Tag Archives: comics

A Pleasing Terror, Three Dogs and an Ambush Bug

Welcome, dear listener, to our usual mid-week medley, that great tradition which always provides not enough of the stuff you personally like. Today, more sight-hound action photos, an update on the super M R James card game from Pleasing Terror Games, and DC’s Ambush Bug comic. Plus a hello to Black Gate, a new friend.

Avid enthusiasts of weird, fantastical and supernatural fiction will be delighted that our first topic is sighthounds. Last week we published our illustrated guide to Bitey Face (see lurchers for beginners 9), but we had some terrific photographs left over, so here they are, courtesy of Katrina from the fastgreyz blog. Firstly fun…

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snow day, from katrina

And then real fun – bitey face again…

cali having fun
cali having fun
lizzie and roxie
lizzie and roxie
head-lock
head-lock

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We may have mentioned that we’re going to interview Swedish artist Richard Svensson some time this month. In the process we were in touch with Pleasing Terror Games, as it is indeed Richard’s art which adorns their game card. James Drewett of PTG has supplied an update on where they’re at and their current plans. Rather than rewrite words from the terrifying spectral horse’s mouth, we offer up his communication with greydogtales here:

Pleasing Terror Games produces games based on the ghostly writing of the great M.R. James. Our aims are to bring Jamesian literature fans into a new immersive, interactive experience, as well as enticing gamers who are new to M R James to discover these wonderful stories for themselves.

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monsters and miscreants cards

Monsters & Miscreants is a light introduction game; a simple trump-style game, familiar to most people and easy to learn.

Each card has a depiction of a ghost, monster or villain from one of James’ stories, such as ‘The Linen-Faced Pursuer’ from ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, and has a set of statistical categories such as Fright Factor, Wall of Weird, Slayer Score etc. On your turn you choose a category on your top card which you hope will beat your opponent’s top card. The artwork features the unique styling of the multi-talented artist and designer, Richard Svensson.

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prototype for monsters- don’t treat them gently!

The game has exceeded all our expectations, selling over 130 copies worldwide since January. UK buyers can purchase a copy via PayPal from the facebook site: monsters and miscreants  or from the website page: https://pleasingterror.wordpress.com/buy-now/ for £9.99 including postage and packing. Non-UK buyers can purchase a copy by sending $18.99 to Richard Svensson’s paypal account loneanimator@gmail.com

I am currently working on three follow-up games which are detailed on the website: pleasing terror games

  • Monsters – Don’t Treat Them Gently! is a solitaire or two player strategy card game featuring 20 Jamesian protagonists and characters, 20 artefacts cards, a Jamesian map and counters, all strikingly illustrated by Richard Svensson. It’s time for the humans to fight back – team up your protagonists to take on the infamous monsters from Monsters & Miscreants in a host of eerie places in the locality of Jamesville. This game is in the latter stages of game-testing and design, and about half-way through the art-work. There is currently a poll running to help us decide which colour style people prefer: http://poll.fm/5ljcu
  • Stories I Have Tried to Tell is a multi-player story telling game featuring tables on every aspect of a Jamesian story. Players take on the role of narrator, scene setter, protagonist and monster and get given random story ingredients which they must work together into an authentic sounding Jamesian tale (maybe to be told at Christmastime by candlelight!).
  • Cards for the Curious – a solitaire or two player strategy card and dice game where you play the role of the protagonist in your favourite M.R. James stories – embarking on a terrifying journey of the imagination to try and survive the nameless dread that hunts you, with either your life or your sanity intact. The prototype has been produced and game-tested, but as there is a huge amount of components, this may have to be a future Kickstarter project (advice gratefully received!).
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prototype for monsters – don’t treat them gently!

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It is true that our infamous Magic Loft contains a lot of rubbish. The process of exploring it is a slow one, especially given the special anti-rat, anti-squirrel protective suits required (and the special foot-gear which stops you falling through the beams into one of the bedrooms).

This week yielded more comics, few of which we actually remember buying. Fortunately, most of DC’s Ambush Bug had survived, and so we have been able to read once again the mini-series Son of Ambush Bug, six comics by Keith Giffen which make very little sense.

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Apart from the fact that Ambush Bug knew he was in a comic, which allowed for many japes, the high-spot was the search for his son, Cheeks. Cheeks, if you didn’t know, was a vacant-looking, inanimate stuffed doll. A heretical thing to mention, but it must be said. And the series within the miniseries, Combat Cheeks – Frontline Medic, was pure joy.

