In this section:
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GRAPHIC SCOTLAND 9TH ART AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE FIRST FICTIONS’ FIRST GRAPHIC NOVEL COMPETITION
It’s hard to believe this is a ‘first’ graphic novel, it’s such an accomplished work, both in terms of the narrative and its structural composition, but indeed also the art.
An adult Where the Wild Things Are, Naming Monsters is a warm, funny, intriguing and sexually explicit take on what happens when your emotions become personified by monsters, and how you learn to live with them.
Fran is a keen amateur cryptozoologist – an expert in the study of animals that may not exist – and she can’t quite tell if the animals she meets are real or part of her imagination. But one thing is for sure: monsters are all around us.
The year is 1993, and we join Fran on a wild ride around London while she negotiates its real or imagined menageries. Tales of strange creatures that might-have-been introduce each stage of her journey.
Fran’s adventure, often with her best friend Alex in tow, is a psychogeography of London and its suburbs – a picaresque graphic novel in which the grief of losing her mother is punctuated by encounters with her semi-estranged dad, her out-of-touch East London Nana, a selfish boyfriend, and the odd black dog or two.
A strange and haunting contemporary folk tale about how our inner demons can be battled against but seldom defeated. It will stay with you, incubus-like, long after you've finished it. Beware and enjoy.
Eaton has an astonishingly keen ear for dialogue, catching the particular rhythms and inflections of teenage banter with an ease one rarely sees in any form of fiction, let alone comics. Eaton’s idiosyncratic psychodrama is an absorbing mix of the quirky, the sinister, and the very human, and yet another perceptive publishing choice for the Myriad back catalogue.
Naming Monsters is a unique book, an obvious labour of love. It's intimate, poignant, sometimes very moving and often genuinely creepy.
Naming Monsters seems so inviting, so recognisable; peppered with sublimely rude humour, intertwined with folklore and still able to spring powerful emotional punches.
Beautifully drawn – a wonderful evocation of coming of age – unlike anything I've seen.
Another strong graphic novel from this young, emerging publisher, who seem to be making something of a thing for finding and publishing new authors with personal stories to tell... It’s a confident and assured debut graphic novel from Eaton, hugely enjoyable, very readable, the pace well-pitched, the characters lively and interesting. It’s very, very good…
I admire her ambition in attempting something so complex and seeing it through with such aplomb. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears.
Hannah Eaton interviewed by Jenni Murray on children and bereavement, in her role as learning mentor at a primary school
This is for anyone who loves folklore, or, indeed, anyone who was a teenager.
The illustrations are a joy to look at and each page reveals more of the powerful story as her (Fran) journey unfolds. This is a warm, moving book.
(Naming Monsters is) engaging with clever humour, musical insights and intellectual musings scattered throughout, providing a warmth to every page. It’s affecting, the emotional moments are given deeper resonance by the subtle method of how they are fed to the reader using folklore and familiarity. If “Monsters” in comics are as enjoyable as this then I’ll be reading in graveyards from now on!
Naming Monsters skilfully treads the perilous causeway separating mundanity from nightmare.
This is the first graphic novel I’ve read in years and it reminded me how much I enjoy them. A stunning and yet poignant look at life after the death of a loved one through the eyes of the young at heart.
A fascinating psychogeography of London and a paean to coming-of-age in 90s Britain. It’s well-crafted, and all the more impressive for being a début – hopefully there’s more where this came from.
paperback with flaps
176 pages • 170 x 220mm
Published 27 June 2013
Continuing a month of shows on horror and fantasy comics, Alex Fitch talks to Hannah Eaton about her folkloric graphic novel Naming Monsters. Originally broadcast Monday 21st October 2013, on Resonance 104.4 FM (London)
Hannah Eaton talks about the inspiration for Naming Monsters in The Argus supplement Seven Days.