Andy Bloor’s Andythology

DiabloBack in 2005 Leah and I were still pretty new to writing comics with just a couple of series on the shelves. I can’t remember exactly how it came about but somehow we were invited to contribute something to UK indie publisher ACCENT UK’s annual anthology, the title and topic of which was MONSTERS.

My first encounter with Andy Bloor’s work then must have been in 2006 when I first got my hands on a copy of MONSTERS and read ‘MAYBE TONIGHT’ (written by Dave West). I recall being instantly impressed by the boldness; the whites, greys, and slabs of absolute black that made each of his panels look like intricate scratchboard illustrations. Andy’s artwork stood out. Andy’s artwork was different.

Some people would have you believe that’s not a good thing, not in comics. The truth is that almost all of those people are artists, or frustrated artists, who don’t have a unique style of their own. Andy Bloor’s artwork doesn’t look like anyone else’s and it is all the better for it.

AndythologyTHE WOLFMEN, FALL OF THE WOLFMEN, and even more so the truly brilliant MIDNIGHT MAN (written by Mo Ali) simply could not have been drawn by anyone else. That is to say, if they had been drawn by someone else I have no doubt that West and Ali’s writing talents would still have shone through, but the aesthetic of the books would not, could not, be the same without Andy.

It is always an absolute pleasure to see a new page of anything from Andy because it is always going to be something you’ve never seen before. He is a hugely talented artist with an arresting and unique style which transforms anything he does, regardless of collaborator, into “An Andy Bloor Story”.

We’ve worked with Andy a few times over the years, (creating the character of Doctor Diablo with him) and we fully intend to work with him again at the earliest possible opportunity.

His collection ANDYTHOLOGY not only collects pin-ups and previously published collaborations with Kieron Gillen (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, STAR WARS: DARTH VADER), Mo Ali (MIDNIGHT MAN, DREAMCATCHER) and ourselves but also contains new short tales fresh from the keyboards of Ali, and us. And at £6 it’s a an absolute bargain.

Black Wings V available to pre-order now

S. T. Joshi’s Black Wings V is coming out next month and I’m very pleased and proud to say that I have a story in it. The Black Abbess is the first of three Weird Fiction stories of mine set in the Greenwood region of north west England which are being published this year (the other two are in Uncertainties: Twenty-two Strange Stories, and Haunted Futures). I talked a little bit about Greenwood in my Hannah’s Bookshelf guest spot last week, and it’s a topic I hope to be discussing further in the coming months. This is sort of the start of a new chapter in my writing career so, if you’re a fan of Weird Fiction, Folk Horror, Strange Tales, and all the rest of that stuff, I really hope you’ll check these stories out.

black-wings-vAN ANTHOLOGY edited by S. T. Joshi
CATEGORY Lovecraft inspired Horror
PUBLICATION DATE May 2015
COVER ART Jason Van Hollander
PAGES 317
INTRODUCTION S. T. Joshi

EDITIONS
Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover — ISBN 978-1-848639-94-2 [£25]

300 Slipcased JHC signed by the contributors — ISBN 978-1-848639-95-9 [£50]

SYNOPSIS
This fifth instalment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series features twenty stories that use H. P. Lovecraft’s mythos as the basis for imaginative ventures into the weird and terrifying. One of the central themes in Lovecraft’s work is the problematical nature of science in human affairs, and in this volume we find stories by Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lynne Jamneck, and Donald R. Burleson where scientists come face to face with the appalling implications of their discoveries.

Lovecraft was a master of the “sense of place,” inventing imaginary towns in New England with a rich and sinister history stretching back centuries. In this book, Jonathan Thomas, W. H. Pugmire, and Sunni K Brock bring Lovecraft’s towns of Arkham, Kingsport, and Innsmouth to life. Sam Gafford, Darrell Schweitzer, and Stephen Woodworth evoke terror in other corners of the American continent, while British writers David Hambling and John Reppion find Lovecraftian horror in little-known towns in England. The world-building that led Lovecraft to fashion an entire universe set in the realm of dreams is duplicated in tales by Cody Goodfellow, Mark Howard Jones, and Donald Tyson.