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The perfect way to spend an evening when you’ve been watching doom-and-gloom superhero movies (or you could just read our spiffing film review here, which is pretty Giffen-esque – batman v superman – prawns of justice).

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To end with, a quick mention of the site Black Gate – Adventures in Fantasy Literature. We’ve been hopping back and forth and enjoying ourselves, and they’ve even said some kind words about greydogtales. The site is updated constantly with book news, reviews and fantastical oddities, and well worth a browse around.

https://www.blackgate.com/

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We also note that you can still get pdfs of back copies of the late Black Gate magazine through the site, which is tempting.

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a bug, but probably not an ambush bug - we just liked its little face
a bug, but probably not an ambush bug – we just liked its little face

Farewell, best beloved, and we shall see you in a few days. Don’t forget you can now buy old greydog’s Holmesian thriller A Study in Grey – look right and up to find the link. Or you can pass on that one. We still have dogs to feed, though…

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The Wet World of British Comics

Once upon a time there was a house. Then some idiot filled the loft so full of books, comics and vinyl LPs that the entire building collapsed into a rubble-filled crater. Luckily the idiot was out with his lurchers at the time. The idiot’s partner tried to comment, but little could be heard through her insane frothing. The dogs nodded, peed on the wreckage and wandered off…

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the fish police never sleep

It hasn’t quite happened yet. However, whilst delving through mounds of really dodgy seventies science fiction and fantasy novels up there, we do regularly find a lot of comics and graphic novels. Many of these have been carefully stored (to maintain their pristine condition and collectable value) by shoving them under pieces of an old bunk bed to stop the rafters giving way.

They are in surprisingly good shape, the ones that the rats and squirrels haven’t found over the years. After many hours of going “Blimey, this one’s complete pants,” and “Wow! Tomb of Dracula,” we finally excavated the Fish Police. As we’d recently asked about aquatic-style comics on Facebook, and received some great suggestions, we decided to return to our nautical weird theme. It’s…

Stranger Seas Ten

We’re actually going to show off some British comics aquatic heroes today, but the Fish Police should never be forgotten, so we will mention them. This was a great series by cartoonist Steve Moncuse. It concerned an underwater city populated entirely by talking fish (why not?) and its law enforcement problems. Inspector Gill floated round in a sort of Bogarty, noir way, facing organised crime and generally being… a fish policeman. We like a title that sticks to the point.

The original Fish Police stories were published from 1985 to 1991, and for added greydogtales amusement, we note that it was made in to a short-lived Hanna-Barbera animated show for TV in 1992. Apparently only six episodes were made, and only three were ever aired in the States. Here’s an episode you can watch:

But let’s get down to a handful of aquatic characters from dear old Britishland. Time for Aquavenger, Norstad, Fishboy and more. Only two more actually, in case you get over-excited. We’ve tried to credit sources at the end of the article, but anyone is welcome to say “This is wrong,” or “This is mine, give it back,” and we’ll happily do the necessaries. We’re comics fans, not experts.

Aquavenger is triffid, as we say here. He emerged in (and only in) Pow! Annuals, from Odhams. Pow! was one of those British comics which tried to have more mergers than editions – well, almost. After a short run in 1967 and 1968, Pow! absorbed Wham!, but was itself eaten by Smash! This was a time when every magazine was soon to be called “The Amateur Angler, incorporating Lady Bicyclist and Boy’s Own Spiffing War Adventures”.

no relation to any classical sea gods
no relation to any classical sea gods

Bob Shane, captain of a rusty little ship called the Crab, somehow rescues an old chap who he finds clinging to wreckage at sea. Much to our surprise, the old chap turns out to be Neptunius, a being who possesses “ageless powers”. In order not to be confused with anyone else, Neptunius has thoughtfully left his trident at home.

Despite the fact that he doesn’t appear to have enough power to stop himself having to cling to wreckage, he offers our Bob “unlimited power in the crusade against the powers of darkness”. As far as we can tell, Bob then goes back to limping around in his ship most of the time. Except when he yells “Aquavenger” and transforms into a superhero.

We find it particularly fine that Aquavenger’s nemesis disguises his intentions by calling himself… Admiral Nemesis. Clearly a villain with a taste for wordplay.

Creative attribution – we think Aquavenger was created by Philip Hebden, and mostly drawn by Victor Ibanez at one of the Spanish comics studios.

