This is Page-15 from the audiobook “Jack, An Ancient Celtic Tradition” – authored and illustrated by Bryan Thomas Molloy; narrated by Andy Taylor. The work weaves the story of young Jack and his journey from Middle Ages miscreant…to fabled headless watchman. Could this be the origins of Halloween’s Jack-O-Lantern? The book is a masterful work of art, featuring over a dozen prints of breathtaking oil paintings by the artist – including Jack’s portrait depicted here.
“JACK is an ancient story. It is one of the first stories told by the Celts around the world.
Jack is always getting into trouble. Instead of prescribing him ADD medication or diagnosing him with Autism, the townspeople arrest him and sentence him to death on the chopping block. He arrives in Hell subsequently, and proceeds to torment the Devil so ferociously and relentlessly that the Devil makes a deal with God that if he’ll take Jack away, the Devil will agree to remain in Hell for all eternity.
God takes Jack to Heaven and Jack torments the Saints and even the Angels so badly that they too supplicate God to relieve Heaven of him. God, never having an issue with Jack, sets him on earth to roam for all eternity and patrol the night keeping daemons, banshee and lost souls from causing harm to the living.
To prevent Jack from being further harmed by the humans, God keeps Jack’s head with Him in the clouds and gives Jack the ability to see through the light of a lantern which he must carry with him at all times.”
“The story of JACK describes the Celtic personality and gives comfort to people from a matriarchal tradition as they live within a patriarchal-style culture that has come to dominate and conquer the earth in the recent few millennia.”
– Bryan Thomas Molloy
Jack production began in Hampton, Virginia USA in about 2003, as a labor of love and exploration into personal history and ethnicity which has taken over a decade to reach full maturity. It began as a page in a sketchbook and developed into seven verses, twelve oil paintings and a professional audio recording.
“In these harsher times of long ago, where resourses were hoarded and few, JACK was styled as a cautionary tale for parents to tell to children to keep them out of trouble. It is literally tyranny- an attempt to use fear to manipulate behavior. To keep the kids from going out at night, they were told that the nightwatchman’s lantern they saw was a heinous apparition – a headless fright!
I’ve presented my version as an historical origins story, the origin of Halloween. As modern methods of childrearing, education, and even our entire American governmental system are based on the ending of this abusive system of fear manipulation, or tyranny, as it was formerly known, I’ve done my best to present the illustrations as fine art portraiture and highest quality works. This is to contrast the modern convention of not scaring children by buying books specifically tailored to be non-frightening. Too often this convention leads to scattered, insane, cartoonish, derrivative creations of poor quality (obviously not all, Dr. Zeuss is one of my favorites!).
I have attempted to produce a high quality offering that might educate, provide the opportunity and need for discussion in combination with a strong, comforting fatherly presence and presentation. For this reason I’ve asked Sports Announcer Andy Taylor to be the voice of JACK. It is an exciting and scary story for Dad to read to the kids.”
– Author/Artist Bryan Thomas Molloy