What’s not going on now is p’raps a better question, particularly overseas! In my own walled-up ballpark here in Tokyo my daughter is about to compete in her first ballet competition at age nine, while I’m set to release the 12-issue trade paperback of my noir comic book ‘Bullet Gal’ via Under Belly Comics in North America, just started a new noir series called ‘Trista & Holt’ (a ’70s crime-oriented revamp of Tristan and Iseult) via IF? Commix in Australia, and I’m working on my next novel ‘The Mercury Drinkers’.
PDB: How did you research this book?
‘Bullet Gal’ is my kiss-off homage to film noir and hardboiled literature of the 1930s and ’40s, mostly related to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett —thrown in with the off-beat science fiction of Philip K. Dick and artistic sensibilities of Dada and Terry Gilliam. So, the research? Growing up with this stuff, along with comic book art from Jim Steranko, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby.
PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?
Jeez, that’s a toughie—they all have their moment in the sun depending upon the mood I’m in. But I think I’d swing with my second novel ‘One Hundred Years of Vicissitude’ (2012). There’s something there that I just really love.
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?
Fave film bounces between ‘The Maltese Falcon’ and ‘The Big Sleep’. Book-wise I’d best cite ‘The Maltese Falcon’ as I’ve read it thirty-odd times. Song? Easy—Ary Barroso’s ‘Brazil’. TV programme is tough. Let’s go with ‘Black Adder II’ for now.
PDB: Is location important to your writing?
Yeah, I think so—most of my stuff is set in my hometown Melbourne, even though I’ve lived in Tokyo going on for 14 years.
PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?
Ha Ha Ha… shhh! Every now and then. Not to often, I swear!
PDB: What’s next?
Focusing on ‘Trista & Holt’ (I just finished #5, and I think the arc will be about 12 issues) along with the new novel, and working with Matt Kyme and a bunch of artists on our next ‘Tales to Admonish’ anthology. Otherwise applauding Cocoa at her ballet performance!
He makes music as Little Nobody and previously ran groundbreaking Melbourne record label IF? for over a decade, before setting up IF? Commix in 2013 in collusion with Matt Kyme.
The duo do a comic book together titled Tales to Admonish.
Bergen has also written for newspapers such as The Age and the Yomiuri Shinbun, as well as magazines like Mixmag, Anime Insider, Australian Style, Remix, Impact, 3D World and Geek Magazine.
He’s published four novels: The noir/sci-fi novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011), surreal slipstream/fantasy One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (2012), comic book, noir and pulp homage Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? (2013) and the gothic-noir mystery Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth (2014).
Bergen is current working on novel #5 (The Mercury Drinkers).
In 2014 he unveiled his first graphic novel, a 144-page adaptation of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat that Bergen both wrote and illustrated, along with the monthly comic book series Bullet Gal.
In 2015, all 12 issues of Bullet Gal have been collected together as a 348-page trade paperback, and he’s started a brand new series called Trista & Holt.
He’s further published short stories and sequential yarns through Crime Factory, Shotgun Honey, Snubnose Press, Solarcide, Weird Noir, Big Pulp, 8th Wonder Press and All Due Respect, and worked on translating and adapting the scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani, for Production I.G.