January 27, 2011

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Mermin Volume 5

Written by Joey Weiser
Illustrated by Joey Weiser
Self-Published

It's a battle by the sea shore as Mermin makes his final stand to resist those who want him to return to the land of Mer. But will his fight for freedom cost him the life of his human friends? The tide is ready to come in, sweeping us all up into the conclusion of the first story arc of Mermin!

I'm really sad to see this be the end of the Mermin story for a little while, but I am impressed by the work Weiser did on this series, especially here in the final issue of the first part of Mermin's adventures. While there is plenty of room for more stories within the world he's created, I also felt like I had a satisfying ending. As I've mentioned previously, I'm impressed with Weiser's ability to make this series work as single issues, while also allowing it to be part of a larger story. This time, that idea is expanded to the point where we have an ending to a leg of the journey, but as Toby correctly notes, there a SO many questions left unanswered that I am left wanting more. This is good comic book storytelling, and you rarely see it anymore. Some of the writers for major companies could learn a thing or two from Weiser's pacing.

In terms of the story itself, this is mostly an action issue, befitting all the buildup we've had in the past few issues. Mermin must try to keep his freedom while also protecting his friends. The trouble is that it's almost impossible for him to do so, and like other powerful characters, Mermin forgets that his strength can do terrible damage. That was a nice touch, and even though things are at an all-ages level (so I'm not convinced anyone is really going to get hurt), it was nice to see that danger presented. Mermin is not a pure character, which we know because he's clearly hiding something from the reader and his friends. It's good to see that lack of purity extends to forgetting the consequences of his actions.

Speaking of actions, Weiser again does a nice job with the battle, making it feel confusing while not leading the reader to scratch his or her head about what's going on. The pacing of the battle worked well, with just enough pauses, and I love some of the dialog that happens during the fight. It's kinda fun to see these cute creatures going at one another like this. It's like observing a tense "battle" between sibling kittens. You're worried one of them might get hurt, but the sight is too adorable to make them stop.

I'm a big fan of Joey Weiser's work, and this series is among the best things he's done so far. There's a note in the back saying that Mermin will return, though he's not quite sure in what form just yet. I know I can't wait to find out what happens next. In the meantime, why don't you go on to Wieser's website and catch up now? Trust me, this is a coming you're going to want to have been a part of from the beginning. I think it's got a lot of sleeper potential once it ends up in a more widespread format, and I for one will be glad to say I was reading it from when Mermin was just a tadpole. If you start now, you can make the same lame joke, or perhaps even a better one. Either way, Mermin is a series not to be missed!