Guest Writer: Bryan Parke
Writers-Justin Jordan, Nikki Ryan
Artist- Morgan Beem
This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
I snapped up the opportunity to review The Family Trade #3 on the basis of the wonderful cover; the bold red and black water colour art grabbed my attention and I knew I had to read this comic! The story that unfolds within the covers is told with a quirky unusual art style; something that matches this quirky, unusual tale.
Set against the backdrop of the island city known as The Float, our protagonist, the young Jessa is caught up amongst the schemes of the Clans and The Family. The poor girl finds herself betrayed by her uncle Christian, and then on the run as he accuses Jessa of betraying The Family.
Jessa is no one’s fool, and using a mix of steampunk devices and her Knowledge of The Float the street smart girl is soon carrying out a plan of her own. Will she succeed or fail?
As Jessa runs the streets and canals, the ruling elite of the Float have problems of their own as the powerful and corpulent Mr. Berghardt makes his intentions very clear.
The Family Trade #3 is a very enjoyable read; Jessa is a clever and likeable character, and the factions and politics of the Float are so intriguing and complex that I want to learn more. The art style is so different to the norm expected within a comic book that it took me a while to get used to it, but having completed the whole issue and on reflection, I really like it. Whilst it appears a touch naïve in place, the emotions of the characters are clearly expressed, and the colouring is used to great effect; notice the colouring of the panels featuring Mr. Berghardt – he is clearly the focus and commands the centre of the room he is in!
I’d like to know more about the cats which appear on various pages; Justin Jordan clearly loves cats as his page devoted to his Patreon indicates, but I’d love to know if they have more significance to the story.
“Talk of the Toms” and “Welcome to the Float” give us some more insight into the world in which The Family Trade is set. I found the setting reminiscent to the city of Camorr presented within The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I want to find out more about both Jessa and The Float, so I guess I’ll be reading future issues.
Thanks to Jordan, Ryan and the rest of the creative team for a cracking comic; roll on issue 4!