Royal City. Vol. 1: Next of Kin

Image. Sept. 2017. 160p. ISBN 9781534302624. pap. $9.99. Rated: Mature. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarThis latest work from writer/artist Lemire (Essex County; Roughneck) is an engrossing human drama that tells the story of the Pike family in the titular city whose decline mirrors their own. Following the massive stroke of patriarch Peter, the clan attempts to come together after their paths diverged for more than two decades. Lemire ties the urban decay of the setting with the personal degeneration of each family member, weaving a tapestry of hard decisions and heartbreak. Yet despite their difficult times, they look to youngest son, Tommy, for hope, and it is through Tommy's different roles and what is desired of him by others that the author roots the moral heart of this series. Lemire's art style is uniquely original and evocative, granting an eerie elegance to the gripping plotline. It is impossible not to feel something genuine about the trials and tribulations of the Pikes and Royal City.
VERDICT A worthy selection for those interested in literary graphic fiction.
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