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Royal City, Vol. 3: We All Float on

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When a surprise new member of the family arrives in the fading industrial town of Royal City looking for answers, the past and present all come together and the Pike family must face the truths about their youngest brother's death, decades earlier. The concluding chapter of this generation-spanning saga of one family haunted by their own private ghosts from the New York Ti When a surprise new member of the family arrives in the fading industrial town of Royal City looking for answers, the past and present all come together and the Pike family must face the truths about their youngest brother's death, decades earlier. The concluding chapter of this generation-spanning saga of one family haunted by their own private ghosts from the New York Times best-selling writer and artist Jeff Lemire (GIDEON FALLS, Sweet Tooth, Essex County). Collects ROYAL CITY #11-14


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When a surprise new member of the family arrives in the fading industrial town of Royal City looking for answers, the past and present all come together and the Pike family must face the truths about their youngest brother's death, decades earlier. The concluding chapter of this generation-spanning saga of one family haunted by their own private ghosts from the New York Ti When a surprise new member of the family arrives in the fading industrial town of Royal City looking for answers, the past and present all come together and the Pike family must face the truths about their youngest brother's death, decades earlier. The concluding chapter of this generation-spanning saga of one family haunted by their own private ghosts from the New York Times best-selling writer and artist Jeff Lemire (GIDEON FALLS, Sweet Tooth, Essex County). Collects ROYAL CITY #11-14

30 review for Royal City, Vol. 3: We All Float on

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “This town’s bones are loneliness.” After a layered and complex set-up in the first two volumes of Jeff Lemire’s Royal City, complete with the appearance of ghosts with all sort of magical expectations, the resolution seems a little conventional, unsurprising, and flat. Don’t get me wrong, if you read the first two volumes you will want to read this, without question, and it is good, but in my opinion a tad disappointing. We are back in Essex County territory, in a sense, in that Royal City is a “This town’s bones are loneliness.” After a layered and complex set-up in the first two volumes of Jeff Lemire’s Royal City, complete with the appearance of ghosts with all sort of magical expectations, the resolution seems a little conventional, unsurprising, and flat. Don’t get me wrong, if you read the first two volumes you will want to read this, without question, and it is good, but in my opinion a tad disappointing. We are back in Essex County territory, in a sense, in that Royal City is a small, bleak Ontario town, with a couple of sort of mild surprises, everything resolving in a pretty satisfactory fashion. I rate this 3.5, but it is Lemire art, don’t forget, and it is better than most stuff out there, still, so I round up to 4 stars. The story features a family falling apart, haunted by the loss of a brother and son, in a town falling apart. To recall, Dad is unconscious, with a stroke, after a fight with his long estranged wife; Patrick can’t write his novel and his actress wife is gone, on location, estranged, too; Richie is drunk, owes a gang 2K, Sis Tara is negotiating a deal to end the family biz, where her family works; she and hubby are estranged. An in the center of it is a young Tommy, gone. Family curse? “Nothin’ but the dead and dyin’ in my little town”? (Paul Simon) The second volume flashed (bleakly) (is that an oxymoron?) back to 1993, when things seemed more hopeful, though Tommy has hallucinations. We read pages of his handwritten journal. We already know from volume one that Tommy will die, so this volume basically gives you the events of the week leading up to his death. Yeah, I won’t tell you much about th ending, no big spoilers, though a new family member emerges, and some endings are bitter, some bittersweet, and none (this is Lemire, remember?) are unqualifyingly sweet, really. I really did like this sad sack family. But I wouldn’t want to live in Royal City or have them over for Thanksgiving.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    The final chapter in one of the best slice of life stories. This is what it's all leading up to. We find out how the boy died. We also find out where the characters are, in their mindset. Some making choices that will completely alter their future. This is when most characters come head to head with each other instead of getting mostly individual stories leading up to a sweet, but bittersweet, ending. Good: Really loved the heck out of this family. All flawed, all broken, yet all very interestin The final chapter in one of the best slice of life stories. This is what it's all leading up to. We find out how the boy died. We also find out where the characters are, in their mindset. Some making choices that will completely alter their future. This is when most characters come head to head with each other instead of getting mostly individual stories leading up to a sweet, but bittersweet, ending. Good: Really loved the heck out of this family. All flawed, all broken, yet all very interesting. I liked how each character started their next chapter in their life, even with uncertainty you felt they were getting proper treatment. The atmosphere and art actually work in favor for this story. Bad: I felt another issue or two would have helped. Felt tad rushed a bit. I wanted to spend more time with them. Overall, if looking for one of the best slice of life stories, you can't go wrong with Royal City. Jeff Lemire made a truly remarkable series here. A 4 out of 5.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    A gut punch of a denouement for this grungy tale of magical realism and family drama.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Lemire neatly ties up this quiet family drama in satisfying fashion as each member of the Pike family comes to grips with their problems, and begin to mend the rift that Tommy's death created between them. It's a touching portrait of a family bathed in watercolor and magical realism. Can't wait to read this again when it comes out as a single hardcover.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    Jeff Lemire's slice of life family drama comes to an end with this volume, and it's a satisfying finale, if maybe a bit obvious in hindsight. In the end, it's no Essex County, but it's clear that Lemire had to work out some personal stuff on the page once again with this book, and the result is a simple but sincere and endearing story, and an exceedingly rare Image book that doesn't feature monsters, mythical creatures, superpowers or dystopian futures (not that there's anything wrong with that, Jeff Lemire's slice of life family drama comes to an end with this volume, and it's a satisfying finale, if maybe a bit obvious in hindsight. In the end, it's no Essex County, but it's clear that Lemire had to work out some personal stuff on the page once again with this book, and the result is a simple but sincere and endearing story, and an exceedingly rare Image book that doesn't feature monsters, mythical creatures, superpowers or dystopian futures (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I get enough of that from Marvel and DC, I don't need even more generic brand fantasy/sci-fi from you, Image, gosh).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    This final volume of Royal City concludes this family saga. I continue to love Lemire's sketchy art, and his deep dive into ordinary people, their lives, loves, losses, and ghosts. A stranger in town has unexpected connections to the family, and we learn more about past and present secrets and betrayals, and while the resolutions were all rather conventional and unsurprising, this bittersweet tale is worth a read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MK King

