Johnny Scotch is going to Scotland!

Yes! May of 2018 will be a very special trip across the ocean to visit the UK. What is better than a trip to the UK? Spending 3-4 days visiting Scotland and checking out the as many scotch distilleries as my liver can handle.

I definitely have a list of places that I want to visit and hopefully have some discussions about partnering with my brand for future books, but I also want to know what others think.

Where should a writer of pulpy, Jazz-noir go to find fresh inspiration in the silky spirits of Scotland?

Are you a distillery that is looking for a marketing opportunity with an author and musician from the states? (Say a special book signing or musical performance at your location?)

Chime in world. I want to get some discussion going to help make this trip truly memorable.


Johnny Scotch: Top Shelf Reviews…

Johnny Scotch Top Shelf Review 2 – Oak Cross blended malt scotch whiskey from Compass Box

I like my scotch like I like my women. Straight, single, and complex. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my dalliances outside of my comfort zone on occasion. When it came to my first experience with Oak Cross, it was an experience worth traveling outside of my general taste of single malt, well aged scotch to take in the varied flavors afforded to me with each sip.

Like any good tasting experience, my first time with Oak Cross comes was enhanced by the secret passages and dark recesses of a speakeasy. I was in Vegas, a town where the underworld is part of the daily grind and people shill themselves like they sell their goods. After taking in an evening of piano bar shenanigans in the old downtown, it was time to have a serious drink. I turned to Joey. He knew these streets and establishments like no other. It turned out, the only place he wanted to go was the only place that I would have asked for.

The bar had no name for visitors to find, but only because to the general public it did not exist. Joey took me down the street to a hipster driven bar that I would not be caught dead in. I was hesitant but he assured me he knew what he was doing. He checked his phone for a returned message and within a few minutes of standing outside he told me to follow him. We walked up to the wall of a man that stood guard at the door. Joey looked at him with a grin and spoke two words that I couldn’t make out over the din of thumping bass lines that hammered away from inside. The bouncer gave a grunt and Joey held up two fingers. He gave a slow nod, turned and led us into the disco-nouveau tainted surroundings.

I was expecting to be led to a loud, strobe light infused booth for table service. But we were led past the roar, to the far wall, just out of sight of the rest of the rooms gyrating patrons. Our muscled escort slid away a small bit of wall to reveal a keypad. He punched in a series of numbers and the wall slid away to reveal an exposed brick stairway down into the basement of the building. My wariness melted away with each step down into the darkened passage along with the ruckus noise from the club above. The narrow, winding stairwell opened up into a small dim lit room filled with vintage furniture and a bar with a single bar tender providing each patron with a customized experience for a flat rate per drink.

The bouncer showed us to the only two seats left and we settled into the comfortable stools at the bar. The smoke tinged husky voice, bright green eyes, and red-haired bar matron welcomed us as she asked us what our pleasure was. I asked for a scotch, neat. She inquired as to my tastes and I gave her a tour of my list of favorites. She noted my flavor palette and I fully expected to be poured a Lagavulin or Oban, or something on my list. She waved off all of those and procured a clear bottle with a cornflower label adorned with gold lettering and decorations. What she poured was a generous two fingers of Oak Cross. It’s blonde coloring danced in my tumbler, inviting me to dip my toe in it’s waters.

One whiff and I was transported. The spice laden notes lit up my senses. Clove and cinnamon and burnt sugars laced the smells that wafted up to me. I anticipated a spiced cider experience but was rewarded with something completely different. I brought the glass to my lips and the buttery texture coated my taste buds with a soft caramel flavor that was overshadowed by the taste of leather and earth and the gentle hint of wood. A soft warmth chased the alcohol down as I swallowed and the smooth finish hung with me in just the right way.

It was partly due to the environment and partly due to the fact that Compass Box, the company that distills Oak Cross, really knows what they are doing when they craft the flavor of their liquors. Since that day, when given a choice, I tend to lean towards a bottle of Oak Cross whenever I have it in my sights. It always brings me back to that speakeasy and never disappoints my palette with its buttery delivery of complex but not overpowering flavors.

This review was provided without solicitation for Oak Cross Blended Malt Whiskey, by Compass Box Scotch Whiskey Maker. John Dover is the writer of Johnny Scotch and professional musician based out of Portland OR. For more writing from John Dover, visit, and



Johnny Scotch’s Top Shelf Reviews – Entry One: La Aroma De Havana Cigar Bar & Lounge

Maybe it was because I was in town but the usual bright sunny demeanor of Pismo Beach CA was absent during my short stay. It was replaced with a moist fog that blanketed the rolling terrain and concealed the soft roar of the oceans waves behind a curtain of mystery and awe. I was welcomed by the weather and felt at home in the cool mist of the day.

