Bow School

Something Different For Year 9


Graphic novelist and storyteller BEN HAGGARTY visited Bow to talk to Year 9 about his first graphic novel ‘MEZOLITH’.                                                                                                                                                 Several of the students had had the opportunity to read the book in the library before the visit but even this did not prepare them for Ben’s stories on the day!

 Ben’s theme was the relationship between ‘text’, the spoken and written word and ‘images’, the pictures those words can produce.                                                                                                                                                     To illustrate this he started by telling two stories to get our imaginations working to provide the images in our heads for the words he was using.                                                                                                                                     This worked very well, especially as the stories were both quite graphically gruesome and so delighted the students, although the teachers were a little less keen!

So, after talking about sharing eyeballs and sawing off frozen feet, Ben moved on to talk about how he worked with top film concept artist and illustrator, Adam Brockbank to get the images for MEZOLITH out from his head onto the page.  Ben read us some of the instructions he had given the graphic artist and showed, on screen, some of the images he had produced. He also talked about the issues involved in collaborating with someone with very different skills to his own.

In doing so he explained that the book was a story about stories. It is set in stone age Britain and tells the story of a young boy living in a tribe and listening, as he grows up, to the stories his elders tell.                                                 He also explained why the front cover image had to be changed for different countries. 

Unfortunately this visit could only be a short session and all too soon it was over. However there was just time at the end for Ben to present a free copy of MEZOLITH to those students who had been nominated by their English teacher.