My name is Luke, A. I live on the second floor.

Hello from Ballyhackamore cafe suburb, where the gale left behind a winter sun.

FOR LOVE is out. Sixteen lines of vital matter and maybe my finest poetic achievement. It’s on the Patreon Researcher tier and almost doesn’t have to be interviewed for my first collection.

GREENWICH MEAN TIME is the flip-side. Two thousand words of scary sci-fi, nasty horror and twisted romance. Speaking of which, the FUCK THE DUP SKETCHBOOK is finito in three months. Both come with being at a Ordained Preacher tier.

On the side I’m promoting MIXED JAM again. The open mic night run by Inspire, Inside/Out and Dee Brannigan. It aims at getting people with mental health problems to express their creativity. So, disability as universal spectrum, pretty much everyone. I want to see it draw the crowds of Poetry NI and the old Bookfinders readings. Each Jam is themed. For Valentines month we have JAM PAREE, and it’s hosted at Farset Labs, on Saturday 16th from 2-5pm. Bring a donation. We won’t turf you if you can’t.

Inspire and author Roddy McCance teamed up on THE BURNING MEMORY graphic novel. It examines wayss in which we can survive mental illness. It was released on Thursday, but by Saturday he’d launched his TALES OF FRACTURED WORLDS at Coffee & Heroes. Peter Duncan, always good company, was there and got excited about the CTHULU KIDS COSMIC CATASTROPHE CARDS. I got a comp set and they’re sweet.

That’s art by Andrew Pawley, and the two of them have Issue 2 of the comic nearly ready. They just can’t sloth.

The income based jobhunt continues. It’s mainly tutoring, and transcribing; PA work, and I write content too. I also draw. Please spread the word.

I do have a few worthy art commissions lined up. A MCR-related poem, a cartoon for a Zagreb coffee shop where I’d a chance meeting with Dado Kovacevic. Dado has asked me to contribute to the 10th OSCARfest International Cartoon Exhibition on the Croatian island of Cres.

The Croatians really like to celebrate the New Year. Everything shuts for two days. The view from the balcony at night is something.

My other voluntary bit is running the dealer’s room and artist’s alley for EUROCON 2019. Inevitably, there’s more comics and comics programming as well as gold for Game of Thrones fandom and substantial representation from NI arts, media and culture. Tickets for the three day event went on sale today. Prices rise on Feb 26th and I’m privvy to info that makes me think that’s the day they’ll sell out. Consider this your tip-off and henceforth book at

Shuffling towards my head from the bookshelf is a line lead by Naomi Klein’s NO LOGO, A BOOK OF ENGLISH POETRY by G.B. Harrison, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SCRIPTWRITING by. J. Michael Straczynski, OPTIMUS PRIME by John Barber and Kei Zama, and RESIDENT ALIEN by Steve Parkhouse and Peter Hogan. I review on Goodreads and you can find these in the sidebar of The surprise thrill of last season was THE MAN WITH NO LIBIDO by Jason Browne and Steve Kearney. It’s sweet, funny and inspires dancing: a graphic novel that shouldn’t work. In print at Amazon, and cheap digital from the publisher.

Oh, SPIDE: THE LOST TRIBES is in print. According to Chris McAuley, Pat Mills liked it, which tickles me mightily.

There’s an insightful Twitter thread from an ex-Google developer on Youtube un-recommending flat earth videos. It’s been on my mind again as Eileen Walsh has just sent over details of THE GREAT BIG NAKED CONSPIRACY NIGHT. That’s at McHughs, Belfast, part of the NI Science Festival at the end of March. Richard Barr, Alex Jones/Axel America co-creator, and I will be judging the audience’s best conspiracy theories and perhaps coming up with some of our own. With panels and guests galore #nakedconspiracy looks to be an entertaining night.

I was pleased to hear Richard’s words are coming to esteemed journal, The Honest Ulsterman. One step closer to the high profile he deserves.

MONEY HEIST, the Spanish drama, is fast-paced and compelling. Turn on the English subtitles and dubbing for multi-narratives. TV viewing fills up my weekends. I’ve been watching ENTERPRISE for the first time and it does the 90s Trek thing fairly. ROWAN J. COLEMAN mainly reviews Trek and Battlestar:the jubilant Scot delivers my SF comments fix. Last week he sent a patron preview of his Firefly video and it looks good. SAMUEL DAVIS makes Doctor Who videos with a passion and candid cheeky tones. I loved MOVIEBOB’s recent piece on the world before Star Wars. Then there’s THE TAKE BY SCREEN PRISM, consistently offering excellent analysis of  a broad range of shows including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more.

