Billy Gohl is a construct, an elaborate cipher to show us the horror of the human condition. He's a brute and a bully and a malcontent and a man struggling to get by. He's a fiction, a lie. He inhabits a hundred tall tales, all more treacherous, treasonous and unbelievable than the last. He's a union delegate in a small port city in Washington at the turn of the century, well last century anyway. He could kick your teeth down your throat and not think twice or he could buy you a drink and call you his friend. There's no telling with a character like Billy Gohl.
Except Billy Gohl wasn't always a fiction. There was a real man named Gohl that wandered into Gray's Harbor, Washington in 1900 and found fortune and death there. In my studies of the man I've encountered numerous tales of his bloodthirst and malfeseance. I've also come to realize that there can be no knowing the truth of Billy Gohl. His story, his truth, is lost to the quicksand of the past and only the tales remain intact. Tattered news reports from a time when yellow journalism was still new and exciting.
A court case, betrayal, murder, conspiracy, these things all await the person who stumbles upon tales of Billy Gohl, The ghoul of Gray's Harbor. These stories can enthrall but there is a call for pause, who was this man Gohl? what was the real reason for his untimely demise?
This comic story is based on some historical accounts and many of the characters were actual human beings that lived and breathed and dreamt but this comic strip should be considered a fiction for all accounts and purposes.
-Elijah J. Brubaker