Water weed; Rivers of London Vol. 6
Comic Review by Paul Fiander
Written by Andrew Cartmel
Art by Lee Sullivan
Coloured by Luis Guerrero and Paulina Vassileva
Created By Ben Aaranovitch
The Rivers of London was a breath of fresh air when it was first released. I never quite expected it, however, to grow into a must read/listen to series. Creator and writer of the core series Ben Aaronovitch has summoned up his own brand of publishing magic and coupled it with an eye for collaboration with some wonderful creators. First off is, of course, his Audiobook series with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, we have looked at many of these titles over on Audiobook Entertained and we can highly recommend this blossoming form of storytelling.
The more surprising move, however, was the first move into the world of comics. When The Body Work was first released I will admit to a small slice of apprehension. I had built a picture up on many of the continuing characters of the series in my mind and now I was going to see a visual creator in Lee Sullivan depict Peter and co on the page. Not only that but a new writer in Andrew Cartmel was taking the helm adding another layer of the unknown into the fledgeling series. Thankfully after the first issue was released many of my worries were alleviated, although some of the characters are still not quite what I pictured in my mind.
The art style of the series is of course more than just the work of the artist and in Water Weed colourists Luis Guerrero and Paulina Vassileva have really outdone themselves. The front cover is certainly my favourite of the series as it shows Olympia and Chelsea (two of the younger Rivers of London) in a vivid purple that literally jumps off of the shelf into your visual cortex. This is an important factor to lure new readers into the series and thankfully the creative team continue their impressive visuals throughout the tale.
The story itself sees Peter introduced by chance to a rather potent strain of Weed that leads him into his usual mix of brilliant and bumbling investigation. We get to meet characters both old and new throughout with nice little reminders where we first met some of them. Though not as in-depth as the novels the story feels perfectly formed as it manages to mesh the wonder of the magical world with the day to day drudgery of a Police investigation. This to me is the key to the series and Andrew Cartmel has managed to distil this mix into comic form time and time again.
Water Weed is another great addition to the ever-growing Rivers of London lore. If you are new to the series then I strongly suggest starting at the beginning with the novels or if you prefer the comic world alone then you may find The Body Works a better starting point into the world Aaronovitch created. However you decide to enter the world, you will find a rich world crafted with care that will entertain you for hours and open up the world of magical detective work and the rich world of Peter Grant.