    Lemire is an outstanding artist, storyteller, a weaver of compelling tales. Volume 3 wraps up the series and here we see more social decay, family breakdown, a substantial plot twist, and ultimately redemption. Royal City fits into Lemire’s small town universe of His previous works Roughneck and Essex County and are somewhat a departure from his celebrated Sweet Tooth. I picked up his sci-fi Descender TPB Volume 1 so I’ll see how he fares with that genre. Definitely a 5 star series and he remain Lemire is an outstanding artist, storyteller, a weaver of compelling tales. Volume 3 wraps up the series and here we see more social decay, family breakdown, a substantial plot twist, and ultimately redemption. Royal City fits into Lemire’s small town universe of His previous works Roughneck and Essex County and are somewhat a departure from his celebrated Sweet Tooth. I picked up his sci-fi Descender TPB Volume 1 so I’ll see how he fares with that genre. Definitely a 5 star series and he remains a Top 10 Creator for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rumi Vd

    Fitting ending and another win by Jeff Lemire, he is at his best with these small, family drama style of stories. A family is dealing with the dead of one of there family members, who everybody still sees in different ages and all. Would not have mind the story to be a bit longer but still a very good one, told in three trades, this one being the last one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Fizzled ending to a flash-bang start.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    The conclusion to one of the best simple storys about life. Lemire seems to hit all the best spots when hes doing this simplified storys more so than the superhero action style. Even his Black Hammer series is more than just superheroes. I highly recommend this series to all readers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Norman

    This series is the Jeff Lemire work I have been waiting for for years. As he says — “a non-genre book in today’s comics market is risky business” — but all I’ve wanted is a Lemire non-genre book! Beautifully articulate dialogue and monologues, unique stylized drawings, surreal storylines based in reality... Sad to see it go, but I’m glad to have seen how it ends.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chihoe Ho

    "We spent the most important parts of our lives here. That's not something that stays behind. It comes with you. Of course, we can get lost even when we stay put. But the best part of being lost is getting found. That's the thing about the past. It's gone. Just because it forms us, it doesn't mean you have to let it define you forever." Closure. The Pike family got that, we got it. And now we can all move on from Royal City. Thank you Jeff Lemire for yet another brilliant family series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mateen Mahboubi

