The ponderous reflections of a self-doubting writer return in the fourth issue, this time with some character growth. Pat seems to be able to leave the ghost of Tommy behind, though his mother is still incapable of doing so and his other brother is falling deeper into his self-inflicted chaos.

This soft and moody story maintains the unease of growing older and captures the heartbreak of family in crisis, but does anyone want to read about it? Is there a story there? Well, yes and no. Stories about real people and the ghosts of the past can be interesting and compelling, but this one borders on sentimental and self-indulgent.

Whether the intention is to tell a supernatural or psychological tale, some of the components are there, but they just don’t land with enough power. I’m not easily scared or sufficiently compassionate I guess.

The problem is that although the story appears to be moving it never seems to get anywhere. It doesn’t have to come to a massive climax, but it does have to come to a point.

Royal City #4
The Bottom Line
Lemire tells a good story and these characters are recognizable, but I’m caring less the deeper he goes.
Intelligent and thought provoking.
A little self-absorbed. The bleakness of the art.