And that’s it. All blogged out. Have a care and take the care. Thanks for the money. It keeps me warm and fed. Talk soon.

Writer who draws.

We Shall Not Be Stapled

Shout it in the streets. Get down to the Orange band and tell them too. Tell your friends carrying messages over the border.

The Comic Book Guys have been immensely supportive of Axel America. I’m delighted to be featuring in this cosy spot lunchtime launch. There’s a raft of old and new material (see here) including pieces by myself, and an unseen Sir Reginald piece from 2006.

I’ve been working on the launch of my exciting Patreon project and my new book, Ignacz the Watch Thief. The campaign starts on Tuesday 9th at – there’s little there, but you can bookmark it.

Before that, I’ll be appearing at the Enniskillen Comic Fest this weekend. On Saturday morning, hosting a ‘Breaking Into Comics’ panel featuring Colin Mathieson (Accent UK), Jenika Ioffreda (Midnight Tea), Ciaran Marcantonio (Neon Skies) and Grainne McEntee (Bubbles O’Seven: Simian Agent) From there, I can mostly be found at the Sector House 13 table. They’ll be selling a zine edited by Laurence McKenna and Peter Duncan…well, it’s a glossy zine, with a strip beautifully painted by Ryan Brown, and marvellously written by Laurence, a feel much like The Shield, which is a perfect tone for a Mega City One Judges story. I’ve a prose-poem in there. I’m Likin’ It. Actually, that’s the name of the story. It’s good.


25/05/2016: Joyful deadlines: Blogging Axel America

Axel America is set around the November 8th U.S. elections, so I’ve plenty of reason for getting it out there soon.

Some authors disparage deadlines and writing for the market. Underneath those there’s structure, definition. In the emotional storm times, those can be something to cling to, a way forward. Late April, early May, the time between drafts, took a lot out of me; demanded time to recover. Time I’d set aside for scratching my arse and watching Babylon 5 repeats was replaced with great mourning and celebrating. When I was ready to go back to work, there was plenty, but thankfully I had lots of plans.

Richard wasn’t keen on a show-down in Chapter 4, between Axel and his foe Morgan Rump. “It comes out of nowhere,” he said, and he was right. I printed out the chapter list and decided a re-shuffle was in order. My solution was to bring forward Chapter 5 re-establishing Rump as a threat, but as Chapter 3, thus better establishing him in the rising action. Chapter 1 is an ensemble piece, but doesn’t focus on Axel. (A surprise, as Axel dominates every scene he’s in.) I was loathe to create a new Chapter 2 and alter the opening act structure, being as how I’m at third re-draft but starting out from the vaguest scenario, Axel in studio, I got building, centralising his own world of chaos, and complimenting the new arrangement. The new Chapter 4 also benefited from an extra few pages settling the reader into a more casual read. The original chapter 3 was also set-up, but got pushed back, which is alright as its non-essential, except for being a real peach.

Above: Sean Duffield’s thumbnails for the characters on the cover

My redraft.txt detailed three vital sub-plots I’d identified as not getting their due. Re-reading the MS, I made notes on the chapter listing where they’d been mentioned, and where they could be grown and expanded on. Then, I wrote those in, and noted that I had. Then I discovered spelling mistakes. And more spelling mistakes. The whole document, infected with them! A look under the hood revealed my version of Open Office was not playing ball. Everything got exported to Word. Spells and grimoire re-working took much less time than expected; two days. I think this must be the easiest re-write I’ve done for the reason detailed notes were kept, the sort a scrutinising editor or proofer might hand me. It always seemed another job had to be done, but I knew what the job was. I ran across new tasks on the way there. In one chapter I’d scrupulously pinned down location details. When I put the address in, I realised the text could be made so much better by capitalising on why I’d chosen that location above others, and so strengthened the atmosphere. Spell and grammar checks on new lines and paragraphs, the document by now edging towards 43k.

