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Review – The Flood That Did Come (Avery Hill Publishing)

The Flood That Did Come
Overall
4.5/10
4.5/10
  • Writing - 5/10
    5/10
  • Art - 4/10
    4/10
  • Overall - 4.5/10
    4.5/10
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The Flood That Did Come

Writer: Patrick Wray
Artist: Patrick Wray
Publisher: Avery Hill Publishing
Maturity Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: June 2020

The year 2036: England is flooding, but the town of Pennyworth remains safe. But now, old bureaucracy rears its ugly head and comes to the town and its people.

 

 

The Flood That Did Come

The Flood That Did Come is the debut book from writer/artist Patrick Wray, from Avery Hill Publishing. Inside you will find “A story of struggle, childhood friendship and archaic bureaucracy in a little England drowning in its own future past.” We journey into the village of Pennyworth in the year 2036. It seems a great flood has come and most of England is underwater, besides a few towns. Pennyworth is one of those towns. We are introduced to two inhabitants of Pennyworth—Tom and Jenny—two children who observe this weather phenomenon with awe and wonder.

The Flood That Did Come (Avery Hill Publishing) cover by Patrick Wray
The Flood That Did Come (Avery Hill Publishing) cover by Patrick Wray

But things do not stay simple in Pennyworth, as inhabitants of the town of Brook Falls come to Pennyworth to escape the Flood. Soon things escalate into a battle of old charters and deeds, land grabs, and a struggle for what may or may not be right. The Flood That Did Come is a wildly original tale.

Writing

As noted, Patrick Wray is the creator/artist/writer of The Flood That Did Come. I am not sure exactly where to start with this. I feel that there is a lot of subtext in this book that I am not catching. Maybe because I am not from England, or maybe I am just a little dumb? Not really sure; I feel there is something that I am missing, though.

The Flood That Did Come is told through the eyes of the two youngsters, Tom and Jenny, who have a lot of knowledge and use big words. The dialogue does feel very odd as they discuss certain things and circumstances in the story. I like the idea of the story, but I just don’t know how well it is exactly told through this book. The dialogue does have a condescending type tone to it.

Parts of it feel like I am reading a textbook. Parts feel like the characters are just explaining things straight to me; it just has this overall weird feel to it.

Art

So, most of the art in The Flood That Did Come is done with woodblock stamps and different colored inks. It is definitely something different. It works in one sense, in giving this kind of childlike/children’s book type feeling to the story. The wood stamps do invoke a classic, almost timeless feel that I like and works well for the story.

Now, if we are talking about if the art enhances the story being told, I would have to say no. I mean, it doesn’t exactly invoke much of a response, emotionally, to what is happening. I mean, I like the style of it, and it is interesting and inventive, but it doesn’t really help tell us a visual story in The Flood That Did Come.

Plus, just about everything else is just blank. So there is really not much besides the wood-stamp characters used over and over again. It is an inventive visual storytelling method, I’ll give Wray that. But after a few pages I kind of felt like “okay, yeah, I get it, let’s see something else”. 

Conclusion 

I feel like maybe I am the wrong person to review this. I mean, I get that Patrick Wray is an artist/writer/musician, and this is his “artistic” stuff, I guess. But it is just a bit too much for my personal taste. Look, this is probably definitely right up somebody’s alley and they probably love this, and I am not saying it is bad, or terrible, or what-have-you. I just didn’t like it. The whole wood-stamp thing is interesting and sets a nice tone, but it wanes on you after seeing the same images for 72 pages. The story has intentions of telling an interesting political story, but for me, it just fell flat at the end. I felt more of “man, I am glad that’s over” than anything else.

So, I am not exactly sure how to rate this, honestly. The art is mostly all wood stamps, so I don’t know how to judge that besides how it was used. I mean—and I know its Wray expressing himself through his art—but the whole thing does feel a bit pretentious at times. There are certain things I like about The Flood That Did Come. I also appreciate the work and time put into it. But at the end of the day, it’s something that is just not for me, personally.


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