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Review: Rivers

Rivers

The power of social media lies in creating an artifice. Everyone you know is somewhere on social media. They have Facebook , Instagram or Twitter, or even Tiktok. The original premise was to connect online with family and friends and that has morphed into creating whole new realities.

One of the original platforms, Myspace, sought to connect with people across the World Wide Web. Now those platforms are used for commerce more so than connection. It makes you wonder if anything real. In David Gaffney and Dan Berry’s Rivers, through the power of technology three strangers connect through, dreams.

We’re taken to 1992, in the north of England, where two boys are enjoying their favorite comic, The Ghoulor Hunters, which is where we meet Gideon, fast forward to present day, and he is a game developer, whose work is primarily solitary but he has a work friend in Lisa, whom he confides in. Then there’s Heidi, who has not left her home in days or weeks, as she works from home and hadn’t found a reason to leave, as much of her trauma, is tied to her relationship with her father. Then there’s Peter, who delivers classic cars all throughout England, but despite that, his life is mostly mundane. Everything changes for these three strangers as they use the Dreamr app, and realize that they are dreaming about each other. As a chance meeting between Gideon and Heidi, leaves both befuddled, wondering is this all crazy coincidence or kismet, as Gideon reveals he has found Heidi’s father who disappeared from her life 20 something years ago. By the graphic novel’s end, Gideon confesses his love for Lisa and the reader finds out Peter is Heidi’s father, giving them the reunion they have both longed for.

Overall, Rivers is a story that melds science fiction and slice of life into a beautiful tale. The story by Gaffney is heartfelt and relatable. The art by Berry is gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent story that understands the need for human connection.

Story: David Gaffney Art: Dan Berry
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Rivers

Rivers

(W) David Gaffney (A/CA) Dan Berry
In Shops: Sep 22, 2021
SRP: $19.99

Three ordinary weirdos, one recurring dream. The acclaimed minds behind The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head return with a whimsical and ambitious portrait of human connection in the age of digital fragmentation.

You meet the strangest people on the internet.

Gideon is a lonely I.T. developer, obsessed by a comic book from childhood called Revenge of the Ghoulors, and secretly in love with his co-worker Lisa. Heidi works at home in her pyjamas, makes a lot of soup, and wishes she had time for friends. Peter is a 56-year-old divorcee who delivers classic cars, has a built-in toaster, and thinks a lot about the past.

These three people seem unconnected, yet they share something-they each have the same recurring dream. And when a new web service is introduced that helps people share their dreams, what will happen when the three of them find out about each other? Just what is it that links these three lonely souls?

Nimbly weaving together multiple storylines (including extracts from Gideon’s comic book, Revenge of the Ghoulors), Dan Berry and David Gaffney present Rivers: a quirky examination of how events from the past can bind people together forever, and a surprising reunion between people who’ve never met.

Rivers

Preview: The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head

The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head

David Gaffney (w) • Dan Berry (a & c)

British comedy blended with universal regret, this darkly funny graphic novel uses surreal and beautiful visions to explore the ways we remain haunted by our ex-lovers. Valerie has a rich interior life. Though serially unlucky in love, she finds comfort in imagining that her ex-boyfriends are dead and that their bodies are kept downstairs in the cellar in a strange, mummified state. Every day she brings them upstairs and speaks with them about what went wrong.

What follows is a series of peculiar and funny—and sometimes disturbing—short tales about inept lovers, weird obsessions, and socially malfunctioning men who repeatedly fail to build a relationship with poor Valerie. Except for Stanley. Stanley was special. Could he be the one to save her?

HC • FC • $19.99 • 120 pages • 9.5”x6.5” • ISBN: 978-1-60309-415-3

Almost American