Welcome to “A Castle in England”

Introduction to this Arts Council England supported graphic fiction collaboration between writer, Jamie Rhodes (Dead Men’s Teeth) and the National Trust. The project is takes place at Scotney Castle in Kent, with Jamie Rhodes writing 5 graphic fiction scripts inspired by the castle archives. The scripts will be illustrated by experienced graphic fiction artists and published by Nobrow Press in early 2017.

Week 2: Old Ruins, New Manor, 200 yr old wallpaper, and…Boggle?

A few words on the different elements of the property itself, and the state of the collection items when the National Trust inherited the place.

Week 3: Rangers, Giant Redwoods, Ancient Holloways and Victorian Tree Hunters

Update from week three at the castle, including and inspirational walk with the Head Ranger and story inspiration from this idyllic landscape.

Week 4: Writing Begins! Meltdown, Priest Holes and Hunting Diaries

Week 4 update. Writing began in earnest this week, but only after I recovered from a little setback. A couple of stories weren’t really right for this collection, so I went back into the archives seeking more inspiration. More fascinating finds!

Week 5: HaHa! Prehistoric Seabed, Rotating Sunhouse, Mirrored Pages and Reveals

Week 5 update. Took a walk out with the Head Gardener and learned a huge amount about the gardens, which stretch from the new manor house and surround the old ruined castle. Some very unusual features! This video is part of the Castle in England project.

Week 6: Gallery Exhibition Planning, Website Revamp & Mr Four Fingers Visit

With the stories well underway, Mr Four Fingers art duo – the team doing my digital market, gallery exhibition, and non-sequential art – came for a visit to the castle!

Week 8: Three Artists Confirmed, Women’s Institute Visit, First Drafts Done!

This week I finished all five first drafts of the scripts! Very pleased to get them out of my head and into the world. After feedback from my mentor, Karrie Fransman, I will keep developing the scripts to a stage that I’m happy to hand them over to illustrators.

3 of the 5 illustrators are now confirmed: Isabel Greenberg, Becky Palmer, Will Exley. I’m very excited to be working with such talented illustrators!

Back to London, Phase 2 begins, plus meet my kitten!

The residency period of the project is now over. I have written the comic scripts and some of the illustrators have visited the castle to make their initial sketches. Other illustrators will visit in the near future and I will post interviews with them.

Now I begin writing the historical context and factual background chapters, and further project management responsibilities take the foreground as event planning and marketing campaigns begin in earnest. I’ll miss the countryside, but it is nice to be back in London!