A P R I L  2 0 2 3

• • • Kris Guidio RIP, 18th August 1953 – 8th April 2023

Kris Guidio

Kris prepares for the inevitable, 1986.

Savoy came across Kris' work in the early 1980s at a Cramps concert in Manchester where copies of Lindsay Hutton's The Next Big Thing were on sale. These contained his fantasy strips based on the band—real eye-openers! What stood out in these comics were his mastery of a pulp aesthetic in the medium of pure black-and-white art, together with the Hollywood voodoo sleaze depictions that Kris had given to the Cramps, done better here than anywhere else. This had momentous consequences for us because, if Kris could do this for the Cramps, what could he do for Lord Horror?

Kris Guidio

We didn't know about Lord Horror then, of course, yet Kris was one of two artists who came our way at that time who were crucial to bringing the character to life away from the pages of the novel. In November 1983 Michael Butterworth had begun work on a fantasy novel to be called Hitler: The New Life. Based on his diet-obsessed father, it became the catalyst for David Britton to begin writing the book that eventually became Lord Horror. Britton later recalled that Lord Horror 'came to him' on a train somewhere between Leeds and Manchester in September 1984, when he and Michael were opening a new bookshop in Leeds, and he began writing on the hour-long journeys. Michael came to a stop with his book, and began to help Dave write his, while Kris, who had begun illustrating Hitler: The New Life moved seamlessly to illustrating Lord Horror—giving Horror his 'look', just as he had done with the Cramps.

Raw Power

The Lord's first public outing was in 1987 on 'Raw Power' by Lord Horror with the Savoy King Cocaine Band, a 12" cover of the Iggy Pop classic. Kris' comic strip panels on the rear of the sleeve shows Horror pulling on a tourniquet by his teeth, a needle and one very abundant vein, But the important thing to note is the face, one of several thrown off in the heat of invention that stamped Lord Horror's look.

Kris Guidio

Kris circa 2009 with (barely visible), Aziel, his beloved black cat.

Kris's voluptuous caricatures, with their tough garage-rock demeanours and playful humanising, filtered influences from American cartoonists like Gil Kane and Will Eisner to the ukiyo-e prints of Utagawa Kunisada. Lord Horror gave Kris the opportunity to explore an original creation, the first in a firmament of fictitious stars that would populate Savoy's multi-media experiment played out across novels, comics, film and vinyl: Lord Horror, Meng & Ecker, Madame Monoshock, La Squab… a host of creations that once seemed to flow in a never-ending stream from David's imagination and Kris's pen. Kris gave larger-than-life existence to all of them, with Meng & Ecker and La Squab showing his flair for satire, caricature and grotesque black humour.

Sinister Legends

The best of Kris's early drawings, which include his many depictions of the Cramps, may be found in Sinister Legends.

Kris died peacefully with his partner, Sharon, at his side. Our thoughts are with her, and with his two children and family at this sad time.



"As well as being a great interpretive artist for Savoy, Kris was also a kind, loyal and generous friend to me personally. We had adventures, and I will miss him." – Michael

"Ave atque vale, my confederate in black-and-white art-crime." — John Coulthart

"A humble lovely human being. God bless him." – Garry Thornton

"kris was a wonderful kind Eloquent man who was our family he was always there he will be missed very much" – love Matt and Audrey Gardiner


  J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y  2 0 2 3

• • • Kingsize Taylor RIP

Kingsize Taylor

Kingsize Taylor in Hamburg, 1965.

With the death of the mighty Kingsize Taylor at the age of eighty-three, announced on the 2nd January this year, the roll-call of fallen Savoy heroes has just turned even faster. From those days when zephyrs breezed and plots sprang full-formed, a recollection: Ted 'Kingsize' Taylor, a man of no small stature, had a big voice to match, and when Lord Horror heard he might be persuaded to sing on his 1986 cover of 'Blue Monday' (to show the boys and girl at New Order how it was done), he instructed Dave and Mike to 'get him'. But when they approached Ted at his butcher's shop in Southport, in August 1984, he lost no time in reminding them he had left the music business. A lot of cash was flashed. But no amount of persuading him to do one more song worked, and so they left empty-handed. Not quite—Kingsize signed David's copy of The Legendary Ted Nugent and let us interview him.

Kingsize Taylor

The rockin' butcher, 1984.

