My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s hard sometimes to review something which wholly and completely leaves you breathless. Mezolith is that something.
Part of the increasingly impressive DFC imprint, it’s a collection of several short stories delivered by the dynamic team of Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank. It’s a match made in heaven; Haggarty’s short, elegant and terse stories play against the rich restraint of Brockbank’s artwork to stunning effect.
Mezolith is scary, and it’s genuinely so. There’s an awareness of the form they’re working in, an adept handling of comic structures and pacing. The use of frames, splash pages, and pageturns is something quite superb in this book. It’s not one to be read late at night! There’s a tension in nearly every frame, a sort of balancing on the edge of this world and the next that’s quite something. Stories, back at the dawn of mankind, were stories that were borne from truth and it was a truth more immediate than anything we could maybe imagine nowadays. Things like Red Riding Hood, the old woman being a witch, or the wicked stepmother, they all have their basis in fact and the society of the time. This is something that Mezolith handles very, very well. It balances on the edge of stories, using young warrior Poika to explore the shadows that form the barrier of our world and the beginning of the next.
I can’t get over how impressive this is and it’s something quite unique. It’s bold, dark, and painted in shadowy, scary, earthen shades. I’d recommend giving it a read yourself beforehand as the impact of this book is substantial and, for the more imaginative soul, could prove quite genuinely scary. Just don’t let any of that put you off. This is stunning, stunning work and it’s a book that deserves a whole world of attention.