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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'Mercy Thompson: Homecoming' GRAPHIC NOVEL by Patricia BRIGGS


‘Homecoming’ is a graphic novel short story set in the Mercy Thompson universe. The story is by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence with illustrations by Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo, and cover art by Daniel Dos Santos.

‘Homecoming’ is a prelude to the events in Mercy Thompson’s first book, ‘Moon Called’. Bran has just kicked Mercy out of his pack and she’s moved to the Tri-Cities to put her teaching degree to good use. But in the span of 24 hours Mercy is attacked by one werewolf pack and rescued by a second, beaten bloody by a vampire’s human minion and threatened by one of the local vampire queen’s flunkies.

‘Homecoming’ tells the story of how Mercy came to settle in the Tri-Cities. The graphic novel details her first meeting of Stefan, Siebold Adelbertsmiter (Zee) and his son Tad and the Columbia Basin wolf pack’s Alpha, Adam Hauptman.

I perused the reviews of ‘Homecoming’ on Amazon and was thoroughly disappointed to see that it’s been given a 2.5 star rating. Read a few of the reviews and it becomes apparent that ‘Homecoming’s’ unpopularity has nothing to do with the graphic novel itself, but rather reviewer’s stupidity.

Many of the Amazon reviewers thought that ‘Homecoming’ was the next novel in Patricia Briggs’ ‘Mercy Thompson’ series, and they bought/pre-ordered the novel thinking it was follow-on from the 4th Mercy book ‘Bone Crossed’. One indignant reviewer even accuses Dabel brothers of misleading fans by giving no indication on the cover that this is a graphic novel… that’s despite the fact that on the cover are the words “an original graphic novel”.
Another reviewer sniffs that comics “cheapen the series”. Actually, it does nothing of the sort. Adapting books into graphic novels is fast becoming a popular occurrence in the publishing world.

Diana Gabaldon is releasing a graphic novel short story set in the ‘Outlander’ universe, telling a new Jamie and Claire story set in the timeframe of her first book. Kelley Armstrong has an online comic called ‘Becoming’ which is a prologue to the events of her first ‘Women of the Otherworld’ book, ‘Bitten’. Melissa Marr has released a graphic novel set in her YA ‘Wicked Lovely’ universe, with a second graphic novel due for release next year. Laurell K Hamilton has had great success adapting her ‘Anita Blake’ series into comic book format with ‘The First Death’ (2007), ‘Guilty Pleasures’ (2008) and she is currently working on ‘The Laughing Corpse’ for release later this year.

Graphic novels do not cheapen a series – they add a new dimension to the universe the author has created. And when it comes to Urban Fantasy in particular, comics are a logical extension of the book series. They offer another layer to the vivid universe the author has created, and visualize the fantastical characters that were previously relegated to the printed word.

I think the comic adaptation of Patricia Briggs’s ‘Mercy Thompson’ series made perfect sense, especially because her cover artist, Daniel Dos Santos, has done such a wonderful job of providing a visual framework for readers. Anyone who is familiar with the Mercy books will know that Daniel Dos Santos is a cover-art genius – and he has given Mercy a very distinct look.

Unfortunately Dos Santos only did the cover-art for ‘Homecoming’, Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo are responsible for the beautiful illustrations within. Daniel Dos Santos’s work is magnificent, but probably too detailed for the comic book format. Regardless, Tsai and Woo do a fantastic job of visualizing Zee, Stefan and especially Adam.

‘Homecoming’ is a beautiful novel, with wonderful illustrations and an essential story to read if you are a die-hard Mercy fan like me.

I loved ‘Homecoming’, but then again I am not prejudiced against comics like some Mercy fans seem to be. I loved the story, especially Stefan and Mercy’s meeting (and a certain picture of shirtless Adam – not since Trent from ‘Daria’ have I found an illustration so sexy). If you are a Mercy fan, check out ‘Homecoming’, it is a damn good GRAPHIC NOVEL.

5/5

3 comments:

  1. This is a great review, thanks!!

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  2. Hey, It's Amelia Woo, official comic book artist for Mercy Thompson series. Thanks a lot for your kind comments about the comic art. :) Really appreciated!
    Prepare yourselves because more news are coming very soon! :)

    Thanks!
    amelia

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  3. Hello Amelia - wow! Big fan! I loved 'Homecoming', fingers crossed this big news is more Mercy Thompson graphic novels!!! That would make me one very happy fan-girl.

    ReplyDelete