Madness is always an occupational hazard of the “searchers after horror” who populate Lovecraft’s tales. In this volume, stories by Robert H. Waugh, Nicole Cushing, and Nancy Kilpatrick searingly display the psychological aberrations of characters as they encounter the bizarre. Lovecraft himself has become an iconic character, and his gaunt, lantern-jawed figure stalks the tales by Jason C. Eckhardt and Mollie L. Burleson. This volume concludes, as did its predecessor, with a long poem by Wade German, one of the most dynamic figures in a remarkable renaissance of weird poetry inspired by the work of Lovecraft and his colleagues.
Black Wings V can take its place as a pioneering anthology that shows how the work of H. P. Lovecraft is inexhaustibly rich in the inspiration it can provide to contemporary writers of weird fiction.

Bookmarks for 27th April 2016

Recent stuff you might have missed.

Leah Moore: John Waters was the man who taught me to be a woman [from the Big Issue]

John reviews Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule, H. P. Lovecraft – Hallowe’en In A Suburb And Others EP and Boris/Merzbow – Gensho [for Sleeping Shaman]

John interviewed on Hannah’s Bookshelf on North Manchester FM

 

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu available to pre-order

Publisher: Snowbooks Ltd

ISBN: 9781909679863

Published: 2nd August 2016

Price: £8.99

Pre-order: waterstones.com

An anthology of short stories based on Shakespeare’s works, and world, but with a dark Lovecraftian twist. Imagine if it had been William Shakespeare, England’s greatest playwright, who had discovered the truth about the Great Old Ones and the cosmic entity we know as Cthulhu, rather than the American author H P Lovecraft. Imagine if Stratford’s favourite son had been the one to learn of the dangers of seeking after forbidden knowledge and of the war waged between the Elder Gods in the Outer Darkness, and had passed on that message, to those with the eyes to see it, through his plays and poetry.

Welcome to the world of Shakespearean Cthulhu! Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu is an anthology of short stories featuring tales that are a mash-up of the Cthulhu Mythos and Shakespeare’s most popular plays – as well as the world in which he lived – written by some of the top genre authors in the business, including James Lovegrove, Graham McNeill, Jan Siegel, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jonathan Green.

John on North Manchester FM

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John will be talking to Hannah Kate on her North Manchester FM radio show Hannah’s Bookshelf this Saturday 2-4pm.

If you’re not in Manchester you’ll be able to listen online live at northmanchester.fm.

The show will also be available online afterwards (I’ll probably post it here).
You can now listen to the show in full below.

Brit-Cit Noir out now

Product Details: 112 pages – paperback

ISBN: 9781781084144

Writers: John Smith, Leah Moore, John Reppion

Artists: Colin MacNeil, Tom Foster

BRIT-CIT NOIR

THE BRITISH EQUIVALENT OF MEGA-CITY ONE, BRIT-CIT IS A SPRAWLING METROPOLIS THAT COVERS ALL OF SOUTHERN ENGLAND, and governs several territories, including Cal-Hab and the South Welsh Peninsula. Brit-Cit suffers from many of the same problems as other Mega-Cities, but is also a focal point for an abundance of weird, occult occurrences.

STRANGE & DARKE – NEW BLOOD

Detective Inspector Jericho Strange heads up the Endangered Species Squad – a unit within the Brit-Cit Justice Department charged with investigating these arcane cases. Partnered with Psi-Judge Bekky Darke, Strange’s exposure to a supernatural artefact called the ‘Black Mirror’ has left him with a face you will never forget…

STORM WARNING – THE RELIC

Lillian Storm is a psychically powerful Judge in the Brit-Cit Justice Department’s Psi-Division. Unfortunately, her abilities are just as much a curse as they are a talent. Can she keep her power in check whilst trying to retrieve a deadly relic and stop an ancient hex which plagues the land?

THIS VOLUME INCLUDES THE STORIES:

Strange & Darke: New Blood (Judge Dredd Megazine 319-323)

Storm Warning: The Relic (Judge Dredd Megazine 361-366)

PLUS!

