This week sees the release of our pal Leonie O’Moore’s graphic novel Lord. Set in Ireland in 1972, a 13 year old girl named Aisling misbehaves one time too many and is sent to attend a strict summer school on a nearby island. There, she and the other girls in her class begin to suspect that the goings on in this isolated community, and the intentions of the fearsome Sister Assumpta, might not be what they seem.
Things slowly unravel and a dark and surprising turn makes this a fascinating study into the need by religious fundamentalists to ‘tame’ the youth. The descent into madness is mirrored by the art style and the use of colour. O’Moore’s use of thick black lines and watercolour washes are reminiscent of the storybooks I learned to read from in school in the 1980s, books from the early 1970s that had passed through the hands of hundreds of children and had the otherworldly feel of a generation just past. The storybook bright blue skies, bold green school uniforms and sunny yellow wallpaper of Aisling’s home give way to the white dresses and dark night skies of the second act. It’s a transition that is remarkably eerie and I felt like I was watching what happened to the kids who weren’t recruited to teach me what it was like to go to the doctor, the funfair, the beach and the park.
Lord is out now on Comixology. I highly recommend it to all (adult) fans of psychological horror.