The Dynamic Dark Nebula: Origins
The Dark Nebula: Nightmares & Deceptions
The Dark Nebula: The Chaos War
The Trial of The Dark Nebula
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Hi and welcome to the continuing adventures of Col. Mark Medula, the Dynamic Dark Nebula.

The Dark Nebula lives!
The road to this moment has been a long and hard one, sometimes seemingly impossible, but for the faith of a few good, trusting friends, to whom I'm forever grateful.

Up until now comics had only been a hobby and a sideline.

So, how'd it all start?

At the time (early 80's), there was no Australian comic book industry to speak of. Frankly, there hadn't been one since the advent of television back in the 50's, with few exceptions doing extraordinarily well (eg: Frew Publication's The Phantom), as well as the odd project that came and went. Still and all I was always about 'artistic expression' not 'suppression'. I'd settled on producing what became ?The Dynamic Dark Nebula' graphic novel in 1982.

Cover to The Dark Nebula graphic novel (1982),
art by Tad P.
Once I'd released that 64 page magazine, I gauged the response to it. It was hard to tell at the time, but it set a chain of events in motion which continue on in the independent comics scene of Australia today. Others saw what I did and whether they liked it or not, it set the bar at the time and I was glad to see others produce their own material -- kind of ?if he can do it, so can I!'

It wasn't long after the release of the Graphic Novel that I met Gary Chaloner (in fact, it was while the Graphic Novel was at the printers that we first met). I'd already known Glenn Lumsden, who I'd been trading comics with for years. Add David de Vries to the mix (who'd introduced his creation ?The Southern Squadron' in Oz Comics the year following my Graphic Novel) and you had the nucleus for Cyclone, the anthology title that would make Aussies sit up and take notice of comics in this country.

Cyclone consisted mainly of Gary's ?Jackaroo', Dave's ?The Southern Squadron', ?The Golden Age Southern Cross' (which was a co-creation of Glenn and I), and, naturally, ?The Dark Nebula'.

Cyclone continued as an anthology for 8 issues before taking on a title change to The Southern Squadron. The Jackaroo took on its own title, as did The Dark Nebula.

Cover to Cyclone! Australia #7 (1987), featuring The Dark Nebula, artwork by Gary Chaloner.
The Dark Nebula had proven successful within certain circles and had established a core-following, but was still only a pleasurable sideline. Meantime, my other creative energies went into my career in Radio Broadcasting, something I enjoyed for some 21 years.

Back in '92, I'd finished 8 issues of The Dark Nebula and was preparing to release the next 4 issues after a short break, but that year, at the Aussie Comic Convention ?Oz Con' after laying out plans for Dark Nebula issues 9 to 12, (as well as other aussie comic projects), the rep from Marvel stood up and gave their marketing pitch for that coming year which was pretty much ?we're going to glut the market with extraneous titles and flood you little guys out' (at least that was my interpretation of it).

I then had to make a really hard decision -- should I publish, chancing to flush my money down the toilet, set it on fire, or simply not publish for the foreseeable future? Hard as it was, I withdrew till a better climate arose.

So, The Dark Nebula went into hibernation over the following 15 years. During which time the world of broadcasting and family life took precedence. Somewhere in the background the notion of re-release via the internet was tickling the back of my brain.

Time and tide passes with its ebbs and flows and as other things began to recede, nature abhors a vacuum and The Dark Nebula seemed to take up a greater role. Three years ago, I was nearly killed in a car accident which put me out of play for some months. A radio announcer with a broken jaw can't really do a lot. During my healing and rehabilitation, I began to lay out the ground-work for what you now view. Ironic that my character got its start after his death and only fitting it got its second chance after I got mine.

Cover to Dark Nebula #1 (1989), artwork by Gary Chaloner.
Critically reviewing the published material, I knew the first two adventures were in need of refreshing and artist Shane Foley was more than obliging in re-interpreting those stories while remaining faithful to the original vision. Maybe one day down the track if there's sufficient demand to view the original interpretation of the origin, I may run it on this website as a curiosity piece.

With the leaps and bounds in internet technology, the concept of publishing an online comic was no longer an onerous one. Broadband makes downloading the images so much easier. Programs like Photoshop make computer colouring a snap (and this coming from a person who had difficulty getting his brain around that concept for quite awhile), and the headaches of dealing with printers and distributors are pleasurably eliminated -- as is fighting for shelf space.

It's been a long road to get to where we're at now and as I said, I couldn't get to this point without the aid of the few who've helped and supported me over the years. Gary Chaloner, who's helped me through the challenges I've faced since the accident and pretty much put the fire under me to get this project up and running and to you, the reader; Shane Foley, my series artist who's been extremely patient and understanding over that fallow 15 year period while pursuing his other ambitions, ?Shakah-Rune' being one of his chief projects.

So where do we go from here? Something old, something new. The previously published adventures will take up the first 12 months of web-publication. The first two adventures, the Origin and ?This Earth, Alive!' are all-new interpretations of classic stories followed by the rest of the previously published material, all in colour for the first time.

New readers will be introduced to the art of Shea Anton Pensa, Glenn Lumsden, Jason Paulos, Gary Chaloner and, of course, Shane Foley. Also the writing of David de Vries as well as myself, Tad Pietrzykowski.

Then strap yourself in for the ride of your life. The adventures continue, as originally planned, with a twist. I'm taking The Dark Nebula places even I didn't know I was taking him all those years ago. In the months to come you'll be introduced to the likes of the Grandstander, Chaos, The Southern Squadron and, somewhere down the track, Vondra! You'll find things move at a cracking pace, hence the ?Dynamic' in the Dynamic Dark Nebula.

The beauty of having a rich history behind a character such as this is that at least you won't have to worry how consistently the material will be released, considering the volume of work already completed.

Your feedback is always appreciated. It'll be nice to hear from you, the reader. To that end the ?letter's page' ?Dark Secrets' finds the light of day. It'd be great to post your fan art on the website as well.

I got into all this out of sheer enjoyment of the art-form of comics, but looking at the titles I enjoyed so much as a kid, I don't get the same enjoyment out of them today. Not that I've outgrown them, the latest issues no longer have the same magic to them. So I've decided if I can't get the same enjoyment out of reading I sure as hell can find it in writing.

It might cost a fortune to follow the adventures of all the major characters of the mainstream Comic Companies, but to follow the adventures of ?The Dark Nebula', ?The Southern Squadron' and ?The Golden Age Southern Cross' will just be the price of your monthly subscription, $2.95 U.S. per month or $29.95 per year... and who knows, you might find this more enjoyable.


TAD PIETRZYKOWSKI ||    Forum ·  External Homepage ·  Blog · 

Tad P. has been writing and producing comics since the early 80s. ... full profile


The Dark Nebula: Allies & Adversaries
The Southern Cross: Special Edition
The Southern Squadron: Hold On To Your Braincells
The Southern Squadron: Doublecrossover
The Dark Nebula ? Tad Pietrzykowski. All rights reserved.