Quality of Mercy: Vol 1

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Quality of Mercy: Vol 1 Creator(s): Gord Cummings
Publishers: Remand Centre Comics (Self Published)
From: Canada
Price: Free - Just email Gord

Comics are a medium that champions the mix of visuals and narrative. The critic's job is to weigh up how well well there two aspects work together in any particular comic. Gord opens this comic with a warning that he cannot draw well, apologises for this and seeks our understanding. He has unfortunately over stepped the mark with this statement. Yours is not the critic's role Cord. Creators get to make their comics and reflect on them, but not tell the critics how to respond to the work.

To rate the artwork we first need to know what the plot requires. The two stories here are reflections on life - the first considers the writers memory problems. He can't recall who people are that he has meet, so suggests that changing his appearance is a strategy on the part of his facial hair to help make up for the deficit. The illustrations show him in different stages of hairiness, but you can still see it's him under there and the other people look like people. The story morphs into a discussion of identity cards, serial numbers etc. and we know what the illustrations show, We can read the story quite adequately.

The second story deals in the similes, with ambition and potential being analysed. The illustrations depicts this story with an amusing sentient bowling pin going through a series of actions and transformations. There's some funny bits and some sad bits.

There are some flaws in the art - the line work could be a bit thinker and the lines are unsteady in places, but when all is considered Steve has created a comic that reads well and entertains. The idea that he needs to find an illustrator to get his ideas across is just plain wrong. While there will always be some people who only ready pretty comics, alot of those comics are rubbish. This one is not.

In a Word: Imaginative.

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