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

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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 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

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.


DAMSELS

Released: January July 14, 2016

Damsels

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 www.dynamite.com


SWORDS OF SORROW: THE COMPLETE SAGA

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 dynamite.com


BRIT CIT NOIR

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 www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk


BLACK WINGS V

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


HAUNTED FUTURES

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 audio.gwdbooks.com

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

Storm Warning part six in Judge Dredd Megazine 366

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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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Dynamite’s “Women of Dynamite #1” Bundle on Groupees

For the next 12 days Dynamite are running their first “Women of Dynamite” bundle on groupees.com. The more you pay, the more digital comics you get. The more people buy, the more bonus comics are unlocked.

As well as titles like Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Lady Zorrow there are also quite a few Moore & Reppion books up available.

Pay $5 or more and you’ll find The Complete Alice in Wonderland, Damsels: Giant Killer one-shot, and Swords Of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris Irene Adler #3 in your bundle.

Pay $10 or more and you’ll get the complete 13 issue run of Damsels, and the Legends of Red Sonja collection along side lots and lots of other good stuff.

So, please do check out groupees.com/dynamite4 and we hope you enjoy what you get.

Storm Warning part five in Judge Dredd Megazine 365

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

There’s a little bit of process stuff (which contains some minor spoilers if you’re not up to speed) for you beyond the cut below: the script for Page One, Tom’s inks for the first panel of this instalment (more on his Twitter), and the completed first page with colours by Kirsty Swan and letters by Simon Bowland. Enjoy.

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A Morning in the Life of a Writing Parent

At 5:30 am this morning one of my sons – the eldest by five minutes of our three and a half year old twins – woke me up by shouting from the doorway of his room. He was complaining that he was uncomfortable so, my wife being away, I quickly scooped him out of his room and into her side of the bed where I hugged him back to sleep.

At 7:30 am his twin brother got up and went straight into our eldest’s bedroom where he opened the curtains. “Get out of my room!” were the first words out of the very nearly six year old’s mouth, which meant that I immediately had to try to diffuse an argument (by shouting from my bed) in which each child threatened to throw the other out of a window, down the stairs, etc. Getting up, it became apparent the reason twin one had been so uncomfortable in the early hours was because he had suffered some kind of stomach upset and filled his pull-up (which, thankfully he and his brother still wear at night) with diarrhoea. Some of this had leaked out into my bed. I hadn’t smelled it because I’m suffering from a cold which had blocked my nose and painfully inflated my sinuses. Having cleaned the worst off twin one with wipes, I sent the other two boys downstairs to turn the telly on while I ran a shallow bath for him.

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On Being a Creative Parent.

No I don’t mean Sellotaping your children to skateboards so you can get round ASDA in under four hours.

I mean being Creative, and at the same time, being a Parent, to children, whom you also created. There is a laboured metaphor in there somewhere but you can unpack it yourself. Its beyond me.

When you are a writer, there is a mighty struggle to get yourself sat in the chair in front of the keyboard and actually write the thing. Whether you are a full time, part time, evenings or weekend writer, you will experience Days of Much Writing and days where it is torturous to put fingers to keyboard at all. You may have complex mechanisms in place to try and achieve more Days of Much Writing and less Days of No Writing. You may have a system that just works. You are a writing machine. A Writing Express Train barrelling toward that deadline at supercharged lighting speed! Yay you!

Oh wait, you’re pregnant? Your partner is? Not long to go, just finished the nursery, all excited…wow. Okay. Settle down now. You need to hear this, my writer-soon-to-be-parent.

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Storm Warning part four in Judge Dredd Megazine 364

Megazine 364

Storm Warning // The Relic
(Part: 4)

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

—-

If you’re on Twitter then you should be following Storm Warning artist Tom Foster (@JumbleCashback) who has been posting his inks for the series as each new Meg comes out. Stuff like this:


This month’s instalment is a bit of a change of pace with a little Aliens and [REC] thrown into the mix. And when will people learn that Judge Storm doesn’t do touching?

Storm Warning part three in Judge Dredd Megazine 363

(Yes, I know it came out a couple of weeks back now but the school Summer Holidays have only just finished and this is pretty much the first time I’ve sat down at my PC properly in  weeks.)

363

Storm Warning // The Relic
(Part: 3)

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

Apologies and info dumps

Sorry. No really, sorry.

We’ve really not been keeping on top of posting things here for a while now, and we’re sorry.

Leah’s incredibly busy with Electricomics (and the now impending launch thereof ) and has been for what seems like a very long to now. It’s also the school Summer Holidays which means a host of children to constantly feed, placate, and entertain here at Moore-Reppion Towers.

Anyway, yeah, we’re very busy and we haven’t stayed on top of updating the site. So sorry about that.

What have we missed telling you about?

Megazine 362 with it’s amazing Alex Ronald Storm Warning cover and part 2 of the series

judge-dredd-362

Storm Warning // The Relic
(Part: 2)

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…

People seem to be really enjoying the series (and especially Tom’s artwork) which is lovely to hear/read.

Leah was recently a guest on that lovely, talented man Paul Cornell’s podcast chat show The Cornell Collective

Welcome to the Cornell Collective. Paul’s guests are novelist Chuck Wendig, comics writer Leah Moore and YouTube presenter Christel Dee. Together they discuss people who have made them starstruck, being recognised by strangers, how parenthood affects pop culture consumption and how to bluff your way through not having actually watched Breaking Bad.

Leah’s also had a few new Lifetime articles published recently, and she’s off to Mexico next month (9th to the 13th of September) for the Pixelatl Festival (so if you, or anyone you know, are anywhere near Cuernavaca city next month, please check it out).

I think that’s about it but more than likely I’ve forgotten a couple of things yet again.

Sorry.

Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler 3 (of 3) out now

Dejah Irene 3

The third and final issue of Leah and Francesco Manna’s Swords of Sorrow mini series arrived in shops, both physical and electronical, yesterday.

The streets of London are no place for a woman all on her own. They are, however just fine for a woman wielding a Sword. Dejah Thoris is used to London’s dirt, and its rain, but she is growing tired of its people. She and Irene Adler must surely band together to find the Banth and get Thoris back to Barsoom, but to do that, one of them would first have to back down…

There’s a five page preview at CBR if you’d like to check it out. Also, some very nice reviews.

Writing as a duo, as we have for more than a decade now, it’s really interesting for me to see something Leah wrote without my input. The series has come out so great – so much like what we do together and yet somehow just a little different – and I’ve really, really enjoyed reading it.

Daily Grail Strange & Norrell articles: V – The Raven King

jonathan-strange

My fifth and final Strange & Norrell piece for the Daily Grail is now online. It’s called The Raven King.

I’ve really enjoyed writing the S&N pieces (almost as much as I’ve enjoyed the genuinely wonderful TV series) and probably could have gone on and on but thought it best to quit before people got too bored. Thanks for all the lovely things people have been saying about the articles. I hope I can do something similar again in the future.

John on the Strange and Norrell podcast Lost-Hope

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The finale of Peter Harness’ brilliant TV adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s master-work Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell aired on BBC One last night and if you missed it then you should catch up as soon as you possibly can (if you’re in the US you’re lucky enough to still have a few episodes to go).

I spoke to @fittentrim at Lost-Hope: A Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell podcast about my own love of the book and TV series, and about my Daily Grail articles on the folklore and history behind the story.