguished me from all those other Steves.
Maybe you don’t know me, but you prob’ly know somebody like me. Office oddball. Doesn’t quite fit the corporate mould. But people put up with my funny little ways because I’m good. I can deliver stuff that people value, and I’m not afraid of looking the unpalatable in the eye. Which I guess is where all this comes in. It’s all very well contemplating the unpalatable, but how do you communicate it?
Many, many years ago I knew a guy called Geoff Warburton. He drew a one-off cartoon strip (the publication died) called “Ronald, master of strangeness”. The eponymous Ronald was a rather dull-looking chap who was aware of an invisible world that existed in and around our own. But only he could see it. Many-tentacled aliens feeling up girls as they sat in a pub, that sort of thing. Maybe we’re all a bit like Ronald, we see stuff yet are too scared to tell anyone. Bureaucracy plays on our fears, convincing us of its reality, and our embarrassment filters all the ugly stuff that comes with it.
The world of the Policy Police
Here’s a little snippet from the novelised version of Reaching the LEARNER.
“The year is 2025. Five years on from the New Way. Back then, the government had announced change. Big change. And the announcements continued. Every day. Relentlessly.
This was the Agency. The general-purpose, arms-length body that coordinated the daily initiatives that flowed from government. Arms length. Far enough from government to take sole blame for any screw-ups. Close enough to be slapped if it stepped out of line.”
At the start, this is a world where a swaggering state has ambitions to extend its surveillance into every aspect of people’s lives. The daily reality is of course much more messy. Bureaucrats continually seek to update “what success looks like” in the face of a recalcitrant world.
And then there’s the other sort of change. The sort that just happens. Events. The things that overtake us all.
How these comics came aboutThese are links to a series of posts that tell the story.
How it all began part 1
How it all began part 2
How it all began part 3
How it all began part 4
How it all began part 5
How it all began part 6