Back in 2014, Andrew Maxwell ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to get his one-shot comic book off the ground. With the success of Rum Road what is a fella supposed to do but expand the story and create a second issue.
Mixing the adventure of a Jules Verne novel with the crime storytelling of a film like The Untouchables, Rum Row sets out to tell the high flying fictional tales inspired by the real life Rum Row. During the prohibition era, rows and rows of boats from Canada and the Caribbean would sit just outside the USA maritime limit. Filled with booze these ships would become an open market for any person with a boat and the courage to run illegal alcohol into the USA. Of course, there is no honour amongst thieves so rival factions and pirates would make life treacherous and any boat unable to defend themselves easily found their rum running days numbered. The US Coast Guard did what they could but most boats knew to stay just outside the legal jurisdiction.
In the Rum Road comic, rum runners and their clients have taken to the open sky, outside of the reach of the US government and the prohibition laws. Speakeasy bars and gin joints are open for business in dirigibles and air ships. The newspapers have labeled this town in the sky, high above New York … “Rum Row”. Of course, Rum Row has become a worldwide tourist attraction filled with the lawlessness of the Wild West of old. Within the crimson skies flies the most notorious flying speakeasy, The Duchess. As a solution to the problem the City of New York has created a special aerial vice squad to try and police the lawless skies. In this story, we follow the NYPD’s attempt to take down the Duchess once and for all, through the eyes of one of its passengers, Jack Tinson. All the while, Jack’s own allegiances and motivations remain in question…
A fun premise with a great story. The writing is fluid and there is a true “high flying sense of adventure” in the book. Art is pretty darn good with Michele Bandini’s cartoony style and Derek Dow’s colours which add a tonne of atmosphere. The Kickstarter for issue #2 is scheduled to go live Thursday July 6th. I’ll definitely be looking forward to this and since I missed the first issue I’m hoping one of the rewards is a catch up with both issues available. Look for it soon!
Issue: Rum Row #2 | Publisher: self published
Writer: Andrew Maxwell | Artists: Michele Bandini & Derek Dow
Letters: Adam O. Pruett | Logo Design: Sonia Harris