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.

“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 and its companion blog

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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?

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

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

“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.

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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


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.

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Electricomics catch up

App-of-the-Year-2015-iPad-620x419Electricomics doesn’t get mentioned here on 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


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.


Coming in 2016…

Today I mentally totted up everything that Leah and I have scheduled work-wise for the New Year. I was surprised to realise that there are already 10 11 separate things from us set to be released in 2016.


Released: January July 14, 2016


This volume collects the first 8 issue arc of Damsels – our gender flipped action fantasy series drawn by Aneke. Gail Simone provides a lovely intro too.

Once upon a time, the princesses of classic fairytales banded together to save their kingdoms from war! Rapa, a redheaded girl with a fiery spirit and lost memories, discovers a conspiracy that threatens the peace among all the mythical creatures of the land. Joined by the Little Mermaid, the Frog Prince, and Red Riding Hood, Rapa journeys through fabled forests and legendary realms on a quest to foil the scheme! Who has stolen the identities of Rapunzel, Belle, and Talia, the beloved heroines, and plot to destroy all the Faerie races? As an added bonus, Damsels includes “Behind the Magic,” a collection of whimsical prose tales from The Brothers Grimm and 1,001 Arabian Nights!

Preview of issue one at


Released: January 28, 2016

Swords of SorrowA complete collection  of the entire Dynamite Entertainment/ Gail Simone multi part cross-over event Swords of Sorrow. Featuring Leah’s three part Irene Adler/Dejah Thoris crossover with art by 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!

Preview of issue one at


Released: April 7, 2016

Brit Cit NoirCollecting Strange & Darke: New Blood and Storm Warning: The Relic (by Moore & Reppion with art by Tom Foster)

The British equivalent of Mega-City One, Brit-Cit is a crowded metropolis that sprawls across southern England, the future Scotland of Cal-Hab and the South Welsh Peninsula. Buttressed by its own ‘Cursed Earth’, it is a bizarre vision of Britain old and new. Even before the Atomic Wars, Britain had more ghosts and ghouls per square miles than anywhere in the world – and now Brit-Cit is the focal point for an abundance of weird, occult occurrences. Detective Inspector Jericho Strange heads up the Endangered Species Squad – a unit within Brit-Cit’s Justice Department charged with investigating arcane cases. His exposure to a supernatural artefact called the ‘Black Mirror’ has left him with a face his new partner, Becky Darke, will never forget…

Meanwhile, Lillian Storm is a loner Judge who can talk to the dead – but what terrible secrets will she uncover in England’s haunted north?

Prerview of part one at


Released: mid 2016

Black WingsVolume five of S. T. Joshi’s acclaimed Lovecraftian anthology series will be published by PS Publishing in 2016 and features a story by John entitled The Black Abbess


Released: late 2016

Haunted FuturesA new Ghostwoods Books anthology featuring the likes of Warren Ellis, Tricia Sullivan, Liesel Schwarz, Richard Kadrey, Felicity Shoulders, and more including John with a Weird Tale entitled Greenwood Green.

Other things:

  • The first part of Moore & Reppion’s adaptation of M. R. James’ Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, published by Self Made Hero in the Autumn.
  • A new ten part Black Shuck series for 2000 AD written by Moore & Reppion with art by Steve Yeowell starting in July.
  • Leah has a regular column in Comic Heroes magazine (and is writing some features too).
  • An article entitled An Anarchist Timebomb in Greenwich Park by John in the tenth and final issue of SteamPunk Magazine.
  • A collection of articles on the mythology and folklore behind Susanna Clarke’s book (and its recent TV adaptation) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell written by John, to be published in Darklore 8.
  • A Weird prose story called The Faerie Ring by John which will be published in another anthology title.

All this not even including the things we’ve agreed to do but haven’t started on, the things we’re pitching at the moment, things we’re already thinking about doing (like writing more Electricomics – which you can now read on your computer as well as your iPad!), and online writing for the likes of Daily Grail, Sleeping Shaman, etc.

All in all, if you’re not sick to death of us by the end of it all, 2016 should be a very good year for readers of Moore and/or Reppion.

Daily Grail meet-up, London 2015

Let me start here by saying that blogging somehow seems like some kind of chore here at the arse-end of 2015. I don’t know exactly when this became the case but it’s not just me; I’ve spoken to a few other people who agree that where they once felt like monthly, weekly, or in some cases daily blogging was just normal, now they struggle to do it at all. No-one calls Twitter micro-blogging any more (if they ever actually did) but that is where I am currently expelling my thoughts, wishes, dreams, and unsolicited opinions 140 characters at a time, pretty much 16 hours a day. That’s almost certainly why I have little appetite for actual blogging these days which, instead of fitting in around (read: “distracting me from”) my proper writing, takes a bit more time and effort. It’s a shame because the nature of Twitter means that things tend to be a bit more throwaway – a blip of information as opposed to a big chunk of it. I should be blogging more, I wish I was, but then I rarely have anything to blog about these days. It’s not like a head off to London and have a big pub meet with loads of Forteans and Landscape Punks and… Oh wait, yes, I did that at the weekend. I’ll tell you about that.Continue reading →

Cthulhu Lives! now available as an audiobook

Years and years ago, inspired in no small way by Brian J. Showers’ wonderful book The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories, I wrote a little thing which was micro published by the man’s very own Swan River Press. It was supposed to be part of an collection which never quite came together.

Years later, I saw that Ghostwoods Books were looking for Lovecraftian submissions for a new anthology they were putting together. I submitted the same story and, with a few minor edits, it was accepted.

Cthulhu Lives! came out in 2014 and my own, by now several years old, tale On the Banks of the River Jordan was included among the fine tales by the likes of Michael Grey, Greg Stolze, and others.

Now, the book has been released as an audio download read by Leeman Kessler and the always wonderful Alasdair Stuart.

It’s just $8 for seventeen stories plus extras and is available from

(Update: Cthulhu Lives! is now also available on Audible, US: UK: )

Storm Warning part six in Judge Dredd Megazine 366


Storm Warning // The Relic
(Part: 5)

Brit-Cit, 2137 AD. Much like its Mega-City counterpart, Brit-Cit Justice Department has its various departments, from Tek to plainclothes, Tactical to Psi-Division, and one of its more prickly operatives in the latter is Lillian Storm, a psychically powerful Judge with the ability to talk to the dead. Unfortunately, her abilities are just as much a curse as they are a talent…

Get Megazine 366 at all good newsagents and comic shops today, or else pick it up via the 2000 AD website now

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