Norstad of the Deep, on the other hand, is a heart-warming story of a fishman with an axe. Also from Pow! Annual, Norstad was definitely not human. Or a god.

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In fact, he is the deposed rule of an underwater kingdom in the Pacific, who loses his strength and courage, and as a result is doomed to be picked up by yet another interfering human ship.

We see that you can still buy some of the original 1971 artwork for Norstad, watercolour on board:

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11″ x 15″, ortiz, book palace

book palace comics art

Creative attribution – Leopoldo Ortiz for the art.

From fishman to Fishboy: Denizen of the Deep. This young chap appeared in the Buster comic from 1968 onwards, ending in 1975. Buster was a more long-lived comic than Pow!, and is fondly remembered from our own youth.

fish_01

In a typical story of the time, Fishboy was abandoned at an early age somewhere on a remote island. Naturally under such circumstances he learned to breathe underwater and converse with fish. How could he not? Turning aquatic, he soon had slightly webbed extremities, and possibly super-speed or something like that. We got hung up on how exactly a small Brit mutated so violently without radioactive waste or cosmic rays. And also why they keep emphasising that his hands and feet are only slightly webbed.

fishDen_01

Creative attribution – written by Scott Goodall and drawn by John Stokes.

The Jellymen strikes out in a new direction, and their story is one of those “invasion from the deep” tales quite popular with British writers. Remember 1953’s The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham?

This strip was in The Beezer in 1960, and starred the jellymen themselves, who rose from the sea bottom to take over Britain. We have no idea why. Rationing in the UK had only ended six years earlier. Perhaps they felt some kin with the gelatine we were using in our trifles and plates of brawn, and sought to liberate wobbly food items everywhere.

BubGH

Anyway, the jellymen were sort of see-through purple-grey creatures with lots of limbs and suckers, vaguely humanoid, who ‘bubbled’ on things, including people, and trapped them for later usage.

Fortunately, as so often happens, a science teacher was at hand. One “Potassium” Roberts, in this case, who mobilised his students and, with a knowledge of chemistry which somehow eclipsed that of the major academic and engineering institutes of the day, dissolved the jellymen’s plans. Our old chemistry teacher, dear “Bugsy” Blythe, would have been proud of him.

Creative attribution – all we can find is that the strip was drawn by Ken Hunter.

Almost finally, from The Hornet, which ran from 1963 to 1976, comes Dolphin Patrol, completely different again. The Hornet, as you might guess, then merged with The Hotspur, which was later incorporated into The Victor. After this they all became a wool-pattern magazine called Knitting for Boys (& Junior Taxidermy).

This one is set during World War Two, and describes the thrilling adventures of young Johnnie Dawson and his trained dolphins. Presumably refused entry by Brisbane Marineworld, Johnnie decides to spend his time fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. An odd choice which hardly seems fair on the dolphins, but that was how comics were at the time.

NOTE: Our researcher Django couldn’t find a decent-sized illo for this one. So it’s not our fault.

Creative attribution – art by Dave Sutherland and Shone.

We said almost finally because we’re going to end with another US aquatic hero whom we have only just encountered. Dolphin first appeared as far back as 1968 in DC Showcase #69. At this stage she looks sort of period-wholesome, like something from Bunty.

Showcase079Dolphin00

Later she was revamped, gained some sort of darker ‘alien experiment’ vibe, and turned into someone who seemed a lot more kick-ass. She started hanging out with the Aquaman gang, and even became Aquaman’s lover at one point. Whether this change is good or bad we leave up to you.

artist yet to be determined
artist yet to be determined

Creative attribution – Dolphin was conceived of by Jay Scott Pike.

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A number of the characters featured above were suggested by the Mighty World of British Comics group on Facebook, and we duly thank them. Snippets and some illos have also been drawn from the following sites, who deserve full credit:

http://petergraycartoonsandcomics.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.internationalhero.co.uk

http://kidr77.blogspot.co.uk

http://mangamax-aieeee.blogspot.co.uk

http://britishcomicart.blogspot.co.uk

Next time on greydogtales – Barring unforeseen events, Bitey Face: An illustrated guide to how your lurchers are not actually killing each other, and after that – more horror!

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Lurchers in the Wind (and an Empress)

In which we whimsify about wild weather, walkies and worthless whistles. Plus writer Brian Barr joins us to talk about his Empress comic, hurrah! So much for alliteration. Lurcher lovers should board the first carriage only; comics enthusiasts should proceed to the far end of the train.