I was searching for a place to kill some hours while I waited for my next set on the road. I had already had my fill of trick or treaters that pandered to the boardwalk businesses luring them in with the promise of technicolor sugar. Just off the main drag I was coaxed into a corner bar that was close enough to walk to but out of the way of the munchkins making their rounds.

As I pushed into the entry way of La Aroma De Havana, I expected to walk into a dim lit, musty, smoke filled dive. To my delight, I was way off the mark. The high ceilings and industrial ventilation promised that even with the potential smoke of a cigar bar, you would not be choked by the oily vapors emanating from your neighbor. Soft leather chairs filled the room instead of the usual booths and tables of a typical bar. I cozied up to the copper bar and took the rest of the room in. Industrial but not cold. A wall of nice wines and a decent list of microbrews on tap winked at me.

The purveyor of La Aroma greeted me with a warm hand shake and a soft accent. His greeting was not desperate or pandering. It was sincere and welcoming. It made me want to stay for a while and become a part of the scenery. I ordered a pint, being only a little disappointed at the lack of scotch and made my way to the glass cage that held in the wide selection of cigars to round out the full offerings of this establishment.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with light conversation, the consumption of a few lubricating pints and the soft draw of an oily but smooth smoking Maduro. Jazz played over the speakers and sports occupied the other patrons who had also sought refuge in this hideaway away from the beach and the giggling kids outside.

I left with the appreciative knowledge that my next visit to Pismo Beach would have to include another escape from the tourist laden sidewalks to this haven of class, tucked away, but not hidden, from the main drag of this busy tourist town.

I stepped from the musk of fine tobacco, back out into the thick air of the fog that veiled my exit and chauffeured me back to my gig to play the night away with my crew.

This review was provided without solicitation for La Aroma De Havana Cigar Bar & Lounge, Pismo Beach CA. John Dover is the writer of Johnny Scotch and professional musician based out of Portland OR. For more writing from John Dover, visit, and

Johnny Scotch for Santa Rosa

JS Fundraiser

Many times it is not until we are face-to-face with the results of a disaster that we put ourselves into action to help others. I am not from the Santa Rosa area, but have many friends and colleagues who were affected by the recent devastating fires that wiped across the landscape with such blinding speed. Homes, businesses, and families were burnt to the ground and it is heart-wrenching.

With this disaster, as with many that have occurred in such short succession, I have felt helpless in its wake of destruction. I don’t have much, but what I have I want to use to help those in need as much as I can. That is why, until the end of November, I will be hosting a special sale on my site,, which will designate a major portion of proceeds from the sale of every Johnny Scotch comic or book to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Here is the breakdown:

Purchases of $5.00 – $15.00 (one to three comics), $2.00 per comic will be donated.
Purchases of $9.00 (a copy of Danger in Bass Clef), $4.00 will be donated.
Purchases of $20.00 (Johnny Scotch package of three comics and Danger in Bass Clef), $10.00 will be donated.

As I mentioned before, I don’t have much, that means that any puchases will have to still include a shipping fee. Sorry.

I realize, this is not the only way for you to donate and I encourage any and all of you to go the the site for the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, or any of the myriad organizations that are working to benefit this and other disasters around the world right now.

Since Facebook will only allow me to host this event for two weeks, I will keep updates flowing through my webpage and also do a big announcement on December 1st as to how much we were able to pull together with this informal drive. Please help by taking part in whatever way you can. Post, share, contribute and share again.


Website updates for Johnny Scotch…

Spent some time today updating my site with some fresh images and with new links. Images to promote Johnny Scotch #3 are there and there will be more to come for sure. I also collected links for some of the reviews and interviews for Johnny Scotch over the past couple of years. Great links from my friends at Hold 322, The Art of Business,, and Written Sins.

I hope you will take some time to take a tour of the site and see what is going on in the Johnny Scotch universe.


New Horror Anthology Now Available…

This has been an exciting year of releases. From Tales From the Braided Pony, to Danger in Bass Clef, to Johnny Scotch #3, I am very lucky to have my voice out in the literary world. This week I get to celebrate yet another one of my short stories getting published.