    Lemire is a champ at these limited run stories that never outstay their welcome. By the nature of the story, this one didn't really storm out of the gates but rather provided a steady progression towards this conclusion. Lemire continues to demonstrate his mastery of setting the tone for small town living and familial relations. A strong conclusion to a strong series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Kvíz

    Royal City konci a tim se uzavira pribeh dysfunkcni rodiny, kterou pronasleduje tragedie z minulosti. I pres prvky nadprirozena je tohle strasne civilni a osobni pribeh, kterej me chytil a nepustil az do konce. Finale je mozna takovy jednoduchy a bez nejakyho zvratu, ale byla to paradni jizda a tesim se, s cim prijde Lemire priste.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    A fine conclusion to this series. It's good that Lemire saved the final reveals of Tommy's last day for this final volume, as it's really the last surprise we get After that everything pretty much clicks together as people accept the change of life. It's a good finish for our Royal family, though not a particularly surprising one after that first issue.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Connolly

    Whew...not really sure what to say. I definitely recommend it though. 5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    That was a disappointingly conventional happy ending to an eerie book that felt like it was going somewhere much darker. I have been Lemired, again!

  18. 5 out of 5

    lexi ✨

    this is probably one of my favourite graphic novel series of all time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manni

    The conclusion had some intense moments, but as always: I love the quite moments the most. Those three panel pages without any dialogue always get me. This was one of the comics I finished reading, took a deep breath and just let it sink in for a minute. No matter the theme, Lemire's work always feels relatable on some level.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suad Shamma

    Jeff Lemire does it again. I love his portrayal of human stories in comic book form. I love following his vision and outlook on family and life. This series follows the Pike family and examines life and death. Regret. Despair. Conflict. Family ties. Tragedy. Failure. Divorce. Marriage. Addiction. Loneliness. It is a beautiful display of human interactions and their struggle to survive in a world that has fallen apart for them. It is about coming together in times of need, when they've been separ Jeff Lemire does it again. I love his portrayal of human stories in comic book form. I love following his vision and outlook on family and life. This series follows the Pike family and examines life and death. Regret. Despair. Conflict. Family ties. Tragedy. Failure. Divorce. Marriage. Addiction. Loneliness. It is a beautiful display of human interactions and their struggle to survive in a world that has fallen apart for them. It is about coming together in times of need, when they've been separated for so long. It's a reflection of Lemire's own personal experiences, which adds a more personal and emotional touch to the whole series. I read all 3 volumes in one sitting, and I loved the progression of the story, the reveal of different aspects of the puzzle with every issue that gives you the overall picture at the end. The story revolves around the Dad who suffers a stroke and falls into a coma in the hospital. One brother, Patrick, the novelist, drives down from LA and is dealing with a failed novel and a cheating wife. Then there's the sister, Tara, who is trying to tear down the family business and move on with her life. And Richie, who is an addict and owes people a lot of money. And Patti, the mom, who is having an affair and is stuck in an unhappy marriage. Then, there's Tommy. Little brother Tommy, who at 14, drowned in 1993. Every member of the family is haunted by a different version of Tommy. I loved that perspective, and I loved seeing how every member visualizes Tommy and how that visualization steers them in different directions and impacts the decisions they make. One of my favorite things about Jeff Lemire is his graphic work. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. His artwork is very emotive and expressive. He can fill the pages with just artwork and no words, and you will feel like you've read an entire novel with your eyes. One of my favorite graphic novels, just like Essex before it. I'm a huge fan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    With We All Float On Lemire brings an emotional and bittersweet ending to the fantasy-tinged family drama that is Royal City. As past and present, regret and hope, loyalty and pain blend and overlap, past mistakes and dreams for the future come together in a shifting and complex series of decisions and relationships. The story that Lemire has crafted here is intensely intimate, but rings through with themes and questions that reach far beyond the story being told. The pain these characters feel i With We All Float On Lemire brings an emotional and bittersweet ending to the fantasy-tinged family drama that is Royal City. As past and present, regret and hope, loyalty and pain blend and overlap, past mistakes and dreams for the future come together in a shifting and complex series of decisions and relationships. The story that Lemire has crafted here is intensely intimate, but rings through with themes and questions that reach far beyond the story being told. The pain these characters feel is evident on every page, woven into the subdued art, the downcast lives of the characters. But even in a town and a story defined by regret and loss, there is room for hope, for growth, for believing in a future better than what has come before. And this is one of Lemire's strengths--conveying the emotional experiences of his characters, highs and lows alike, through every line and every page of his storytelling.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maarten Van Meer

