This isn’t just a graphic novel. From the very first chapter you get a sense of the weight and majesty of this piece. This is literature – English Literature. Drawing on the finest traditions of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, H. G. Wells, right back to Jonathan Swift and Shakespeare we have a satire that urges you to be alarmed by what you see around you.
Written in the 1988 reading this is like a literary time capsule. Although set in a dystopian future this can take you right back to the politically charged fervour of the eighties. But strangely enough it has proved deeply prophetic and is even more relevant to our modern apathetic, indoctrinated society than one could have imagined.
The art is truly unique. It is like one of those old black and white Laurel & Hardy films that has been artificially colourised. Imagine watercolours gone bad, or psychedelia filtered through Big Brother’s approved grey spectrum. It never departs from rigid straight edged panels three rows deep, even when it forces you to turn the book through ninety degrees at one point. Despite the tiny frames there is a lot of detail and an equal amount of creativity present. The central character’s look, styled after English terrorist Guy Faulks, has now entered global pop culture twenty years later.
This isn’t just a well-drawn thriller or political allegory. It stirs the entire barrel of the human condition dredging up discussions on authority, religion, existentialism, the nature of freedom, terrorism, revolution, gender, sexuality and more. This is truly a profound work that gives so much more than it asks of you. Not to be read lightly and certainly “never to be forgot!”
Double Thumbs Up!