Miss Endicott Part 1

By Fourquemin & Derrien 
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781849185448

Set in a Victorian London, with towering architecture, narrow streets and long shadows, a young woman returns from travels abroad to take up the role of a nanny. What she doesn’t expect is to arrive back in time for her own mother’s funeral, and now she is expected to also fill those shoes as well. The mother was the city’s Conciliator, a role for which she defended the poor from various wrongs. Like a 19th Century superhero, it is a task carried out at night, with significantly fewer capes, masks or exceptional powers to assist. All the young Miss Endicott has are her wits and a few skills picked up whilst in India.

Thrown in at the deep end with perhaps a little too much confidence in her abilities, Miss Endicott is soon assisting the needy, but at the detriment to her own rest and good health. And the deeper she digs into London’s underbelly the more problems she reveals, not least the drawing in of the child she is supposed to be nanny to.

Prudence Endicott is an instantly likeable character. Competent and capable, she’s a force for good that gets you swiftly on her side. Her secreted knitting needle schtick is rather well done too. The London that she has arrived in is not the London you know from Dickens, but a darker, more fantastical place of warped brickwork and looming buildings. Everywhere seems to have another lower level and every alley another darker branch off of it.

The credit for this atmospheric and imposing design goes to Xavier Fourquemin, who is just as adept at the people as the buildings, and they’re often equally twisted. A nod must almost go to Scarlett for the colours – remarkable work that breathes additional life into every panel. Often the book feels like an animation rather than static scenes on the page.

For me, this is right up there with Green Manor (another Cinebook Expresso publication) and I’m very much looking forward to settling down with part 2.

And if you liked that: Try Green Manor – you won’t be disappointed

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