GRAPHIC NOVEL WEEK
It is the late 1800’s and the Klondike Gold Rush is on. A stunning, elegant woman of some means arrives in Woodsburgh, a small mining town close to the Canadian border. This was once home to the Swanson Mine, but it’s been closed for awhile – ever since a terrible accident caused the loss of many, many lives.
Lady Hellaine clearly doesn’t fit in. Her dignity, grace, and beauty is a sharp contrast to the poor citizens who are more likely to be doing something illegal than making a legitimate life.
The town’s other lady – Lady Swanson – doesn’t trust the new-comer (who doesn’t seem to have any real reason to be there).
And something dark is happening in town. An unknown creature is attacking townsfolk who let their guard down, then wreaking havoc on the bodies. Is there a connection between what’s happening to the people and Lady Hellaine’s arrival?
I started off really getting into this book. The art is delicious and the first part of the story was quite interesting. But as we get further into the story and everything … the story, the characters, their appearances … begins to get darker and twisted, I lost interest. The more horrific and twisted things got, the less I cared.
Typically, I enjoy horror and dark fantasy, and I really appreciate when a story builds to the most horrific parts (Grady Hendrix does this extremely well), but I wonder if the first part of this was set up so nicely that the dark parts just can’t compare to the beginning.
While I understand the desire to strongly contrast the beautiful Lady Hellaine with the darker creatures later in the book, the creatures/monsters are formless and ‘gross’ with strange tendrils everywhere for no apparent reason other than that it’s a contrast. I was more confused as to ‘why’ this look and I’m really not sure the answer other than it was gross to look at and therefore made it dark and evil.
It’s too bad. Even now as I look back through it, I think the art is mostly quite stunning, but the story wasn’t holding my interest and I likely won’t both with any future volumes.
Looking for a good book? Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel but the story loses traction just as the book gets dark.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy: The Fair Lady, the Frost, and the Fiend
author: Mirka Andolfo
artist: Mirka Andolfo
publisher: Image Comics
paperback, 176 pages