By now, its May 16th and Sean had sent through the finished rough cover which looks incredible. I’m talking with Enniskillen author Andrew Gallagher about the route to publication on his own books. I met Andrew at the Enniskillen Comic Fest selling his fictions, ‘Escape from Fermanagh’ and ‘Fermanagh Exorcism.’ Both are published out of his own house, AG Publishings. The books are well formatted and clean, the stories are easy-read riveters, horror hoots. We talk about my visiting him for a chat to see if he can’t talk me through the process, which frankly I’ve not had a handle on since carting ten supermarket trolleys of Absence to the post office. There should have been a photo of that. Self-publishing is all fun and games until somebody loses control of a cart on a kerb. Thankfully Andrew has an iron grip and a peer talk will help steer me right. Enough puns. I’ll leave it there for now and update again in a few days.

Flesh Mob – Update

I made the tough decision to put novella, Axel America, to one side for a while. The notion was to have it out for Belfast Book Week, but in a nutshell, the ratio of I’d-be-a-wreck to post-production-readiness is too wobbly. I feel sure the tale will resurface somewhere. I’ve been thinking over my working habits and how it might be time to go back to shorts.

In other news, my short story ‘Flesh Mob’, is in the running for a Titania (best of anthology) prize. Here’s a pitch I found behind a box,

Corpses move and feast on the innards, and city folk cram into the Occupy Belfast building! Now 99% are assembled, will they hold their safe-haven against the rotters as the summer brings another threat from outside? Andrew Luke, author of  Absence,  Twelve  and  To End All Wars,  draws on his knowledge of the Occupy movement, abuse survivor therapy and neuro-philosophy to create an all-inclusive edutainment of chomping rotters and ways to hit them.

IMG_20160321_173524 (1)

Oh look, got paperback! That’s Art reading the anthology at Farset. We were both so excited by the story, this is the only photo where he sat still.

‘Flesh Mob’ is in Tense Situations, which you can get through lots of different book-stores around the world. A good percentage of the sale price goes to Action Cancer. For a short while you can vote for the 2016 Titania Award for best story in collection at so please do. More info at that link.

 Right, I’m off to see Mark Thomas at the Black Box. Have a good evening you.

The Updates

I was interviewed by Owen Quinn at last week about my involvement in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebrations. There’s also some stuff in there about my observations of the the Irish comics industry and as a writer in Belfast. Here’s the link.

I’m on holiday so it’s to you to promote if you like. Here’s today’s prose.

The Updates

There wasn’t time to mourn. Emails were stacking up, not read, without answer. One future timeline Christine made a list of names. Each blog would be combed for tastes of art, developmental detail (Jim remarried), traves unraveled, new jobs. The claimed Judas was Facebook cloaking love in popularity. The sulk came in the lettle embroiled, a decaffinated hold stirred a three year resolution.
The first person she followed was far out and clicked again to a vault of changes, towards when she knew Ed. On the way she saw a scar. He was without a beard and he was talking about the day Michael Gove was executed. Wait. Michael Gove was executed? How the hell could she have missed that? She scrolled on – recipe for tira masu, oh he’s building an extension, writing an album, his beard is back. And with each update their friends commented and some were not there, and new ones were added. It soothed. Christina still lusted for the bridges, wanted to be there now. Tiredness set in and for the final two hours of reading, little absorption. Unprepared for the reunion, it drove her and the rest came inbetween.


Huge Spoilers for Walking Dead Spin-Off



Daryl is the spin-off from AMC’s The Walking Dead, greenlit by A. C. Coffay November 2013. Norman Reedus stars in the title role, with Melissa McBride and Michael Rooter, reprising their roles as Carol and Merle respectively. Logan rounds out the cast as Daryl Junior. The series runs simeoultaneously with the Series 5 of Walking Dead.


The series follows Daryl’s departure at the end of the The Walking Dead (Season 4), reuniting with Carol Peletier. With his son and zombie brother, they live in a caravan on the edge of a bear forest: well furnished, and outside covered in wee. The steps of the home are made of brick which he uses to chop things on. There would be a lot of chopping – wood, metal, bacon, plastics. The group remain in the caravan until the mid-season break, “Underneath the Bridge”.


The show is produced by Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont and showrunner Ed Wrankler. A communications oversight caused the show to lose it’s original title, Daryl on Arrival. The name instead was given to the pilot episode and after the hiatus, the live talk show hosted by Chris Hardwick.

The four year old Logan’s hair was perfectly combed to match Reedus, and his chin. Michael Rooter’s phrase, “Bruggh Fckprk Arsss”, became a breakout meme of 2014.

