Title: Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1 (Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels #1: part 1 of 2)
Author: Written by Patricia Briggs & David Lawrence, Artwork & collection cover by Amelia Woo
Genre: Urban Fantasy Graphic Novel (Rated T+, suggested for teens and up)
Reviewer: Kristen Rinaldo
Mercy Thompson likes to spend her days working on cars at her shop in the Tri-City area of Washington. Mercy is a walker and can shapeshift into a coyote. When Mac, a 16-year old werewolf on the run, appears asking for a job, Mercy pities him and decides to help. Strange men attempt to kidnap Mac and she is forced to take actions that involves Adam, the local pack’s Alpha. Soon after, Adam is attacked and his daughter is kidnapped leading Mercy to become involved in werewolf business.
“In this house we eat out cookie dough like civilized women- with a spoon.”
I am not a frequent reader of graphic novels but I like Patricia Briggs so I decided to give this one a try. While this is not as good as the book from which it is adapted, it is entertaining, gets the main story across and the artwork is generally appealing.
I realize that it is not likely that an artist’s interpretation of a character will match what he or she looks like in my head. That being said, I thought that some of the male characters, particularly Adam, were strange looking and not nearly as attractive as they were described in the novels. This will not be the vision of Adam that is in my head when I read about him in the future.
The drawings of the wolves and coyote were awkward. I imagine that the coyote should be slimmer and smaller than the wolves but it was hard to see the difference between the two species and they almost looked like the same type of animal. In some scenes the manner in which the animals were positioned and interacted with their surroundings was unnatural. There was one scene where Mercy, as a coyote, was jumping over a fence and the position of her legs looked more like she was flying in a standing position rather than leaping.
On a positive note, the characters’ faces are expressive, adding to their personalities and enhancing the story. Nudity is tastefully done. It is present in the sense that when a person shape-shifts their clothes do not shift with them, but it is not graphic or distracting.
While I am a novice graphic novel reader I was able to follow the setup of the panels once I realized how they were meant to be read. The panels do not always follow a straight left to right reading pattern, which is not a problem once you realize the flow. The fact that it took some getting used to is not the fault of the graphic novel , as it was due to my personal inexperience.
The story is easy to follow and the basic plot elements come through clearly. The interplay between text and visual meshed well and enhanced one another.
In this adaptation the reader gets a glimpse of Mercy’s personality. There is a sense that she has an independent streak and a snarky sense of humor. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other characters. However, this is only the beginning of the story and this is an introduction to the people in Mercy’s world. Mercy, being the main character, is rightfully the most fully developed.
There is a “Bonus Chapter” at the end of the book that tells Mac’s story of the night of the dance when everything changed for him. The story is very short, not terribly deep and the artwork is not good at all. It is nice to have a little more information about how Mac came to be in his predicament, but the artwork was a big turnoff.
3 out 5 bookmarks. The story was clear and hit the main plot points and the visual element interplayed well with the text, but the artwork was at times awkward and most of the characters felt flat.