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The Black Project

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Selection Officielle   —Festival d’Angoulême2018

Longlisted   —British Comic Awards – Best Book2014

Winner   —First Graphic Novel Competition2012

Winner   —Broken Frontier Awards – Best Original Graphic Novel2013

From the winner of the inaugural Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition, here is a darkly funny story of obsession, beautifully crafted in embroidery and lino-cut.

Getting yourself a girlfriend is easy, according to Richard. All you need is papier mache, string, soft material, a balloon, some old fashioned  bellows, and a good pair of scissors. The difficult bit is keeping her secret.

Set in an English suburb in the early 1990s, The Black Project  by Gareth Brookes is the story of Richard’s all-consuming passion for creating ‘girls’ from household objects. But as his hobby begins to flourish, his real life friendships and family relationships deteriorate. Richard is an unreliable narrator, and the reader responds to his loneliness and his dogged attempt to find a companion, while being horrified by his warped creations. The novel’s focus is on the divide between childhood and adulthood; where sex, perversion, and the grotesque feature in their many forms.

Dylan Horrocks

Holy shit this book is amazing! One of the most powerful and distinctive graphic novels to come out in a long time. I can't recommend this strongly enough - but brace yourself. It may make your skin crawl.
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Ed Hillyer

Sublimely creepy... It feels authentic for the suburban setting, complete with spirit-crushing malaise, small joys and the lurking presence of circling, unseen terrors – a perfect, bland backdrop on which to examine the cruelty and banality of adolescence in full flame. The matter of fact delivery, through both word and image, works like a gift – not only in conveying moments of gruesome comedy, but also underplaying the inherent tragedy of frustrated feeling, still yet forming, barely understood.


The Black Project is a work of art… a masterpiece of comic timing and an extraordinary feat of imagination and creativity. I’m not surprised that it was the winner of the First Graphic Novel Competition.
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Joe Decie, Comics and Cola

I thought it was wonderful. Gareth has made his pictures with a mixture of embroidery and lino cut, they're elaborate and awkward and odd. And that's a good thing. Gareth has an amazing eye for detail. It's the little things that draw me in, draw me in and convince me it's a true story. You know a story is great when you want to believe it's real, and I do believe this is real. Also I'm a big fan of nostalgia, I lap it up, and this book is piled high with it.
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It’s Nice That

All 208 pages of this ominous tale are spectacular, mixing dark lino cuts with embroidery and hand-written text. Pack away the craft materials and get reading.
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The Black Project