I'm a long time fan of Myriad Editions graphic novels. They are my go-to suggestion whenever anyone asks me for an example of non-superhero graphic novels, and they publish such a great range, but the first Myriad graphic novel I think I ever read was Hannah Eaton's brilliant first book Naming Monsters, about a college student trying to deal with her emotions after the death of her mother. I have actually been waiting longer than I've been running Ninja Book Box for her follow up novel, Blackwood, and now it's finally here and I have to say a huge thank you to Myriad Editions for noticing my extensive squealing about it every time it popped up on social media, and sending me a copy to read!
Blackwood is the story of a town of the same name that is very immersed in its own tradition. The story is a murder mystery set between a series of events that happened in the town in the 1950s and eerily similar things that are happening in the town in the present day. It is a strange place where people keep a very specific set of traditions and there's definitely more going on than meets the eye. The story is built around one family, the Weston's, who were on the periphery of the original crime in the 50s, and who have more involvement than might be initially obvious in the present day goings on. Beginning with the wedding of the eldest Weston child, Becky, the story then follows her siblings, Caitlin and Mason, and their friends as they put together pieces of the past and discover more and more about what's actually going on in Blackwood.
The forest on the edge of Blackwood is, of course, where the majority of the mysterious events take place, and it's almost like a separate character, giving an air of sinister mystery to the book, filtering into the characters dreams, and hiding an abundance of wrongdoing. Blackwood asks some big questions about how people allow history to repeat itself, and how and where we draw the line with what's acceptable and what isn't. I love Hannah Eaton's artistic style and I think that her black and white pencil sketch aesthetic pairs so well with the atmosphere of the story she's telling, which I found really compelling and full of unexpected twists and turns. If you like a good mystery I'd really recommend getting yourself a copy of Blackwood.
Many thanks again to Myriad Editions for gifting me this copy of Blackwood.
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