This is the second anthology released by Mark Green and his company. I am excited to offer my fun short story, “Special Delivery” as part of this collection, just in time to add this to your October reading list.


Johnny Scotch comic #3 is available

This was launched with not nearly enough pomp and circumstance let alone shouting into the void to at least keep our fans appraised that yes, Johnny Scotch #3 is printed, available and ready for your consumption.

Front Cover

“The life of a jazz musician is hard enough, but add in the antics of Lila and her goons tossing you into a trunk without warning and things get ultimately more complicated. Johnny not only has to think about missing his next set, but he has to confront a past that has come up to bite him.”

Our usual retail partners are already picking up the third issue so be on the look out for Johnny Scotch issues 1, 2, and 3 in your area. If you have a store that you want our books in, drop me a message and I will see what I can do to get these great comics into your area.

“Best. Date. Ever.” cover reveal…

Drum roll please…

A bad run in with a trunk leads to a bad dream where Johnny remembers the reason he ended up in the bar that fateful night when he met Lila…Front Cover

Written by John Dover
Artwork by Dan Schaefer
Colored by Jeremy Colwell

The evolution of Johnny Scotch…

It has been four years since my hard hitting, hard drinking alter ego was conceived. What a wild ride it has been so far. Since my start I have written and published two comic books, a short story and my first novella in the Johnny Scotch universe. Next week we are launching our third comic book in the series and I am so excited to share this beautiful book with everyone. Dan Schaefer, as always, has truly delivered the noir flavored goods with his artwork.

This morning I would like to share the covers from our previous books to go through the evolution of Johnny Scotch a bit. Let’s start with Dan and my first experiment, Finding Ella.

JOHNNYscotch_montage page

This cover had everything. We get our first look at our hero and the world he runs around in. We also get glimpses of some of the future characters that will soon play a big part in Johnny’s world. This was an exciting time for me because it was my first experience having my words translated into a visual medium. Dan and I just clicked and he really understood the pulpy jazz-noir character I was trying to get out onto the page.

Next up is the first fully illustrated comic we did.


Talk about smooth. This cover, which highlights Lila, tells you right away that this is going to be a thrill ride filled with plenty of dangerous curves. It was during the production of Lila that we decided to expand Lila’s role and push forward with an expanded story arc for her.

That led to Comic number 2, “A Song to Remember Charlie”.

johnny scotch 2 Cover

Things start to heat up for Johnny in this book and it went from being a tough guy story to a full on murder mystery with hints to Johnny’s recent past fumbles. The cover art also took a bit of a different turn with a real retro flavor with Dan’s water colors.

The interior art has always stayed consistent and beautiful. Dan’s blending of my words with his film noir aesthetic have helped make these books so fun to tear into. There is a visceral flow to each page that makes you want to keep turning them even when you have flipped the back cover closed.

johnny scotch 2016 interior pgs-082116_FINAL_FOR_PRINT

Next up was the launch of my first Johnny Scotch novella, “Danger in Bass Clef”.


When Dan and I talked about what I wanted for this, we settled on the dime store pulp novel feel. We get a cross between a spaghetti western and a seventies movie poster. In other words, pitch perfect.

In my next post I will reveal the much anticipated cover for our upcoming comic book. Please check back soon to see where this has brought us to date.

What have I been up to?

What a crazy couple of weeks. The launch of “Danger in Bass Clef” has been going very well. Happy to say that we have pushed out our first 50 physical copies. Not monster numbers but for doing this all on my own I am very happy. Not to mention that we have had great reviews so far. Just waiting for more people to jump on board as the book gains momentum.

So where is Johnny Scotch the comic book? On its way!!! Dan Schaefer and I are gearing up to reveal the book in a couple weeks at Salt Lake Comic Con. I am so proud for how this one has come together. The marriage between my words and Dan’s artwork is amazing. I can’t wait to share this beautiful book with all of you.

Mostly what I have been up to besides clamoring to get the new comic done and printed is a lot of blog writing. Once it is official when my stuff will hit I will make an announcement as to where you can go to see me tackle some entertainment writing. Very fun stuff.

Looking forward to getting back to work on my new book though. I have to admit, as much as I have enjoyed throwing out a ton of content for this new blog I am eager to get some pages flying and back into the swing of things on the new project.

Whats next? Work will start on the fourth Johnny Scotch comic book soon after Salt Lake. I plan to have a new book ready for release in the next four months (knock on wood), and I will continue to promote “Danger in Bass Clef”, “Tales From the Braided Pony”, and the comics ad nausium.