In Preview: ‘Hilda and the Stone Forest’ by Luke Pearson

Hilda and the Stone Forest

Created by Luke Pearson
80 pages.  300 x 215 mm  Hardback in Full Colour £12.95

The Story: Hilda is hardly at home any more, seeking days filled with excitement, and her mother can’t help but worry.  While trying to stop Hilda from sneaking out and into the house spirits’ realm, the pair find themselves flung far away into a mysterious, dark forest – the land of the trolls! Will they be able to work out their differences in time to rescue each other and get back home? And are the trolls all as sinister as they seem?

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The Preview: Hilda is a big deal in so many ways. Flying Eye Books and their parent company NoBrow Press have been putting out Luke Pearson’s excellent series for a few years now and it was superb news to hear that they have struck a deal with Netflix for an animated series in 2018. I was delighted to get the chance to read the newest addition to the series, Hilda and The Stone Forest prior to its release on the 1st September 2016.

The Hilda series is at every turn a goldmine of imaginative and gorgeous looking storytelling. It’s so evocative, to this long in the tooth reader, of all those memorable books and cartoons of my youth. But mix in with that a little modern quota of lumbering monsters and dangerous situations.  It proves that you can have a little edge, a little adventure and gags galore in a kids book (that puts a smile on this adult’s face too).

“You’re really going to the park? You’re not……messing around with any giant creatures.”

Hilda is the epitome of what young girls and boys look up to. She’s plucky, single-minded, funny, adventurous, mischievous, curious, melodramatic and full of energy. I’ve been handing out copies to friends for their kids. Each and every one of them has loved them and asked where they can get more. Both children and adults are drawn to this adventure series and it is great to see it such a success.

Hilda and the Stone Forest - Pages 2 - 3

Everything happens in this book – absolutely everything. We get the stories of failed picnics and family chats at the dinner table all the way up to disappearing through a mystical wall and getting captured by giant stone trolls. As a father, I know the advantages of something so detailed and fun (‘cough’ especially on long car journeys when this father in question might have a teeny hangover? ‘cough’). All joking aside, this is a series that is always a joy to read. A comic that will consume your child’s attention for panel after panel, hour after hour.

Luke has such a great grasp of the language and communicates so much in each page. He manages frenetic action and motion in the big action sequences as well as the smaller interpersonal moments with huge amounts of skill. It is the eye to design that makes this a particular gem. Monsters that are unlike anything else you will see and panels are full of detail and little extra jokes play about sensationally on each page. The creator builds tension as the book carries through and adds a little twist that will have you picking the phone up to ask for more – but only after you have finished your tea.

The Stone Forest is the best so far in an already excellent series. It is also, at just £12.95, an absolute bargain.

I think I’ll read it just one more time before I hand it over…

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• Find more out about Hilda and her adventures as well as loads of other great books at the NoBrow Siteor follow them on Twitter here

• Luke Pearson is proving himself to be a national treasure. Find out more about him and marvel at some more examples of his art over at his website here and follow him on Twitter here.

Many thanks for reading.

Categories: British Comics, Comic Previews, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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