Mercedes – Mike Friedland

This has to be one of the weirdest things I have ever read. It begins as a kind of existential meditation on love and rapidly turns into a mystery thriller a la Thirty-nine Steps thanks to its psychic protagonist. Once the story does get going then it does turn into a competent narrative concerning lost biblical treasures.

The art is also suitably schizophrenic. It starts with sumptuous black pastel or possibly charcoal on canvas delivering some truly beautiful faces. Then it clicks into black and white pen and ink. There are also no speech bubbles. The first part has them typed on white paper and cut out and stuck over the art. Then they are written directly onto the page with pen and ruler. There are also enough spelling mistakes for me to notice.

It does feel like the creative team changed, or at least changed their minds, halfway through. There is also a disclaimer saying all characters are fictional; that you see in movies all the time but I have never seen in comics. That plus a completely unrelated two page rant about child prostitution in Thailand from the editor cements the bizarre nature of this tile.

I am not sure. It is stuck between a Thumbs Up for a brave indie effort and a No Thumbs for indecipherable gibberish. As I don’t care what happens to the characters or feel any compulsion to seek out the next part then I guess it has to be a No Thumbs. Shame really.

140/225.

Tomorrow: Morning Glories: Volume One – Nick Spencer

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