Reading Pile: Thirsty Mermaids HC
Kat Leyh's Snapdragon was one of my favorite comics to come out over the past few years, and Thirsty Mermaids hits the same high mark for me with its equally charming yet slightly more mature character driven fantasy comedy drama.
The story follows three slightly alcoholic mermaids named Pearl, Tooth, and Eez as the journey to dry land on a quest for more booze. Eez uses magic to transform them into humans, but of course none of them stopped to really think the plan out. Comedic misunderstandings and journeys of self-discovery and found family ensue.
Leyh's masterful pacing, scripting, and facial features endear you to the main cast in no time flat. A lot happens in very little time, leaving you feeling continually satisfied by just how much story and characterization is conveyed in every single panel of every page. It's the kind of book where you consume it quickly as it's incredibly engrossing and then you find yourself continually backtracking to reabsorb certain nuances or to appreciate the emotional peaks of the storytelling.
There's a lot to take in as well considering the strengths of the themes being presented. While our main threesome are attempting to learn more about being human and are taken in by a generous bartender named Vivi, they deal with the potential reality that they may be stuck as humans and each takes the transition differently. Pearl and Tooth struggle at first, but eventually find a way to apply their strengths to land life.
Eez has a more difficult time though and spends most of her time 'researching' mermaid cinema in the hopes of curing them as she suffers through body dysmorphia. She also has a really engaging backstory as being an outsider mermaid who was raised by bizarre sea creatures called the Aunties, and Pearl and Tooth accepted her when they were younger as they formed their own pod. It's all incredibly sweet and charming, and if you are not moved at any point throughout the story you must have a heart of stone.
There's a perfect balance between the interpersonal arcs, the fantasy drama, and the humor which helps to maintain a steady pace throughout. It's this kind of storytelling that honestly reinvigorates my passion for the medium and keeps me from the brink of burn out at times and it's exactly why I really appreciate Kat Leyh. The sense of genuine empathy embedded in Leyh's craftsmanship is priceless and will always keep me coming back for more.
If you're in the mood for a striking character centric story that brings equal parts LGBTQ+ representation, comedy, drama, and fantasy to the table then I highly recommend checking out Thirsty Mermaids.