“I suddenly had access to a proper comics store in Edinburgh, The Science Fiction Bookshop on West Cross Causeway was right around the corner from my apartment,” Simon recalls, his excitement causing him to speak at a faster clip. “It was amazing! Two years before I arrived, they had helped launch Grant Morrison’s career by publishing an anthology comic called Near Myths. Luther Arkwright by Brian Talbot initially came out through Near Myths as well. Also over in Glasgow there was AKA Comics & Books, which was at the center of a booming small press comics scene. A lot of the talent from that boom moved into 2000AD then moved over the Atlantic to work for the New York publishers. Which was the natural order of the world at that time.”
“When I got to Africa, the experience of being in Africa was overwhelming, it had a profound effect on me,” Simon recalls. “I had been doing Nikolai Dante for 2000 A.D. pretty solidly for four or five years at that point, but had a kind of breakdown with comics, and slowly stopped drawing for a couple of years in Kenya. I was doing a lot of things, spending a lot of time with people, learning Swahili and teaching kids to use the Internet, things like that. My output slowly dried up.
“The script was a very good adaptation of the book, adapted by Ian Edgington, but I don't have the impression that anyone had actually read it or the book at IDW. So the first time they realised what they had was when they saw the art,” Simon laughs. “It was like ‘Excuse me, I don't think we can do that!’ I ended up calling San Diego and talking to this editor who had just taken the job and was a bit off balance, and is having this conversation about Jesus’ dick to a guy in Kenya.”
New to the Big Apple, his career rejuvenated, Fraser made a connection that pushed him to his next big project: the creator owned science-fiction strip Lilly MacKenzie for the Act-I-Vate web collective.