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, 27 May 2011

Rex Week II

R – The art in this week's post comes from deleted scenes focused on Ray Butcher, Maggie’s step-father....

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Page 7

R – These pages were dropped only a short while ago. Both Howard and I liked the sequence a lot, and we even toyed with the idea of extending Ray’s plot-line beyond the original drawings...but ultimately we decided the scenes didn't work in the overall story, and so they had to go.

Talking of which, I hate to admit it, but this week’s blog post very nearly didn’t work either. “All you have to do is press a button,” is what Howard said, but I don’t just have to press a button, I have to think, and type, and spell, and turn the computer on and off! The Luddites were right, we should have listened to them! Smash the machines, I say, smash them! Has no one ever seen Terminator, or Battlestar Galactica?! Machines are evil! So count yourselves lucky that I managed to get this blog post together at all....

Right. Now, where is that button? I need to press a button…. Is it that one?


That one?


Ah. Must be that one….


  1. Great drawings again. Kind of sad to see them on the cutting room floor, but I know how that is. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do it.

    I like all the birds, and the motion of the drawings.

  2. Yes, far too many knobs, buttons and dials on starships nowadays. Most tedious & unnecessary of course.

    Succinctly put as always, Rex. Its clear you are a man of few words, albeit choicely selected, yet visually most expressive. If scenes this good were deleted, one can only imagine, with great anticipation, the quality of the work to come ...

    Signed: The Real Anonymous

  3. It's alright Rex, just relax that grip on the mouse, you're doing fine, you can land this baby safely, the crew have complete faith in you!

    Oh, but can we just do a quick Star Trek 'chaos in the aisles' shot, you know, where everyone suddenly throws themselves at the walls and the camera dances around a bit...just for fun?! ;-)