VG&M Comic Art Festival in Liverpool this coming Friday and Saturday

VG&M Comic Art Festival

20 October 2017 – 21 October 2017

Moore & Reppion will be at the event 10 am until 2 pm on Friday, and 10 am until 3 pm on Saturday and will be tutoring/taking part in the comic writing workshops both days (11 am until 1 pm).

Tickets available at

The VG&M will host a Comic Art Festival in association with our ‘Beyond Dredd and Watchmen: The Art of John Higgins’ exhibition.

Booking is required for some of the events listed below but we will also be offering Superhero Sandwiches and Supervillain Pizzas in the Waterhouse Cafe, Cosplaying Judges on patrol throughout the building and the opportunity to take a selfie with Judge Dredd…if you dare!

Click the links below to find out more and to book for each event:

20 October

21 October

Craft Comic Fest in Liverpool at the end of the month

Craft Taproom is a new Liverpool bar owned and run by Merrick: The Sensational Elephant Man writer, Tom Ward, and Wart writer Chris Welsh. So, of course, they’re putting on a mini comic con.

On Saturday the 29th of April, between 11am and 4pm, there’ll be a gang of comics folk hanging out in a bar. What could possibly go wrong?

Full details on the Facebook event page.

Excerpt from 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool: Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool and slavery

The following is an excerpt from the South Liverpool section of  800 Years of Haunted Liverpool (History Press, 2008)

Continue reading “Excerpt from 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool: Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool and slavery”

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.

Continue reading “Spirits of Place 2016”

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?
Read the rest on

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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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.

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: )

Heroes of Black History – Comic Book Workshop


Just to remind you that from 1pm to 4pm, Wednesday October 29th Myself and John will be leading a workshop on making comics at the International Slavery Museum, as part of Black History Month.

We will be focusing on black Heroes, be they superheroes, heroes from history, writers, scientists, musicians or local heroes who pushed things forward in Liverpool itself.

We will have activities for all ages, so if you want to bring the kids, or pop down yourself there will be loads to do and see and talk about, and its of course completely free!

I must of course say a huge thank you to David Golding who did our fantastic poster/cover. I love it so much.

Hope to see you tomorrow!



Unleash the Demon: Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon Director’s Commentary on the Forbidden Planet Blog

FireShot Screen Capture #083 - 'Director's Commentary_ Leah Moore & John Reppion take Sherlock Holmes to face the Li_' - www_forbiddenplanet_co_uk_blog_2013_directors-commentary-leah-moore-john-reppionSeeing as it’s Halloween, Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet very kindly gave us the opportunity to talk a bit about the supernatural goings on in Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon, the collected edition of which is due out in the second week of November.

Read all about it at

Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon #5 out today (with preview pages)

HolmesDemon05-Cov-Francavilla-54190Having seen the Liverpool Demon with his own eyes, Dr. Watson sets out to find the fiend’s lair.

Fearing the worst, Holmes searches frantically for his companion in the vast, uncharted labyrinth beneath the city’s streets.

Meanwhile, at Hitchcock’s Menagerie, Inspector Thornton discovers to his horror that it’s feeding time…

Buy digitally from ComiXology

Order direct from Dynamite Entertainment

Buy at your Local Comic Shop

The fifth and final instalment of our second Dynamite Entertainment Sherlock Holmes series – The Liverpool Demon went on sale today.

We actually began work on the book back in late 2009, not long after The Trial of Sherlock Holmes collected edition came out. I know this because I’m currently going through our notes for the series as I work on some extras for the back of the trade (which will be out in 2014).

One thing I won’t be able to do in those extras is to link directly to some of the bits of Liverpool History and folklore featured in the series which you might not have realised were (sort of) true. Things like Springheeled Jack being sighted in the city in 1888, the alarming rate of animal escapes from Liverpool’s many zoos, and Joseph Williamson’s mysterious subterranean labyrinth (and, if you got a steel toe-capped kick out of Drummond and his lads’ bloody antics, you might also enjoy The Gangs of Liverpool: From the Cornermen to the High Rip – The Mobs That Terrorised a City).