  • Authors Bio
  • Cover Gallery

BUY NOW FROM 2000 AD ONLINE:

shop.2000adonline.com/products/britcit_noir

HEAR MOORE & REPPION, AND STORM WARNING ARTIST TOM FOSTER ON THE 2000 AD THRILL-CAST:

Spirits of Place 2016

Spirits of Place logo by Andy BloorOn Saturday the 2nd of April 2016 the Spirits of Place symposium was held at Calderstones Mansion House here in the heart of South Liverpool.

The whole thing came about when I saw that the venue was for hire and I started thinking about what kind of event it would be great to see there. Something the likes of which people who live in London, or Brighton say, might be quite used to seeing advertised but which there never seem to be very many of up here in the North. Something which fused historical and archaeological topics with things like folklore and myth and literature. Something which spoke of the stories – public, personal, true and otherwise – embedded and encoded in the landscape. Tentatively I made some enquiries, things spiralled quickly, and within a month I found myself at the helm of an actual event that had speakers and tickets for sale and was definitely an actual real thing.

And then, on Saturday, it happened. And it was successful. Very successful.  And people have sent me lovely tweets, and emails, and even written lovely blogs about it (here and here).

Lots of people have asked me if there will be another one, and do you know what? I think there probably will be. If you’d like to stay informed about that please subscribe here.

Continue reading →

Double #FolkloreThursday post: Hare’s Eggs for Easter, and Invoking the Spirits of Place

Hare’s Eggs at Easter

As the Easter weekend draws close, children and adults alike anticipating a chocolate egg binge, the internet is alive with articles on the “true” origins of Easter. Yet, could there be any truth in the idea that rabbits – or hares at least – do lay eggs?
Read the rest on DailyGrail.com


Invoking the Spirits of Placecalderstones-showing-cup-and-ring-f-beattie

South Liverpool, where I was born and live still, is a place full of green-spaces. Its abundance of woodlands, parks, cemeteries, playing fields and golf courses are linked by an intricate network of narrow, bramble-lined public footpaths and overgrown roadside verges. The more romantically inclined might be tempted to call them faerie paths, or corpse roads, and perhaps some once were such; back when an Iron Age fort stood on top of Woolton’s Camp Hill, or perhaps longer still.
Read the rest on FolkloreThursday.com

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol. 1 available to pre-order

Cover by Francesco Francavilla

The first volume of our adaptation of M. R. James’ classic Ghost Story collection is now available to pre-order via Amazon and Amazon UK. The book will be out in October, just in time for Halloween.

Curl up by the fire and enter the sinister, supernatural world of Montague Rhodes James (1862 1936), the master of the English ghost story. Chillingly atmospheric, quietly terrifying, M. R. James s stories explore the darkness just beyond the flicker of the candle, behind the creaking door. “Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Vol. 1” comprises graphic adaptations of four of James s most compelling and unsettling stories, plunging readers into a world of pervasive, creeping disquiet a world populated by vengeful phantoms, disturbing visions, and spectral works of art. Published on the 80th anniversary of James s death, this is a graphic novel to be read on a winter s night, a book to curl up with but not a book for the faint-hearted.

There are four stories in Vol. 1: Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book, Lost Hearts, The Mezzotint, and The Ash-tree.

Our publishers, Self Made Hero, have yet to announce officially the artists (though we’re getting some lovely pages in our inbox every day) so we’ll keep that as a surprise for a bit later.

Spirits of Place – one month to go!

Spirits of Place A4 Poster No Bleed

Spirits of Place is a one day, multidisciplinary symposium taking place on Saturday the 2nd of April, 2016 in Calderstones Mansion house, Calderstones Park, Liverpool.

It’s a kind of cross between a conference and a working – a day of talks, readings, interviews, and screenings taking their cue from the neolithic Calderstones and their surroundings and then spiralling out to include all manner of related stuff.

Archaeology, history, folklore, magick, psychogeography/landscape-punk, fiction, and all points between will be covered.

A full list of guests, talks, and (approximate) times is online at tiny.cc/spiritsofplace where tickets can be purchased for £15 (plus booking fee).

