Friday, 14 August 2015
The self-published novelist S. A. Swaffington (aka Ryan West) has become something of a recurring topic on this blog. Back in April I wrote a post about his history as a neo-Nazi propagandist, demonstrating in the process that he had been using a sockpuppet account to praise his own work on Amazon; his less-than-eloquent response to this was to call me a racist paedophile.
Now, the saga continues: I have evidence that S. A. Swaffington is a plagiarist.
Look at the cover of Swaffington's latest novel, Hengist & Horsa: The Wrath of the Gods (in case he alters the cover, I've archived the Amazon page here):
Something seemed fishy to me. The illustration's nice, but the design is very amateurish - he's just clumsily slapped some Arial text over the picture. This made me wonder who provided the illustration, and whether or not they approved of its usage here.
Turns out that Swaffington did a pretty rotten job of covering his tracks. Within a few minutes I was able to trace the source of the image: it is a piece of publicity art for a computer game called Mount & Blade, developed by a Turkish company called TaleWorlds:
Incidentally, the warriors depicted are not Anglo-Saxons; they are apparently "Nords", a fictional Viking-like tribe invented by the developers of the game which takes place in an imaginary world called Calradia. It is amusing that Swaffington - a supposed historian - has confused an historical people with a fantasy tribe from a video game, but this kind of thing is fairly common in the Englisc nationalist movement: see here, here and here for other examples.
I also noticed this promotional image on Swaffington's Facebook page:
This, too, originates from Mount & Blade:
I decided to take a look through Swaffington's past work and see if I could identify any more plagiarism. I was not disappointed.
In 2012 Swaffington published a book entitled Anglo-Saxon Trolls, Wights, Faeries, Orcs & Other Supernatural Creatures. This is no longer available on Amazon, but still has a page on Goodreads:
The cover image is obviously stolen from Gnomes, a 1976 book by the Dutch team of Poortvliet and Huygen. My library has a copy, so I was able to scan the relevant portion:
Swaffington appears to have later republished his book with a new title and cover:
This time, the cover illustration was... erm... borrowed from the cover to Robin Bates' book How Beowulf can Save America (I believe that the illustrator is Chris Kelb):
Then we have an earlier book in Swaffington's Hengist & Horsa series, The Scourge of the Gods. Swaffington has since changed the cover, but the original cover design can be seen on Goodreads:
Swaffington seems to be very proud of this cover art, as he has it as his Twitter avatar:
This time, the image comes from an artist who is known on DeviantArt as "Arrsistable" (and is, incidentally, an American - funny how this patriotic English author has relied so much on the work of foreign artists):
Seriously, did Swaffington actually believe that nobody would notice any of this?
Friday, 7 August 2015
The Anglo-Saxon Foundation has been one of the richest sources of material for this blog, so it is with mixed feelings that I report on the likelihood of its impending demise.
The ASF is run by a Manchester-based racist who calls himself Seaxan. Back in April, Seaxan made a lengthy post announcing his retirement, and the closure of the ASF if nobody steps in to save it. He also talks about setting up a private forum, but it seems most unlikely that this would attract anyone outside of the ASF's dwindling pool of regulars.
The post is not publicly viewable, but here's a screencap I dug up with my mole powers:
In fact, Seaxan has been pouring this kind of seemingly drunken rambling onto his forum for some time now, these two long-winded rants being typical of his posting style:
Seaxan is, to put it mildly, an odd chap. He seems to live in some sort of parallel universe, one in which the British police force is "gladly beating and arresting white racist Heathens for the sake of diversity" (er, got any evidence of this taking place, Seaxan?)
As the above screencaps demonstrate, Seaxan believes that he is fighting in a war. If this is the case, then he is practising the redoubtable martial technique which military experts refer to as "sitting around ranting about gay people":
Seaxan is also a graphic designer, although his attempts at setting up an English nationalist graphic design outfit never really took hold. A few years back he set up a sticker and t-shirt label called White Wulf Merchandise, but he had to abort this endeavour in late 2011 due to a lack of sales (good lord, who could possibly have predicted that...?)
Still from this video of the "English Folcmoot" in 2011. The video's description claims that White Wulf Merchandise had a stall at the event, and this would appear to be it: just compare the items on sale there with the t-shirt and sticker designs posted here.
And as I showed in my history of the ASF, Seaxan was involved with a similarly ill-fated graphic design website called Saxon North; this site was run by someone called Jamie. I do not have much information on Jamie, but in researching Englisc nationalist circles on Facebook I came across a Manchester-based nationalist graphic designer named Jamie Ashcroft:
A coincidence? A business partner of Seaxan's? Seaxan himself, maybe? Who knows?
Ah, the mysterious world of nationalist graphic design.
As a final note, Seaxan's domain Englisc-Gateway.com is set to expire on 4 September. I wonder if anyone will put it to good use after that; perhaps I could buy it to use as a gay dating website.
Hmmm, the design will need bit of an overhaul, though...