This is the very last time I am going to mention Dave McKinnon. Some people may know that name well, the writer of one of my favourite comic books of all time, More Tales From Sleaze Castle, with the late artist Terry Wiley who we lost almost two years ago, as Gratuitous Bunny Comix. I usually describe it as "Love and Rockets meets Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by way of Cerebus" and that seems to do the trick. McKinnon was also one of the early pioneers of UK small press, through the nineties, when it was starting to expand into embracing 'professional' standards of production, and was a regular attendee and participant in small-press conventions like Caption.
But this year, we have a new name, Jenny McKinnon. Jenny recently told friends and family about the changes in her life, she is now out and living as a woman and tells me she is amazed by the messages of love and support she has received since the announcement. She has allowed Bleeding Cool to "announce" the news more widely – consider this the equivalence of an announcement in the London Times newspaper for the world we live in today.
In its day, Sleaze Castle became a leading small press comedy sci-fi comic book in the British comic book scene, was picked up by Dave Sim's Spirits Of Independence, being featured in an issue of Cerebus, and span off into a number of titles. It was later published in a collected form by Markosia, long out of print but readily available in full, digitally.
She tells me that even a couple of weeks into this, she's already worried about the incredibly slow NHS process – especially as she's hitting 58 soon. "Not a criticism of the organisation, as I'm a great supporter, and I know they're overloaded and under pressure in the current political climate – also impacted by the Covid thing. I may have to look at a GoFundMe and investigate the private route."
When we last met, Jenny also told me she was looking into the possibility of revisiting and finishing some of those Sleaze Castle stories from back in the day. She tells me "I'm still of a half-mind to do so, but the ownership of Terry's share of the IP is a bit vague right now… and I don't know whether I'd feel comfortable or happy going ahead without it being him "holding the paint brush""
Either way, I do look forward to whatever is she comes up with, and wish her the best of luck and good fortune going forward.