We left the shop with his words ringing in our ears: "I've got more soul in my big toe than people like Tom Jones in their whole body. Anybody that can sing a record twice in exactly the same way has got no soul. You could go and watch Tom Jones tonight, tomorrow and the day after, and it'd be the same every time. To me, that contains nothing. If I was recording today, I'd still record Rock. I still have the feel for Rock'n'Roll. It's stood the test of time." This was all very well, but how could we explain to His Nibs? Fortunately, in a parting gesture of goodwill, Ted gave us a lead, and told us, "Bobby [that's Bobby Thompson, second-lead vocalist in Ted's old band The Dominoes] has a voice that will do what you want. He's finished with the business too and is in partnership in a market garden down in Coventry… but you might persuade him." We followed that up, and our bacon was saved. Bobby—from whom John Lennon once picked up vocal tricks at Dominoes gigs, and, when the Dominoes disbanded joined Cliff Bennet and the Rebel Rousers; his voice is on 'One Way Love'—delivered a vocal that shook the foundations of Auschwitz, which pleased LH mightily.



• • • Charles Partington RIP, 1940–2022

PJ and co

left to right: Michael Butterworth, PJ Proby, David Britton, Charles Partington.

The wheel revolved too in November when sad news reached us of Charles Partington's demise. With his passing (and Dave's, as we reported on this page in December 2020) the 'Three Musketeers' of Fantasy from the backstreets of North Manchester—Charles, Dave and John Muir—the triumvirate from which one of the sparks of Savoy arose, have gone into the ether. Chas and Dave opened The House on the Borderland bookshop, while 'The Muir', with his White Light Press, printed both Corridor and Crucified Toad (proto-Savoy publications) in the shop's basement—bringing Mike, the South Manchester contingent, into the equation. Charles stayed long enough to publish Savoy's first title, Stormbringer, then left to set up a press of his own. Legendary Manchester publisher Muir set up Babylon Books, annoyed Morrissey and died young. In the parlance, he 'got out first'. Charles left, but remained an honorary presence, always in and out of our offices, waving a copy of his magazine Something Else, brandishing the manuscript of a new novel or accompanying us on visits to photograph PJ Proby. His photography appeared on the front sleeve of Savoy's 1987 12-inch single The Mugwump Dance.



• • • Other news

The wheel of Savoy continues to turn. Following posthumous publication of David Britton's final Lord Horror novel, Old Death, in May 2022, we are in negotiation with Ken Reid's estate to hopefully publish Ken's masterpiece, Speck's Inventions, serialised in strip-form in 1947/48 but never made into a book. Still in the pipeline are readings by Fenella Fielding of Michael Moorcock's 'Pale Roses' from The Dancers at the End of Time, and 'Love', Michael's homage to Mervyn Peake.

Meanwhile, Michael Butterworth's new book, Complete Poems: 1965–2020 will be appearing February 3rd from Space Cowboy Books, a publishing house, SF bookstore, and podcast based in Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert. Michael's poetry is a link back to a Savoyard's beginnings in the New Wave of Science Fiction, the small press of the '60s and '70s and the heady days of Savoy Books, and is introduced by veteran poet, editor and critic Jim Burns. CD readings by Michael taken from his poems and set to music—which he has described as "simply amazing—I had no idea I could do it", having never read for broadcast before—will be appearing on January 20th. The book has attributions by two writers who are no strangers to Savoy.

MB poems

"Michael Butterworth's poetry is rolling news from a since-outlawed territory of ideas; bulletins filed from a redacted country, edited out of cultural continuity. In beautifully clear language, human moments are examined as though artefacts dug from the future, or the debris of a missing world. Caught in a jeweller's eyepiece, fugitive impressions from near sixty years of subterranean endeavour here condense to lyric crystal, ringing with the poet's radical and laser-guided voice. This is a wonderful collection, mined from times that aren't supposed to happen. Lose yourself inside it." —Alan Moore

"This is not only a lifetime's poetic work but overwhelming evidence of a poetic lifetime. Readers should enter carefully through the author's Preface, a classy, condensed autobiography in itself and the perfect warmup for the multi-faceted, often surprising poems that follow; ranging from sharp, haiku-like observations to densely layered dramatic episodes - and always written with wordmanship, wit and a constant intelligence." —Jay Jeff Jones: poet, essayist and author of The Lizard King (a play)

MB poems

Order Complete Poems at Amazon: Paperback | Hardback

US readers may wish to support independent bookstores by ordering Complete Poems through Bookshop.org: Paperback | Hardback

The album at Bandcamp

Book trailer


  M A Y   2 0 2 2


Old Death

"I wrote this book while I was dying, to see if I could produce something positive from the experience." — David Britton

Old Death is David Britton's eighth novel, completed just months before his death in December 2020. It is thirty-two years since his contentious first novel, Lord Horror, was published to acclaim and notoriety in equal parts, after it was seized by Manchester police and became the first novel banned in England since Last Exit to Brooklyn in 1967. Britton received a jail term of four months for its publication, preceded by a shorter term for the sale of other novels in his bookshops.

