March 8th is International Women’s Day. It is a perfect opportunity to honour the wonderful women that have graced my life. Thank you!

This pink post may raise eyebrows (for those gritty fans that like intense adventures, mystery and challenging spiritual quests). I promise that there will be plenty of that. However being a romantic at heart, I take this opportunity to address a special character that is featured in The Spirit Journey. She never fails to get my heart pumping… her name is Susie.

The inspiration, for developing this powerful heroin came from life experience. I have lived with, loved and been influenced by an array of wonderful women. To begin with is my mother. She was a medical doctor practising both in Gdansk Shipyards and later in Vancouver, Canada. There is also my brilliant sister Joanna, a research archeologist at Oxford University, England. (Obviously, the brains and good looks are definitely from the female side of my family).

Developing Susie’s appearance prompted a search through old Kajtek and Koko archives, where I found plenty of clues. There was a long lineup of beautiful females in Christa’s illustrations. For example the shapely and clever Eta from planet Orion, the capricious Queen Furduajo, and what about the ferocious women pirates from Asteroid Oroa. Last but not least, (back here on Earth), came a colourful collection of independent females, like Emma from London.

So… in developing Susie, all those marvellous characters were considered. But she needed to tick all the boxes for me. Not just smart, but sexy too, creative, cheeky, and willing to take risks. I soon realised that I was married to just such a woman. My life partner plays many roles, she is my muse, my confidante, my lover and task master. She is at the heart of The Spirit Journey, her name is Padma. In acknowledging her, I tip my hat to women everywhere on this special day.

Love from a fan.

Excerpt from my journal, 2020 Yandoit, Australia

I have been delighted, more than once, to discover on the back of Christa’s illustrations some of his doodles. Here is a scattering of sketches I discovered on the reverse side of a Zyg-Zak original drawing from 1961. As a 14 year old I was thrilled with the buxom blonde… but, had to imagine her without the beard!

 

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