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, 13 May 2013

Vali goes to Bristol Comic Con!

This weekend, we went to Bristol Comic Con. Our first outing to promote the book! We were accompanied by Jason Ofengland dressed up as the shamanic Earth God, Vali, from the John Barleycorn Must Die graphic novel.

Vali flexes his muscles.

He seemed to get on well with other heroes....

Vali agrees to join forces with the caped crusader....

...and Wonder Woman!

...but then flirted for a while with the Dark Side.

From L to R: Storm Trooper, Earth God & Sith Lord.

Here he is at the photo call with Rex, who was, as usual, camera shy!

Wherever he went, Vali seemed to be a hit amongst various female attendees. Rex couldn't understand why, though assumed it must something to do with the magical spirals that Rex had drawn on Vali's face. Myself, Howard, thinks it more likely the long blond hair, toned body and bulging muscles!

Vali and admiring fan No:1

Vali and admiring fan No: 95

Vali and admiring fans Nos: 1580 & 1581

At the end of the day, Jason Ofengland seemed to have become so associated with the role, that he wandered off into the crowd, convinced that he really was Vali. 

Vali wanders off into the crowd.

We haven't seen him since. If you see him wandering around your part of the world, please let us know.


  1. Admiring Fan no 95??? That's Virginia Hey from Farscape!

    1. Indeed it is... and she was most charming.


  2. I was just thinking the very same thing.... the lovely Virginia, oh how I miss Farscape!

  3. Virginia Hey, that's it! Couldn't remember her name! She was also 'Warrior Woman' in Mad Max 2.

  4. A new phrase was coined here in Oxford this very May Morning - a 'brilliance of nipples' - after a fine display by our very own Dapper Swindler. I think it may have mileage...

  5. For many reasons - too complex to outline here - this is one of the best things I've ever seen.

  6. Indeed, 'Vali' appears a most fitting character for a film sequel to the magical 'John Barleycorn' trilogy.

    Signed: The Real Anonymous