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Rum Row #1 Review

Written by Andrew Maxwell

Art by Michele Bandini

Colours by Derek Dow

Lettered by Adam O. Pruett

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

The basis for this kick-started issue is that during the prohibition era, alcohol and rum runners used planes and blimps to avoid detection. There are some slight alterations and more advanced tech in this prohibition New York, but you get the ascetic that Maxwell and Bandini are going for, from just the title page which is portrayed as an old newspaper with headlines which set up the world of Rum Row.

Rum Row starts off by following Jack who is with his friends on the Duchess- a rum runner blimp/ speakeasy. Jack’s friend (Conrad) encourages him to drink and have fun trying to set him up with the waitress he had previously bumped into, which leads to the revelation that Jack and his friends are police trying to bust the owner of the Duchess. The story itself is fairly simple, but Maxwell fleshes it out with an intriguing world and characters which he transports the reader to without holding their hand.

The characters could be fleshed out more, but that is not the main aim of this issue (to showcase this world and a story within it) and I am sure will be done in further issues, as the characters are interesting enough for me to want to see them in further adventures. Furthermore, the characters provide great windows into the world with a sense of cat and mouse between the cops and the rum runners that gives a light and fun dynamic to the story.

Michele Bandini’s art and Derek Dow’s colours give great expressions to the characters and the world that portrays the setting in an animated style. Bandini gives even the background characters a personality and you can tell what they are thinking with my favourite being a couple in a hot air balloon and the man is feeling a little queasy. Dow’s colours evoke the fun atmosphere of a speakeasy and the prohibition era.

Verdict:

Check it out. The Kickstarter for the second and third issue is currently going on; this is a world/ comic that is definitely worth pledging at least three dollars to get the digital issues. Maxwell creates a funny and engaging alternate version of prohibition New York which paired with Bandini’s art is a real treat to read.

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