Writer: Greg Anderson-Elysée
Artist: Massimiliano Veltri
Colorist: Marco Pagnotta
Letterers: Micah Myers, Marco Della Verde
Editor: Marcel Dupree
Publisher: SFC Comics
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of mystery. A dimension of monsters. You’ve just passed into the realm of The Gentleman. Meet Oliver Solomon, a private eye with a secret. That secret? His body is the key to another dimension, one filled with horrors that are trying to control him. However, his connection to the Void provides him with certain abilities, but using them has a cost. Oliver is getting by, using his powers sparingly, until his ex-boyfriend and a strange woman hire him for a case.
I really like what Greg Anderson-Elysée has crafted here. We have a man with otherworldly abilities, Lovecraftian monsters, and a case that brings a love interest or two into his life like a classic noir mystery. Plus, Anderson-Elysée just treats Oliver’s relationships as no big deal. In fact, his polyamorous relationships and his relationship with his father are used just like any other plot device. They allow a closer look at the main character, reveal the mystery of his past, and leave the reader invested.
Massimiliano Veltri’s art sells the fact that this is a world that borders on the supernatural. The Gentleman truly is a cosmic horror comic, thanks to the dark inks and heavy shadows. The smoky manifestations and tentacled monsters help a little too, I guess. I felt at times that Veltri could have better organized the panel layouts. I found the panels easy enough to follow thanks in part to the lettering by Micah Myers and Marco Della Verde. However, I still struggled to understand how the environment in the world of The Gentleman was laid out.
If Veltri’s art fails to convince you of the dark tone of the book, Marco Pagnotta’s colors will definitely seal the deal. There are very muted colors throughout Issues 1 and 2 except for when Oliver uses his abilities, which are represented by a fluorescent blue. I especially like how Pagnotta uses a more watercolor style in the second issue. The watercolors give it this feeling that the border between the natural and supernatural worlds is fluid.
A horror story that would give even Cthulu a run for his money, The Gentleman is a great example of comics representation, with well-written black characters, a positive portrayal of poly and bisexuality, a healthy example of masculinity, plus a strong relationship with a father figure. Whatever your pleasure is, there are three solid reasons to pick this comic up: 1. Great Lovecraftian horror story, 2. Incredible artwork, 3. Supporting independent creators and stories.
The Gentleman #1 is available to purchase here. The Gentleman #2 is in the process of fulfilling Kickstarter orders.