Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers

By John Harris Dunning

Illustrated by Nikhil Singh

A sumptuous and rich gothic fantasy following the adventure of Salem Brownstone as he falls into a strange and magical world after the death of his father.

As he twists the key and slowly creeps into the grand gothic mansion left to him in his father’s will, Salem’s life takes a decidedly unusual turn. Aside from the money and house, his father’s secret legacy includes an unfinished battle with creatures from a world beyond ours. Immediately thrown into the sinister conflict, Salem must make contact with his guardian familiar and get help from the colourful performers of Dr Kinoshita’s Circus of Unearthly Delights, if he is to ward off the evil spirits and avoid the tragic fate of his father.

Categories: Graphic Novel

For readers aged: 9+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406331769
  • Published: 02 Jun 2011
  • Price: £9.99
  • Size: 290 x 215 mm
  • Pages: 96

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Customer reviews


'A wonderfully imaginative and stylish piece of work and a perfect example of the adventurous new directions that comic books should be taking in the future.'

'John Dunning and Nikhil Singh have crafted a haunting, hypnotising master of the mystic arts in Salem Brownstone. Their sharp, surprising storytelling and intense, imaginative illustration combine to create real magic on the page.'

'Salem Brownstone is a hypnotically beautiful gothic fantasy'

'Salem Brownstone kicked my ass and made me believe in the beautiful darkness of the world again.'

'Salem Brownstone is a graphic novel that is both original and compelling. There's a seamless relationship between the images and the text, and the characters linger in the mind.'

'Our new century demands a new charismatic comic-book magician to weave his spells on us. Updating classic conjurors like Mandrake and Doctor Strange with a twist of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, John Dunning and Nikhil Singh have crafted a haunting, hypnotising master of the mystic arts in Salem Brownstone. Their sharp, surprising storytelling and intense, imaginative illustration combine to create real magic on the page.'

'So thrilling are Salem's adventures, you are torn between galloping through the fluidly told story and lingering on Singh's lovingly languid panels writhing with bizarre, Lovecraft-inspired demons… Rarely has a comic book felt so sensual; your eyes demand time to caress each swirling curl and line…. I for one wish for another Salem Brownstone book' The Metro

'An extraordinary-looking Gothic graphic novel, with a plot to match' The Sunday Express

'Delightfully intricate, trippy and surreal' The Financial Times

'A beautiful-looking graphic novel... The artwork is gorgeous; intricate and stylised, with flowing Art Nouveau lines reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha' SFX Magazine

'A stylish and cult-forming graphic novel which blends gothic with psychedelia in a gripping tale' The Bookseller

'Deliciously strange and wonderful' Forbidden Planet

'An extraordinary, sexy, obsessive, decadent thing of wonder' The New Statesman

'Inside you will find beautifully defined graphic images that marry up with the text extraordinarily well… If this is the future of graphic novels then we are headed towards exciting times indeed.' Devolution Magazine

'A tactile and visual joy; an artefact that makes you happy just to hold it in your hands.'' The Guardian Review

'If it doesn’t become an instant cult classic then the goths of this world are losing their usually impeccable taste.' The Sunday Herald

'Eye-catchingly beautiful book' School Librarian Journal

'Who would have thought that a children’s book publisher like Walker would get behind such a creepy, quirky, freaky tale of a teen-magician..' Paul Gravett

'Weird and wonderful' Carousel

'A beautiful, strange book, and one that would make anyone glad to have read it' Inis

'The artwork is just sublime. With a minimalist pen-and-ink style, Singh gives us echoes of Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Gorey and Henry Crumb all in one. Apparently it took seven years to draw, in all its tortuous crinkles and loops, the monkey arms coiling, the city candles flickering, the wrinkles crawling up the circus-master’s face.' Leaf Pile blog

' is a book both exotic and exquisite, a delight to the eye and a call to the imagination. The characters are edgy and stylish, drawing on traditions as diverse as film noir and Seventies rock. It holds within its pages the mysteries of a zoological museum, what one might call an eyeballs-in-formaldehyde charm, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's explorations of the disturbing and grotesque. It will speak to those among us who, as small children, liked to turn over stones in the garden and watch the scurrying beasties that lurked beneath. The visual appeal of the book is striking. Singh's confident line drawings conjure vertiginous angles and complexity, contrasting the sharp clarity of faces against a backdrop of extraordinary detail. The alchemy of Dunning's imaginative storytelling and Singh's illustrations make Salem Brownstone a book to explore at leisure.' The Independent

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