George Mayhew is a recent creation to spin out from the Tribute Press Patreon with Tony Esmond & Darrell Thorpe (aka Forpe) bringing their words and art game to the fore.
It tells the fairly brutal story of a lone figure that nestles in the sewers with his head firmly focused on the real obsession in his life – Amy. Outside of that he seems like a mindless monster that snaps into violent outbursts and strays into cannibalism to help keep him ticking over until he can see Amy again but the life of a sewer-dweller is far more grim than you might imagine.
His outbursts are total and relentless in their execution but when we see more of the back story around George there’s a definite switch in the readers attitude to someone we originally perceived to be a single-minded brute. Instead, there’s an ex-soldier behind George’s world weary eyes and the effects of PTSD linger long beyond his days on the battlefield or his days as a forgotten war hero. The build-up to the finale is just as brutal but with an accompanying sense of sadness to it and is things evolve it’s hard not to be moved by George, Amy and the cruel world that they find themselves in.
Tony’s writing on pretty much everything he does is unflinching and while some of his other stories have their own brutal & coarse direction, there’s no denying that they also tend to have a subtlety that reveals itself in some surprising ways. That was most evident in the likes of The Whore Chronicles and the same sentiment is echoed here as we warm to George after an explosive beginning but by the end, it’s a gut-punch to see things turn out they way they do. The art from Forpe is then a slick mix of darkness punctuated by touches of colour that capture the mood and hammer home the entire spectrum of emotions that are involved here as obsession, hurt, anger and everything in between is introduced to the pages George inhabits.
This ends up being a title with much more poignancy & power than you’d probably have expected at first but the contrast of brutality with beautiful takes this beyond just being another throwaway story of mindless violence in a world of mindless violence. Instead, both writer & artists are committed to creating a book with layers and with a message within those layers that reach beyond the panelled pages of a comic book…..and fuck me, they nail it.
You can also keep up to date with what else the creators & Tribute Press are working on through the links below: