David Lumsden’s Boat series is one that’s stuck in my mind from the beginning and after three issues of consistency & an ever increasing page count, it doesn’t seem like he’s changing that tact with the newest issue.
The fourth issue comes off the back of some serious upset & fallout in the world that David’s built….but there’s a definite shift in his approach here to give the world a deeper sense of past, present & future. He does that by introducing some flashbacks that let us see much more of what Charlie has had to go through to even get to the struggles he finds himself in now. The warring factions are building for a confrontation and that seems to be if they can get beyond their own in-fighting as well but that additional tension is ideal for giving the whole situation a feeling of being on the edge.
That idea is hammered home with the details in some of those flashbacks as Charlie & is Dad not only have to tackle the quest for food & shelter but they are increasingly finding themselves with a target painted on their back. Something that brings with it last ditch escapes and ultimately a sacrifice that’s shaped everything from the start to here but also something that’s become a normal for Charlie’s very existence. The war is coming and the battle lines blur with each page turn but the losses, the risks, the anguish & the rage are all crucial elements in what has become something of a thrill-ride.
While David continues to weave those plot threads together the art from Marc Olivent becomes increasingly detailed, poignant & brutal in equal measure, to the point where there’s an uneasy feeling built-in to every page turn. As much for the anticipation of what’s to come as the dread that you could find a character you love coming to an abrupt end, but that story/art combo is one that Boat has grown into with each issue.
Marc & Andrei Staruiala keep things tight on the lettering front and there seems to be a bit more life around things with the sound effects drifting dropping into the mix as everything starts to kick-off. It’s rounded off by another cracking cover from Amir Zand too and the consistency in the team proves to give an impressive consistency in the book itself.
This fourth installment takes us much further on than I think any other has with the cast & events and the additional pages helps writer & artist breathe enough so that they can work the pages as hard as they possibly can. It shows in the intricacies of the relationships & even in the surroundings which in turn helps you form a connection with characters you thought you knew but only really get to know better when the creators allow it.
Grim & visceral where it needs to be but balanced enough to give us the character development that the story deserves, I find that Boat is one of those books that I can’t get soon enough and no sooner have I finished one issue than I want or maybe need the next one. Thankfully there’s more on the way and thanks to the quality that’s been poured into it, it’s a title I hope gets a full-on hardback collected edition somewhere down the road and that more people get the chance to get lost in it too. One of my favourites for sure.
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.