Top British comics creator Gareth Brookes is hosting a launch party for his new graphic novel A Thousand Coloured Castles, published by Myriad Editions, at Gosh! Comics in London later this week – and everyone’s invited.
This book is, simply, genius. Disturbing and unsettling to read, but a great story, it’s well deserving of the kudos it has already earned and I have no hesitation in recommending it. Told throughout using crayons to give an “astonishing, unsettling and strange” effect, I have to agree with the team at Gosh that this is one of 2017’s “must reads” – if you enjoyed Gareth’s The Black Project, released back in 2013, then you’ll already know in part, what to expect.
In this extraordinary graphic novel, Myriam is a woman who sees things a little differently from other people. Strange figures in garish costumes accompany her to the post office, wild exotic plants sprout from supermarket shelves and phantom walls rise up to block her path. Her husband Fred doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Whenever he looks there’s nothing there, and besides it’s no excuse for his breakfast not being ready on time.
But when Myriam sees a young boy shut up in the house next door, who is apparently being held captive, she is determined to investigate, much to her husband’s fury. Soon he brings in reinforcements – their daughter, Clare – who is concerned about her mother’s state of mind, and the state of her inheritance. Myriam’s only ally is her four-year-old grandson, Jack, who is more than happy to see things her way.
In A Thousand Coloured Castles, the sleepy suburbs of southern England melts into a world of hallucination, taking the reader through the doors of perception into a life where the surreal co-exists with the banal. With his customary wit and unique artistic approach, Brookes conjures both sympathy and despair for his characters trapped by the routine of daily life. If only they could just see…
With a great ear for dialogue and strong characterisation, alongside art that’s for me, the visual equivalent of running fingernails across a chalkboard, I was throughly captured by this suburban nightmare. Seek and buy!
• A Thousand Coloured Castles Book Launch 7 – 9.00pm Thursday 20th April 7-9pm Gosh! Comics London W1F 0DR, I will be there with my publishers Myriad Editions, signing books and perhaps doing little doodles in them too. More information on the GOSH! Events page
• Gareth Brookes is online at www.gbrookes.com