New to Scary Go Round?
Hello and WELCOME.

Scary Go Round is the home of all of (well, some of) the comics I've done since 1998. Most of these comics take place in and around the city of Tackleford, all are part of a shared universe. I put up my first comic on the Internet on September 21st 1998, and have done between 4 and 7 comic strips for a week every week. Plus side projects, and books that were just for print, it's more than 5000 pages at this point. That's a big number, and the important thing to remember is - it doesn't matter.

I love having this world that I've built, but I hate that anyone should feel daunted by it. I work hard to make sure that every story can be enjoyed in isolation. Above every comic in the archive is a link to the start of the current story - if you're new, that's as far back as you ever need to go. There's plenty more if you enjoy it.


Below is a list of all the Tackleford comic series, non-web books, and where you can read them. It is spoiler free. If you want detailed, spoiler-laden guides to characters and stories, visit the Tackleford Wikia, maintained by diligent readers.

BOBBINS (1998-2002)
Growing up in public

Bobbins was the first comic strip I had ever made. It is very rough, and rambling. It starts as an office comedy (that I had designed for syndication - it was not ready for prime time in any way) before digressing into other territory. Purely of historical interest, I wouldn't start here unless you are... very forgiving.

BEGINS HERE: September 21, 1998


SCARY GO ROUND (2002-2009)
Magically-real soap opera



In 2002 I was asked by the late Joey Manley to join his new subscription webcomics site, Modern Tales. I created Scary Go Round as a twice-weekly spin-off of Bobbins, cleaning up the (then-popular) Adobe Illustrator art I used for it. Being behind Modern Tales' paywall was such a big success that I left after three weeks, ended Bobbins, and rolled the old strip's cast into the supernaturally-based remit of Scary Go Round. The resulting comic's popularity grew steadily for about five years, through an anthology format that allowed me to experiment with different, inter-linked groups of characters and settings. There is a lot of work I am still proud of here.

By the seventh year, the accumulated weight of characters and events began to drain my enthusiasm, so I set up the follow-up in the last story. It was going to be about child detectives!

BEGINS HERE
STORY ARCHIVE
IN PRINT


BAD MACHINERY (2009-)
Mystery-solving teens solve mysteries, friendship



Bad Machinery consists of cases running around 100 pages, where six child, then teen, detectives solve mysteries. Each case takes place over a school term. The kids were 11 when the comic started, and are now nearly 16 - the tenor of comic seems to change a little with each passing term. This was not something I expected when I started out. Bad Machinery does not run all year long - I aim now for one new case a year. There is also a shorter bonus story, "Space Is The Place", which I created for print but decided not to publish. Bad Machinery is collected in a series of books by Oni Press.

BEGINS HERE
STORY ARCHIVE
IN PRINT


GIANT DAYS (2011,2013,2015-)
University, drama, problems, extreme BFFs



Bad Machinery was divisive at first - it took people a while to warm up to it, and I lost confidence, creating a potential replacement series, where Scary Go Round's Esther de Groot goes to University. I drew one story in 2010, then went back to Bad Machinery refreshed. But the characters I created for it nagged at me, and at the start of 2013, I did two more issues, before pitching it as a series to Boom! Studios. It is now a monthly ongoing book there (drawn by Lissa Treiman and Max Sarin).

SELF PUBLISHED BOOKS (From the UK | From the USA)
BOOM!BOX ISSUES IN PRINT (UK | USA)
AT COMIXOLOGY



SIDE PROJECTS

NEW BOBBINS (2013-2015)
Everybody and everything all at once



I found that Bad Machinery stories were a long slog to create, but doing the first Giant Days story was a palette cleanser, and ever since, I've tried to do a side project between cases. New Bobbins was an attempt to do a Tackleford-wide comic in the spirit of Scary Go Round and Bobbins, with a little of the flavour of both. Sometimes it would run on weekends, or for a fill-in week. It ran across Christmas 2013 and 2014 with two long stories, but ultimately it interfered with Bad Machinery too much, rolling time forward when I needed it to stay put, so I ended it. I had a lot of fun with New Bobbins' strip format though - it was easy and fun to make.