It was a genuine pleasure to work with Matt Triano whose ink spattered art brought the grimy Victorian streets of Liverpool to life, and we hope to be able to work with him again. Brennan Wagner did a fantastic job on the colouring, giving us a dirty gas-lit world where blood runs deep Hammer Horror red. Simon Bowland did his usual stand-up job of keeping things legible and remains our favourite letterer in the business. Of course, we have to give special mention to Mr. Francesco Francavilla whose covers are some of the (if not the) best we’ve ever been lucky enough to have on a book.

We really enjoyed writing the series, and we hope you enjoyed reading it. If you did then please let others know about it – tweet, blog, Tumblr, go on forums, maybe even go so far as to speak to people in real life, face to face, and say something like “Have you read that Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon? It’s good!“. In short, please help to spread the word because without you, the reader, buying and enjoying the books we wouldn’t get to write them. We’d love to write more Sherlock adventures in the future and only you can make that happen.

Sherlock Homes – the Liverpool Demon #3 preview pages

In shops and online tomorrow.

Liverpool Demon #3 cover At William Brown Museum, Holmes and Watson examine the clawed remains of curator Christopher Connor and find themselves on the trail of a mysterious missing object.

Inspector Thornton has to deal with the bloody aftermath of crime lord Drummond’s somewhat unorthodox approach to dog fighting, while down at the docks a visit is paid to a vessel by the name of Matilda Briggs.

The Calderstones of Liverpool

Full article The Calderstones of Liverpool by John Reppion, from Darklore Volume Six now free to read online (click on the image to jump to the site)

The Calderstones of Liverpool on Darklore

Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon unleashed this December

September 18th, 2012, Mt. Laurel, NJ

Leah Moore and John Reppion return to Sherlock Holmes after their acclaimed Sherlock Holmes: The Trial of Sherlock Holmes series. Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon features dynamic pencils from Matt Triano and a fantastic cover by the winner of the 2012 Eisner-Award for Best Cover Artist, Francesco Francavilla!

In Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #1, Sherlock Holmes is busy doing what he does best, solving a case of far-reaching international notoriety. It has landed him at the Port of Liverpool, a bustling hub of commerce both legitimate and illicit. As that chapter closes, ours begins. They head to Lime Street Station, to catch a fast steam locomotive home to London and Baker Street, when violent weather keeps The Great Detective and Watson in Britain’s second city a while longer. Long enough to encounter a monster, discover the Liverpool underworld, and to become embroiled in one of his strangest cases yet.

“The year is 1888: the Great Detective and the ever dependable Dr. Watson find themselves in the bleak northern port city of Liverpool from whose still bustling docklands grim slave vessels once sailed,” says writers Leah Moore and John Reppion. “Violent gangs roam the streets and the city’s struggling police force are fighting a war against an all pervading criminal underworld. A strange creature is sighted high among the rooftops and soon dead bodies bearing strange wounds begin to mysteriously appear. Only Sherlock Holmes can cut to the heart of the mystery and expose the truth behind the spectre of The Liverpool Demon.”

“Moore and Reppion craft a sober, literate mystery in which historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven,” adds artist Matt Triano. ”The Liverpool Demon is whimsical and horrific, an absolute pleasure.”

“We’ve been waiting to release this one for a bit and had to find the right artist to do justice to John and Leah’s work,” states Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. “They’ve put a tremendous amount of work into each and every Holmes series, culminating with the Liverpool Demon, enjoy!”

Sherlock Holmes: The Trial of Sherlock Holmes is one of Dynamite’s most acclaimed series,” adds Dynamite President Nick Barrucci. “It is a pleasure to have Leah and John back aboard for more mystery and intrigue with Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon!”


John Reppion’s Cabinet of Curiousities on Yo Liverpool

For the last couple of months I’ve been writing a (semi) regular posts over at Yo Liverpool about weird history, forteana, folklore and other fun stuff related to Liverpool and Merseyside.

