A Mermaid’s Quest to Reclaim A Treasure in One Shot Comic: ‘Sinker’

Writer: Tony Blando / Artist: Libby Frame

In a rare moment on Instagram while not looking at dog videos, thirst traps, or cosplay I stumbled upon artwork for Sinker through writer Tony Blando’s IG page. Intrigued, I went looking for more, found the whole short one shot comic online and read it while doing some laundry over the weekend. What I found was a finely illustrated story that had me rooted from the start to the finish featuring one of more popular fictional creatures of the sea: a mermaid!

From the opening image, that also serves as the cover, we’re treated to our protagonist, a blue haired mermaid looking out into the horizon seemingly on a mission. It’s a really pretty, detailed image that frames her in the middle of great scenery and gives us a clue that she’s focused, with a goal in mind. She has attached to her wrist some sort of tool or weapon which had me super curious about what type of exploring or mayhem she was going to get herself in.

Our heroine is, indeed, on a mission. She has left home to recover a priceless object, a heirloom of sorts that once belonged to her now-deceased mother. It was stolen by pirates when her home was raided; this one particular treasure that her mother held dear amongst many others was taken. It’s a good setup to what motivates her in this journey–she’s out to right a terrible wrong and in some way get closure from her mother’s death.

I am really digging the art as I adore artist Libby Frame’s style. I came across her art some time ago and was able to recognize it on the fly and I was delighted. The action scenes are done well and I’m a big fan of the panels and the how the space is utilized: there’s action spilling out too. The coloring job is a added plus because a colorist can make or break the job, y’all. It’s bright and expressive when it needs to be and subtle on other pages. In regards to a certain pirate, there an awkward panel or two but it is forgiven because overall the art is lovely.

I enjoy reading comics. When ever I see one shots and mini series I have a curiousity piqued because I always find a challenge in the story telling aspect: Can this creative team pull off telling an enaging story and bringing it to a satisfying close by the end of this one shot/mini series/etc? It’s something I started to pay much more closer attention to in recent years because I think it is a feat to accomplish that not because not everyone can pull off to be honest.

The ending, without spoiling it and going into too much detail for y’all ends triumphantly to me. Not every road travelled ends the way we think it or should. Sometimes we find something that can’t be collected, bottled up and sold. Our mermaid goes on this journey to honor her mother, to right a foul injustice, to be brave and in the likeness of the woman she loved–yet at the end of the day she looks out into the ocean and is amazed by what she finds. She is amazed by what she has done and what she is capable of. It is a striking, inspiring moment that ended the tale in a near perfect fashion. I was already familiar with artist Libby Frame but this is writer Tony Blando’s first efforts out doing comics and he’s already set himself up someone to watch.

8.4 All Black Everything Treasure Chests Out Of 10

Sinker is available to read for free online here. Follow the creative team on Twitter here and here.

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