Rather pleasingly, Haggarty and Brockbank’s Mezolith has returned with another collection of tales set in Stone Age Britain. The tales further expand on the beliefs and experiences of the Kansa tribe, and young Poika in particular as he prepares to leave boyhood behind.
This book, along with its predecessor, offers an incredible insight into the lives of our ancestors as they struggle for survival in an environment they know intimately but have little true understanding of. In turn this means they apply their own stories and anthropomorphic explanations to make sense of it all, and that mysticism and magic that then pervades their lives becomes infused in these stories. The result creates a slightly off-kilter form of storytelling that feels both close to nature and oddly disconnected from the real world.
Perhaps the most compelling example of this is the opening tale involving two sisters who are abducted by stars to become their lovers. Told during a gathering of tribes as a lesson to a group of gathered young woman it weaves myth and superstition with the expectations of those coming of age to create a cautionary tale. By seeing the world through the tribe’s eyes we can better understand how religion and legend took hold of the imaginations of early people.
The crowning glory of these wonderfully crafted tales is the outstanding artwork of Adam Brockbank who brings a beautiful realism to early Stone Age Britain, from the brutal hunts to the inter-tribal stresses, giving each and every character a distinct personality and every animal an intense realism that allows them to leap from the pages.
There are very few graphic novels out there that combines such imaginative storytelling with first-class art, so if you’re after something refreshingly different that won’t disappoint then this just has to be the book for you.
And if you liked that: If you’ve not checked it out yet, pick up Book 1!