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If you only buy one graphic novel...,
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This review is from: DFC Library: Mezolith (Hardcover)
Mezolith is a brilliantly original story: a loving biography of the human race told at the personal level through one boy's eyes. And it captures the whole timeless marvel of humanity in that Poika, the hero, is simultaneously the latest of many generations of his people and at the same time a completely unique individual who is forming his own relationship with the universe, as we see in his charming connection with the bee that seems to become his particular totem, guide and rival.
Mezolith is the most important British graphic novel of the last twenty years. Personally I'm a huge fan of Watchmen, for example, but even a great comic like Watchmen or Sandman is only ever going to be understood by comics fans. The simple truth is that most comics leave most readers baffled, not only because they don't know how to read the medium but because the content doesn't engage them. That's not the case with Mezolith, which is a timeless, engaging and yet unsentimental tale that anybody and everybody can read and appreciate. It's not a book to put alongside Tintin, it's a book to put alongside Dickens. And by the way I'd better clarify that remark, which is not to deprecate Tintin (which, like Watchmen, I personally enjoy) but to emphasize how Mezolith manages to achieve the very rare feat, like Dickens, of combining literary worth, universal appeal and sheer entertainment value. It is most definitely not one of those self-consciously worthy graphic novels that tackle some "serious" intellectual or political subject in order to earn literary kudos. Its themes are serious and deep, but at the same time it is a hugely FUN read.
I should add, however, that in spite of having been published (in the UK anyway) as part of a series of comics for young children, Mezolith contains some daunting and powerful material that is far more suited for teenagers and adults. Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank have created a true masterpiece which is worth giving as a gift to any friend who appreciates the transformative power of great literature and who might have dismissed comics up till now as not being as valid a medium as any other.
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Initial post: 25 Dec 2011, 08:18:36 GMT
Poulsden Lacey says:
Ben Haggerty conducted a lot of research into Mesolithic myths and stories, so these are the opposite of original stories - perhaps some of the oldest that have ever existed.
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