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.

Ghost Stories gives a new lease of life to some of James’s best-known works: “Canon Alberic’s Scrap-book” (illus. Aneke), “Lost Hearts” (illus. Kit Buss),  “The Mezzotint” (illus. Fouad Mezher) and “The Ash-tree” (illus. Alisdair Wood). Vanishing children, spectral works of art, vengeance from beyond the grave: these tales have it all.

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 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.

Autumn Equinox 2012

O

nce again, here we are at the Autumnal Equinox of another year. Summer officially ended about an hour and a half ago and the season of falling leaves, Halloween, and bonfires began. I went on a little pram pushing pilgrimage to the local standing stones with my tribe of sons earlier and paid my respects to the prehistoric Merseysiders whose cryptic carvings still remain, yet seem to go all but unnoticed, in South Liverpool suburbia. Not so much the elephant in the room as the mammoth at the corner of the road, next to where the ice cream van parks.

Although we’re currently on full-time child wrangling duties here at Moore & Reppion towers, there have been some exciting  announcements recently concerning things we have already written and which are currently (or soon to be) being drawn, coloured, and lettered.

Damsels #1 came out earlier this month and seems to have been very well received. Due to the aforementioned permanent child wrangling I haven’t had a chance to sort out a proper page for the series yet but moorereppion.com/tag/damsels/ should give you all the info you want for now (beware some spoilery reviews if you haven’t read #1 yet).

Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon has been solicited for a December release. We actually finished work on the scripts for this mini back in 2010 but our Trial artist, Aaron Campbell, went and got himself famous so we’ve had a bit of a wait while Dynamite found the right man for the job.  That man turned out to be Mr. Matt Triano and you can see some of his work for the series (as well as the stunning Francesco Francavilla cover for #1) at moorereppion.com/tag/the-liverpool-demon/ (there is a Liverpool Demon page, but it needs updating, sorry).

Something that hasn’t yet been officially announced yet is an adaptation/anthology which we’ve written for Self Made Hero and which is due for release this time next year. We can’t say much more than that at this stage but we’re both very excited about the book which, as it happens,  has a very Autumnal feel.

So, although our current days are filled with nappies, prams, nursery and playgroups, and our nights not nearly as full of sleep as would be ideal, we’ve managed to bank thirteen individual issues and a graphic novel’s worth of scripts just for you, dear reader. Don’t worry, it’ll be like we were never gone.

Something for 2013

About an hour ago Leah and I completed work on a new book we’ve been working on for Self Made Hero.

The book is an adaptation (or rather a collection of adaptations) and is set to be published in the Autumn of 2013.

More news on that as soon as we’re allowed to say more.

 

The Lovecraft Anthology Vol 1- not yet but soon

So, Self Made Hero’s The Lovecraft Anthology Vol 1 isn’t actually out yet (you can pre-order from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com) but, because we contributed, we received a comp copy a little while ago. And it’s a really, really nice looking, well put together book, featuring Ben Templesmith (cover), Dan Lockwood, Rob Davis, David Hine, Ian Edginton, Mark Stafford, D’Israeli,  Shane Oakley, I.N.J. Culbard, David Hartman, Alice Duke, plus ourselves and Leigh Gallagher. There honestly isn’t a bad story in there, which is partly down to Mr. Lovecraft of course, but also shows how well everyone involved has risen (Cthulhu like) to the challenge  of adapting his work.

There’s going to be a great big launch party for the book as part of the H. P. Lovecraft Reanimated event at The Horse Hospital in London next month, which we are gutted we cannot attend but, if you can get tickets, you should definitley do so.

There are going to be related panels and signings and stuff at most, if not all, of the UK comic cons this year, keep a beady eye on http://www.selfmadehero.com/news for more info as and when.

The Lovecraft Anthology Vol 1 is honestly a book we’re proud to be a part of (and one we’d definitley have bought anyway even if we weren’t in it) and something we really think people are going to be blown away by. Roll on Vol 2.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1906838283?ie=UTF8&tag=moorep-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1906838283PI

…and we’re back

o, it’s been a while, eh? How are you? Oh, we’re good thanks, keeping busy, you know. Yeah, sorry about all the obituaries, bit of a downer. What’s that? What have we been up to?

Well…

We’ve written an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth for a Self Made Hero anthology which is due out in 2011. The ever impressive Mr. Leigh Gallagher is handling the art and is currently wrangling with our mammoth script even as I type these words.

We’ve plotted a four issue follow up to a Dynamite Entertainment horror book we wrote a few years back which Mr. Mike Raicht is scripting and we’re overseeing. We’ve seen a bit of artwork already and it’s looking very nice.

We’ve just today finished writing #2 of our second five issue Sherlock Holmes series which is entitled The Liverpool Demon and is proving to be lots of fun thus far. Not sure who the artist is going to be yet but we’ll let you know.

On top of all that, we’ve got a big comics-but-not-as-we-know-them type project lined up which we’re very, very excited about and which we will tell you all about as soon as we possibly can. We promise.

And… I’m sure there’s other stuff too… Oh, we’ve got a couple of new collected editions out too. I’ll blog about those right now.

What’s that? Shut up? Fair enough.