The Tale of Brin & Bent And Minno Marylebone is a fascinating, unique story that will stay with you long after you reach the last page. I promise.
It’s described by it’s author, Ravi Thornton, as “a metaphor for the strange rationalisations that a damaged mind makes in order to survive a great pain” and I think that statement is 100% relatable to anyone who’s dealt with loss – whether that be loss of life, or (in my case), loss of oneself.
I was recommended this book in August 2012 by Page 45, my favourite local comic book shop, after I approached them looking for something ‘dark and macabre’ – they emailed me a link to The Tale of Brin & Bent And Minno Marylebone followed by these words: “we just got this in. Not even had a chance to read it yet but good Lord, does it look messed up.” Naturally, I was intrigued.
In retrospect, it’s not that messed up. Not any more messed up than you or I, anyway. Don’t let the initial grim, darkness fool you; towards the end, there is much light, and it reminds us all of the fact that triumph sometimes must come from tragedy. This tale is about any and all of us.
Without giving too much away, it’s a love story; two broken individuals who emerge from the shadows of their depravity because of the purity and innocence of a child. A child who sees beauty in ugliness, love in acts of hatred, darkness in light, and humanity in Brin and Bent. A child like no other: Minno Marylebone.
I adored this story unreservedly. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read; fascinating and unique, oddly comforting, almost painful. Like the unravelling of bandaged wounds that show healing – but with the distant, dull ache still there. Nostalgic. Bittersweet. Something you’ve forgiven but can never forget.
Ravi Thornton’s stunning, thought-evoking writing is brought to life by Andy Hixon‘s distorted, haunting illustration – and the combination of both will leave you entranced and captivated, eagerly anticipating the next page. All in all, it’s a powerful collaboration and – as Ravi’s first graphic novel – a divine introduction and contribution to the world of comics.
I can’t recommend it enough.