    Wow. Devastating and comforting at the same time. Great mixtapes too, especially for those who grew up in the nineties. Lemire’s best. And yes, compared to the first two volumes, this one feels a bit rushed and the story could also be told in a bit more detail over five or six more issues, but on the other hand it’s good the story is not overstretched too. One can wonder how this story would have been told if it was conceived as one (Blankets-sized) graphic novel instead of as an ongoing. It woul Wow. Devastating and comforting at the same time. Great mixtapes too, especially for those who grew up in the nineties. Lemire’s best. And yes, compared to the first two volumes, this one feels a bit rushed and the story could also be told in a bit more detail over five or six more issues, but on the other hand it’s good the story is not overstretched too. One can wonder how this story would have been told if it was conceived as one (Blankets-sized) graphic novel instead of as an ongoing. It would probably have been even better paced and given Lemire more freedom. But even while it could be improved, formatwise, this is an amazing book that will prove to be a Classic.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    An unexpectedly upbeat and pat conclusion to the Royal City trilogy. It was fine and mostly satisfying, but I just can't get over the out-of-nowhere happy ending. The previous two volumes were such intense downers, I would not have expected Jeff Lemire to pull such a hard 180 with this one. I think the trilogy would have been better served packaged as one longer volume - chopping it up caused me to repeatedly forget the contents of the previous volume. Or maybe the story was just kinda forgettab An unexpectedly upbeat and pat conclusion to the Royal City trilogy. It was fine and mostly satisfying, but I just can't get over the out-of-nowhere happy ending. The previous two volumes were such intense downers, I would not have expected Jeff Lemire to pull such a hard 180 with this one. I think the trilogy would have been better served packaged as one longer volume - chopping it up caused me to repeatedly forget the contents of the previous volume. Or maybe the story was just kinda forgettable /:

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ambre Lee

    Since when do short-running graphic narratives leave you in tears? When Volume 3, We All Float On, weaves together the threads of each family member’s reaction to tragedy with a new life. Olive is the symbolic salve for the entire Pike family. Lemire even provides a soundtrack that heightens the ethereal moments of Olive listening to Tommy’s Walkman and Pat finally saying goodbye. Once you finish, you’ll want to return to the beginning.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I wasn't immediately drawn into this story in the first issues, but I am glad that I stuck with it based on my affinity for everything that Jeff Lemire has created. The story just kept getting better and better until the perfect conclusion put a very satisfying, yet gentle exclamation point to the family's troubled past, finally allowing everyone to move forward.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Ranger

    This was another great volume in the series. I love Lemire's character development -- it's brilliant and even more so considering he does it in a graphic novel -- so few words and images, yet the characters jump off of the page. I highly recommend this series, and am sad that it looks like it's complete. I look forward to his next endeavor, whatever that may be.

  27. 4 out of 5

    tomwrote

    I've loved this series and am actually pleased that it ended up as three trades, rather than the larger world Lemire envisaged initially, since it now falls into the 'small but perfectly formed' category. The final issues had an emotional weight that came from a fine and proper place, being honest and positive, open, realistic, nostalgic and utterly human. (Read in issues)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Individual issue reviews: #11 | #12 | #13 | #14 Total review score: 2.5

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Worthy conclusion This volume concludes the arc about Tommy’s death and its effect on his entire family. All the characters move on in a variety of ways as the factory is demolished, symbolising change for everyone. Truths are revealed and the whole thing brings everything nicely to a positive end. The most enjoyable of this series so far.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jorgensen

    Kind of an abrupt ending to a series that felt like it could have gone a bit longer but it was a good ending. This series didn't end up being quite as profound as I'd hoped, but I still really enjoyed it.

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