The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship

Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
1st June 2017

“I wanted to do this because I love the comic form. You can do things in comics with great economy, swiftness, force and effect, and I just wanted to use those potentialities.” – Philip Pullman

High-octane action and a deep twisting mystery combine in this visual feast of a time-travel tale of adventure on the high seas. Originally seen in The Phoenix comic.

Serena’s father is on a mission to sail the world, but when their ship is struck by a storm she’s swept overboard. Rescued by the mysterious schooner Mary Alice, Serena soon finds herself far from home…

Lost at sea, and shrouded in the mists of time, the Mary Alice sails the endless waters, her crew desperate to find a way home. But things aren’t that simple – each crew member has been ripped from their own time – from ancient Rome to the twentieth century. They must work together to find a way back to their families; to the places and years they belong to. But something is stalking them across the open oceans, an otherworldly, malevolent force hell bent on capturing the Mary Alice and her crew. And it will stop at nothing to get what it wants.

Philip Pullman grew up reading the adventures of Dan Dare and Batman, and his lifelong love of comic books has grown into The Adventures of John Blake, a beautiful tale with sublime illustrations from Fred Fordham. Sure to delight fans of graphic novels both young and old, this is a true triumph – a swashbuckling Treasure Island for a modern audience.

About the Author
Philip Pullman is the author of the bestselling fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, and is considered one the greatest storytellers of all time. He has won numerous awards, including The Carnegie Medal, The Guardian Children’s Book Award, The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and The Whitbread Book of the Year. A massive champion of the power and importance of stories, he was named by The Times as one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945, His Dark Materials having sold close to 17.5 million copies worldwide. Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife.

About the Artist
Fred Fordham has always been interested in painting and drawing, but never thought it was something he could do for a living. When he was studying Politics and Philosophy at university in Sussex he discovered Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi and began to understand the power of comics and graphic novels as a storytelling medium. He gave himself a crash course in comics after graduation, before releasing his debut graphic novel series, Nightfall. He has since gone on to work as an illustrator for numerous publications, including Aces Weekly and The Phoenix. Fred lives in London.

About David Fickling Books
David Fickling Books is an independent publisher of high quality books with a focus on brilliant storytelling and world-class illustration. They publish picture books and novels for all ages, as well as graphic novels based on the strips in The Phoenix comic.

David Fickling set up David Fickling Books in 1999 as an imprint of Scholastic and then developed the same brand as an imprint of Random House from 2001 until 2013. During this time, he published Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (bestseller and award winning play), as well as John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Jenny Downham’s Before I Die and Andy Mulligan’s Trash – all international bestsellers and, later, hit Hollywood movies.

In 2012 he launched a weekly story comic for children called The Phoenix. Rated the second-best comic in the world by TIME Magazine, The Phoenix has recently celebrated its 5th birthday.

The Phoenix comic
The Adventures of John Blake first appeared in The Phoenix comic. The Phoenix is a 32-page weekly comic for boys and girls aged 6-12 containing top quality stories, non-fiction and puzzles. It’s made by a small team in Oxford and some of the best comic creators in the UK.

The Phoenix will publish its 300th issue on 29th September 2017.