It is the first show to use a consumible product consultant Sonya Weenikiller. [citation needed]

“Ambition” in which Reedus sings “Welcome To The Jungle” surpassed The Walking Dead episode [citation needed] with viewing figures of 89 million. [citation needed] The show met criticism from it’s lessening focus on zombies [citation needed] but was generally praised [citation needed], although several guests from the pilot show made brief appearances including Danai Gurira and David Morrissey [citation needed]

Episode No. Title Synopsis
01 Daryl On Arrival Daryl is on the road with his friend, Jean (Michelle Pfeiffer), who reveals her son is theirs. They unite with Carol at her caravan, but Daryl is sad Merle can’t be there to see young Junior. The woman help him dig up Merle’s body. Carol teaches Daryl to sow using his special bacon thread, and Merle is reanimated. However, a zombie attacks and eats Jean before Merle bites it through the bum. Merle then attacks Carol and Daryl cries. He doesn’t attack blood family and Carol arranges to visits him in The Paddock. As time passes, the family get a brown labrador called Hound who links his chin. Daryl insists that the family live in his treetop biouvac house. Carol is sad. He builds a smaller biouvac for Merle and she is sadder so he sees she is right. They relocate to the caravan.
02 Digital Fortress Daryl brings home bacon but is sad so he sets out to fix television. He gets back Cult Movies (screening Clint Eastwood and Scoresese films), and Fox Kids, which are having an X-Men cartoon marathon. Eventually television falls off again, but before that Daryl decides he will fix the internet. Daryl, Carol and Merle fall out over whether Twitter should be switched back on. Merle has to be put on a choke chain, although is still allowed to run free sometimes.
03 Thanksgiving Daryl decides he will break the Guinness record and goes looking for the longest strip of bacon ever. While he is stuck in a particularly dense forest, the group plays football. When it is kicked into a zombie bowl, they combine their efforts to get it back out. Daryl brings back deer for dinner with honeyed berries wrapped in bacon.
04 Submarine Daryl and Hound find a submarine and using torchlight, they get it started and find a healthy pig in there. Carol becomes abusive with Junior at the sight of a helicopter in the sky. Junior and Merle conspire to put her in her own pit!
05 Merle’s Babies Hound alerts Daryl to Merle chasing a random baby through the grass, that he wants to eat. He and Daryl stop speaking. Carol teaches Junior about pirahnas and toothache. Daryl has a machete she calls the bacon peeler. Hound is left to reunite the brothers. They both bring Carol flowers. Daryl’s are the nicest.
06 Ambition Daryl and Carol get sad and Daryl leaves and finds a juggernaut big-rig. Carol leaves Merle to push Junior in his stroller, and steals a fire-truck. Daryl sings and there is almost a crash with Merle and Junior in the middle. Merle’s zombie brain crashes Junior into a ditch, saving his life.
07 Christmas The family decorate Daryl’s tree with zombie bits shaped which they hacksaw into the shape of baubles, novelty trees and boxes and bacon strips. Carving, they explain to Daryl Junior the meaning of Xmas with tales of their lives before the zombie outbreak. Carol tells of the time she and Sofia got covered in cake mix but used it to trap and humiliate a burglar. Daryl tells of the time he was drinking beer and woke up in a rabies babies animal sanctuary and how it broke his heart to kill that giraffe. Merle’s story makes less sense, but Daryl translates to explain that Merle set fire to a department store.
08 Underneath The Bridge Carol is alarmed when she learns Merle and Junior are missing. Hound tracks their scents to a lakeside cabin were smokers Tog (Charles Baker) and Toe (David Costabile) have Merle in a trap. Daryl learns the men are living without bacon and flips out.  However, they tell him Junior is in the lake and he calms down and wrestles an alligator. Carol suggests he use his submarine and they locate Junior under a waterfall at the gates of Atlantis. The Atlanteans tell them that people are like bacon to zombies and invites them in to share cheesecake and a selection of wines. However Hound (who has a fear of water), will have to remain outside and Daryl cannot do that to his son. Tog and Toe depart with Daryl’s group.
09 Enter The Dragon Months have passed between new episodes. Daryl climbs inside a mountain volcano and ends up in a cave where a dragon keeps a pack of bacon smokes under it’s wings. The Family must pitch a tent at the base to retrieve and defeat it. Tog dies in the attempt and Toe is injured, but Daryl comes back with the smokes.
10 Bacon Sandwich of Doom The crew find a log cabin. Daryl paints it. Toe dies from a urinary infection. Hound tries to help but dies of doggy death. Auntie Michonne (Danai Gurira) arrives from the prison.
11 Mandatory Maintenance The Governor (David Morrissey) becomes Akela to some boy scouts. No regular cast members are featured in this episode.
12 The Vendetta of The Governor The Governor kills the scouts. Return of regular cast in last five minutes. The Governor hides explosives on the backs of their clothes. Then he gets to a brilliant hill view and gets Daryl, Carol, Merle and Michonne in crosshairs of a laser rifle. We see him perfect the focus. It’s definitely going to happen. He’s going to kill one or two people minimum.
13 Happy Birthday Junior Carol must subject Junior to neglect to cover up birthday love surprise while the boys shop but it is at odds with what she wants. The infant is put at risk from a reanimated Hound. Auntie Michonne brings Junior a gift of shruiken stars. Merle steals a car. However, the Governor shows up and tries to sabotage the traps. Then he steals hares. Nobody gives a fuck much because Daryl has made his son a bacon cake. They have a nice party. Michonne and Daryl do pinatas before she goes home.
14 Close Quarters The Governor moves in to a log cabin across the street. It’s mostly soggy cardboard boxes with old paint tins. He spits on the floor. He is outside painting his cabin. Daryl is forced to give his a second coat.
15 Paint Your Cabin! Wars of staring and sneering increase as both groups paint. The Governor growls against teak but Daryl has a darker stain.
16 Candles and Smoke Daryl reveals that his paint mix contains bacon. The Governor cries and yells that he will leave and get his own beans. Then he does that. Everyone goes to sleep for the final thirty minutes.

