Welcome to the archive of the John Barleycorn blog, produced by Howard Gayton and Rex Van Ryn during the process of creating their graphic novel John Barleycorn Must Die. As part of that process, you'll find discussions of magic, of creativity, and 'Around the Table' discussions with a range of internationally known artists, writers and film makers. The graphic novel was printed in a limited edition, so if you managed to get one, good for you! Although this project is over now, we're leaving this blog online as an archive and as a snap shot in time.

Friday, 11 March 2011

ad referendum

H - Well, Rex, we have a number of pages of the first draft to post this week.

R - Yes.

H - We've made some stylistic changes since we posted the first nine pages, haven't we?

R - Yes.

H - We've added drop shadows to the word balloons....

R - Yes.

H - Right, clearly you are in mono-syllabic mode, Rex, so let's just post them, yes?

R - Yes.

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  1. Once again, thank you for all your comments last week.

    A very interesting discussion on the merits of color versus black and white, which is giving us food for thought. We also discovered that Reeve clearly has a greater sartorial eloquence than we imagined. It seems the he has a huge selection of richly colored velvet jackets! Perhaps his favorite song is 'dedicated follower of fashion' by the Kinks?

  2. Wonderful! I'm hooked, when's the next installment? Next week, I guess...this will be worse than waiting for the next Dr Who episode when I was a kid! I love Vali.

  3. Oh man, I'm loving this story already and the main attraction, the magician sleuth, hasn't even turned up yet - so I know there must be good things to come. (Unless he's the mysterious narrator???) Maggie is a great character, I'm already interested in what happens to her. But I'm with Mermaid and Vali is my hands-down favorite. So far. Though I'm looking forward to the Reeve and his wardrobe.

    Keep up the good work!

    - Jon (in L.A.)

  4. Sorry, that was a typo above and I meant "Reeve" and not "The Reeve," whoever he is ....

    Jon again

  5. Cool, more & more interesting, looking forward to the next installment

  6. Interesting story so far, great job. I like Maggie and Vali, love that Vali dances to travel into the otherworld, love all the esoteric symbolism. Looking forward to meeting John Barleycorn, Reave, and some of the other tarot characters. Very intriguing!

    - Chris

  7. ‘Mundus .. take me!” – aargh, god I’m dying to know what happens next ...!

    Agree – there is a purity to the black & white illustrations, in the quality of pen & ink, which is refreshing.

    I love the variety of characters the authors have introduced in this sequence and the ease with which they can slip in and out of the different worlds - from the ‘real’ world of Maggie with its heavy, mundane, oppressive quality, into the dreamlike ‘mundus’ of Vali, enigmatic, magnetic, alive, drawing in unsuspecting characters & where anything could happen ...

    There is also skilful use of a variety of narrative devices here, weaving together and ‘flowing’ the story along – the Q&A, a spicy mix of tribal dialogues!, beautifully crafted illustrations and clever design & use of POV’s in each frame which keep the action lively and bring a cinematic quality to the work.

    Thanks fellas – really appreciating coming over to this blog each Friday!

    The Real Anonymous