Every Friday, Stately Beat Mansion invites round a comic creator or two for a cup of tea, complementary Kit Kat, and a chat about their work in The Phoenix. The Phoenix is a UK series which features a range of the best all-ages comics available, from all kinds of wonderful creators – all compiled into a single issue each week! The Phoenix have very kindly commissioned a wolf with a saddle just for this feature, which journeys across the wilderness over to The Mansion every week with new creators mounted.

This week sees Tom Fickling race on over to tell us about Simon Swift a story appearing in today’s newest issue. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the other half of the creative team – artist Zak Simmons-Hurn spoke about the series a short while back. If you want to find out more, then try an issue of The Phoenix for yourself!

Cover Preview

Steve: What is Simon Swift about?

Tom: The comic is about a boy who has a strange voice he can talk to in his head. The voice belongs to a mysterious being that gives him special powers. But of course, also puts him in great danger! Simon Swift is the star but he has a group of friends who travel with him.

Steve: What inspired the series?

Tom: I love fantasy and Dungeon’s & Dragons and wanted to write a story that had those archetypes in it: Ranger, Mage, Thief, Warrior etc. And I’m also a bit obsessed with the idea of souls and demons and the like. The idea for the voice in Simon’s head probably came from David Gemmell though.

Simon Swift Act II Episode 14 Page 2

Steve: How is your process with the writing of the story? How do you take your ideas and develop them into awesome comics? 

Tom: Zak (the artist) is the one who makes it into an awesome comic. I’m not an experienced comic writer as my background is in screenwriting, so I really rely on him a lot! This is my first comic strip and already I can see a million and one things I have done wrong. Hopefully getting better though!

Simon Swift Act II Episode 14 Page 3

Steve: What’s your favourite part of this week’s story?

Tom: Zak’s art!

Steve: Where else can we find you? What else do you have coming up?

Tom: Hopefully Zak and I will do more stuff together. I think he is brilliant and a real star of the future (if not today). And who knows, maybe I’ll get a movie made one day. I’m not holding my breath though!


Many thanks to Tom for his time! You can find Simon Swift in this week’s issue of The Phoenix – issue #88! And many thanks to Liz Payton for taming the wild wolf!


Steve Morris