The Lang Pack

A wee while back, Stacey Whittle of Small Press, Big Mouth fame put out a call for writers and artists to come forward and contribute to an anthology she was putting together based on folklore and fairy tales. For whatever reason, she took leave of her senses and let me get involved, so I pitched in a re-telling of a Northumbrian folk tale, The Lang Pack (or The Long Pack, for all you southerners).

For anyone unfamiliar with the original story, it's a tale about a pedlar with a mysteriously long package who pays a visit to Lee Hall in Bellingham. Leaving the pack at the house with the servants, he heads off to find lodgings. However, during the night, the house staff swear the package begins to move... It's quite a well documented tale, but, like all of these things, there are several different versions of it floating around - which made me feel less bad about my loose re-interpretation of it as an attempt at an M.R. James style ghost story. I'm sure there are purists out there who'll give me shit about it, but, hey.

One of the most interesting aspects of the story, however, is the mysterious gravestone at St Cuthbert's Church in Bellingham:

Image copyright © Major_Clanger and used entirely without permission

Click that image for a version of the story of The Lang Pack, if you're so inclined. Alternatively, Linda Stratmann has a more detailed version on her website here or England's North East has a slightly different version here. Alternatively, you can buy Joseph Crawhall's book about the story from Amazon here.

Anyway, the art for the story will be handled by Simon Wyatt (writer/artist of Unbelievable: The Man Who Ate Daffodils). The book - called Into The Woods: A Fairytale Anthology - will also feature contributions from Rich McAuliffe, Sarah Dunkerton, Matt Gibbs, Alice Duke, Scott Harrison, Daniel Clifford, Bevis Musson, Dunk Nimmo and many, many more. Hopefully, it'll be available in time for Thought Bubble 2011.

I'll be posting more about it when I can, but for now, keep an eye on the Small Press Big Mouth blog for the full list of contributors Stacey has started up her very own blog, and has the complete list of contributors published there, waiting for you to check out! Go!
The Lang Pack The Lang Pack Reviewed by Unknown on 10:49 am Rating: 5
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