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What do you do when your grandfather says you must save the world? Clearly, if you’re Angora, you do what he says. Especially if your grandfather is Mocheril, a twenty-five-foot-long salamander locked in a battle with a tiger-creature determined to destroy humanity. So, Angora sets off to find “the center.” Along the way, she runs into Pinter, a lost explorer, who is more preoccupied with the outbreak of war in the northern lands. Said northern lands are ruled by Luda deSadar, Emporer of the Pasori. When his wife dies unexpectedly, he is persuaded by Dagre, Mocheril’s opponent and brother, to reopen a war upon the kingdom of Caris. At the same time, a thief called Soli is minding her own business fencing contraband, when she is arrested for her Caris heritage, leaving her charge Alamand alone. As for Angora, she simply wants to live peacefully in the jungle. But if she doesn’t fulfill her grandfather’s request, there may not be a jungle left… or a world.
If the comic’s title The Meek sounds familiar, that’s no surprise. Do to legal matters, though the comic began in 2008, it took an unexpected three-year hiatus, with new chapters resuming in May of 2015. Now old and new fans alike can rediscover the strange, hilarious, and dramatic adventure of Angora and company. Written and drawn by Der-shing Helmer, the art reflects her scientific background quite well. The settings, particularly Angora’s jungle home, are well detailed, with flora and fauna drawn anatomically sound. Though a fantasy comic, realism is prioritized over magical elements where concerns the day-to-day lives of the characters; the only exceptions being when the fantasy comes into play, such as the demon Dagre, who resembles a tiger, but with serpentine features, such as his elongated neck and constantly flicking tongue. While other characters resemble normal people with varied but natural skin and hair tones, Angora sports green hair, a fact currently unexplained.
Starting with Angora, the chapters switch from one setting to the next, so far following each main character (Angora, Luca, and Soli) in their respective locations. Due to the hiatus, there are only five chapters up, so the story is still in the early phase, with more questions than answers. Though good at drawing out the action and building tension, there are times where the comic seems to jump a scene, as if a page of exposition is missing, such as in Chapter 2, when Luca argues with his wife. However, enough information is available that the story continues to flow. In addition, Helmer goes into great detail concerning the geography, history, and culture of the Meek universe, which is daunting and sometimes necessitates a re-read. Happily, she has created a wiki, Meekipedia, to help guide readers through her strange but enchanting world.
While not overly graphic, Angora does go nude or shirt-less most of the time, and her first appearance accompanies a not-too-subtle rape attempt by loggers in chapter one. There are also violent depictions of war and fighting, so readers would do well to stick with a 16+ rating.
The Meek updates Wednesday and Fridays. Read about Angora’s further adventures at TheMeek.com.