In this posthumously published novel Lord Horror steps into his creator's shoes, to become Death himself. Soon to claim his prize. But for now he wanders Holy Auschwitz, allowing the author to bid farewell to his characters. Meng & Ecker, Ozymandias and the crew of the Kraft Durch Freude, the dog boys and others of old, rub shoulders with the new new – the Rooster of Birkenau, the monstrous Der Struwwelpeter (Warden of Auschwitz) and the Iron Bone Grinder ("a weird facsimile of The Bobs", the big dipper ride at Manchester's Belle Vue amusement park). Along the way, Superman's arch-enemy MR. MXYZPTLK, in the guise of an Ouroboros-like identity comprised of suffering humanity, puts in a grisly appearance, whilst in Meng & Ecker's newly opened Auschwitz cafι, characters from The Beano and The Dandy sit down to lunch. The Rabbi of the Treblinka Church tries to 'save' Old Death, so that he can live "a long afterlife", but Death, "on his high horse", will have nothing of it.

In Old Death, Britton airs his intentions as a writer for the first time, declaring the book to be "driven by a propulsion that kills good taste with outlandish humour. Swift and de Sade, you say." He further elaborates: "Morality, the game played by liberals, did not, under any circumstances, suit … Living has to be absurd, capable of giving a realistic insight into the darkest nightmares of mankind … Real satire, to be unequivocal, must be unfair, unreasonable, an inspired violent engine of a sustained single-minded vision."

Lord Horror began in a 'chaos bubble', the turmoil of Britton's attempt to climb from what was surely his ordained destiny in the factories of North Manchester, the suburbs of Harpurhey, Collyhurst and Moston where he grew up. Playing no small part in his escape were music and books, and it's a pointed irony that Howlin' Wolf's "When you see me runnin', you know my life is at stake" closes Mr Britton's final novel.

Old Death is illustrated throughout by Kris Guidio.

A blaze-out of a book.

"Lord Horror is satire of the highest order. The job of the satirist is to point out problems, not solve them; however, in all the best satire, the solutions are implicit in the critiquing of society that are present in the satires themselves."

— William Weiss, Emeritus Associate Professor of English at SUNY Adirondack, author of 68 Cantos, Hallucination May Constitute the Final Theorem (as Professor Nil), Orbiting William S Burroughs & other works, and student of Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso at the Naropa University.

Old Death — 14th May, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-86130-131-7
RRP: £35·00


• See the Orders page for purchase details.





David Britton, 18th February, 1945–29th December, 2020…

Telegraph obituary

* * *

Mike Don, early 2021…

Mike Don

Mike Don in an OZ magazine feature on Mole Express, 1972.

Guardian obituary

Mike passed away a few months after Dave. Savoy defender and supplier of science fiction and radical literature to our bookshops for more than forty years, Mike was an anarchist and publisher in his own right, producing magazines such as Mole Express, Dreamberry Wine (his book catalogue) and City Enquirer – the latter once exposing Chief Constable of Greater Manchester James Anderton's clandestine purchase of rapid-fire guns, the first police force to do so, prompting The Guardian to pick up the story. Mike stocked the early pre-Savoy publications, Corridor, Weird Fantasy, Wordworks, Crucified Toad, etc., and sold them through his various outlets, including at a stall he ran at Roger Eagle's Magic Village nightclub in Cromford Court. He was a regular presence at the Savoy bookshops and in the office, and his figure was a familiar sight around Manchester streets, a large sack of books on its back – prize pickings from car-boot sales and charity shops.

* * *

Langdon Jones, late September 2021…

Langdon Jones

SF Encyclopedia

The sudden death of New Wave author-editor and restorer of Mervyn Peake's compromised novel Titus Alone, Langdon Jones, was another shock. Lang's influential 'unorthodox' short fiction first appeared in New Worlds, collected as The Eye of the Lens for Macmillan, and Savoy was privileged to gain the rights for the U.K. edition in 1980. An important milestone for Savoy, the book was a direct link back to the New Wave of the 1960s that helped establish our young company's credentials. As Michael Butterworth remembers: "Lang was a significant force behind New Worlds, ergo the 'New Wave', and one of the first people I met in that circle apart from Mike [Moorcock] himself. I vividly remember an evening in 1964 or early 1965, aged seventeen, calling at 87a Ladbroke Grove to find the two of them seated on the floor, snatched bags of fish and chips within arms' reach, poring over the galleys of a new issue. Lang, I would come to see, like the caretaker of The Great Clock in his eponymous story, was an essential, ever-present figure in the magazine's workings. Without his industry as an editor I doubt New Worlds would have been possible, and without his talent as a writer it would not have been such an interesting ascent for all of us."

The New SF

The New S.F. (1969).

  D E C E M B E R   2 0 2 0

• • • David Edward Britton, 1945–2020


David Britton

David Britton, from one of his early magazines, 1972.

* * *

"David, one of the loves of my life, sadly passed away yesterday,
29th December 2020." — Michael Butterworth

"He was one of my very closest friends in all the world, a natural ally in a fight to make the world a funnier and saner place." — Michael Moorcock

"Dave is a man I'll forever bless for demanding such a high profile of sobriety in the works of T.S. Eliot he employed me to record. It played a great part in my life without alcohol and being here today. Without his hard help, I for certain would not be here to write this small condolence today. God bless and thank you, David..." – PJ Proby

"My closest artistic collaborator from 1989 to 1999, and a close friend for longer than this: capricious, determined, fearless, funny, generous and inspirational. No David Britton, no Lord Horror; no Lord Horror, no Reverbstorm. He changed my life." — John Coulthart

"David was my very good friend for some thirty years. His company always left me feeling creatively fired up." – John Davey

"He wrote to me and sent me books all time I was in prison. He was more than a friend. Savoy changed my life." — DM Mitchell

"David Britton wrote books that weren't novels so much as middle fingers. In the dull wasteland of contemporary letters, he stood out for his singularity of vision, ferocity of style, and opposition to authority. His books will endure—the Grim Reaper can take away the man's body but not his words, his ideas, or the example of his defiance. David Britton is dead. Long live Lord Horror!" — Keith Seward

"My years at Savoy were seminal and hugely enjoyable. Dave Britton (and Mike Butterworth) were amazing creative mentors to me and great pals. I crapped out on them when I left for Australia in the mid 90's and to my eternal regret basically burned the bridge. A quarter of a century later, I still feel largely defined by those times. Dave was a unique creative and a true rock and roll iconoclast, so sorry to hear he's gone, the world is diminished by his passing." — Bob Walker

"I wanted to send my condolences on the death of David Britton. David's work, especially on Lord Horror, inspired and disturbed. They struck me as what Ballard called 'terminal documents' of the twentieth century and they have obviously proved prescient of the twenty-first century. I also wanted to, as always, thank David and all of you for your generosity and kindness in regard to my efforts to understand and analyse these works."
— Professor Benjamin Noys

"This is such devasting news. Dave was a true original... His attitude and energy and passion were so inspiring and I'll miss him very badly." — Gwendoline Barlow

"He was defiant toward the world, yet in his own way he was totally a man of principle. Pissing people off is in many ways beneficial to the world, whether the world appreciates it or not. All progress is a function of rebellion." — Charles Platt

"I never really knew David personally, but he always felt like a touchstone of what it meant to do the right thing. To do the right thing (in this world) and pay for it." — John Clute

"This is a bit late but I just wanted to pass on my condolences at the death of Dave and record the profound affect he had on my life. As a student in Manchester in the early 70s I Haunted Orbit Books and House on the Borderland and spent hours talking to Dave about not just science fiction but Jarry, Patchen, Englebrecht and much much more. He confirmed and enriched my view of books and his honest cynicism and enthusiasm chimed and enriched my own. My regret is that I noonger have the chance to thank him for the way he helped steer my intellectual life _ then and through the books he published through Savoy from Lord Horror and the early NEL distributed titles to the best ever editions of Englebrecht and Arcturus. Thank you and hope you are disrupting the afterlife."
— Tim Anderson

* * *

  F E B R U A R Y   2 0 2 0

• • • Further Chronicles of Hawkmoon

The Sword and Runestaff

This month Titan Books publishes the second of a two-volume collection of James Cawthorn's Dorian Hawkmoon books, comic-strip adaptations of the novels by Michael Moorcock. The first volume comprised two books that were originally published by Savoy, The Jewel in the Skull and The Crystal and the Amulet. The new volume ends the trilogy with The Sword and the Runestaff, a book that would have also been a Savoy title but which, for a variety of reasons, never appeared. Consequently, this is the last major work of Cawthorn's to see the light of day.

