Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the world powers, there was an age undreamed of. Hither came Bill Hollweg. An audio hooligan. An artist whose pen was as sharp as Aquilonian steel, and whose steely gaze and keen hearing forged many an audio story. A man of gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth who loved Audio Drama, and was beloved by the AD Community.
Ask anyone who has been around for the Gold and Silver Ages of Modern Audio Drama, who they would pick as someone who loved the medium more than anyone else; and you’ll see one person consistently top everyone’s list: Bill Hollweg.
Bill began working with Darker Projects, almost fifteen years ago when modern audio drama was in its infancy on the Internet. Growing up like so many people our age, he had a love for old time radio (which he did his best to share in his show OTR Swagcast), and a uniquely talented hand for artwork. Bill made his money as a commercial artist. While he drew fantastical worlds, he listened endlessly to audio drama. He loved the theatrical and cinematic aspects of the medium, and had little time for audio books. Books? He’d rather read them!
Partnering originally with Paul Mannering, David Sobkowiak, and Mark Kalita, the four of them founded Broken Sea Audio and drew a lot of talented people in their wake including Stevie K. Farnaby, Steven Jay Cohen, Alexa Chipman, Cary Michael Ayers, Brian Bochicchio, Elaine Barrett and so many others. Bill penned most of the artwork for the website, and delved into developing a number of projects himself, as well as lending his prestigious production might to a number of other shows.
Bill was tireless. He often worked three day time jobs, and was up early in the morning at three or four editing audio drama.
Early on, Bill and I connected. He has said to me and publicly many times since then that one of his proudest moments in his audio drama career was getting his work showcased on The Sonic Society. Bill was a great early supporter of our Sonic Summerstock Playhouse, and for many years provided excellent shows that either kicked off the season or acted as finales. He was encouraging. Exuberantly so. But that was Bill. Bill made everyone feel like they were family. Calling everyone who shared his love for Audio Drama “brother man” and “my sister”. We were family.
Bill and I shared so many childhood loves, and I was honoured when he included me in many of his projects. I was Milo and Mendez in his long form adaptation of The Planet of the Apes. We shared a mutual love for Battlestar Galactica and he gleefully cast me as Apollo- a childhood dream of mine. Among the many roles, Bill asked me to play Hitler for his pulp action star Jake Sampson- Monster Hunter. Later I got to perform in his sequel to Jaws, Amity: Dark Waters. He gave my wife Ginny her first role in his science fiction original series 2109 Black Sun Rising where I acted as narrating host.
Bill’s enthusiasm was infectious. Many times after we spoke, I’d go off on a writing tear, returning hours later to talk to him about plot points of a script I wrote. He tirelessly reminded me to complete my John Carter- A Princess of Mars long before the movie came out. He similarly reminded me how often he listened and relistened to Firefly: Old Wounds– telling me it was fan drama that drove him to check out the original show. We talked continuously about putting together new episodes of M*A*S*H* set in a science fiction future war. He always called me “Hawk”, as his pick for the audio version of Hawkeye Pierce. Of course, I called him Trap.
Bill and I loved Conan the Barbarian and I was determined to come visit some day. He’d drive the two of us out to the Robert E. Howard Museum (our own pilgrimage). Bill’s adaptation of Howard’s Queen of the Black Coast is one of the finest I’ve ever heard.
To list off all of Bill’s projects and beloved audio dramas would take a post that would dwarf this one. He touched everyone in the community and communicated faithfully with so many on a regular basis.
Bill Hollweg leaves a legacy in family and friends and through his enormous talents in art and audio works, and he leaves a hole the size of a Black Sun Rising in our hearts that can never be filled without him.
Go listen to the legacy yourself at Broken Sea Audio Productions for her was and is for me the Grand Master of the Modern Age of Radio Drama.
Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, Trap.