Remembering Terry Wiley: Independents Day by Dave McKinnon

Dave McKinnon & Terry Wiley

Photo courtesy of Dave McKinnon & Gary Spencer-Millidge

We asked Dave about his memories of the Independents Days events, as we knew he and Terry had taken part in them in the early days of publishing Sleaze Castle.

SO MANY things to talk about my time with Terry:
daft antics at University…
working on the SF Soc magazine …
after Uni, EVEN MORE daft antics with the Goon Show Preservation Society (disrupting and upsetting the “old guard” with our radical  ideas)…
Alcohol was consumed (but not by Terry)
Terry writing and performing – notably, a pitch-perfect monologue in the style of Ronnie Barker…
us meticulously editing cut-up audio cassette montages…
randomly falling into unprompted unrehearsed “sketches” – I particularly remember the pair of us spontaneously ‘becoming’ Gilbert and George at a party at Bryan Talbot’s house….

but I’ve been asked to recall

Independents Day – 1 and 2 and the Cerebus Spirits of Independence tour

Through Mark and Stephen at Page 45, we managed to piggyback onto a UK tour they’d arranged for the CEREBUS team of Dave Sim and Gerhard – each stop had guest local creators, and we got the Newcastle gig.

There we were: Dave Sim, Ger, with me and Terry right next to them – seemingly sketching, signing and selling as many books as they were!! I mostly recall, however, being horribly nervous and babbling babbling babbling non-stop. God knows what they must have thought of me. Terry, of course, just quietly got on with doing great drawings. Needless to say, alcohol was consumed (but not by Terry).

On the back of that, Page 45 later ran a couple of promotional events – the Independents Days. Amazingly, despite our (my) bad behaviour, we were invited to both.

The first was upstairs in the store – Terry and I, Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Gary Spencer Millidge, Paul Grist(?)… as well as a gathering of various notable UK small-pressers in unofficial capacities. My first recollection was of being HORRIBLY HORRIBLY late – we got stuck in traffic for the Nottingham Goose Fair. Cue several panicked, stressed phone-calls to the store – who had an increasingly impatient
queue out of the door and down the street…

A massive day of sales and new contacts. Donna Barr storming down the street, declaiming “Lead! Follow! or Get Out Of The Way” Alcohol was consumed (but not by Terry). During the day Terry and I came down with some sort of hideous throat lurgy, which we managed to pass on. By the end of the day, we could barely talk (or breathe!) – there’s a photo somewhere of me, Terry, Donna, and Roberta slumped against each other in a Nottingham Street – “the sick people of comix”

The following year, ID2 – hugely expanded and relocated to a Nottingham hotel. Me and Terry, and a roomful of UK indie comix greats … and Dave Sim and Gerhard again, from Canada. Another massive day, with great exposure for all of us.

This ended with The Night Of The “Big Tab” – Dave and Ger hosted us all in the hotel bar, saying just to put anything we wanted ON THE BIG TAB. MUCH alcohol was consumed. Terry drank coke, wafted cigarette smoke away, and put up with our rowdy behaviour.

The next day, whilst I groaned and pushed my breakfast around my plate, Terry cheerfully tried to explain Vic and Bob’s Shooting Stars (particularly “The Dove From Above” to an absolutely baffled and very hung-over Dave Sim and Gerhard. I eventually sobered up enough to drive home at about tea-time.

happy times. happy times.

Dave McKinnon, September 13th, 2018