Royal City is your average Americana working-class town where everyone is employed by a pollution-belching factory, and the standard of living is low. The story focuses on the Pike family and their different struggles. You have Patrick, who used his younger brother's journals to make a best-selling novel, but now finds himself without ideas for another, and in a failing marriage. Then there's Tara, a real estate agent with a plan to make Royal City a great vacation destination, but at the expense of her husband's job at the factory. Patti, the matriarch, deals with her relationship with her husband, who suffers a stroke. Lastly, there's Richie, a drug addict and gambler who burns every member of the family who tries to help him. The entire Pike family has to come to terms with their individual struggles, all while dealing with their version of events in the death of the youngest Pike.
This story is gritty, honest, and thoughtfully laid out. I feel the struggles of each of the Pike family members as they feel them. Lemire has capture some of the basic struggles of Americans and represented them in each of the characters. The art style is jarring at first, but once the jagged nature of the characters becomes evident, the art style comes to represent part of their struggles.
Image rates this M for mature, and it is mostly due to the language (lots of F-bombs). There is some drug use, and some adult situations, but most of that happens off the page.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Realistic Fiction
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