The first issue of Dave Wimblett’s The Hoards of Surrey was a slick beginning & backing the rest of the series was always on the cards for me so getting a look at the second part ahead of the finale was a must.
While Mike and his friends, Li, Nathan, Indy and Jack had begun an adventure in their home town, much to their surprise, they are now starting to delve deeper and reap the rewards of their earlier discoveries. That has given the whole gang a sense of momentum and you can tell from their interactions that there’s a buzz around what this could mean for them all and just what it could change in their plans for the future.
There’s still an element of fun in the journey though and between trying to keep their parents out of their business and learn as much as they can to reach their next discovery it’s hard not to be swept up in things as they unfold. There’s experimentation with recreational drugs thrown into the mix to add a comedic hurdle for them handle as best they can and the core friends still feel like a very real bunch to be around each other. As things work their way to the final reveal it’s clear that the shadowy figures watching them are really starting to close in too, so there’s an extra layer added that injects a new sense of urgency & risk that was hinted at in the opener.
Dave’s story builds on the success of that opening issue and while it holds onto the strong group of characters at it’s core it also manages to test those friendships in as subtle a way as possible. The promise of riches is a hefty thing to be held over them but the twists & turns in the plot means there’s now an element of doubt drifting back in that is almost tangible as you turn those pages.
Rory Donald’s art ensures that the impressive surroundings stay that way and that the natural tussle between friends is given every chance to shine as they get closer to another treasure and all as those observers begin to close in on them. Rory plays with the perspective of each panel in and around the friends and as changing weather & drug trips take their toll, the worlds merge into a pretty damn slick style that feels like the real world in comic book form. Kudos to Ken Reynolds on lettering who adds his usual deft touch in bringing the story to us without hiding the world it inhabits.
This second issue keeps things trucking from that opener and there’s still enough of a natural back n forth among the friends to give this a broad appeal to many readers. It may well be a small town treasure hunt but there’s a lot to gain when the characters are as well developed as they are here and when the story is this well paced it’s easy to feel like you’re swept along. The look of the whole world is disarming given it’s village surroundings but it’s really given a sense of life with the detail and variations in all the locations and the characters in it. Slick, fun and engaging…..it’s a mixed feeling knowing that the next issue is the last one as it’s too good to end and too good to miss…..roll on the finale.
You can get hold of both issues of Hoards of Surrey through the Buy Small Press website at the links below:
You can also keep up to date with the creators on the links below too: