Mark (Fun With Mrs. Thumb, 1993, etc.) offers a story from the Apocrypha, a collection of biblical books included in ancient versions of the Old Testament, about a young man who saves his family from destitution with the assistance of an angel. Tobias and his family have a good life until his father, Tobit, falls out of favor with the king and their worldly goods are seized. Impoverished and then blind, Tobit sends Tobias to collect money he has left with a friend in a faraway city. On the way, Tobias meets Azarias, who instructs him in matters that don't yet make sense (especially to Tobias's dog, who narrates in a falsely humble, rather skeptical manner). In the end, Tobias returns with the money, a new bride, the means for restoring his father's eyesight, and the understanding that his good fortune has been engineered by the angel Raphael, who appeared to him as Azarias. This simple story and its flashes of humor may have relevance for religious collections, although even the most devoted will want to offer caveats about the dangers of trusting strangers--even angelic ones. Newcomer Merriman creates sand-colored, un fussy paintings, with eccentric perspectives and idiosyncratic faces and features.