BEGINS HERE


GIRLSPY (2003)
HEAVY METAL HEARTS AND FLOWERS (2005)



During the early run of Scary Go Round, I made two print-only versions of popular Bobbins stories, re-written almost from scratch, drawn in the Scary Go Round style. Both are now out of print.


SCAREODELERIA (2003)
Something to do with goblins?
GHOSTS (2006)
Something to do with ghosts



Scareodeleria and Ghosts were silly, throw-away stories produced for print alongside the regular run of Scary Go Round. Both were about 30 pages of lunacy. Both are out of print.


DESTROY HISTORY (2009, 2015)
Shelley joins the Ministry Of History, repairs "timelines"



Destroy History was one of two alternatives to Bad Machinery that I created (along with Giant Days). Like Giant Days, it is set straight after the end of the Scary Go Round comic. It's a comic where Shelley Winters travels through time. I made two strips in 2009 before deciding it wasn't a great idea. I then did a longer run in 2015, just to prove that I could. It could return at any time, but I don't know if it ever will. I have a file for a second story that just says "Iron Pants Johnson" on it.

BEGINS HERE


MURDER SHE WRITES (2012)
Charlotte and Shelley go Angela Lansbury
THAT (2013)
Shelley goes monster movie in America



These are two Shelley Winters stories I did that ran between Bad Machinery stories. The first features Charlotte Grote from Bad Machinery. The second features giant moths. Both are out of print but available at Comixology.



GET THEM AT COMIXOLOGY


EXPECTING TO FLY (2014)
A coming of age tale set before everything else
BOBBINS.HORSE (2016)
New stories set at the very beginning



Expecting To Fly is a self-contained two-part story set in the late teens of Shelley, Tim and Ryan from Scary Go Round. Bobbins.horse (I bought this domain name because it sounded closest to bobbins.org, my original, long-lost website, and I thought it was funny) picks the story up five years later - just before the start of my original 1998 webcomic Bobbins. How does that work?



EXPECTING TO FLY IN PRINT (From the UK | From the USA)
EXPECTING TO FLY AT COMIXOLOGY
BOBBINS.HORSE WEBSITE
HOW BOBBINS.HORSE WORKS


ROBERT COP (2015)
He's a robot cop
MORDAWWA (2016)
She's the queen of Hell



While working on Expecting To Fly, I accidentally invented the Scary Go Round Universe, constituting dozens of made-up comics. Some of them have since been drawn. Their creation was probably irresponsible. It was also fun. Robert Cop is a very early pilot and still work in progress (the titular character does not appear), Mordawwa is a one-shot with a convoluted history best not thought too hard about.



ROBERT COP WEBSITE
THE CONVOLUTED HISTORY OF MORDAWWA (MANY SPOILERS!)
MORDAWWA COMING SOON IN PRINT AND AT COMIXOLOGY



Here's how all my different books, series and side-projects fit together. There are no years, because things aren't 100% consistent. I don't know if anyone WOULD read things in this order, but this is the chronology:

SCARY GO ROUND AWFUL TIMELINE
Side Project Main Project  "Other"
 Expecting To Fly    
   Bobbins  Bobbins.horse
 Girlspy  
 Heavy Metal Hearts & Flowers    
   Scary Go Round  
 Scareodeleria    
     
 Ghosts    
     
 Destroy History    Giant Days
     
     
   Bad Machinery 1  
   Bad Machinery 2  
   Bad Machinery 3  
   Bad Machinery 4  
 Murder She Writes    
   Bad Machinery 5  
   Bad Machinery 6  
 THAT    
   Bad Machinery 7  
     New Bobbins
   Bad Machinery 8  
 Space Is The Place  
   Bad Machinery 9  
   ??? Mordawwa
Scary Go Round, Bad Machinery, Bobbins & Giant Days are copyright 1998-2016 John Allison.