Welcome to The Barleycorn Experience!

In it’s first life, this blog detailed the making of the graphic novel, John Barleycorn Must Die, which was originally published in 2013. Just as we were ready to promote it, however, Rex Van Ryn took off on his Abramelin quest; a two year journey into the heart of self and magic.

On his return, he brought back not only the finished art work for the English Magic Tarot, but also what he claimed was the ‘key’ to the John Barleycorn project.

“This book,” he said, “is not so much a graphic novel about magic, but more a book about magic in graphic novel form.” With that, he revealed the new cover.

Due for a relaunch in the Autumn of 2017, John Barleycorn Must Die, unlike any other book on magic, is not a practical manual, but rather a deep look at the magical principles and philosophies that underly all magical practices, for those with the eyes to see.

As we build up to this relaunch, we will be posting updates on our daily lives, the progress of the launch of the English Magic Tarot, and various discussions on magic. Please root around this blog, and enjoy all the postings from the past, including the famous ‘round the table’ discussions with various artists, film designers and writers.

We hope you enjoy the Barleycorn Experience.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Psst! Want some art?

H: Rex, what do you do if you’ve got over a hundred pages of unused comics art work?

R: Do you mean the art work that you so cruelly rejected from our John Barleycorn book, Howard?

H: Yes.

R: I don’t know. Burn it...? 

H: Rex. Put that can of petrol down!

R: Why?

H: Because I’ve got an idea. Instead burning your art work, why don’t we offer it to other people to write graphic short stories with?

R: I’m intrigued, Howard, tell me more. 

H: Well, I’ve been working on a sister blog to John Barleycorn Must Die, called John Barleycorn Must Live...

R: Genius!

H: ... where we give the art to our readers to write their own stories with. Then we'll post their finished stories on the new site so that others can read and comment on them...and we'll post short stories of our own from time to time, like the one below.

R: I’m liking that! But how do our readers participate, Howard?

H: Simple, Rex. They visit John Barleycorn Must Live, where everything is explained! 

R: So, dear Readers, if any of you have ever wanted to write a graphic short story but have lacked the art, now is your chance! Visit the new site, and take part! John Barleycorn Lives!

Writer: Howard Gayton         Art: Rex Vanryn          Colour: Steve Dooley  


  1. Blogger says John Barleycorn Must Live is for invited viewers only - can you fix the glitch? x

    1. Andy, thanks for pointing that out - left over from when the blog was under construction! Should be fixed now.