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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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07/14/2008 Archived Entry: "Manhwa Review: Roureville vol. 1"

Roureville vol. 1
Story and Art: E. Hae
Published by NETCOMICS
ISBN-10: 1-60009-208-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-60009-209-1

Review by Kris

Evan Pryce is a reporter for The New York Times. He seems to be at the top of his game. He even broke a story involving South American terrorists. Since he has a bounty on his head he's been living in his cubicle at the office. A call comes in about a ghost in a small town and Evan's boss feels it is the perfect opportunity to get Evan out of the office and in an unidentifiable location until the death threats subside. Evan reluctantly agrees as you can hear a collective sigh of relief from the rest of the office.

The town is Roureville. It's so small it's not even on a map. The only information he had to go on is that Roureville is located somewhere between California and Yellowstone National Park. That's quite the large area to search. Ten days pass and asking just about everyone he could find, Evan had no success and no gas. Standing next to his car, with nothing and no one around, he catches the sight of a priest. Seizing the opportunity he approaches the priest and asks if he knows where Roureville is. Instead of the answer he expected, the priest flipped out and told him to get lost. Once the priest is gone, Evan finds a neglected sign pointing the way to Roureville. It's also the road that the priest walked down.

This is where our tale truly begins. Evan arrives in a sleepy little town with only one convenience store, few homes, and a whole lotta nothin'. Once in the market all the locals have to check him out since their town doesn't see too many visitors. Evan, being the journalist that he is, jumps right into the questions about the ghost. Everyone around thinks that the idea is absurd and they try to quickly get rid of the nosy visitor. Evan not wanting to leave quite yet asks if there is anywhere he might stay. One of the locals step forward and offers up his home. His name is Jayce, which strangely the name of the ghost is the same. What is going on in this little town and why is everyone so up in arms with having a visitor hanging around?

E. Hae's work is very stylized and it takes a while to get used to. I still am not fond of the art but there is enough of a story there to make it possible to overlook the it. The story is a bit complicated and confusing and I had to read the second volume to help clarify a few things. Also I had to read it several times to try and grasp what was going on. It's a great book to dwell on to try and figure out what's going on. I have the tendency to be able to figure out what is going to happen fairly quickly, but this one kept me guessing and in regards to other things I'm still scratching my head. I'm hopeful that in subsequent volumes those questions will be answered.

NETCOMICS has done a beautiful job with the book. NETCOMICS is an online manhwa/manga publisher. They also print some of their volumes. My copy of Roureville is in book form, which I prefer anyway. I like to soak in the tub and read, which, if the only way you could get your comics was on your computer you risk electrocution if you read them in the tub. I own several different NETCOMICS titles. I've noticed that if it's manhwa (Korean) the books read left to right, but if it's manga (Japanese) it reads right to left. The books are a nice size and fit in your hands well. They are also very flexible. The pages are printed on a higher quality paper than some other publishers. I do recommend this book because it's a mystery/boys love story. You can't go wrong with that combination!

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