Print this page

‘Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams and Nightmares Vol. 1’ – Hardcover Review

Somewhere between Joseph Campbell and Lone Wolf and Cub, Ben Haggarty and Adam Broadbank’s inspired world of folklore, fairytales, and myth comes to life with a feverish clarity. Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams and Nightmares is like stepping into a world fueled with significance, the power of stories that have been passed down over the ages brought to life with that almost otherworldly feel of ancient cave paintings.

In the first volume, we follow a tribe called the Uljas through the eyes of a boy named Poika. Like with Lone Wolf and Cub, we experience this culture, the realities, and the stories through his eyes. We hear of their gods and demons, we learn of their supernatural and, most importantly, how human they remain. We see their culture in action, their reverence for all things. You can feel the beginning of storytelling in these tales, where love stories began, where horror stories took root. I get chills entering into the minds of other cultures, looking into their histories.

Ben Haggarty is a performance storyteller. His bio describes him as a “walking library of over 350 stories” and was a narrative consultant for Jim Henson’s Storyteller series. The tales he weaves together here, from issue to issue, like building blocks expanding on this world piece by piece until we see a fully fledged coming-of-age story. The myths themselves are rich and full of life and color.

Adam Broadbank was a concept artist on all eight Harry Potter films, and his work here is nothing short of breathtaking: haunting and beautiful. The rhythm of images and panels is the work of a true visual storyteller.

I can’t recommend this book enough for all ages, for lovers of fantasy, history, mythology, and stories.