Royal City 3 Jeff Lemire | Review


Published on Jan 25, 2019


After you are finished with Descender – the epic sci-fi published by BAO Publishing, click HERE for our reviews – and continuing to push forward in an astonishing way the Black Hammer – also published by BAO, click HERE for our reviews – Jeff Lemire concludes what has been in recent years, his more intimate work that Royal City, with the third and final volume.

In the previous volume we had done a dive in the past, in 1993, to be precise, and we had finally met Tommy, the younger of the brothers Pike, who died in mysterious circumstances, and the real “bone of contention” for the family of Pike, dysfunctional family has gathered to rally around the breadwinner forced into a hospital bed.

The dip in the past we had not only made known to the introverted Tommy, but also all the rest of the family is viewed from an angle very different, less “neurotic” and filtered, especially by the look of the same Tommy who had highlighted the loneliness of each member of the family. The finiteness then, discovering perhaps being seriously ill, had opened Tommy, and with him the reader, a reflection on the background of an inadequacy of the grunge that had overwhelmed the positive, and the glitter of the ’80s, typical of the american province.

The second volume ended with the awakening of the patriarch of the Pike, the episode that opens this third volume and, indirectly, brings together all the members of the family, forcing them to face their demons.

The flashback about the death of Tommy dissolves in fact, in a present in which Tara and Richard are facing the problems of debt and dependency of the second, the parents Peter and Patti confess to each other “sins” which lasted for 25 years, i.e. since the death of Tommy and Patrick, her tests with his wife, confesses the true nature of the inspiration of her first and only book of success but also the real glue is the entrance in scene of the Olives, the grandson the origin of the spiazzerà all.

The comparison, on the strength of this new entry in the family away, maybe the ghost of Tommy but not his memory is always alive in the family, the Pike, which, however, seems to have found opening up to a new beginning.

Jeff Lemire ends his novel generation balancing perfectly the component magical-realistic jobs such as Welder Underwater with that intimate, of Essex County, and Loose Dogs in an ambitious work that, while being perfectly coherent, it would have deserved surely a few episodes to develop in a way more organic.

However, it is evident how at a certain point of the writing of this series the canadian author has definitely matured one that was the reflection behind the work itself.

If from the formal point of view, the idea of combining the novel of generations, the television series and that of the comics, find fulfillment in the consistency mentioned above, and in a final rather closed even by the standards of the narrative present of any form, on the other, the image of the factory that is to be overthrown, and the idea of “lightness” with which the protagonists can finally resume their lives mixes melancholy, but also a certain dose of positivity where the past helps to form but may not define ourselves.

And perhaps this is the real lesson with Royal City, Lemire gives the reader not before him some really devastating to see the player of Tommy taken from the Olives.

It is the perfect synthesis between the first two volumes of the graphic part where the line always recognizable Lemire adopts new solutions for boxes the most spacious and many splash-pages where to coloring, always watercolour, blends vibrant colors – the red and the green – grays are used to sequence and dreamlike flashback.

The book is the hardback has become the format preferred by BAO Publishing the works of Jeff Lemire, and which is characterized in addition to the excellent yield of the print and the impeccable translation of Leonardo Favia also for an excellent quality-price ratio.

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