The forum is called John Reppion’s Cabinet of Curiosities and should be of interest to anyone who has enjoyed 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool and/or any of my other articles.

At present I’m only managing a couple of posts per month and, to be honest, that’s probably how it will stay for the foreseeable future but hopefully that will be enough to keep you coming back.

Venus in sole visa

In 1639 at 15:15 on Sunday the 24th of November (4th of December according to the modern, Gregorian calendar)  a Toxteth man by the name of Jeremiah Horrocks  was one of only two people on the surface of this Earth to witness and understand the transit of Venus across the sun’s surface.

Horrocks’ observations allowed him to make a well-informed guess as to the size of Venus, as well as to make an estimate of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. While not perfect, Horrocks’ figures proved to be by far the most accurate up to that date. Horrocks was the first to demonstrate that the Moon moved in an elliptical path around the Earth. He wrote a treatise on Keplerian astronomy and studied the properties of the force that became known as gravity; Isaac Newton in the Principia acknowledged Horrocks’ work in relation to his theory of the Moon.

In Memory of Jeremiah Horrocks 1619-1641At the intersection of Island Road and Horrocks Avenue in Garston, Liverpool stands a monument to Horrocks – a mosaic artwork entitled “His Mortal Eyes to Scan the Furthest Heavens” – named after a line from one of the astronomer’s own poems.

Heading northwards one finds oneself on Mather Avenue – a thoroughfare named after Horrocks’ old puritan schoolmaster, Richard Mather. Mather was the first minister of Toxteth Unitarian Chapel, erected in 1618 by the local puritans and still standing today on the corner of  Park Road and Dingle Lane. Mather eventually emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in North America. Mather’s son Increase Mather and grandson Cotton Mather later became known for their involvement in the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s.

Jeremiah Horrox tabletHorrox’s body was laid to rest in the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth in 1641; he died in his native Toxteth having returned to the area only one year previously. A plaque dedicated to his memory hangs on the chapel wall, each of its four corners decorated with a five pointed star.

This evening at 22:09 UTC (GMT) Venus will once again pass before the sun and will not do so again until December 2117. You should use all the wonderful 21st century tools you have at your disposal, and take for granted every day,  to witness it.

“Thy return Posterity shall witness. Years must roll away, but then at length the splendid sight again shall greet our distant children’s eyes”

– Jeremiah Horrocks

Darklore VI reviewed on The Magonia Blog

Every issue of Dark Lore is eagerly anticipated, and the sixth is no disappointment. The twelve essays cover a huge range of the paranormal, the anomalous, and just simply the weird, and all are written with authority.

As a Liverpudlian I was delighted to read John Reppion’s well-researched account of the history and legend of Liverpool’s Calderstones, a group of Neolithic stones, marked with spiral patterns, whose origin is obscure but which seem to have been moved around various sites in a small area, currently being securely hidden away in a conservatory in their eponymous park. They represent a remarkable prehistoric anomaly amongst the modern suburbs of south Liverpool.

Read the full review.

Out with the old, in with the new sale

Our workroom clearance sale continues with an unexpected find: the last few copies of the limited edition (only 150 printed) short horror pamphlet On the Banks of the River Jordan.

In an appropriate time and place, reading On the Banks of the River Jordan can make one question their own security in a world filled with the spectres of bygone horrors, just like other great weird stories incorporating history do.

– Grim Blogger, May 2010

On the Banks of the River Jordan is on sale now  for £4.99 with FREE P&P to the UK and Eire (£1 everywhere else) in our moorereppion.bigcartel.comshop.


I’ve also found a few copies of 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool.

800 Years of Haunted Liverpool takes the reader on a tour through the streets, cemeteries, alehouses, attics and docks of Liverpool.

Drawing on historical and contemporary sources and containing many tales which have never before been published, it unearths a chilling range of supernatural phenomena.

800 Years of Haunted Liverpool is on sale now  for £9.99 with a FREE copy of On the Banks of the River Jordan and FREE P&P to the UK and Eire  in our moorereppion.bigcartel.comshop.