Though the graphic novel was published in 2013, I just recently devoured a copy of Crazy Mary. As a smaller press publication, Crazy Mary did not benefit from the big budget advertising and large print run capabilities of companies like DC or Marvel, and it is a shame. Crazy Mary takes place in a futuristic New York, not unlike a combination of Blade Runner doused with HP Lovecraft devices. Clad in a black leather jacket and purple sunglasses, Mary is a “Freelancer.” Freelancer is the nice way to refer to a mercenary or gun for hire in her world. While many in her profession prefer the thrill of ending the lives of their prey, Mary prefers to take hers in alive. While this has the added bonus of getting her higher pay from her clients, it also helps prevent just another ghost in her visions. After a military experiment that went horribly awry, Mary’s ability to see and hear became so elevated that her brain now connects at a higher level. This means that Mary sees and interacts with creatures and allies that may or may not exist. While her real world friends Tweek and Glimmer provide tech support and social media promotion, her images of the possibly unreal Roswell, Hoax and Loki provide her with clues and direction for getting the job done as a Freelancer. Some of her interactions with her visions make sense, while others provide information that falls in line as the story goes about.
Writer Michael Colbert began his career working on set in television production. He worked on Babylon 5, Torchwood, Chuck, Firefly and My Name is Earl. He knows cult classic and best of all, he knows how to keep a storyline rolling with just enough detail to keep the reader intrigued and not giving the reader the JJ Abrams lack of info experience. Mary is a well-crafted character. She is beautiful, but her looks are not what people comment on. She’s smart and sympathetic with her friends, but when it comes to getting the job done she can be completely emotionless. Crazy Mary combines the kickass elements of a supersoldier with the keen eye and protective nature women are so often credited with. Also, her outfit is something quite easy to Cosplay and now I’m furious that I’ve missed out on the opportunity for several years.
Then there is the art. For the folks who know me personally, JK Woodward is like a magic name when it comes to comic books. His run with IDW of the Doctor Who/Star Trek Next Generation graphic is full of painted images that give Dave McKean’s Sandman covers a run for their money. Crazy Mary is some of Woodward’s earlier work with the benefit of a story that uses his particular set of skills. Woodward rises to challenges such as illustrating rain storms, putting a human face on a teddybear and creating the visages of figures that may or may not exist outside of Mary’s head.
Crazy Mary is smart, fun to read and beautifully illustrated.
You can and should purchase your copy here: http://01publishing.com/shop/crazy-mary/