Plume, originally a webcomic by K. Lynn Smith, is described on the site as follows:[quote]A story set in the Old West about a girl named Vesper Grey and her supernatural companion, Corrick. On their quest to recover her father’s life work, they encounter new friends and new foes, and learn that the Wild West is anything but tame.[/quote]
The reason I chose Plume had everything to do with the art, with the story taking a close second place. While Smith’s coloring appears flat – she doesn’t seem to play with shadows or shading a great deal – it’s not a massive distraction nor does it take away from the story itself. I found the art style difficult to pinpoint because in some ways it reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender – a show that contained many anime influences, particularly when it came to comedy and facial expressions. Plume is no exception, which may make it feel familiar for anyone who consumes anime or manga with any regularity.
While I found the art to be lovely, the story and Smith’s overall characterization definitely hooked me. We started off the issue with Vesper and Corrick in the Old West after having killed a bunch of men. Vesper admitted to finding killing therapeutic as they discovered the treasure they’d been searching for. We smoothly transitioned into a flashback that lasted the rest of the issue, where exposition boxes explained what Vesper’s life was like before Corrick. Non-verbal communication of the art coupled with dialogue should make for sufficient story-telling, and I normally find exposition to be intensely boring. Luckily, though, Plume doesn’t fall into this trap. The exposition was often succinct, and when paired with the art, it moved the story along instead of stifling it.
There’s also glimpse into the main character as she fearlessly and enthusiastically slid across a frozen lake to pick up her hat that had blown away. This is the sort of cheeky bravery we also got to see in the beginning of the comic – a subtle characterization tactic that connects Vesper’s past to her present. Another point for Smith’s writing.
Over all, I’d definitely recommend Plume #1 to anyone who enjoys adventure, the Old West and pretty pictures.