I love comics and graphic novels, so what do I do with that love? Well, I turn it into a new feature!
From Panel to Panel is a new feature where I talk about the awesome (and perhaps not-so awesome) comic books and graphic novels I’ve read. Basically, this will be me pushing them onto your laps. You’re welcome.
How ‘bout a Western with a little bit of magic? Plume is exactly that.
Written and illustrated by K. Lynn Smith, Plume is “a western webcomic about Vesper Grey and her supernatural (and reluctant) guardian Corrick. On their way to recover some stolen artifacts, they start to uncover the gritty truth about their pasts and learn that the West is anything but tame.”
What you get from the first volume of Plume:
A modern-looking Western. You can’t have a story about the Wild West without revenge and unexpected partners.
Fabulously named characters: Vesper Grey and Corrick.
A heroine, Vesper, who led a fairly boring life, living with her strict aunt, and loves her father (who had been away on his archaeological digs) dearly and awaits for his return. (She and Kate from Vengeance Road would have a lot to talk about—in the father variety.) She can be reckless, but you can’t fault her for acting the way she did because of what happens.
A magical necklace that conjures up a magical being who acts as a protector to protect you from danger (a la a genie without the wishes). This being, Corrick, is the best person to be at Vesper’s side. He’ll protect her from enemies out to get her and from herself.
Lots of magical artifacts that are full of danger and intrigue and set the terrible events of what happens in motion. I loved seeing what the magical artifacts can do and reading the brief history behind it.
- An ally who is a Madame of a brothel house and knows how to use her wits and beauty to her advantage, and a scarred baddie who’s after the magical artifacts and becomes the sole focus of Vesper’s revenge.
Emotive characters. No words need to be expressed because every annoyed, unimpressed, shocked, and so on looks are beautifully conveyed.
What is missing from Plume:
- Unique retelling of the Western genre.
It uses a lot of overdone tropes that’s typical in Westerns. It’s nothing new, aside from the magic inclusion. It makes me want a little reinvention of the genre. It gets boring when all revenge Westerns follow this formula: loved one dies —> hero seeks revenge and rides after the bad guys. Give me something fresh.
- Emotional connection with the characters.
I’m not connecting with the characters as much as I want to. A large part of that is because the characters feel very one-dimensional. Yes, we learn a bit about Vesper, but not enough to be emotional invested in her. We just jump right into it without anything to anchor to anchor us to Vesper. It also doesn’t help the characters feel a bit cliche.
I’ve only read the first five chapters of Plume, and I’m liking what I’m reading (even with my problems with it). If you’re looking for a webcomic that’s a quick, but intriguing read with great art, Plume is one you gotta check out. It might not be the most innovative in terms of storytelling, but it’s still a good read. I’m sure the magic will keep you in it.