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, 30 September 2011

First draft p56 - 67

H - The popular vote two weeks ago was for us to continue to post pointless and irrelevant first draft pages, so today we have a treat for fans of all things irrelevant. Here are the next twelve pages of the first draft for your delectation and delight. Anything you'd like to say, Rex?

R - I am genuinely astonished at how much the book has changed since this draft.

H - Yes, it's very odd to revisit these pages, isn't it, when the second draft has moved on so much?

R - Yes, and for me these images are all four years old, as they were part of your original 'Immortales' book. Looking back, these images are very different from how I would approach a story now.

H - And a slight caveat: There are places in these pages where the images don't match up fully with the text -- such as where Sophia holds a tape recorder in her hand, and where a few of the tarot images mentioned in the text don't relate to those shown. But hey, that's first drafts for you! Enjoy.














  1. An intriguing glimpse at the roots of the story. I'm looking forward to seeing how the JB Tarot cards will be used in the final draft (when the correct cards are in place, and unblocked by text balloons!). Will there ever be a full John Barleycorn Tarot Deck? I want one.

  2. There will be a full JB Tarot Deck, Terri, and you shall have one.

  3. I really should stop reading this blog... It's not good for my huge lack of patience. On the other hand, I tried reading it every two weeks, and it certainly does not work. At all.
    When's Christmas again?