Der-Shing Helmer/ Alexds1
115 pages in 3 chapters
The Meek. Oh, the Meek.
How does one create the feeling of an epic tale playing out on a global scale without losing a lot of personalization? Apparently by making a series of stories tied together with hints of the grand scale.
The Meek is broken up into three chapters thus far, each featuring a different person in a completely different setting. I say this without hesitation; it moves from a camp in them middle of the wood. In fact, I wouldn’t fault you for thinking that they are completely unrelated, because only the fact that it has chapters saved me from that.
However, it has a certain sense that we’re seeing only a small part of something much more grand, like watching LotR when it unglued the camera from the angsty hobbits. And, without wishing to spoil anything, the chapters give a very clear sign that the seemingly mundane (and slightly loony) characters are more important than we might think.
In regards to the individual stories, let me say that one reads The Meek for the story. While that sounds utterly redundant, I mean that you won’t get a kick out of the day-by-days like you might the other ones. And that’s fine, not every comic needs to have a laff-a-minite machine plugging in the background. Just make sure you leave your expectations at the door; you’ll be glad you did.
As for the mechanistic perspective, the writing is great as well. Each chapters is dominated by the language of the people in it, and not simply by what words they use. The first chapter, featuring workers in the middle of the woods, has very brash and fairly simplistic language. This is followed by the verbal mountain that is “civilized” life in the castles, filled with posturing and prose. The words are different, yes, but it’s the feeling of them that really helps to define the chapter. That’s not to say that the text is bad, my gushing enthusiasm should be enough to show the opposite and this piece is running high on redundancy.
Now, let’s talk about the art. Look at this. LOOK AT IT.
I see a lot of art in my times as a critic sad ponce of a blogger. It’s true, this is a visual medium. Bear this in mind when I call The Meek gorgeous. I’ve included some images (with the permission of the artist) to showcase how good it is. Marvel, your writer commands it.
It’s not just the detail, however. The visual design is top-notch, and the scenes flow very well. The movements of the characters are also strong and varied, a particular note of mine made even better by the rarity. Too many comics simply have cardboard cutouts with only a rudimentary understanding of how to use their elbows. The characters in The Meek, by comparison, have their doctorates in Elbowology. It’s a thing.
I can’t say much more without releasing spoilers like piranha in the kiddy pool, so let’s wrap this up. The Meek is a story-driven comic that is wonderfully written and masterfully drawn. I’m sorry that I waited this long to read it. Enjoy!