Everyman is written by Manchester-based playwright and artist Brian Gorman, and based upon his play of the same name. Having caught the play a few years back I was impressed, but I must admit to scepticism when I heard of its transition to graphic novel. I need not have been concerned. If anything, Everyman adds more weave to the tapestry that was the enigmatic persona of Patrick McGoohan.
It is obvious from the first page that Gorman is a massive fan of the man and his works, and this attention to detail is evident within the superb dialogue, and the moody, atmospheric style of the artwork. The art is striking, vivid, and engrossing, with panel after panel of shadowy and iconic motifs carrying us forward on a journey through the great man’s life. As a biography it’s second to none, which is no mean feat as McGoohan himself was as shadowy and enigmatic as the panels that seek to tell us his story. It’s the sort of overview that one can imagine McGoohan would have approved of. Instead of glamorising, and over sensationalising, Everyman merely allows the great man himself to wistfully reflect on an extraordinary life born of strict Catholicism, and a constantly uprooted childhood. Even if you already know this stuff, it is presented in such an invigorating manner that it manages to pull all of the strands of his life together into what feels like THE definitive story of Patrick McGoohan.
For most of us the story of McGoohan’s life is also important as a lead in to the creation of The Prisoner. This is where Everyman excels managing to explain how his life and experiences were almost certain to lead to the creation of something outlandish. The creation of The Prisoner comes across as almost inevitable. Everyman does a superb job of conveying how the coming together of this extraordinary man, and ITC mogul, Lew Grade, was a seismic convergence that allowed McGoohan finally off the leash.
Any shortcomings are few and far between. It would have been nice to have some insight into the period of his forced exile after the final episode of The Prisoner caused such a public backlash. Also the high standard of art can be slightly variable at times with the odd panel standing out as a little less refined. These, however, as minor quibbles. Everyman is an essential piece of insight into one of the most iconic actors of the twentieth century. For any fan of The Prisoner this is literally a must have item.
EVERYMAN - THE STORY OF PATRICK MCGOOHAN - THE PRISONER / AUTHOR & ARTIST: BRIAN GORMAN / PUBLISHER: FBS PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW