The Black Project

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More About This Title The Black Project


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 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. The much-awaited debut from the winner of the inaugural First Graphic Novel Competition,The Black Project is a darkly funny story of obsession, beautifully crafted in embroidery and lino-cut. The judges included Ian Rankin, Bryan Talbot, Hannah Berry, Steve Bell, and Ed Hillyer (ILYA).


Gareth Brookes is a fine artist and print maker. He studied fine art at the RCA, where he also took a creative writing course. He started making small press comics in 2006 and has since been self-publishing and working with small press groups such as Alternative Press and the Comix Reader.