Gore, a Graphic Novel
Written by Verity Holloway
Art by Ivo de Jager
Black Panel Press
Review by Roy Peak
Beryl Gore, a lonely orphan in Victorian London, dreams of being more than just a stagehand at the Palace Theatre. Every night she walks through the dirty streets, past slaughterhouses and filth, to get to the Palace, where, enamored of the stories she watches unfold every night, she writes her own plays. She tries to get Mr. Perry, the theatre owner, to read them, but he always refuses. We see Beryl, and the theatre itself, age as the story progresses through the years, Beryl becoming older, the theatre losing it's luster and it's audience. When Beryl finds out the theatre is in trouble, will her newly written play be just the thing it needs?
We see a lot of the story through Beryl's eyes, de Jager's art bringing Beryl's thoughts to the surface wonderfully through emotive facial expressions. Holloway's story is simple, yet powerful, utilizing a less is more approach works well to bring Beryl's story to life.
I'm a big fan of black and white art and de Jager does a great job with clean line work and details such as fish in the river, the aging of Beryl gracefully through the story, and the playbills that go with the differing plays presented in the story. I really enjoyed the art as well as the story, they’re a great match for one another. Holloway's story is full of whimsy and sadness, a heartfelt, melancholic story of perseverance and hope.
Click this link to see more and purchase: https://www.blackpanelpress.com/en/product/gore/
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville. Roy writes music reviews for the Rocking Magpie among others. Check him out on bandcamp.com