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The Sevloid Art team: John Cook (creator of Sev Trek) and Wendy Cook (designer of the Sev Wide Web).
About the Author of Sev Trek

Hi, my name's John Cook, creator of Sev Trek. I thought you might be interested in hearing a little about the guy who draws Sev Trek and how I got to the point where I am now. So here goes...

The Early Years

I'm a 28 year old cartoonist living in Brisbane, Australia. Originally, I studied Physics at University and in my honours year, majored in Astrophysics. I must confess some pride that I received First Class Honours. However, the work I had to do to achieve that level totally burned me out and I decided to take a break from academia.

The Pits is still alive and well, published weekly on my web site, Toon Zone, as well as a weekly competition, The Write Your Own Pits Competition
Maybe it was due to all the doodling I did in lectures, but I decided to try and fulfill a childhood dream of being a cartoonist. In 1993, I wrote my first comic strip The Pits, heavily based on my own experiences at Uni.

The Pits was about three Uni students sharing a flat together, featuring a good-looking confident guy (Lance), a slob (Wayne) and a physics nerd (Herman). No prizes for guessing which was based on myself! I tried selling The Pits to Australian newspapers and had mild success in small rural papers, but wasn't able to crack any of the big papers.

Twist and it's companion, The Write Your Own Twist Competition is also published weekly online (man, where do I find the time to do all this!)
I was discouraged by the flat reaction to The Pits but hadn't given up yet. My next creation was the single panel cartoon Twist, similar in style to Gary Larson's The Far Side. My thinking was that newspapers were turning towards those types of panels over the comic strip style cartoon. I was wrong. Like The Pits, it sold to some rural papers but never caught on in any big way.

Still, after about two years of being told my cartoons weren't wanted, I still believed they were good enough to "make it". I didn't think I was wrong... the rest of the world was wrong! :-) But seriously, although I had received nothing but rejections, I still believed in my own abilities (just about the only person that did). This self-belief is an important thing for a cartoonist to have, as rejection is part of the job.

Anyway, after some soul searching, I decided newspapers were a dwindling industry and set my sights on what I saw was a growing market: the Internet.

The Online Years

The word SEV comes from our business name, Sevloid Art. Our web site is now called The Sev Wide Web. What does SEV mean? Now that would be telling! :-)
In 1995, I created a web site called "Sev Page" with the goal of somehow making a living as a cartoonist from the Internet.

I started with The Pits and Twist and added three new cartoons: a sci-fi comic called The Sevloid Chronicles, a satire of The X-files called The Sev Files and a satire of Star Trek called Sev Trek. Not surprising considering the large populations of Trekkers and X-Philes online, the Sev Files and particularly Sev Trek became very popular.

I'd have to admit Pus in Boots is probably still the funniest Sev Trek cartoon I've written.
Sev Trek started with a single cartoon satirizing The Next Generation. Called Pus in Boots, it was about a pimple on one of the characters that grew into a huge, sentient zit. It got a lot of reaction online, mostly from grossed out Trekkers.

Sev Trek comes of age

Sev Trek really took off in early 1997 when I introduced a weekly Sev Trek competition where readers got to write their own punchline to a Sev Trek comic strip. It's currently at the point where I can barely keep up with all the entries coming in!

We received several requests from readers for T-shirts with the Sev Trek cartoon printed on them. So in September 1997, the first Sev Trek T-shirts were created. As I said in my About Sev Trek page, big thanks go to all T-shirt buyers who make it possible for me to continue to draw Sev Trek cartoons.

Some very generous people had translated Sev Trek into other languages (Portugese and German). However, one day a reader suggested I should get it translated into Klingon. What an inspired idea! I contacted the Klingon Language Institute and in October 97, Alan Anderson performed some very skillful Klingon translations of the Sev Trek comic strip. I think this makes Sev Trek the Internet's first and only Klingon cartoon!

And now...

So where does that leave me now? Have I achieved my goals yet? Well, all I can say is there's still a lot of hard work ahead. Things are growing and certainly look more optimistic than the newspapers ever did. But I still feel like I'm very much in the beginning phase and still continue to learn heaps. So I'll leave you to ponder one of my favourite quotes...

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."

Lee Perry

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The Sev Wide Web and all content within are © Copyright 2000 by John Cook.
None of my material can be used on any other site without prior permission from the author.
However, feel free to link to my site from yours.