Royal City

Jeff Lemire

Book - 2017

"Royal City charts the lives, loves, and losses of a troubled family and a vanishing town across three decades. Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up, is quickly drawn back into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing mother, and he brow-beaten father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of his youngest brother, Tommy, who drowned decades ago."--Back cover of Volume 1.

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vol. 3: 1 / 1 copies available
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Fantasy comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Portland, OR : Image Comics, Inc [2017]-
Item Description
Collects: Royal City 1-5 [volume 1] ; Royal City 6-10 [volume 2] ; Royal City 11-14 [volume 3]
Physical Description
volumes (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 26 cm
Rated M / Mature.
Main Author
Jeff Lemire (author)
Other Authors
Steve Wands (illustrator)
  • Volume 1.
  • Next of kin
  • volume 2.
  • Sonic youth
  • volume 3.
  • We all float on
Review by Booklist Reviews

Lemire has been scripting corporate superhero comics in recent years, but he began his career writing and illustrating the acclaimed family saga Essex County. With Royal City, he makes a welcome return to human-scaled storytelling as well as to the drawing board. When his father suffers a stroke, Patrick Pike, a once-promising novelist suffering from writer's block, reluctantly returns to the dying industrial town where the rest of his family—his overbearing mother, ambitious sister, and reprobate brother—still live. Also still inescapably present, even though he drowned two decades ago, is the adored youngest sibling, Tommy, who haunts the damaged lives of his family. While Lemire's introduction and development of the characters and their backstories are quietly masterful, his wispy graphics—spindly figures, understated staging, and muted colors—are equally intrinsic to the work's potency. Although these initial chapters of the ongoing series are largely devoted to stage setting and establishing the milieu, Lemire leaves readers eager to see what lies ahead for the troubled Pike family. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

In Royal City, a factory town teetering between obsolescence and rebirth, Peter Pike suffers a stroke and hovers between life and death. Meanwhile, his wife and children each stand at the brink of dramatic personal decisions, played out under the shadow of their patriarch's illness. Lemire (Essex County) creates a nuanced family portrait: Peter's son Patrick, a once-famous author, returns from the big city, seeking inspiration and grappling with his identity; Patrick's ambitious sister, Tara, has a troubled marriage and Royal City's future weighing on her mind; their self-destructive black sheep brother, Richard, spirals down in drink and debt; and their domineering mother confronts her suppressed desires. Weaving through each personal story is the specter of Tommy, the siblings' younger brother, who drowned decades ago, and who morphs into different versions of himself to suit each person. The sketchy lines and pale watercolors capture the spirit of a fading town and the denizens who struggle to find their place within it. Lemire's characterizations are so real and truthful that many readers—particularly those who are from small towns, encumbered with adult siblings, or grieving an enduring loss—will find something deeply familiar and resonant about the Pike family and their past and future ghosts. (Oct.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In his most ambitious and most personalproject to date, JEFF LEMIRE spins the captivating and engaging story of afamily from the small factory town of ROYAL CITY and the ghosts that haunt them.In a return to the literary andthematic territory of Lemire’s breakthrough graphic novel ESSEX COUNTY,ROYAL CITY follows Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returnsto the once-thriving factory town where he grew up. Patrick is quickly drawnback into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing Mother and hisbrow beaten Father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of hisyoungest brother, Tommy, who drowned decadesago.As each member of the familystruggles to keep themselves above water, it quickly becomes clear thatTommy’s death isn’t the only dark secret tearing the town, and thisfamily, apart at the seams. Can each member of the Pike family come to termswith their own guilt over Tommy’s death, and make peace with the manyversions of Tommy that still haunt them, or will they all be dragged down belowthe river along with his lingeringghost?ROYAL CITY promises to be asprawling, serialized graphic novel that will chart the lives, loves and lossesof a troubled family and a vanishing town, across three decades. Jeff Lemire is the creator ofDESCENDER (with DUSTIN NGUYEN), AD: AFTER DEATH (with SCOTT SNYDER), ROUGHNECK,SECRET PATH (with Gord Downie), PLUTONA (with EMI LENNOX), ESSEX COUNTY, SWEETTOOTH, TRILLIUM, and THE UNDERWATER WELDER. He had also written celebratedstories featuring Green Arrow, Animal Man, Bloodshot, Wolverine, Hawkeye, TeenTitans, the Valiant, the X-Men and Inhumans for the major comic bookpublishers.Collecting issues 1through 5.