Thinking about art

Thinking about art
It’s funny
I like to just let it happen
The group energy zaps a crayon whiz
Thinking about art
It’s meant to
Make me laugh or go
“Cool Hat!”
Because if I can control
Is it pithy signals?
Book of the Month
(That’s a reference to the Book of the Month club which cost £49.95 for a yearly subscription but for a starter offer you could pay £19.95 and get three books absolutely freeeee-ish-cept Asterix, You agree to two further years at full digital price . Dan Brown Digital Fortress with the crazy eyepatch chief. I can seee the motorbike chase’s end eighteen chapters in the future, same is Demons and Angels. Oh, there’s David Copperfield, I like a bit of Dickens)
Oh – Soci-ology
The deep end of the pool
So many species, a real
Cross sampool
Ever house in many street
All the fields in university
Criminal’s papers in our wee shops
Piano keys and fucking telly
It’s funny I like to
Just let it
When I could move in
Take the propaganda out to a recycling bin
De-weed the bus stop
Put up timetables
Hey, let’s paint over that wall
As well, the one, you know,
‘Tout is a Tout and A Drug Dealer’
Or ’18 Died For What’
(block caps off)
The message on from there
If there’s a message there
It’s on my wall, looking ugly, badly phrased, not like Banksy or Jim Stewart or Dan Eggs
The group energy zaps a crayon whiz
Consistent lettering
On Twitter future

Five hundred unseen
Gallery flyers
Equal my comic costs or this poem
Thinking about art
They might even be
Cut and folded to
Mean make me laugh
“Cool Hat!”

The Monkey Crooks (1980)

the monkey crooks

I drew that picture last month.

I wrote this in 1980.

The monkey crooks

I pulled on the monkey costume and looked in the mirror. I did it to see what it was like in the cage. That night they put us in the house to sleep. I forgot to escape. Some of the men stole us. In the morning we woke up before the men. We all went into our cage (which was really the means room) we played with the alarm clock. Then I noticed it was an alarm clock. The other monkeys woke the man up. A monkey snatched his nightcap and put it on. Then he threw it at him. He fell down the stairs. It woke the other one up. I threw Sugar Puffs at them. I rang the police. They came to get me but at that moment the police came in and said, “What a clever monkey!”

Corrie (as if by Grant Morrison)

Corrie (as if by Grant Morrison)
by Richard Barr, co-plotted by Andy Luke

The Superhero had never before in his existence felt such powerlessness hollow out his multidimensional soul. In Earth Year: 1992, via the Word Processor of series creator Hamish Dillinger, he was incarnated into the village of Glendarroch, in the soap opera Take the High Road. Here he was Nigel Jenkins, cockney wide boy and bringer of Capitalist Shopping Resort doom to the sleepy Scottish village.

