The Wilds is a poetry comic for teen and adult readers, about loss. Struggling with the death of a parent, a teenage girl runs away from home and escapes into a fantastical Scottish wilderness. She encounters an otherworldly bear who teaches her to survive in the natural world, fight the darkness that stalks her, and process her grief. The story explores the idea of recovery through interaction with nature.
This graphic novel is based on a 13-poem series by Edinburgh-based author Russell Jones, illustrated in full colour by Scottish artist Aimee Lockwood. The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated lives and a lot of young people, and adults, are dealing with bereavement – we hope The Wilds will help them to realise that they aren’t alone.
The Wilds was created with backing from Creative Scotland and consultation from the Group for Young People at Child Bereavement UK.
Russell Jones was the UK’s first Pet Poet Laureate. He’s a multi award-winning writer who has published ten books (poetry and novels) and edited three writing anthologies. He has also published hundreds of poems and dozens of short stories. Russell has a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Edinburgh.
Aimee Lockwood is an illustrator and small press comic maker based in the far north of Scotland. She has self-published a number of zines including Devil Dogs, the story of the mythological beasts that haunt the UK, and Daydream, a young adult comic about a teenager whose wandering mind gets her into trouble. Aimee is currently studying towards a Masters in Education and is particularly interested in the ways that comics can support young peoples’ reading comprehension.
This is a tour de force of representational storytelling – standard page layouts morphing into and being encompassed by greater entities; lettering effects cropping up across landscapes with an Eisner-like quality; panels sitting on larger background images to signify both movement and the passage of time; and emotional states becoming constantly mirrored in the very fabric of the page.
– Broken Frontier