Mezolith: The DFC Library brings the Stone-age back to life
Mezolith’s author Ben Haggarty has long had a singular aim – to revive the art of storytelling in the UK. And to this end, and with the help of illustrator Adam Brockbank, he has created the graphic novel Mezolith.
Set ten-thousand years ago, the Kansa tribe live on the western shores of the North Sea basin. Danger is never very far away and with each new season comes adventure. This is a tale of beasts and beauty, man and magic in which Poika, a boy on the verge of manhood, must play his part.
Haggarty is a self-confessed lover of Eastern Wonder tales and the Bronze Age and early Iron Age epics and he has poured all of these influences into the production of a captivating adventure that may age every bit as well as the tales that inspired it. Brockbank’s illustrations are rich and cinematic, providing a perfect match for the narrative and bring to life the primal world of pre-insular Britain.
Accessible for ages eight and up, younger readers will be enthralled by this collection of illustrated stories with The Swan Bride arguably the best of a great bunch. Informative as well as exciting, the tale is told through the eyes of a Stone-age boy, Poika, and the themes explored involve family, relationships and the hardships of life in Stone-age times.
Mezolith has a timeless feel and and it is pleasing to say that although there are undeniably educational aspects to the work it is mainly written with the intention of entertaining. It succeeds in this goal with ease. A wonderful graphic novel, highly recommended.
Ben Haggarty became a professional performance storyteller in 1981. He has performed all over the world, and has a working repertoire of over 350 tales for both adult and younger audiences. His repertoire includes ‘Gilgamesh’, numerous Irish Myths and the modern myth of ‘Frankenstein’. As a promoter and organiser of storytelling events, he organised the first International Storytelling Festival at Battersea Arts Centre in 1985, then two further festivals at Waterman Arts Centre in 1987 and at the South Bank Centre in 1989. He also co-founded the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, and was artistic co-director of this festival from 1993-2005. He established the Crick Crack Club in 1987, which provides events and workshops for adult audiences.His work has been featured on BBC Radio and Television, and in 2007 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Storytelling at Berlin’s University of the Arts (UDK). He is the British Council’s Literature Department Special Adviser in Storytelling.
Comics were Adam Brockbank’s first love, notably the black and white reprints of Silver age Marvel comics that he found on the shelves of his local newsagent. Adam spent seven years studying painting only to end up working in the film industry, first as a storyboard artist then later as a Concept artist. He has worked on many films including ‘X-men’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Tomb Raider’, but it is for his work on all of the ‘Harry Potter’ films that he is best known, designing creatures, props and vistas.