Standing on a hill overlooking Glendarroch, as he did in that final episode, as the set props and backdrops suddenly took on a garish, artificial feel (something common in all final episodes of cancelled shows, he later reflected) he listened to the velvety intonations of the mysterious Mister Spinetti, Mall Entrepreneur and Serial Community Leveller, telling him to persuade those gentle country folk below to accept his plans for village annexing and Consumerist Terraforming.

Such a waste, he thought, such a workaday tragedy. Another daytime Soap Opera crescendo squandered. On his final return to the set of his (now) Balsawood home, he did wish that for once he could control the destiny of those hard-done-by characters he found himself inhabiting…

Between the veils The Superhero perceived a number of work men coming onto the set and lifting the props away. In this world, his world, the world of make believe and multi-recycled story narratives, the bits and pieces of his life as Nigel Jenkins disappeared into thin air, and then, finally, he did, too.

…And back into Fractal Time Hyper-Conscious Anthropologiverse he went. Travelling through a multi-laned, multi-coloured hi-way of hi-def, fibre optic pixilation, across landscapes of dusty literature and comic book tropes. But he always knew it was the dimension given to Soap Opera in which he belonged.

His essence, transmuted via the sweaty fingertips of veteran TV writer Gildare Hazzenbottom onto the very grimy screen of his Commodore PC monitor by way of a well-bashed keyboard, did then pour into one Ken Barlow the second, prodigal son of Coronation Street patriarch, Ken Barlow, who, he was none too surprised to find, was much put out at his impromptu arrival.

But that staple of Soap Opera interpersonal relating was the very least of his worries…for there was something happened on his arrival on the hollowed, cobbled Coronation Street, something that’d never happened before in the usually flawless processes involved in spawning a new Soap Opera character.

As usual a portal opened in a place much mentioned but never seen in-soap, in this case Bessie Street Post Office. Ken Barlow the second, as again was usual, stepped through the portal, hauling with him that year’s entire set of outfits in a big old suitcase. And this is where this particular character spawning cast aside normalcy…

…A shift occurred in the chest of Ken Barlow the second. He noticed this first. Suddenly his stomach was engorged, blooming like an aggressive tumour. From out of his arse spilt the liquid matter of Other Ken, played by Prince William (in an EarthPlane cameo appearance aimed at making the Royals relevant and down with it…)

“I am Prince William, your heir to…I mean, sorry…I am Other Ken. I am here to herald the Great Convergence. A resident of Coronation Street Roy Cropper has been using his idiot savant genius to mess with SoapPlane’s laws of Space/Time. The convergence of Soap Realities, an event not prophesised to happen for at least another millennia, is happening now due to that oddball’s meddling, and there is nothing you can do to stop it!”

With a stagey laugh, Other Ken disassembled his amorphous liquid essence and ran down a gutter. Ken Barlow the second had a lot to do.

All around Coronation Street, The Convergence was manifesting in the most fantastical ways, signs and portents which sent the children of Bessie Street Primary into a cannibalistic, lustful rage. Little Simon Barlow hopped on octogenarian Emily Bishop, causing SoapPlane’s first ever colostomy- (as opposed to gym-) –slip pregnancy. But none of the other characters seemed to take much notice – they were all much too concerned with their own Convergence visions.

Hard Man Owen, aged beau of Anna, began a steamy affair with Coronation Street veteran seductress Sally Webster. Then Sally, spotting her reflection in the windows of The Rover’s Return, began to have an affair with herself, resulting in her carrying on her back a near full-length mirror every episode. Sally and her mirror, housing within its frame her always-shocked expression, then did a declaration of their love bit in the Rovers during the Christmas special, where, by this point, Ken Barlow the second had found work as a barman.

Yet Ken Barlow the second wasn’t the only prodigal child to return to Coronation Street in the episodes (not days, see) before The Convergence. Norris Cole didn’t even recall having his son Norris Jr., who arrived with a great Cole family fortune, made from his exploitative dating website Alf Roberts (of Summer Bay) crawled through a pregnant Emily Bishop’s washing machine (via Dot Cotton’s laundrette on Albert Square) claiming he’d help Mrs Bishop raise her colostomy-slip baby. Unfortunately Alf Roberts was still suffering his PTSD hallucinations from the ‘Nam and with a rifle he’d made using the 3D-printer at Dev’s shop, he went out onto t’street and did a Hungerford.

