“You have to imagine a river flowing backwards – its starts as a broad expanse with hundreds of ideas and characters mingling… as it flows towards its source it becomes more refined – all the elements are still there…all the people, events and places… but they are merged into a few forms that have a definite shape.
I decided to look back and see where Slim had come from – it proved to be difficult… wading through piles of notebooks sketches and half finished projects I saw glimpses of him everywhere. Every time I thought I had reached the source, an earlier, less defined version of him would surface. All this… evidence… was mixed in with a ton of other ideas as well so it was a matter of trying to see the wood for the trees… but eventually I managed to draw a thread through the whole mess which makes up my life as a storyteller”.
One thing I noticed as I rummaged through my past was that the key moments at which a great story or character came into being were more often than not – connected to a journey…
Which is worth noting. In my case, they are fairly small events – it’s not necessary to spend a year travelling around India to find yourself – in my case it took 4 weeks in Switzerland in 1987.
I had actually adopted the name Subway Slim when I had moved to London in 1986 but it didn’t last long.
This photo was taken on the day I moved to London – you grow up but it isn’t until you move from home that you start to play with your identity – who you really are… or who you would like to be.
I was working with Jason Atomic on a sci -fi novel and band and we created heroes based on ourselves… the surname ‘slim’ was dropped in favour of several others but it didn’t last and it was just a name at that time – I cant say there is a conenction between this character and Subway Slim today.
I can define the moment the real character came into being right down to a 1/125th of a second – the time it takes for a photo to be taken:
Slim came into being with a photo taken in a gallery somewhere I forget:
But at this time he was still just a persona that I was playing with. Things got muddled after this… there are aspects of Slim in various characters created over the years… but these projects all went on the back burner until 2001 when I began to work on an Asian Vampire story – he wasn’t called Slim then but it was definitely him… and I kept coming back to the Asian Vampire story which will become the fourth Subway Slim book after Convegrence, The Ghost in Me and The Memory War”.