REVIEW: Chum #2 (of 3)

Chum is shark bait, normally made up of unwanted or useless fish parts.  In this second issue from ComixTribe, it is becoming clear who amongst the select few of Kingsford is the shark and who is the bait.

Summer is caught in a following sea of her own actions, driven forward by her own desires.  As always, the plans of mice and men (and women) requires a certain amount of ad lib, especially when the man Summer had killed last issue turns out to be an undercover cop.  Now the various sharks, Penny and her ex-husband Standard are circling. But is Summer necessarily chum?

Co-creator Ryan K. Lindsay continues to impress with an issue that focuses on the ramifications of last issues actions, with a number of characters looking to find out what happened and by whom.  On top of that, with Summer still walking a fine line between keeping a man sweet on her and promising too much, there are violent endings for more than a couple of characters.  The gumshoe style of monologue gives the book its edge.  Indeed, the island always feels like a dirty, hot, sweaty place, that will only become clean after a good storm, knowing all the while, that it will only be a matter of time till it reverts to its seemingly natural state of  decaying lives.  Dialogue is at a minimum, which fuels the idea that the environment is as much a part of the story as the characters themselves. The book also has a couple of twists which I have to admit, I didn’t see coming.  Kudos Mr Lindsay.

Co-creator, Sami Kivela’s artwork is still impressing.  With the twist and turns in this issue, Kivela has a number of violent action scenes, set up scenes amongst others to cater for. Each element allows Kivela to show his flexibility.  Even the more amorous scenes are done well, fitting into the story naturally, even if it’s little too real in places.  The style of the book doesn’t demand a great deal of dynamism from the art, but still, the art should move the characters forward.  At times, Kivela’s figure work  can seem a tad wooden, but this is a minor gripe which doesn’t detract from the flow of the story.  I have mentioned how the island has that sticky, uncomfortable feel.  This is mainly due to the languid, steamy colors from Mark Dale.

This book is one of the books I look forward to reading every month.  True, crime noir isn’t anything new and true, this book doesn’t add anything  particularly to the crime noir genre.  However, Lindsay and Kivela are aware of that and seem to have set their sights on creating characters that readers will come to care about.  The fact this is being done in a three issue series shows the strength of their characters and of the pairing’s immense story telling skills.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

(W) Ryan Lindsay (A) Sami Kivela (CA) Sami Kivela, Joe Mulvey
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