Lurchers first, then.

There is no ‘I’ in team. That’s because I is here, on my own, staring at mounds of mud-splattered washing and paw-marks over every surface. I’m fairly sure that’s one on the ceiling over there. Goodness knows, I love my longdogs, but the weather this winter has seriously challenged my desire to leave the computer chair.

In previous years, we’ve had some great walks in the snow. Django is especially fond of snow, and digs his muzzle into it so that he can throw it in the air, like a little kid. Ice is quite fun as well. Two long dogs in tandem do a great job of hauling you along like a world-class skater, and make you the envy of passing Jack Russell owners.

This year – storms and rain since November. Mud so deep in the woods that I’ve almost lost my wellies a number of times. And the wind…

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not a longdog, sadly

I have three problems with constantly walking in high winds:

  1. Chilli, our alpha huntress, is only fully manageable on the whistle-treat system. For starters my fingers have been too numb to find the whistle under layers of clothing. I look like a terrible accident at a jumble sale on most walks, as if three old ladies were involved in a head-on collision and all their second-hand cardigans became one huge bundle with a beard sticking out. Worse, Chilli doesn’t always hear the whistle (or me calling her) because of the wind. A loose Chilli is a sort of wiry black missile, which even Django can’t catch.
  2. That suspicious movement in the distance. You develop an additional sense if you have longdogs, a sort of long-range peripheral vision. Anything shifting in those bushes over there, a shadow moving on the far side of the field and so forth. Is that an alsatian off the lead, or a piece of cardboard? Trying to work out what is a potential risk, and what is just an airborne cornflakes packet, has become a nightmare. Recently the wind has been so bad that everything is whipping around madly, including people’s wheelie bins, car hubcaps, plastic bags and probably smaller, less well-anchored dogs. I dread the day when a Yorkie or a miniature poodle flies past. Snack-sized dogs are always a worry…
  3. Poo bags. I am a dutiful sort of fellow, but pursuing escaped poo bags across a field which is mostly underwater is not my idea of fun. If you get them out of your pocket, they catch the wind, turn inside out and whip around trying to get free, seeking only to join that colony of liberated poo bags living in the nearby woods. Old, half-shredded bags gather round the young ones at night and shake their heads as they tell the little bags about how they escaped from The Beardy Man. I am their Urban Legend. This might be a minor problem, except for the fact that Django has days when he decides he needs multiple bottom-emptying stops, usually when a family with lots of curious children goes by. He does like an audience, and poo bag hell in high winds starts again…

Add to that my frozen ears, and I submit, m’lud, that it’s about time these bloody winds stopped. I rest my case.

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our solicitor

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Now, as I am the only serious comics lover on the greydogtales team (unless you count Twiglet, who enjoys chewing the edges off a good graphic novel) I shall continue in First Person. The Magic Loft here is renowned for its many wonders, one of which is a large collection of old comics. You can’t get at half of them, because of the books, the vinyl LPs, the clothes which will never be worn again, forty seven draft novels with bits missing and the large, rusty television aerial. This last item is crucial, because the cable from it runs down the outside of the house and is the only thing which anchors the thirty foot of jasmine growing into the bedroom window.

What was I talking about? Oh yes, comics. In the last year I’ve renewed my expeditions up there and managed to extract a good quarter of the old comics. Wondrous treasures. So I thought I’d explore some newer stuff, hence things like our article on the Hellboy spin-off, Edward Grey, Witchfinder, a while ago (see the 3 sir edward greys). And in the process I bumped into writer Brian Barr. Having apologised for the light bruising, I could only make it up to him by letting him say something about his own comic, Empress.

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A collaboration between Cruel Productions and Isle Squared Comics, Empress is both easy and hard to describe. The visuals, layout, all that technical stuff I leave to others, but the writing certainly caught my eye. Empress shifts between time zones, characters and viewpoints, always anchored one way or another by the titular character. I’ll let Brian tell you the rest, along with a bit about himself:

Lines of Inspiration

My name is Brian Barr. I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was a kid. I always liked ghost stories, and would often share them with family members. I grew up with a mom who loved horror, so horror and dark stories rubbed off on me. I also loved comic books growing up, and eventually got into fantasy and science-fiction. I also like literary fiction from time to time.