Elsewhere, Kevin the Mechanic, standing in aged Thundercat Rita’s kabin, was shocked and ashamed to discover that on the front page of the Weatherfield Gazette was a man named Michael Turner, who looked just the spit of him, that’d been accused of the most heinous and filthy crimes against his own daughter.

Up in the skies above Weatherfield, Other Ken flew around there naked as the day he was born, save for Edna Sharples dusty hairnet which he’d found while rifling through Deidre Barlow’s dildo drawer.

I’m bored, he thought. I know, I’ll speed up this Convergence thing and rip a big hole in the sky.

And as the sky tore, the noise accompanying it was the whining strings of the Coronation Street theme tune.

On the screens of EarthPlane television sets, a purple faced and flustered Julian Simmons announced that night’s televisual entertainment.

“…and so due to the shock conglomeration of the drama departments of the BBC, ITV, actually, every television station in the world, tonight at 7.30 we’ll have Coronation Street’s Days of Our Lives Dynasty Doctors. Tomorrow night, Eastenders of Home & Away Bring Back Their Sons & Daughters…


Back on Coronation Street every strata of soap opera trope and event spilt forth from the hole ripped in the firmament by Other Ken. The shark that ate Tom in Home & Away landed with a splat on Jason Grimshaw, killing the thick fuck instantly. From The Colby’s came the Flying Saucer that abducted Fallon, which hovered over the Kebab Shop menacingly. The Peruvian terrorists who had shot up the wedding party at the end of S01E12 (for this is how the calendars appear on SoapPlane) Dynasty rushed the Rover’s return shooting Peter, Carla and Ken Barlow. Ken Barlow the second, who’d forgotten for many episodes that he was also The Superhero, ran from behind the bar, slumped to his knees, and screamed the place down as he lay cradling the dying head of his father.

With great anger he rushed out onto Coronation Street shaking his fist at the sky.

“I will end you!” he screamed at Other Ken, flying about the sky with great abandon.

“Embrace it, Ken Barlow the second. The Convergence is well under way.”

Remembering that Other Ken had told him it was all Roy’s doing, bringing on the Great Convergence, he ran at Roy’s Rolls, shoulder first, right through the door.

Seated at a dark-wood table next to the counter, Roy was listening intently to George Noory on Coast 2 Coast FM, who at that moment was talking about Time Travel. All around the dim café snaked Roy’s train set with many model trains whizzing along it.

“Ken Barlow the second,” said Roy, his strange eyes squinting.

“What have you done, Roy?” screamed Ken Barlow the second. “You have sped up The Convergence.”

“I was only trying to reach my beloved Hayley, who is dead but is now a comet in space, using my train set as a stargate for a way into outer space. I want to be out there, with my Hayley, floating along, a particle in her tail.”

“But you’ve sped up The Convergence, you fool. What are we going to do?”

“Our only hope is Bob Jiggery.”

“Who’s he?”

“He runs a dance studio/pornographic film studio in the large attic that runs along the tops of the houses of Coronation Street. Also, he has a peculiar hobby reassembling bits of old characters. I think if we go to Mr Jiggery and ask him to assemble all the toughs who’ve left Coronation Street, like Big Jim McDonald, Jez the drug dealer, men like that, then we would have a specimen hard enough to kick the shit outta Other Ken.”

“Take me to him.”

Bob Jiggery was more than happy to help Ken Barlow the second assemble his Coronation Street hardman. In a matter of minutes he had the fists of Big Jim mixed with the brawn of Jez and the cunning of Mike Baldwin. Ken Barlow the second, lifting the hardman by the waist, flew skyward, toward Other Ken, who on seeing the cut of the hardman, cacked himself.

What ensued was not so much a fight as a pounding. Other Ken, played by Prince William on EarthPlane, was beat beautiful by the fists of Big Jim. He fell to the ground in a lump of blue blooded mush, as Ken Barlow the second closed the hole in the firmament, the noise accompanying the whining strings of the theme tune now in reverse, manifesting back-masked words extolling Satan, causing church-going God fearer Emily Bishop to fall to the cobbles and give birth to her colostomy-slip baby, which dim village idiot character Kirk named Schmichael, after his much loved dead dog.

And with the birth of this ugly baby from an elderly mother, things returned to normal on Coronation Street – affairs, incest, alcoholism, gun play, long losts…, arson, skulduggery…and all that other detritus of human juju, and all occurring along that short street in that Northern Industrial Town…