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, 17 June 2011

arcana imperil

H - Hello, everyone. I’m back and fully functioning now, and want to say thanks to our readers for all the words of welcome. So then, Rex....
R - Yes?
H - Is there anything you need to tell me?
R – Er.... Nope.
H - Everything went smoothly, then, whilst I was away?
R – Er.... Yep!
H - Buttons got pressed?
R – Indeed they did.
H - Blogs got posted?
R – Indeed they did. Why do you ask?
H - No reason. It’s just that some of the comments last week seemed to affirm your capability a little too strongly, to my mind, and I've wondered if I shouldn’t look through the posts to make sure that everything functioned properly in my absence. Also, Terri has been decidedly cagey whenever I talk about the blog ….
R - You know what, Howard? All’s well that ends well. It’s not going to help anyone dredging over past posts. We have a book to write and it's time now to press on. Draw a line under it all. Never look back. Onward and upward.
H - To infinity and beyond?
R - Absolutely!
H - Well the blog is still here, so you obviously haven’t deleted it. The Internet is still here, so you managed not to blow that up! So, I guess that whatever happened, or didn’t happen, is just water under the bridge. I’ll do a deal. I won’t look, you don’t tell. How’s that?
R – Agreed. Absolutely. Yes, that sounds very fair. The first rule of blogging is don’t talk about blogging.... So then, what have we got for the next couple of weeks for our readers to look forward to?
H - Well, Rex, I’m glad you asked that question. We are back to working full time on the comic from Monday, now that I have recovered from my excursion abroad; and next week we will be posting the latest first draft pages, where we find out what happens to Maggie after she has been thrown out of her home.
R - Yes, that should generate a bit of pathos, shouldn’t it?
H - There will not be a dry eye in the house, I suspect.
R - Then we have the long-awaited “Around the table” interview with Yoann Lossel and Claire Briant?
H - Yes. It's all recorded in my laptop, and I just need to transcribe it. I haven’t listened to it since we first recorded it, and I am eager to listen to it again. My memory was that it was a fascinating discussion. 
R - It really was.
H - So, aren’t you going to ask me about Portugal?
R - Yes. So how was Portugal?
H - Don’t ask.
       R - Okay then, I won't.
H - Do you remember the discussions we've had on this blog about art and life mirroring each other?
R - I do.
H – Well, that happened again in this instance. In the end, the play we devised wasn’t called The Tempest, but: Commedia Dell ‘Arte: Lost and Found. This seemed to be a more appropriate title after the work ran into a tempest of its own. It actually ended up being a great show, but it was a little like pulling teeth to get there. I’m glad to be back here. With you. Writing.
R - Did you get to wear your funny masks, and do some dances and stuff, like you do?
H - Do you actually know what I was doing out there, Rex?
R - I thought you were doing funny dances and stuff, like on the Ophaboom DVD you showed me, where your legs were going all over the place and you were dressed like an old lady or something….
H - I was directing the show.
R – So...?
H - So, I wasn’t doing funny dances. I was getting other people to do funny dances.
R - Oh. Right.
H - And what were you doing, while I was away, apart from running the blog ‘smoothly’?
R - I’ve drawn 26 new pages of art.
H - Wow. That’s a lot.
R - They have yet to be inked…but you need to look over them first and check that they are all okay.
H – Well then, let’s go and do that ….


  1. Pulling an all-nighter here at work in LA, and I thought I'd take a coffee break and see if JB had its Friday post up yet. So glad I checked! I don't know what I love more, the comedy or the comics. It's good to have you back, Howard. (While casting no aspersions on Rex's solo time. Tho' I do think your "deal" is wise.) The glimpse of fresh drawn pages is intriguing. Looking forward to more story, and the next Around The Table.

    Now, back to work. (I meant me, not you. You are clearly doing just fine.)

  2. Those glimpses of drawings are so intriguing!

    Howard, I'm glad the show went well.