Saint Mark’s Eve

05

Today is the Eve of the Feast  of Saint Mark – a date with a number of strange customs and traditions attached to it. You’ve probably never heard of any of this, but luckily for you I’ve written a new article for The Daily Grail all about it.

Read it now at dailygrail.com (and get ready for a night in the cemetery, or before an open fire)

Leah interviewed for Bleeding Cool about Swords of Sorrow

SoSDejahIrene01-Cov-A-AnacletoBB: For all her flaunted sexuality, Dejah Thoris of Mars has always been, at least in the modern comics, a strong and quite capable woman. What threat is she facing on Barsoom as our story begins here?

LH: Dejah Thoris is only flaunting her sexuality by Earth or Jasoomian standards. On Barsoom she is wearing the equivalent of jeans and a t-shirt.

Burroughs took the idea of a white man turning up in some remote village and being utterly amazed to see the women’s breasts out in the fresh air, and transposed it into the fantasy pulp world. It’s a classic trope, where the young dashing man is sent to a planet where the natives only wear cling film and demand lessons in Earth Kissing.

Read the full interview at bleedingcool.com

M. R. James conference report on A Podcast to the Curious

A couple of weeks ago I attended the first M. R. James and the Modern Ghost Story one day conference in the atmospheric and aptly antiquarian setting of Leeds Library.

Highlights for me included meeting Will Ross, Mike Taylor, Jane Mainlley-Piddock and Helen Grant in real life, being introduced to the likes of Chris Rose and Prof. Aaron Worth, and chatting with BBC Ghost Story for Christmas originator Lawrence Gordon Clark. Here’s a picture to prove that happened:

Lawrence Gordon Clark and John Reppion

I was there to deliver a paper on adapting James’ stories into comics. I spoke about comics and adaptation generally a bit and then focussed on the Ash Tree because, happily, I had a couple of pages which Alisdair Wood had drawn for an adaptation of that story. The Ash Tree - Alisdair WoodI’m very pleased to finally announce that Leah and I have adapted all eight stories of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary which will be published in a single volume by Self Made Hero in Autumn 2016.

Anyway, I intended to write a little report on the whole thing but I didn’t find the time, sadly. Now Will and Mike at A Podcast to the Curious have spared me the guilt by devoting a whole episode to the conference, including interviews with Helen Grant, Prof. Darryl Jones, Jane Mainlley-Piddock, and even me.

You can download it, or listen here: mrjamespodcast.com

Oh, and look at my weird sideways face here:

John talks Dracula on H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast #250

FireShot Screen Capture #004 - 'Episode 250 – Dracula – Part 4 I The H_P_ Lovecraft Literary Podcast' - hppodcraft_com_2015_03_26_episode-250-dracula-part-4

This month the H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast has been covering Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Knowing I still have a brain stuffed with far too much information on the book thanks to the work Leah and I did on The Complete Dracula, Chris and Chad were kind enough to invite me on to talk about the dramatic climax of the book when the tables turn and the Count goes from hunter to hunted.

The episode is available to subscribers only but if you’re interested in Lovecraft and Weird Fiction it is well worth signing up.

Here’s the link: http://hppodcraft.com/2015/03/26/episode-250-dracula-part-4/

Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1 solicit

SoSDejahIrene01-Cov-A-Anacleto

SWORDS OF SORROW: DEJAH THORIS & IRENE ADLER #1 (OF 3)
Cover: Jay Anacleto Writer: Leah Moore Art: Francesco Manna

A team-up set up by SWORDS OF SORROW’s Gail Simone, featuring the writer that she hand-picked: Leah Moore! Irene Adler has been many things in her young life, a fugitive, a master of disguise and a femme fatale, but even she is surprised to find herself made bounty hunter, tracking savage foes across the grimy streets of London. In a far off world, defending Barsoom against an influx of trespassers, Princess Dejah Thoris is ready to put the guilty to her sword. Now, the world-colliding events of SWORDS OF SORROW have brought these dangerous women together… and the fate of planets hang in the balance!

Full SoS month 2 solicitations and covers at Bleeding Cool

Spring Equinox 2015

A photo posted by John Reppion (@johnreppion) on


Partial solar eclipse (you can see the crescent in the lens flare) above our terrace from 9:31 am today.

Things are moving. Projects old, new, and not yet real are jostling for attention. They demand time. We have no time. Nothing to spare. Hours turn to days turn to weeks turn to months. For every thing you tick off your list you add three more to-dos.

Bring on the Spring and hurry on the Summer. Give us sunshine and vitamin D, washing on the line, open windows, long days in the park, and long evenings in the garden. Give us the chance to appreciate the important things, the things which make us happy, which make us human, as we hurtle ever onward through time; into and out of the darkness.

Bookmarks for 7th March 2015

38075.pngElectricomplexity – the latest on Electricomics

38075.pngH. P. Podcraft are covering Dracula this month (and I’m already annoying them by tweeting my own notes at them, because I know a bit about the book).

38075.png1930s Jiu Jitsu with May Whitley – this brilliant video has evidently been online for a while now (although the version linked to is a pretty recent upload) but Greg Taylor brought it to my attention this week. It reminded him of my article from SteamPunk Magazine #6 entitled Baritsu, Bartitsu, and the Ju-Jutsuffragettes.

John talking M. R. James at the end of the month

The 2nd of March (today) is Saint Chad’s Day.
Chad was a prominent 7th century Anglo-Saxon churchman, who became abbot of several monasteries, Bishop of the Northumbrians and subsequently Bishop of the Mercians and Lindsey People. He was later canonised as a saint. He features strongly in the work of Bede the Venerable and is credited, together with his brother Saint Cedd, with introducing Christianity to the Mercian kingdom.
Chad is also an important character in the old English legend of The Two Princes.
Someone who would almost certainly have known all that without having to look it up like I just did is the late great Montague Rhodes James.M. R. James by Alisdair WoodI’m a massive fan of M. R. James’ ghost stories and though you don’t yet know it, not until you read these following words, Leah and I have had the pleasure of adapting quite a few of them into our preferred medium of comics. More on that as and when there is actually more to say. I, personally, will be saying some more about it at the end of the month (Sat 28th) when I attend the M. R. James and the Modern Ghost Story one day conference in Leeds.

I’ll be giving a 20 minute talk entitled ‘Adapting James’s work into graphic stories’ in The Leeds Library at 14:25.

If you’re a fan of James – a listener to A Podcast to the Curious, a reader of Ghosts & Scholars, a watcher of A Ghost Story for Christmas, maybe – then the conference is definitely something you should check out if you can. I’d certainly be attending even if I wasn’t speaking. It’s £40 for the day ( £35 concessions) and registration closes on the 14th of March.