Melissa Mendes’ grandfather, John Albert Ridgeway wrote a short autobiography at the end of his life. It chronicled a long life of hard work, and inspired Melissa’s minicomic series, the Weight.
In issue two, we jump ahead several years, Edie, the baby in issue one is now a pre-teen tomboy. She and her best friend Gloria spend their days finding joy in small pleasures, like building a home for a caterpillar. Their hearts brim with compassion for all living things, and much of this issue is devoted to a solemn burial for a rabbit killed by some of the boys in town. Life at Edie’s home is not so heart-warming, though, her father, Ray is alcoholic and abusive toward her mother, Marian, and it fills Edie with a blinding rage.
This comic is just 18 pages, but it feels epic, as each moment is captured with a subtle beauty that Melissa executes so well. The characters are feel real, and their happiness, sadness and anger are strongly felt by the reader. Melissa has you hooked as the story begins to really unfold!