Seb Patrick: a few words about our friend

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Over the weekend, we got the terrible news that Seb Patrick has suddenly passed away – and we wanted to say a few words about him.

I’m usually pretty decent with words, I think, but here, I’ve no real idea where to start. Short of to pass on the news, if you’ve not heard it, that Seb Patrick has left us. He passed away suddenly on Sunday, survived by his wife and young daughter. Nobody saw it coming, Seb included. And the world is a bloody sight poorer.

If you’ve not heard of Seb before, then this website owes its existence to him for a start. At a point where I was struggling to get Film Stories moving, Seb stepped in and bolted together this site. Over the past month or two, we’d been chatting about what to do with it next, but – as was customary – Seb had umpteen projects on the go at any one point.

I’m averse as a rule to internet lists, but how else can you digest some of the things that he’s been involved in? Here’s just a flavour…

  • The Cinematic Universe website and podcast
  • Editor of the official Red Dwarf website
  • Assorted other podcasts
  • Writer for the likes of When Saturday Comes and Empire
  • Creator and editor of F1 Colours
  • Creator and editor of Doctor Who fan site Unlimited Rice Pudding (like me, he always loved Sylvester McCoy-era Who)
  • Comic book and audio sitcom writer

And those are the things I knew about. Just browsing his site earlier, I found plenty more I didn’t.

Personally, I first got to know Seb when I started commissioning his writing back in 2006. A mutual friend of ours pointed him in my direction, and I sent him a little bit of work as a test. It arrived, as it always did, on time and spellchecked. Plus, it was a cracking read. It would be the first of dozens of pieces of work we’d do together. In the print magazine Micro Mart and on the site Den Of Geek, I commissioned him time and time again. At one point I was given the job of pulling together a standalone superhero magazine, and I honestly thought he was going to cry with joy when I got in touch to offer him work on it.

On the occasions I then met Seb, my ears would be treated to a mix of Liverpool Football Club, Spider-Man, Back To The Future, whether the away goals rule was fair, Jossy’s Giants, Doctor Who, Roy Of The Rovers, comic book movies and computer games. When he was in full flow, I had a sporting chance of getting a word in every few minutes, as long as I stayed alert and spotted my opportunity.

An avid adopter of social media – and lots and lots of people got to know Seb through Twitter in particular – it was the quiet chats away from the glare of Twitter and Facebook that I nonetheless enjoyed the most. That, and I knew I was in for a treat when Seb had hundreds of words to play with, to pour into something positive that he loved. I remember penning an article on the Back To The Future trilogy for Den Of Geek once in my time there, that led to a ‘spirited’ back and forth between the two of us. No snark or piddle though: he channelled it into this.

Seb returned to Liverpool a few years ago, and thoughtfully his football team chose this period of his life to work out how to be good again. He also kept in touch, kept busy, kept writing, and was surrounded by family. He seemed really happy, and he certainly had a hell of a lot more to give to the world. But the world this time has had other plans.

2020 has been a shitshow on many levels. That much you don’t need me to say. But the taking away of Seb feels like a particularly cruel, unfair and unexplainable moment. Like many, I can’t comprehend that he’s been taken, and the thoughts of us here are very much with his family, especially his wife and daughter.

Rest in peace, Seb. You deserved a whole lot longer, but I’ll forever be grateful for the words and support. Hopefully, somehow, you’ll let us know what you think of Bill & Ted 3. x

UPDATE: friends of Seb are collecting for his daughter. If you’d like to contribute, the link is here.

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