My favorite authors are Anthony Burgess, Tad Williams, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alan Moore, Clive Barker, Jon Walter Williams, and Jim Starlin. I love Japanese manga and my favorites are Akira (also love the movie), Lone Wolf and Cub, and Devilman. Anything that is creative and thought-provoking really fascinates me, and I like to explore different social themes in my writing. Along with gaining inspiration from books and authors that I like, music is very inspiring, and I like many types of music ranging from rock and punk to ambient electronic music. Different cultures and societies from around the world also feed my inspiration, as noticeable in Empress.

Empress is a comic co-created by Chuck Amadori and myself. Chuck is an amazing writer and encourages me to get better in our collaborations. The artist of Empress is Marcelo Salaza, whose great talent turns my scripts into living works of art along with Geraldo Filho, our current colorist. Matheus Broncas colored issues 1-4 before Filho and his work is just as stunning.

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Empress starts as a supernatural noir horror-thriller, and there is a mix of other genre in the work as well, from dark fantasy to historical fiction. The comic revolves around a character I created in 2011 named Zia, a Hollywood starlet from the 1930s who suddenly ends up missing. A private eye is sent to find her by the movie studio Zia works for, and he finds that Zia’s fate is beyond anything that he could have imagined.

We planned Empress as an ongoing comic series, and we’re almost halfway through the scripts we’ve written so far. We’re working hard to get it out there and share a new, unique story with lovers of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and good fiction period. We’re creating our own mythology with inspiration from many archaic cultures, and forging a fun, dark story that people can enjoy.

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Along with the Empress comic book, my first novel, Carolina Daemonic, Book 1: Confederate Shadows, is available on Amazon in Kindle and Print. I have many short stories in a range of magazines and anthologies from Dark Chapter Press’s Kill for a Copy (with more to come from Dark Chapter Press), Nebula Rift, New Realm Magazine, and different publications from J. Ellington Ashton Press. Just type in Brian Barr in the Amazon search, my stuff will come up.

Thanks for this opportunity to join in the fun, greydogtales.

It’s been our pleasure. You can find out more about Brian’s writing at his site here:

brian barr books

Empress #5 is the start of a new story arc, but in addition to back issues you can also get #1 – 4 as a single edition.

61CcJ+xwYYL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_empress at amazon

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We’re a little over-stuffed here in the ramshackle shepherd’s hut. So what comes over the next couple of weeks is a mystery. An interview with Neil Baker of small press April Moon, Steve Vernon on supernatural sea stories, more Lurchers for Beginners, a feature on the new Carnacki audio production, David Senior‘s fabulous photography and Scary Women 2 are all waiting somewhere.

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Hellboy, Santiago Caruso & the Three Sir Edward Greys

We like history. We like real history (if there is such a beast), and we like weird, invented history as well. So today’s broadcast starts with Santiago Caruso, the talented Argentinian illustrator mentioned on here before. Why? Because of Sir Edward Grey. We are greydogtales, our first new Carnacki story was Grey Dog and we’ve just completed the novella A Study in Grey. We couldn’t resist this one.

This post will go backwards. It may make more sense than our forward ones. The other day our enormous South American intelligence network (OK, mostly Diego Arandojo and Sebastian Cabrol) alerted us that Santiago Caruso had illustrated an edition of the comic Abe Sapien from Dark Horse. Abe Sapien #30 – Witchcraft and Demonology, to be precise.

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As far as we know this is Caruso’s first major comics project, and it looks fabulous. Much of his main body of work is dark, even surreal, and his style really suits the comic.

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santiago caruso

But who or what is Abe Sapien? Comics enthusiasts will know the character from Mike Mignola‘s various series concerning Hellboy, who first appeared in 1993 in a promotional short produced with John Byrne. Abe Sapien himself had his own first spin-off comics outing in 1998, in Drums of the Dead.

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santiago caruso

Film fans will know him, in a slightly different version, from the original 2004 Hellboy film and the sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008).

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Abraham Sapien was born as Langdon Everett Caul, became a scientist in Victorian times, and ended up the way he is because of experiments performed on him after an encounter with an aquatic deity/monster. These occult experiments were conducted by the Oannes Society. There are two great things about this information.

The first is the old sailor’s legend that people born with a caul around their faces will never drown (the caul is part of the birth membrane, and occasionally has to be removed from the new-born). These were once prized by mariners, who thought they brought good luck and protected them from death at sea. Given that Abe Sapien is amphibious and potentially immortal, the surname Caul was well chosen.

