Haunted Advent Calendar Day 19 – with guest Al Davison

To celebrate the release of our second Self Made Hero book of M. R. James adaptations – Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol 2 – we’re going to be counting down to Christmas in true Jamesian style, with a new haunting image and nugget of info every day.

In our Big Cartel shop, between now and the 20th of December (that’s just today and tomorrow, now!), you can get Vol 1 & Vol 2 together for the very special price of £15.

On top of that, we’ll be giving away a copy of the book via Twitter every Sunday in the lead up to Christmas. Check the #MRJ2GIVEAWAY hashtag for details of how to take part.


I’m Al Davison a comic creator. I have worked for DC/Vertigo on such titles as: HELLBLAZER, VERMILLION, HOUSE OF MYSTERY, CMYK, THE DREAMING & THE UNWRITTEN. I have also drawn DOCTOR WHO comics for IDW. I’ve also worked with other fine purveyors of graphic goodness such as Self Made Hero: MR JAMES. GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY: VOL 2 & Active Images,THE SPIRAL CAGE as well as several other creator owned titles.

I’m probably best known for my graphic memoir THE SPIRAL CAGE, which explored my experiences growing up with Spina-Bifida, a condition I was born with and wasn’t expected to survive. I’m currently working on the sequel MUSCLE MEMORY via Patreon.https://www.patreon.com/astraladventurer My latest book FUTURE ECHOES a collaboration with Yen Quach http://www.yendraws.com/ is out now from Liminal Comics http://www.brainmillpress.com/liminal-comics/

You can also find me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/astral_adventurer/?hl=en and facebook https://www.facebook.com/AstralAdventurerArt/

When I knew I was going to be illustrating ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, my first reaction, after doing some virtual cartwheels, was ‘Ghost… sheets, how the!… So I decided that I needed to sculpt a Maquette. So the face at least could be fairly consistent, without looking too human. I bought a polystyrene mannequin head from a craft shop, some cloth and dug out the Paver Pol sculpting paint I’d been looking for an excuse to use for the last year. The cloth was dipped in the paint and and draped over the mannequin, it took about two hours to get the sculpt right, about the same time again to get the damn paint off my hands. It dried over night.. finally spooky photo’s taken to scare the hell out of John and Leah.

The pencils for the story where done digitally using my Wacom intuos 4 graphics tablet in photoshop. The pencils were then printed out onto Moleskine watercolour paper. Exterior backgrounds, the ghost/sheets, and the dream sequence were done with Kuretake Gansai-Tambi watercolours, the figures and interior backgrounds were inked with a dip pen and brush pen, and coloured digitally in Photoshop.

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