Comic Review: The Family Trade #1 (Image)

The first issue of The Family Trade introduces us to The Republic of Thessala. Or: The Float. It’s a neutral zone, a city in the middle of the sea, where […]

The first issue of The Family Trade introduces us to The Republic of Thessala. Or: The Float. It’s a neutral zone, a city in the middle of the sea, where trade and negotiations can be conducted.

The Float is run by the Clans, but there are watchmen who oversee The Clans. The overseers are The Family. They do whatever is necessary to manage the survival of The Float.

Enter our hero, Jessa Wynn. School teacher by day, assassin by night. Well, aspiring assassin.
And Jessa has a mission, to go up against a very powerful political candidate.

What works: The Float concept is a good one. The action starts right away on page one, and the story (writers Justin Jordan and Nikki Ryan) moves swiftly along. There are several interesting characters who appear in the first issue: a few baddies, some henchmen, a talking tomcat, and a few “family members”.

What could be better: The artwork (Morgan Beem) appears to be done with a quill pen or fine line marker, and then colored in watercolor. Line weights are thin, and the drawings don’t have strong contrast in lights and darks. The end result is a whimsical look, similar to a storybook illustration.

Unfortunately, it does not lend itself to sequential storytelling: in the early part of the comic, I struggled to understand the drawings. I read and reread certain panels, trying to figure out what was going on. Are they fighting? Who’s punching who?

Stronger line weight and more solid color to define shapes would make reading this well written comic series more enjoyable.

The Family Trade #1 from Image, 32 pages of reading content for $3.99

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!