Macc-POW! Macclesfield’s Mini Comic-Art Convention this Saturday


Macclesfield’s first ever comic convention, celebrating comics and comic art from around the world and embracing amazing local talent in a collision of comic-book coolness! Join Macclesfield-based cartoonist Marc Jackson and other creators, as they promote this amazing art form. Cosy up to big international names from the world of indie comics and the best local talent including Oliver EastPaul Grist, Leah Moore [I’ll be there too, with the kids], Lew Stringer and Dick Vincent.
See more than 30 of James Kochalka‘sLittle Paintings’ sent over specially for Macc-POW!
Browse the stalls, talk to fantastic creators, commission sketches, buy comics, listen to Calvin & Hobbes radio documentary narrated by Phil Jupitus and contribute to a ‘Big Draw‘ to commemorate this grand occasion!  Don’t miss these timed events:

11am:    screening of acclaimed Cartoon Network mini-series Over the Garden Wall
12 pm:  
screening of classic Peanuts animation Snoopy Come Home
2 pm:    
live Skype Q&A with international comics sensation James Kochalka from his studio in Vermont. (Prepare a question in advance if you’d like to ask him something).
3 pm:    screening of the first series of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

In association with Marc Makes Comics. With thanks to Macclesfield Museums.

Don’t miss the international Phono+Graphic exhibition of the best graphic art album covers.


10:00 am – 4:00 pm


The Old Sunday School Heritage Centre (Whitaker Room)
The Old Sunday School Heritage Centre Macclesfield, SK11 6UT United Kingdom + Google Map

New Daily Grail Piece: The 5th Young One – Pay no Attention to the Girl Behind the Sofa

VthIn the early hours of Saturday morning, ignoring the blare of children’s television, I muzzily and reflexively poked at the Twitter icon on the battered screen of my knackered phone. Down I scrolled through the dozens and dozens of updates I’d missed during my five or so hours of child-interrupted sleep until I came upon one by comic artist Jamie Smart. It read

Oh my god. There was a fifth housemate in The Young Ones and she was terrifying.

Huh? I blinked, took a big swig of my bitter, luke-warm, instant coffee, and clicked the link Jamie had posted. On Business Insider Australia I read the headline REVEALED: There really was a creepy fifth housemate lurking in cult British TV show The Young Ones. The article had been posted that very morning (18th June, 2016). What the…?

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Black Shuck part three in 2000 AD prog 1985

cover by Simon Davis

cover by Simon Davis

Scandinavia, 815 AD. When the Anglo-Saxon warrior known as BLACK SHUCK washed up at the court of King Ivar, it was discovered he was the monarch’s bastard son, sired during a Viking raid on the town of Dunwich. Shuck successfully aided Ivar in his fight against the monstrous Jötunn, and became king himself. But his bestial curse has been passed on to his unborn sons, and his family will perish unless he seeks help…

Written by us, with pencils and inks by Steve Yeowell, colours by Chris Blythe, and letters by letters by Ellie De Ville.

Order or download 2000 AD 1985 right now. If you have already read it, join us for some extras below.

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The Daily Grail now on Patreon

The Daily Grail

I’ve been writing for The Daily Grail (when I can find the time) for a good while now, but I READ the Daily Grail every single day. And I’m far from alone – the Grail has nearly ten-thousand readers every single day. How much does it cost to read the very best online round-up of up to the minute weirdness out there? Nothing. It’s completely free. How much does it cost to run the site, and pay contributors? More than nothing. Quite a bit more.

So, Daily Grail now have a Patreon page where you can show your support from as little as $1 a month (there are even some pretty incredible prizes up for grabs). Become a Friend of The Grail and enjoy your daily dose of the weird with the extra added smugness of knowing that you are now, truly “one of us”.

Black Shuck part two in 2000 AD prog 1984

Cover by Matt Ferguson

Cover by Matt Ferguson

Scandinavia, 815 AD. When the Anglo-Saxon warrior known as BLACK SHUCK washed up at the court of King Ivar, it was discovered he was the monarch’s bastard son, sired during a Viking raid on the town of Dunwich. Shuck successfully aided Ivar in his fight against the monstrous Jötunn, and became king himself. But his bestial curse has been passed on to his unborn sons, and his family will perish unless he seeks help…

Written by us, with pencils and inks by Steve Yeowell, colours by Chris Blythe, and letters by letters by Ellie De Ville.

Order or download 2000 AD 1984 right now. If you have already read it, join us for some extras below.

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Black Shuck: Sins of the Father begins in 2000 AD Prog 1983

Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown herald the return of Black Shuck

Cover by Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown

Yes, the first episode of the new series of Black Shuck starts in the new issue of 2000 AD today! Are you excited? We’re excited!

Written by us, with pencils and inks by Steve Yeowell, colours by Chris Blythe, and letters by Ellie De Ville.

And that’s a hell of a cover, isn’t it? Bizarre to get a glimpse of how different Shuck might look in the hands of another artist

Order or download 2000 AD 1983 right now. If you have already read it, join us for some extras below.

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Complete Alice in Wonderland paperback out now

I’m amazed when I think that it was six and a half years ago that the first issue of our Complete Alice series came out.

Dynamite Entertainment released a hardcover collected edition in 2010. Soleil also brought out a French language version Alice au Pays des Merveilles in two volumes, and Panini a Spanish language version Alicia en el País de las Maravillas. (There may even be other translations we don’t know about, so if you know of any please do let us know.)


Available for the first time in softcover! Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. For the first time ever, Lewis Carroll’s beloved masterpiece is faithfully adapted and illustrated in its entirety, including the long-lost chapter, “The Wasp in a Wig!” From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice’s adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favourites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book’s latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again!

Order from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Amazon UK (or lots of other places)

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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
COVER ART Jason Van Hollander

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

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

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


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


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

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


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.


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…


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?


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

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


  • Authors Bio
  • Cover Gallery



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.

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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?
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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.
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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 where tickets can be purchased for £15 (plus booking fee).

I hope you can join us there.