I hope you can join us there.

“Sea Elf sees elves” – Think of a City with Devaki Neogi

Sea Elf sees elves

A long, long time ago the incredible artist and human being that is Alison Sampson invited Leah and I to take part in her Think of a City project. If you haven’t already heard of ToaC then, in a way, you’re pretty lucky because you have an awful lot of amazing artwork waiting for you at thinkofacity.tumblr.com and its companion blog thinkofacityblog.tumblr.com.

Continue reading →

Uncertainties: Twenty-two Strange Tales

UncertaintiesAnnounced today (on the occasion of editor Brian J. Showers’ birthday), Uncertainties: Twenty-two Strange Tales is an anthology from Liberties Press which will be available this April.

Uncertainties is an anthology of new writing – featuring contributions from Irish, British, and American authors – each exploring the idea of increasingly fragmented senses of reality. These short stories were termed ‘strange tales’ by Robert Aickman, called ‘tales of the unexpected’ by Roald Dahl, and known to Shakespeare’s ill-fated Prince Mamillius as ‘winter’s tales’. But these are no mere ghost stories. These tales of the uncanny grapple with existential epiphanies of the modern day, and when otherwise familiar landscapes become sinister and something decidedly less than certain . . .

‘The Swing’ by Peter Bell

‘The Mighty Mr Godbolt’ by R.B. Russell

‘Then and Now’ by John Howard

‘Homecraft’ by Rosalie Parker

‘Half-Life’ by Steve Rasnic Tem

‘Wellaway’ by Martin Hayes

‘Closing Time’ by Emma Darwin

‘From the Archives of the Westmeath Examiner’ by Derek John

‘Last Love’ by John Kenny

‘The Faerie Ring’ by John Reppion

‘Court of Midnight’ by Mark Samuels

‘What’s Out There?’ by Gary McMahon

‘On a Clear Day’ by Robert Neilson

‘A Letter from McHenry’ by Reggie Chamberlain-King

‘The Edge of the World’ by Helen Grant

‘The Séance’ by Lynda E. Rucker

‘Ruby’ by Adam Golaski

‘The Light at the Centre’ by Maura McHugh

‘Fran’s Nan’s Story’ by Sarah LeFanu

‘To the Eternal One’ by Mark Valentine

‘Flyblown’ by Timothy J. Jarvis

‘Love at Second Sight’ by Reggie Oliver

For more information see Brian’s full post at Swan River Press.

New Daily Grail piece: Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World exhibition

In the recent half term holiday I found myself looking after our nearly-four-year-old twins while our eldest went to the Safari Park. I was a little bit stuck for what to do because there are no (or very few) Stay & Plays/Playgroups open in school holidays. The previous day we’d been to Liverpool Central Library where, for the duration of the half term, there were daily kid friendly things. We (myself and all three kids) had seen a conjurer whose act, if I’m perfectly honest, failed to hold the attention of many of the forty or so kids  assembled there, mine included. Maybe it was this that finally jogged my memory of something I’d been meaning to do since I first read about it.

I’d received an email some weeks earlier via A Ghostly Company which mentioned that, from the 21st of January 2016, the John Rylands Library in Manchester would be displaying some  magical texts and artefacts in an exhibition entitled Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World. That seems like the kind of thing two nearly-four-year-old boys might enjoy, right?

Read the rest on DailyGrail.com

New Daily Grail piece: The Power of (Passive Aggressive?) Prayer

Shintō_prayer

Last Saturday – the 6th of February, 2016 – Professor Richard Dawkins, world renowned ethologist, evolutionary biologist, creator of the concept of the meme, and champion of Capital A Atheism (or New Atheism), suffered a minor stroke. He is, I am pleased to report, currently recuperating in his home and is expected to make a full, or near full, recovery.

Yesterday, when news of Professor Dawkins illness broke, the Church of England Twitter account posted:

Prayers for Prof Dawkins and his family

[followed by a link to a report on his stroke in The Independent newspaper]

At the time of writing, the CofE’s Tweet has received 1.3K retweets and 925 likes.

