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, 29 July 2011


Rex and Howard, off on Hols!

H – So what are we doing today, Rex? 
R - Well, this is going to be our last blog post for the summer.... 
H - You mean we're going to take a break? A holiday?!!
R – A working holiday, Howard. 
H - Hm. 'Thought it was too good to be true. 
R - Yes, there’s no rest for the wicked.
H - So we won't be posting over the next four weeks?
R - No, we won't be writing new posts -- but we're going to send postcards to the blog every week, with views from our holiday tour of the world!
H - Great! And then when we get back at the start of September, a lot of stuff starts to happen, doesn’t it?
R - It does.
H - Would you like to enlighten us further?
R - I certainly would. We're going to have a new look for the blog, for starters.
H - Wowsers!
R - And we also have a fascinating ‘Around the Table’ discussion with our village's favourite son. He’s the boss, he’s the pip, he’s the championship; he’s most tip top…he’s Alan Lee.
H - Double wowsers!
R - That’s right.  We should explain to our readers that I managed to kidnap Alan whilst he was briefly back in town a few weeks ago. We plied him with croissant and coffee and had a very interesting chat about his art, his tango, and his misspent youth running with the Ruislip rebels.
H - Now you’re making stuff up again, Rex. I’ve told you about that before....
R - Sorry!
H – So, as well as a new look for the blog, and our 'Around the Table' chat with Alan, what else is there for readers to look forward to? 
R – We're going to open a shop.
H - What?!!
R - Well, Howard, it appears that there are some self-proclaimed John Barleycorn addicts out there, and I believe that one should feed one's addictions. 
H - Are you sure...?
R - Yes. Don’t you remember the old saying, “starve a fever, feed an addiction”?
H - No, actually I don't. What are we going to sell?
R - JB mugs!
H - Triple wowsers, in me trousers!
R - You can’t say that! It sounds a bit...rude. You could say, “Triple wowsers in me jumper,” if you like.
H - That doesn’t rhyme, though.
R - Don’t be elitist! Do rhymes have to rhyme in order to be rhymes, now?
H - Yes, they clearly do, Rex. And that is why I am the writer, and you are the drawing type person. 
R - I see. 
       H - And so, dear readers, au revoir. We'll send you a postcard every Friday, and we'll be back again at the beginning of September.

Next stop Heathrow!


  1. Woo Hoo, can't wait! Alan Lee, brilliant, I've been in love with his work since I first clapped eyes on the Faeries book as a tender young thing of 13, back in *whisper* 1979. But I'm looking forward to those postcards (you're not taking a garden gnome with you, are you?!) :)


    Fico à espera dos "postcard" todas as 6ªfeiras.

    A hug.


  3. Count me among the "John Barleycorn addicts" who will be eagerly awaiting your return. Bon voyage!