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A review of London Underground

Format: A5, Perfect Bound.
Number of pages: 170
Age Rating: 13
Price: £4.50
Availability: Purchase at the Sweatdrop Studios website. Read online at Drunk Duck

Introduction

London underground; underground as in under the radar, hidden, in the shadows a bit like gangland London. The story is about a young well to do young lady whom involves herself with a couple of young lads who are a part criminal gang that gets involved with all manner of dirty business.

Con artists, thieves, worse... Feed em to the pigs Erol!

Writing

I love the way this comic has been written, it's very much how I would expect Victorian London to be like. Toffs at the top, plebs at the bottom, and our quick thinking young friends in the middle making a fat pile of cash out of the pair of them. I can very much imagine these fellows going about their business as if they were there in front of me. The characters are portrayed in an honest light though, and some people are not as they appear in this story and being born to class doesn't always make you honourable.

This story covers life in the slums in 19th century London and the contrast between the lives of the rich and poor of the time. The gentry still lived in vast mansions a world apart from the poor who lived in small cramped spaces with all manner of vile detritus out in the streets. The attitudes of the people of the time are also explored, the manners and morals of the upper echelons of society VS the daily lives of the slum goers, the beggars and the criminals.

Rebecca does a good job of making these wretched fellows into lovable rogues, for all their dirty deeds they are at least honest and occasionally honourable which is more than can be said for certain 'Gentlemen'. But I think the moral here is that no matter where you come from people are all as bad as each other.

There is a feeling of wanting to improve society though to make things better which comes out later in the story.

Art & Design

Rebecca's artwork does an excellent job of setting the scene of 19th century London. It's quite lively and all in her own unique style. The layouts used in this comic do a good job of highlighting tense moments and moving the story along. The line art is quite chunky and not incredibly detailed for characters and in places does look rushed, but in tandem with the story I think the artwork suits quite well, it could even be considered charming and full of character. It could also be considered to be sloppy and rushed. It all depends on the readers point of view. Whether you like Rebecca's style or not the characters are full of life which makes it a lot easier to like them.

Backgrounds on the other hand are used to good effect to support the setting in each frame and the use of tone is minimal in this comic. The lack of tone and the abundant pen strokes actually give the feeling that the comic is from the time period that the comic is set in, and I quite like this effect.

Conclusion

Rebecca has created a lively and interesting story, one which is well presented and generally well thought out and researched. The artwork supports the story quite well and adds charm without being perfect. Rebecca is an excellent story teller and I found this story quite fun to read.



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ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF SWEATDROP STUDIOS, & REBECCA BURGESS.

Review by Wayne Hallows

All images and artwork are copyright of their respective owners, UKMANGAXL and all written reviews and are Wayne Hallows 2006 - 2014