By Adam Lumb
Publisher: Rich and Strange Press
The Book: There are monsters in the lake. War is coming. Spies are everywhere. This is witness protection… in hell.
The Tide is female led heroic fantasy horror-thriller, and oversized “European art book” format giving readers a cinematic reading experience. The story explores what it is like for a female law enforcement officer to try and keep safe her wards in a witness protection scheme – but presents a new perspective by shifting a traditional thriller setting to a fantasy world of demonic monsters.
Drawn traditionally and coloured and inked using a fusion of traditional and digital techniques to create a cinematic painterly approach. The quality of the book has already led to 4 and 5 start ratings on Amazon.
The Review: The Tide – Debut Edition – the first chapter in a 12 part series – was funded on Kickstarter before being released to a wider audience and I was one of the people who backed it on the basis of Adam Lumb’s pitch and promotional art for the crowdfunder. I wasn’t disappointed by its initial promise and this dark fantasy tale is an impressive debut for this new comics creator.
The Tide throws you into the story’s mystery from the get go, the initial pages, in part a haunting countdown to future events as a family hurries to make their home safe from as yet unseen monsters and “The Tide” that gives the story its name. We don’t know, yet, when these events occur – are they are a memory of long past events, a memory haunting lead character Milas Clay, “Warden of the Northern Reaches”? Or a portent of things to come?
We’re trusted to an “over the shoulder tale” for the most part as Clay finds herself embroiled in what looks to fast become a deadly game of cat and mouse with some murderous adversaries. I don’t want to give too much away, but this heroine looks to have her work cut out for her protecting a shipwrecked survivor of a nastily-engineered disaster – for reasons, in part, yet to be revealed.
While I would say that without reading the initial story outline, a reader might find themselves a little adrift, the story forms a coherent whole by the end of this opening chapter and the art throughout is simply gorgeous, the production values on this hardback format book excellent.
(It must be said that the art is, perhaps, a little dark throughout on my copy, and the sample images here are a tad lighter than the print edition. I don’t know if this is deliberate, reflecting the horror-edged storyline, or simply down to technical issues remedied for the wider release).
Adam displays an impressive style and assured storytelling throughout, and while personally I’m not keen on the use of too many head shots on a page, used here they reflect the fantasy ‘police procedural’ Adam indicates he’s aiming for. There’s still much to be told about this story, but I like the world building we’ve been treated to so far, and there’s plenty of intrigue offered that’s both set the tone for the story and teases us for things to come.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this story develops and I think Adam’s choice high quality hardback format for this project was the right one to make. More, please!
• Order The Tide direct from Adam Lumb at www.artofadamlumb.com (Subscribe on site to Adam’s newsletter to read the prelude to The Tide) | The Tide is available now in hardback on Amazon across Europe and in the the US
Adam Lumb is a comic book artist-writer and illustrator based in Sheffield, England. He has worked in marketing, publishing and licensing the visual arts in museums, galleries, theatre and television including the National Portrait Gallery and the BBC. The Tide is his first book.
“I wanted to try something new and this book has been 20 years in the making. I wanted a book as ‘pretty’ as the books of the 1990s comics boom but with an approach to story more in line with contemporary comics storytelling,” he says. “I’ve tried combining new approaches to rhythm and tempo in comics with diverse influences from 90s comics publishers such as Top Cow, contemporary European comics and the works of Tennyson. Ultimately I started with what I thought the medium of comics demanded and let that guide me.”
The books logo design and lettering is by Jim Campbell whose credits include work with BOOM Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Heavy Metal, Image Comics, Improper Books, Titan Comics, Zenescope Entertainment
The Tide © Adam Lumb 2018