"Lord" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Markosia
Written and illustrated by Leonie O'Moore
2016, 104 Pages
Graphic novel released on December 11th, 2016
Aisling is a teenage girl in Ireland in 1974, experimenting with her sexuality. Since this isn't as widely accepted as it is today, she's made fun of, which leads her to lash out against her bullies. This gets her in even more trouble and ultimately sent away to a special school on a remote island in the hopes of straightening her out (no pun intended). What she finds is bizarre and creepy as this small community is clearly up to some dark arts. Aisling must struggle to escape before she's forced into a strange ritual.
Lord has a slow burn, with the terror slowly creeping in over time. Each page turn pushes it up a bit more. Much of this is due to writer / artist's Leonie O'Moore's artwork, especially the colors. Everything is vibrant and full of life in the beginning, like it's presented in glorious Technicolor. This works well with the setting of Lord, as it's a period piece. Things get progressively grimmer both in tone and in the story itself as the book continues, like a dark cloud begins to follow Aisling.
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You can tell from the moment Aisling arrives on this small island that this is an unusual place. There are only a few people living there, not counting the handful at the school itself. The institution is run with an iron fist by a strict nun named Sister Assumpta. There are glimmers of hope, like when Aisling meets a young local girl named Maeve. Maybe all of this is just a misunderstanding. I assure you, it's not. There is some darkness here.
I don't want to give away the ending or the lead up to the rituals involved, but suffice to say, there is some creepy stuff going on. Every time you think that this might be as disturbing as it could get, it takes another step down the rabbit hole to the point where you're gripping the book with white knuckles hoping and praying for Aisling's safety.
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It's easy to relate to Aisling. She's a teenager who is clearly not understood by anyone around her except her girlfriend. O'Moore designed her with an innocent look with blue eyes and freckles. She's a casual girl-next-door, however she's anything but defenseless. Aisling is a strong woman that is not scared to stand up to authority.
Lord reminds me a bit of Rosemary's Baby, where an unsuspecting innocent woman gets wrapped up in something evil. At first, you'd look at this book and think that it's a carefree tale of a teenage girl finding herself in the 1970s. Then you dig deeper and find all sorts of horror waiting at every turn.