Plume is the collected edition of the first part of the web comic of the same name. Written and drawn by K. Lynn Smith, it follows the adventures of Vesper Grey, a girl who journeys to the Old West with her supernatural companion, Corrick.
Issue One delves into how the two managed to find each other and start their tale. This highly successful Kickstarter project managed to triple the amount of money it required to publish this and Issue 2. Plume is a gorgeous looking book, with an interesting tale but is it lacking that edge for an issue one?
The book looks stunning and the writing works well. In Vesper and Corrick, Smith has created two characters that the reader wants to find out more about. Vesper is an interesting character that the reader will sympathize with whereas Corrick is enigmatic. Smith’s art is stunning. It will draw the reader in straight away, making you want to know more about the characters and how they managed to get stuck in the Old West. It is an anime cartoony style that suits the story perfectly. The colours fly off the page, making the book look vivid.
However Smith has not done enough to translate her web comic into print. For example there are moments where the story feels like it could move faster. The visuals are stunning but the room could have been used more wisely which in turn could have given the reader a greater finish to Issue One.
An Issue One should leave the reader desperate to find out what happens next. With Plume we are intrigued but it feels like more could have been done., The paradox is that the reader can go straight to the Internet and read the same comic as a web comic for free. This is Plume’s biggest problem: with all the content on the website for free will many people buy the book? And if they buy Issue One would they come back to wait for Issue 2 to be printed when they can legitimately read it for free on Smith’s website?
Overall Plume suffers from a lack of translation. With no change in the content and the fact that the content is still on the Internet for free, it seems that Plume lacks a market. It is a good thing that the reader wants more, but with no reason to wait for print, Plume is a jarringly beautiful book. To find out more, check out the website.
Reporter: Luke Halsall