The Titan edition is a 160-page outsized hardcover (approx. 10½" x 8" [27cm x 20cm]), and includes a foreword by comic artist Liam Sharp, an illustrated essay ('The Sword And The Runestaff: The Making Of A Classic') by John Davey, and "a remarkable collection of James Cawthorn's preliminary sketches, page layouts, character designs, and script pages"; it also includes two spectacular fold-out triple-spread pages.

"I've been an admirer of Jim Cawthorn's art
for pretty much my whole life." Alan Moore


"So much glorious Jim Cawthorn art in a book that is an absolute triumph.
I just want to revel in it." Neil Gaiman

The Sword and Runestaff

The Sword and the Runestaff and James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art may be ordered direct from Savoy's distributor:

• Please select your shipping region from the menu below before ordering.
• All prices include postage.

  P R E V I O U S   B U L L E T I N S

May 2017–September 2019: A Savoyard's meeting with the Lord Mayor / A King of the Wild Frontier / Razor King published / From Our Man in Kent, Washington / James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art / Savoy's History Officially Archived

December 2014–November 2016: End of Year Round-Up / Butterworth in Berlin / Another Savoy author incarcerated / The Blue Monday Diaries: In the Studio with New Order by Michael Butterworth / The Cramps at the Haηienda / Guidio & Moorcock: interviewed and interrupted at YouTube / RIP Kim Fowley

August 2013–December 2014: Invictus Horror / Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds / RIP Colin Wilson / Roger Eagle and Captain Beefheart / More Beefheart / Exhibitionism

May 2012–May 2013: Savoy on the move (again) / TS Eliot's Four Quartets read by Fenella Fielding / Sit Down! Listen To This!: The Roger Eagle Story / Lord Horror: Reverbstorm / Goodbye Gus / Reverbstorm reviewed / New CD release: Fenella Fielding reads Colette

April 2011–April 2012: La Squab sets sail! / La Squab: The Black Rose of Auschwitz / Fenella Fielding: The Savoy Sessions / Rubric at Savoy

February 2010–December 2010: Savoy at Ballardian 2 / Engelbrecht lives to fight another day / Michael Moorcock goes Into the Media Web / News for purchasers of Baptised in the Blood of Millions / Into the Media Web sells out / Don Van Vliet, 1941–2010

January 2009–November 2009: Lord Horror in Penny Blood magazine / RIP Lux Interior / Kris Guidio remembers Lux / Kim Fowley delivers sleevenotes for the Fenella album / Baron von Guidio with Space Fairies / Savoy profiled at Ballardian

August 2008–December 2008: Savoy music on iTunes / Jim Cawthorn 1929–2008

September 2007–February 2008: The Adventures of Little Lou by Lucy Swan published / New books announced: Moorcock's Into the Media Web and a new edition of Engelbrecht / Savoy signs with online music distributer The Orchard

May 2007–September 2007: The Fenella Fielding sessions continued: a studio filled with an array of talent / Kris Guidio: The new montage photo-shoot / Coming soon: Horror Panegyric / Jim Cawthorn

May 2005–December 2006: More squibs from La Squab / Isis of the Aethyr! / More from the Terrible Twins / Sieg Heil Iconographers in print / The Love Sessions / Mitchell book wins award / Moorcock in conversation with Alan Moore

July 2004-January 2005: Fenella news / The Odyssey of a Dogged Optimist / Savoy on Banned in Britain / Fuck Off And Die in print

November 2003-March 2004: A Serious Life / Fuck Off And Die / More Fenella / The Adventures of Little Lou

October 2002-March 2003: Pipped to the post / A Tea Dance at Savoy / Hoogstraten announcement / Fenella again

June 2002-August 2002: Arcturus published / Fenella! / Here we go again

October 2001-January 2002: The Killer published / Jim Leon-RIP

April-September 2001: New links and updates / Zenith the Albino published

February-March 2001: New Lord Horror novel / New Proby picture galleries

November-December 2000: New picture galleries / Engelbrecht triumphs

August-October 2000: Website upgraded / Zenith announcement / New Britton novel

June 2000: New book line announced / Reverbstorm #7 published

November 1999: John Coulthart's The Haunter of the Dark

October 1999: Savoy on the move

June 1999: Savoy comics seized and then released

July 1998: PJ Proby rip-offs alert