I discovered The Meek via a friend of mine when I lamented the lack of webcomics being created by women of color. That’s when she introduced me to Der-shing Helmer’s outstanding webcomic titled The Meek, which Helmer describes as:
“a graphic novel about Angora, an inexperienced young girl who has been sent on a quest to save the world. War looms on the horizon, and at its helm is the Emperor of the North and his hellish adviser. The two countries are overwhelmed with as much terror, crime, disease and revolution as they are with those who wish to create peace. Armed with only her instincts and an unexplainable power, she must experience and judge the world—and decide once and for all if it is truly worth saving.”
The Meek is slightly NSFW because when we’re introduced to Angora, she’s running around the forest naked and continues to be topless throughout the webcomic. Incidentally, several loggers are chasing her through the woods because she’s the only (naked) female in the area – which naturally made me really nervous – but luckily nothing happens to her. Later, we’re introduced to three different stories that are interconnected in various ways.
As with every webcomic I review, appealing art is an absolute must. As a graphic novel, The Meek has a long form style that’s growing on me. What I found interesting is how simple the art and coloring is while still being so strong. There’s an intense attention to detail, such as when we first see the Emperor sitting in his bedroom and it looks like an actual photo. Helmer has a rich imagination and put a lot of work into the background, terrain and even the clothes.
The one thing I did notice was the abundance of dialogue. It seems to be on every panel, on every page. Even though I found the visual storytelling to be nice, you’re getting a bulk of your information about the characters and their world via dialogue – something I often find lazy and wasn’t turned on to.
Other than that, The Meek has a diverse array of character each with their own unique quirks and personalities so it was a pleasure to get to know everyone. Additionally, Helmer created a “Meekipedia” that goes in depth with the history and details about the world that’s not immediately available in the comics.
Overall, I highly recommend The Meek for its various characters, lovely art and interesting plot.