The Weight #1 by Melissa Mendes. $5. Black and white, 24 pages, digest size.
Melissa Mendes is one of the best storytellers working in comics. I always feel with her work that the minute you so much as glance at it, it's impossible to resist reading more. Mendes stories unfold slowly but surely. I'm not sure of it, but the economy of early comic strip cartooning seems to figure into her work: no detail is left unused to push things along, while also furthering the emotion and characterization of all the participants in her razor sharp stories. The Weight is both a historical and personal narrative, Mendes is using childhood stories of her grandpa as the basis of inspiration for a long and complex narrative. There is a strong political content to the work too, both relevant to current events and to the politics of how people treat each other. But Mendes' is the opposite of heavy handed---instead of monologuing, her characters are often silent. The feeling of what is right and just is communicated in their expressions and gestures. Both cartoony and full of depth, this is a wonderful comic.