Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Homecoming #1

In what was a fairly light week for me as far as my stack at the comic shop was concerned, I decided to grab something new and different. At least "new and different" for me. I chose to spend my dough on "Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Homecoming" #01. What is it with me and these long-titled books I choose to review?

The odd zero-preceded uno stood out on the new issue rack, as did the hauntingly beautiful pinup rendered by Francis Tsai for the cover. Sure, the wrenches are paper thin, and neither crescent nor socket, but that's a fact I can easily dismiss as the wrenches are certainly not hammers or screwdrivers. Once I opened the cover and found the beautifully rendered art within, I was sold.

Briggs and Lawrence combine here to translate a four-color interpretation of Briggs' Mercedes Thompson. The translation works well, as the character introduces us to just enough of her worlds for the reader to be immersed and impressed without being overwhelmed. Characters flow in and out without explanation to us, but their presence is without explanation to Mercy either.

I have nothing but high praise for Tsai's work, as every panel is a painted composition. A lot of research and thought went into the visuals for this book (like the fact that there are discernible Volkswagens at the VW repair shop). Several of the panels and pages are pure masterpieces -- like the introduction of the werewolves.

The lettering, to me, was bordering on distraction, as all of the balloons were jagged and did not offer a variation in tenor or pitch, as certainly an imposing vampire should sound different from a twenty-something young lady, who should also have a different tone.

To me, the blending of concepts -- Mercy being a coyote shapeshifter (or walker) with more mischievous haunted legends (werewolves and vampires) -- and the subtle character divulgences (Mercy's failed interview) offered a surprise to me as I found this to be an entertaining page-turner that has inspired me to learn a little more of this character and the writer. I'm definitely on-board for issue #2 and may even make the effort to dig up one of Briggs' "Mercy" novels.

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