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Ward was always fascinated by people on the frayed edges of society. In his very first comic book 'The Beastmom' (68), he tells the story of a wild woman who lives in the forest and kidnaps and cares for the children of a nearby village. In later publications, this figure returns as a reclusive, a conspirator, a parasite, or an obscure Bosnian Black Metal musician (65): outsiders, down to the ground. As Boris & Kitchenknife (see: Boris & Kitchenknife), this fascination grew into a drive to stand up for marginalised people. In the end, as Loloman (see: Loloman), Ward took on the role of an outsider himself.

It is remarkable how these misfits in Ward’s work are always represented with a great deal of respect. This contrasts with the way in which he portrayed the mainstream. The pariah is often a vehicle for probing society.

The directors and authors he most admired also made work about outcasts, or were outcasts themselves. The movie 'Gummo' (45) by Harmony Korine (see: ‘Gummo & Co’), or the books of ultimate down-and-out Charles Bukowski (see: Bukowski & Co) provided inspiration for some of Ward’s zines. Ward felt a sense of kinship with unknown bands, underground comics authors and folk artists, and liked to keep projects small-scale (see: D.I.Y.).

  • (45) Gummo — Harmony Korine. Fine Line Features / Independent Pictures: 1997.
  • (65) The Veils Of Darkness Are Covering My Rotten Corpse — Loloman. Self-published: Antwerp, 2019, number of copies unknown, technique: photocopy with cover on red paper and colour sticker.
  • (68) Zwart ('Black') — Ward Zwart and Joeri Zwart, including the short story The Beastmom and others. Self-published: Kalmthout, year unknown, number of copies unknown, technique: photocopy with cover in colour copy.