The Shame Trilogy by Lovern Kindzierski and John Bolton (book review).

October 29, 2016 | By | Reply More

‘The Shame Trilogy’ is a fantasy graphic novel written by Lovern Kindzierski and art by John Bolton. Mother Virtue is an ugly old lady but full of goodness and everyone in the village likes her, especially the children, who she loves in return. Sadly, she has never had a child of her own. One night, she selfishly wishes for a child of her own and the words are overheard by Slur, a force of dark, dark evil who looks quite a lot like the alien in ‘Alien’. In a bad immaculate conception, Slur implants a life in Mother Virtue which will become a daughter named Shame and will mean trouble for the world.


Mother Virtue takes action to stop Shame after the child is born. She summons the nymphs and dryads of the forest to guard her, turns her home and the woods around it into a living prison then leaves. Shame is indeed powerful and even as a child can bend reality. She is cruel and gives the nymphs and dryads who were her playmates new distorted forms, including enormous breasts like Hugh Hefner’s playmates! The fact that the normal beautiful ladies have small bosoms and only the distorted ones have large may be a sly feminist comment by the artist on our peculiar plastic age or it may not. In general, there’s a lot of female nudity, continuing the fantasy tradition of soft porn that dates back to thirties ‘Weird Tales’ covers featuring ladies being whipped. Anyway, continuing with the story, ‘Shame’s father sends shadow beings to help her escape the prison and she plans an exquisite revenge on her mother.

That’s the plot for the first half of book one and I don’t want to give away any more. There’s a nice twist as book two begins. Suffice to say that it’s still a story about good versus evil and evil seems to be doing well, if that’s not a misuse of the word. Healers are burned as witches and Shame’s army is crushing all opposition. She hangs about her palace dressed a bit weirdly to show off her breasts and thighs. The use of sexual imagery, nubile young ladies beautifully drawn by John Bolton, is presumably meant to attract male readers. The use of women as the most powerful figures in the story should attract female readers. It’s only fair to warn potential purchasers that it all gets pretty dark at times and this isn’t one for the children.

All in all, it’s pretty good. John Bolton’s art is absolutely outstanding, every panel a thing of beauty and of pen and ink and watercolour. Even if you didn’t like the story you could buy this just for the art. The hardcover edition is gorgeously printed on lush paper and is magnificent just as an artefact. There are many splash pages you could cut out and frame and put on the walls. But please note that the story is entertaining, too. There are bonus features as well, a long interview in the back of the book with the artist and writer and the some character sketches and background on its creation. The graphic equivalent of extras on a DVD, I suppose.

A lovely book that may one day be a prized collectors’ item so snap it up quick if you like this sort of thing. I do.

Eamonn Murphy

October 2016

(pub: Renegade Arts Entertainment. 224 page graphic novel hardback. Price: $33.00 (US), £22.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-98782-504-6)

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Category: Comics, Fantasy, Illustration

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