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, 16 November 2012

Our first interview, Part 2:

H: Rex, the second part of our interview is now on-line at BBP Creations!

R: It is...and it's all about me, Howard.

H: That’s right. 

R: And though I say so myself, I think I come over rather well! I'm clearly still popular on both sides of the Atlantic.

H: Indeed. (And so modest, too!) Though I should warn you, Rex, that the polling I commissioned in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Antipodes show the opposite trend. 

R: In fairness, those countries have never understood me and my work....

H: So if readers would like to hear more from Rex go to BBP Creations -- where you’ll also find other interviews with many other interesting artists, including friends of ours: Steve Dooley (who I'm in a band with), Bobby Gilbert (who I'm in another band with), and Sam North (who I'm not in a band with), the creators of the excellent app The Wind in the Willow. Also, our friends Brian & Wendy Froud and Elizabeth-Jane Baldry discuss the creation of their meditation app, Pathways to Faery.

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  

Friday, 9 November 2012

Our first interview!

H: Hey, Rex, I’ve got really exciting news!

R: What’s that?

H: We’ve had our first interviews as graphic novel creators, and my part is on-line now at BBP Creations. 

R: That’s great, but when will the world be able to read my words of wisdom?

H: Next week, Rex.

R: That is exciting. Howard?

H: Yes.

R: Will we make an announcement to our readers when my part of the interview goes up?

H: Of course we will, Rex, of course we will....