David Lumsden has just hit us with the third volume of his Boat creation and after becoming a reality in its own short film followed by a phenomenal opening couple of issues – there was a lot of hope that the same trend would continue as the story grew.
While Volume 1 introduced a grim, claustrophobic world for Charlie & his Dad to survive in as they search for land & food from the confines of the titular boat, the second volume expanded that into a much more dangerous place than was hinted at in the opener. That change from slow burning, bleak world to a more hectic one matched the artist change and in the third outing we pick up with Charlie facing his judgement as an outsider by the residents of No Land.
His own situation is precarious enough but with the third volume offering more pages there’s even more chance for David to introduce additional depth to the whole world. Coverage for each of the group of survivors see’s additional plots get their chance in the limelight with power struggles, revenge & edge-of-the-seat action all playing out as the issue progresses and with David getting the pacing just right he manages to build the characterization to support it.
The mystery of The Well plays a big part in this issue too and the No Land residents blindly following their leader as they choose not to question his methods means the risks come thick and fast. As each of the plot-lines begin to converge on a single point there’s just enough revelation in among them to end up with moments of “WTF?” or “F$%& Yeah!” for the reader.
Marc Olivent’s art takes another leap as slick layouts and glorious detail adds to the same level of awe being built in the story itself. Kudos to Andrei Staruiala for keeping the lettering tight and letting the art shine and to Amir Zand for that eye-catching cover too. Combining all of that we end up with a release that’s far more mainstream & polished than some may have expected and the fact that it’s come from the indie scene just goes to show what amazing work creative teams are able to produce.
This third book improves on what has gone before and while it already had a solid grounding it feels like the story from David has more scope & ability to grow now. The additional pages helps deal with the multi-thread plots and with Marc & Andrei contributing to the overall feel of the story by giving it an extra injection of potential, the need to continue reading the next chapter by the end is almost tangible. That’s down to the human elements David has subtly developed and as they find the light in the darker themes of the book it gives it a relatable edge we can cling to as the surprises leave us guessing and the visuals keep us hooked.
Check out the Boat website for more on this AND the short-film that inspired it. You can also keep tabs on what’s next over on Facebook & Twitter and get hold of the issues over on David’s online shop or over on ComicHaus & Comixology.