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‘Rum Row #1:’ Comic Book Review

Ever want to hang out in a dirigible floating over New York City, sipping a Whiskey Sour on the rocks? Well, here’s your chance.  In this fun alternate history of New York City during the 1920s Prohibition Era, the rum-runners established speakeasies in hot air balloons and dirigibles. But that doesn’t mean it’s legal, as Feds and the New York police try to take down the gangsters in the sky.

Jack is an undercover detective searching for the elusive Anne Blanchard, the owner and operator of the speakeasy, The Duchess.  His job is to arrest her and shut down her illegal operation. He’s successful, up to a point, but what he doesn’t realize is that he’s met his match in cunning and duplicity, and the tables turn rather quickly.

The first issue starts a tad slowly, as we are introduced to this world and its inhabitants, but it picks up the pace pretty quickly.  Each character has layers that are slowly revealed, making the reveal of their real motivations more fun.  Ms. Bandini’s art is terrific and really captures the style of the time period.  The colors evoke the visual drama of the sky, making you wish that such a history actually existed.  Take special note of the two-page spreads, especially the action sequences. There are also some fun extras, like a five-page story and a history of the real Prohibition era.

Originally crowdfunded, you can find issues one, two, and three on ComiXology. The writer, Mr. Maxwell, has also been working on an anthology set in this universe which will hopefully make it on to Kickstarter this year. (Full disclosure: I have a story in the anthology.)

If you like alternate history, dirigibles, and gangsters, then you’ve come to the right place.

Creative Team: Andrew Maxwell (writer), Michele Bandini (artist), Derek Dow (colorist), Adam Pruett (letterer)
Publisher:  Grenade Fight Ink
Click here to purchase.


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