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Franchise: Bobbinsverse
John Allison's mind is a world where statements like this are common and often justified.

A shared page for the various webcomics written by John Allison and set in the fictional Yorkshire town of Tackleford.

These include three major runs of comics, and a number of one-offs. These differ mainly in tone and chronology, and characters from one series will often pop up in others, sometimes as major or at least recurring characters.

Apart from the main comics, most of these are now only available in print from the shop. However, Allison has a tendency to put online archives up, pull them down, shift around their urls, and otherwise manipulate them, so they may still be online somewhere even when old links to them have linkrotted. The book versions often have additional pages that never appeared online, however.

Main comics include:

Shorter stories and one-offs include:
  • Giant Days, a spin-off of SGR about the university life of Esther de Groot. Three issues now available in print. There's also an online archive here. (At times this archive has come and gone and moved around, and it has sometimes included only one of the three issues' worth of material, but as of this writing it appears to be complete.)
  • Murder She Writes, in which Shelley Winters takes Charlotte Grote on as a personal assistant when she attends a writers' retreat, and they find themselves caught up in a murder mystery. (John Allison has announced that a new Murder She Writes story will appear online in late 2014, in between Expecting To Fly and a new Bad Machinery story.)
  • THAT, in which Shelley goes to America and weirdness follows.
  • Expecting To Fly, a prequel to Bobbins featuring Shelley, Ryan, and Tim as teenagers in 1996.
  • Heavy Metal Hearts and Flowers, a re-telling of a storyline from Bobbins (with lots of details changed) in which Tim builds a Robot Girl and ends up fighting a big red robot over her. Released as a paper book in 2005 (now out-of-print) and an e-book in 2011.
  • A number of one-shot mini-comics showing up everywhere from John Allison's various websites, blogs, and social media feeds to paper sheets tossed in with orders for his books; these may or may not be "canon", but sometimes reveal relevant details such as how Erin returned from Hell (which can be found here and here).

John Allison has said that the chronological order of the various strips and books is: Bobbins, Scary Go Round, Giant Days, Bad Machinery Case 1, 2, 3, 4, Murder She Writes, Bad Machinery Case 5, THAT, Bad Machinery Case 6, 7, New Bobbins.

Tropes used in Scary Go Round or Bad Machinery should go on their respective pages. Tropes for other works are listed below.

Bobbins Classic

Bobbins Now

  • Best Friends In Law: Ryan and Tim, via Ryan's sister Riley.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Tim: You know, everything they tell you about babies is scare stories. Scout just slept all the time, all night long.
    Ryan: Yeah?
    Tim: Never got hungry in the least. Rarely cried, if ever.
    Ryan: That's a relief.
    Tim: Almost from the start, she'd change her own nappy. She couldn't reach the bin, so she'd just double-bag 'em and leave them by the back door.
    Ryan: I see, I see. This is a cruel joke.
    Tim: Within a couple of months she could make rudimentary sandwiches. Not deli-quality, but serviceable.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Amy was this when Len gave her a job at City Limit. (Which retroactively means that she was this during at least the earlier parts of the classic Bobbins.)
  • Chubby Chaser: Erin apparently prefers her men on the portly side. When Eustace is worried she will be uninterested in him because he's put on some pounds since high school, she tells him, "I like a gentleman of heft. Beef and beer lend a man weight."
  • Creator Breakdown: invoked Shelley writes books for children and may be letting her recent, brief affair with Tim affect her work.
    Barry: It's called "Tibkins Makes an Awful Mistake". The change in tone is striking.
    Shelley: Basic Tibkins story. Under-fives gonna love it. Print it. Send it to the printer.
    Barry: "I love you," said Tibkins to the vacuum cleaner. "But we can never see each other EVER AGAIN."
    Shelley: Make sure the last page is just printed completely black.
  • The Matchmaker: After Eustace (re)meeting Erin and leaving a seemingly disastrous first impression, Shelley and Tim use a ruse in order to set up a second meeting between the two. And this time it goes quite well for Eustace.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Ryan.
  • The One That Got Away: Esther, for Eustace
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Amy is pregnant at Christmas, Shelley describes the child as "Our own personal Jesus! Someone to hear our prayers. Someone who cares."

Giant Days

A spin-off of SGR that follows Esther de Groot to university, and provides examples of:

Murder, She Writes

A Closed Circle murder mystery featuring Lottie from Bad Machinery and Shelley from Scary Go Round. Shelley, now a children's author, is invited to a party in her agent's remote Welsh mansion, and brings along Lottie as her intern. When one of the author is murdered and several of the guests have motives, our heroines investigate.


Another Shelley stand-alone adventure. This time she's in America (sans intern) doing a book-tour. She arrives in Heaven, Arizona just in time for the town Lemon Festival, and an attack by a flock of giant killer moths.


"Erin Winters and the Bone Throne (of Bones)" and "Erin Winters and the Great Fiery Elevator":

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alternative title(s): Bobbins
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