Print Written by Nigel Watson

This is literally a black and white descent into the strange world of corrupt espionage agencies, multiple realities/dimensions and a serving of Sir Roger Moore, Sir Ian McKellen, and Elvis (I kid you not).

Gorman’s graphic novel takes a nod at the labyrinthine world of The Prisoner, the trauma of what it’s like to be mentally manipulated as expressed in the Jason Bourne movies and the tenuous relationship between reality and mind as highlighted in the works of Philip K. Dick.

The style is gritty and realistic, plus it harks back to the savage days of punk and even references Frank Hampson (1918 - 1985) the creator of Dan Dare for no other reason than there is a blue plaque dedicating his memory two streets from a point of action in this story 

Secret agent John Marley is on a nightmare journey through the streets of Northern England, where nothing seems black and white (pardon the pun). Place and time shifts, he is locked up and tortured, he’s recruited into a team run by a part-human, part-cat, and two guinea pigs.

If you get confused (never?) there is a handy Q & A between Brian Gorman and his publisher SM Worsey, which tells us about his inspirations, how the story has evolved from a straightforward action film script over the last twenty years and it gives you a better understanding of the characters and how he created this work. As an example, Brian explains that the grumpy teddy bear in the story was found in a bargain bin in a charity shop.

Brian performs a great juggling act that throws up all manner of ideas and themes about our place in a multitude of borderline realities and unrealities. His hero, John Marley transverses these spaces, illuminating how consciousness and perception is a free-flowing entity that we have to negotiate to form our own identity and sense of place in the universe.

Profound, obscure, weird, confusing, humorous, and entertaining.


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