Season 16: Plume by K. Lynn Smith
Volumes 1 and 2
“My father once told me that revenge was like a plume of black smoke. It seems tangible… but when you reach for it… you’re grasping nothing but air.”
In this first episode of the new season, Mike and Alex head to the Old West to discuss Plume Volumes 1 and 2 (issues #1-9) by cartoonist K. Lynn Smith. They look into the history of the Western as a genre in popular culture and examine how Smith uses and manipulates those existing tropes and architypes to tell her own version of a Western. The guys also touch on Plume’s origin as a webcomic and how that influenced both its narrative and art styles when presented now in print. They also go off the deep end of the pop culture reference pool this week, ranging from Indiana Jones to Firefly to the Mandalorian to Aladdin. But we swear it all makes sense.
As usual with multi-volume books, we don’t spoil anything in this discussion about what happens beyond Volume 2, aka Issue #9 if you’re reading in the omnibus version. Head over to plumecomic.com to continue reading along and join us back here next week as we conclude our discussion of Plume with Volumes 3 and 4 (issues #10-17)!
Volumes 3 and 4
“Revenge is for the selfish, justice is for the brave.”
In this episode, Mike and Alex head back to the wild, wild West and dive deep into the concluding arc of Plume by K. Lynn Smith with Volumes 3 and 4 (issues #10-17). They revisit the litany of Western-genre story tropes and discuss how Smith was able to once again subvert those genre expectations and deliver an ending that’s both surprising and satisfying. Plume’s a classic hero’s journey that feels both familiar and new at the same time. But that doesn’t mean the guys don’t have some lingering questions, which they examine and debate with the full understanding that most of it is trivial and none of it takes away from their enjoyment of the comic. Nitpicking the minutia is kinda the whole get-down of this show.
That wraps up our deep-dive discussion of Plume but that doesn’t mean we’re done with the book quite yet. Next week, the one and only K. Lynn Smith will be joining us to discuss not only Plume but her entire career in comics. We can’t wait to share another exclusive interview with an incredible creator with everyone!