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mike mignola (we think)

The second is that Oannes is, of course, another name for Dagon, beloved of H P Lovecraft and those who wrote after him – and a Middle-Eastern deity who had the form of both fish and man. Dagon is also the God of the Philistines in the Hebrew Bible. Oannes was supposed to rise from the waters and bring artistic and scientific gifts to mankind.

As part of Mignola’s Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence, Abe, Hellboy and others protect America from paranormal and supernatural threats. And in that role they encounter, yes, you guessed it, Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder. You knew it would make sense, didn’t you? No? Oh well.

We have a declared interest in characters who survive beyond their natural years through one method or another. We always loved Adam Adamant, the TV series where an Edwardian adventurer was frozen in a block of ice and thawed out in the 1960s. It had a great theme tune, too, sung by Kathy Kirby – and Juliet Harmer as Georgina Jones was gorgeous, too.

Our own Last Edwardian and erstwhile friend of Carnacki the Ghost Finder, Henry Dodgson, is still around today, but without the intervention of occultism, paranormal experiments, aliens, genetics or involuntary refrigeration.

henrymeme

Anyway, Sir Edward Grey. Another Victorian, like Abe, and more commonly known as the Witchfinder, Sir Edward is not only an occult detective but gifted with supernatural powers of his own. The Witchfinder comics began with the five part In the Service of Angels, written by Mike Mignola and drawn by Ben Stenbeck, published in 2009. If you don’t know this, Kim Newman, that well-known critic and author of the weird, took hold of some of the writing reins in 2014 for another five-parter, The Mysteries of Unland, written with Maura McHugh.

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In short, after some occult detecting of his own, Sir Edward is asked by Queen Victoria to become a special agent of the crown, looking into the paranormal, supernatural and downright icky. He is knighted after foiling an assassination attempt on the queen, and goes on to investigate the foul activities of various warlocks, witches and vampires, becoming increasingly concerned about the plans of certain occult brotherhoods.

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After leaving the queen’s service, he has his own occult detective practice in London, and is active there during the Edwardian period. We have a sneaking feeling that Sir Edward should have (and may have) met Carnacki, although their techniques would have probably had them at odds.

Unlike Carnacki, who definitively disappeared after “the incident” on Roulston Scar (that’s our story, and we’re sticking with it), the Sir Edward Grey of the comics reappears a century later. This time he seems more of a supernatural figure himself, masked, robed and mysterious with some cracking warlockian powers. In this incarnation he can be found in Hellboy in Hell, an ongoing series scripted again by Mike Mignola, with art by Dave Stewart.

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But Edwardian is our game for the moment, which links to our next, slightly more real Sir Edward Grey (1862 – 1933), who was the UK’s Foreign Secretary from 1905 to 1916, – and thus in Government at the time when William Hope Hodgson was writing. He was also there when Henry Dodgson, Abigail Jessop and our other characters were carrying on the work of Cheyne Walk, of course.

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Rather excitingly, our novella A Study in Grey completely fails to mention that the background of the Balkans crisis (discussed therein) would have been coloured by Sir Edward Grey’s negotiations with Russia. Sir Edward hoped that Britain, France and Russia would provide a brake to the ambitions of the Germans and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Had we dwelt on this aspect, of course, much snoring and bored muttering would have occurred. So we left it out.

There is a chance you already know him, but probably not by name. This is the chap who stood looking out over a London evening at the outbreak of World War One and uttered the famous words:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”

A Liberal politician and, we think, the longest serving Foreign Secretary in British history. Thrilling, eh? Nothing like a bit of period detail.

So who is the third Sir Edward Grey? That’s the easiest of the lot. As you will have been taught in school, Sir Edward Grey (c. 1415–1457) was the father of Sir John Grey of Groby, whose wife Elizabeth Woodville later married King Edward IV of England. Got that? There will be a test next week.

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lady jane grey

Such a lineage makes Sir Edward, yes, the great-great-great-grandfather of Lady Anne Grey, who at the age of sixteen or seventeen managed to be Queen of England for nine days.

Rather unfortunately she was executed in 1554, having done nothing wrong except being a Protestant and in the way of the Catholic “Bloody Mary”. Mary’s nickname came from her rather unpleasant habit of burning Protestant dissenters at the stake – almost 300 of them. Luckily for some, Elizabeth I came along not long after, which was extremely handy given that this was the Elizabethan Age. What are the chances, eh?

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We have kept our promise. Three Sir Edward Greys, and another record for the greydogtales archives. Thank you for listening, and goodnight.

On this channel next week – a dead author or two, and lurchers. Must have lurchers…

 

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