The tweet has caused some controversy, so much so that a statement entitled #PrayForDawkins has been posted on the Church of England Communications tumblr. Many people, it seems, felt that the CofE was not merely wishing Dawkins a speedy recovery, rather having some kind of dig at him.

Read the rest on DailyGrail.com

New article on Daily Grail: Oh apple tree, We wassail thee

Tom
“Wæs þu hæl” is an Anglo Saxon toast meaning “be thou hale” (“be in good health“). The toast, if not the customs which the term has come to be associated with, is thought to date from the early eleventh or late tenth century, at least.

There are two kinds of Wassailing – the first of which has come to be closely associated with Christmas and carolling. Wassailers call at people’s homes then offer a song and a drink of warmed, spiced ale or cider from a Wassailing bowl (or cup) to the answerer in exchange for money or gifts.

The second originates in the South West of England (“the West Country”), where apple orchards were already providing cider for the thirsty population by the time our Roman invaders arrived.

Continue reading on DailyGrail.com

British Ash Tree Folklore, from Fortean Times #297

This short Forum piece was originally published in Fortean Times #297, released in January 2013 (dated February 2013 on the cover).

Reposted here for possible #FolkloreThursday interest

FT297

The common ash is the third most widespread tree species in Britain, making up 5.5% of UK woodland with an estimated further twelve million ashes in non woodland areas. 1 2 Although the ash may not have the same iconic status as Ye Olde Oak, it is nevertheless a tree whose roots are firmly embedded in the history and folklore of the UK.

Continue reading →

Electricomics catch up

App-of-the-Year-2015-iPad-620x419Electricomics doesn’t get mentioned here on moorereppion.com as often as it should, especially considering that for the last two and a bit years it’s been both Leah’s main project and her full time job. That, of course, is precisely why it doesn’t get mentioned; Leah’s the expert on the whole thing, the one knee-deep in all the decisions, wranglings, meetings and so on, and also the one already attending conferences, giving presentations, tweeting, blogging, and Facebooking about the whole thing.

What is Electricomics? Electricomics is a free digital comics self-publishing ecosystem, which not only allows you to read high quality experimental digital comics via iPad App and (since December) Desktop Reader, but also to create and publish your own comics using the Generator. It was all Alan Moore’s idea.

Electricomics is something a lot of people have worked very, very hard on but none harder than Leah. Yes, I’m biased but I genuinely believe that without all her hard work the project never would have made it on to peoples’ screens.

Last week the iPhone app was named the 19th best iOS app of 2015 by the Guardian, and it has just been announced as the winner of Pipedream Comics’ Best Digital Comic app of 2015.

I’m proud to have been involved in a small way in Electricomics, but much more than that I am incredibly proud of my missus and everything she’s put into the project. If you haven’t already done so, please do download it and check it out.

New article on Daily Grail: The Old Gods vs. Daesh

sumerian

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is a Salafi jihadist militant group that adheres to an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam. You know who they are. They used to be called ISIS, (sometimes ISIL, sometimes just Islamic State), but now (for reasons Greg Taylor so brilliantly summed up here) we call them Daesh. Isis, the Egyptian Mother of Life, the Crone of Death, the Goddess of Magic, worshipped more than three thousand years before the Prophet Mohammed was born, venerated by the Romans and Ancient Greeks alike (and still worshipped by some today), has had her name taken in vain for long enough.

It was 2014 when Daesh began a systematic campaign of destruction of cultural heritage sites and artefacts. Something the Taliban did before them, making headlines with the dynamiting of the 6th century Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001. Daesh claims that the targets, bulldozed, bombed, and smashed out of existence, are being destroyed because they represent “an erroneous form of creativity, contradicting the basics of sharia”. [1] The videos they make of the destruction are also great propaganda tools, guaranteed to get airplay and media attention across the world. The BBC won’t show a beheading but it will show a temple exploding, a sledgehammer taken to an ancient idol. Even as we all grow numb and weary from the daily onslaught of horror we see on out televisions, computer, and phone screens, those images retain the power to shock.

Read more on DailyGrail.com