April 4, 2012

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Mermin Theatre

Written and Illustrated by Joey Weiser
Self-Published

Mermin is back in two short adventures (and a pretty cool bubble pipe) in this mini-comic by creator Joey Weiser.  See a story that shows Mermin's overwhelming sense of curiosity, set in the days before he came to land.  In the second story, Mermin and his friend Pete work to save a lost puppy.  It's all-ages action in this coda to the first chapter of the story of Mermin!

I was a big fan of the five issues of the Mermin mini-comic, and I'm very excited to hear it's being collected soon.  I've been looking forward to the continuation of the story, and while this doesn't pick up where things left off, it does provide more material with a character that's a lot of fun to read about.

For those unfamiliar, Mermin is a creature of the sea who has left his home under mysterious circumstances.  He's trying to fit in on the land, but between his superhuman strength and attempts to bring him back, it's hard for him to live his life in peace.  The ongoing story features a lot of character growth and conflict and might be my favorite work from Weiser.

After a hilariously done framing device that shows off the dry wit of Weiser and lets people know who Mermin is, we move into a story of a young Mermin who refuses to listen to the advice of his cautious friend Benni.  Trying to capture a small, octopus-like creature, Mermin soon gets more than he bargained for in a great panel that provides the punchline to the whole sequence.  The whole thing is mostly a cute joke based around being just a bit too arrogant, but it really provides a dimension of character for Mermin, building up his backstory and showing that his action on land aren't all that different from those he had at sea.

In the second story, which was written for this comic, Mermin and Pete are hanging out when they find a dog, who they think nothing of until they learn he is lost.  When a bear threatens the dog, Mermin must spring into action, braving harsh waters, sarcastic salmon, and the bear itself to save the day.  Once again, the story serves to help us better understand Mermin, which I think is a nice touch on the part of Weiser.  I also like the way both of these stories could take place at any time, which means they can be read by a new person or a veteran of the series.

Mermin is a cute all-ages comic that's drawn in Weiser's signature style of cuteness that just manages to keep from being too cloying to work.  He's able to switch into action mode when the need arises (such as the quick fight versus the bear) and, like a good comic written for adults and children, the story works on multiple levels.  This is definitely a must-grab for fans of Mermin, but it also works as a taste for those who missed out the first time and might be interested in getting the trade later.

Mermin Theatre will be available at Fluke in Athens, Georgia, on April 21st, and on Joey Weiser's website after that.  Thanks to Joey for the review copy!