The second Chum is here, picking up right in the middle of the action. The premiere issue of the “Surf-Noir” had murder, sex, lies and a red headed waitress who seemed more and more like a sociopath. With only three issues to the series, the story is already speeding towards its climax. Is it good?
Chum #2 (Comix Tribe)
Last issue of Chum introduced us to fictional Kingsford Island and a few of the locals who lived in the not-quite paradise. Calling it home is small time crime boss Penny. Then there’s Standard, the mostly drunk/sometimes cop. Lastly there’s Summer, the waitress and owner of a bar she inherited, who has decided she wants more out of life. She’s also soon to be Standard’s ex-wife and is currently sleeping with Penny.
One of Penny’s minions was murdered, thanks to the bag of drugs and cash he was carrying, that Summer wanted. After seducing local meathead surfer Gus, who had long been infatuated with her, to do the dirty work, she didn’t even get her hands dirty. Or so she thought.
That’s where issue two picks up, with Summer non-nonchalantly throwing chopped up pieces of the murdered goon off the back of a boat for the sharks to eat. This is also how Penny disposes of people who displease him and we have to wonder if Summer might end up like the bait she’s dropping in the water. While her ex-flame, Standard, tries hard not to be a cop, he knows Summer a little too well and certain clues are starting to tip him off that she might be involved with the disappearance of a policeman he was working with. Yup, turns out the chopped up goon was an undercover cop.
As the story progresses it’s great too see how Ryan K. Lindsay (co-creator/writer) develop each of the characters. Summer might not have looked as bad if the man she had killed was just an underworld goon and her actions could be written off as a desperate mistake. But by the end of #2 we know the only thing she really cares about are the money and not getting caught (and maybe Standard a little, even if she won’t admit it). Standard, who probably still cares too much for Summer, is shown going against his instincts and doing his job to his own surprise. It’s a nice development to see them as foils and I’m eager to see where the last issue takes them.
The art from Sam Kivela (co-creator) and colorist Mark Dale are on point with the island theme. You can see the environment influencing the color of the panels, like during sunset all the colors have a slightly red/orange cast. The facial expressions are great too, whether it’s Summer staring blankly over Standard’s shoulder as she hugs him or Gus slowly getting angry, in a four panel stretch, as Summer tries to get under his skin.
Is It Good?
Both issues of Chum have been great so far. There’s an economy of space when you only have three issues to pull off a plot like the one laid out so far, but the story is tight and fast paced, with little wasted. You have a feeling the team behind Chum know where they’re going, if this strong second showing is any indication. I’m looking forward to the conclusion already.