White – Dan Schaffer (First Comics)

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Horror is the realisation that you’re trapped in a worsening situation and it could have extreme consequences. Alone in the middle of the ocean surrounded by sharks, Willa is certainly in a horrifying situation. But as the story unfolds always at the right pace we fear even more for Willa. Her job troubles and the shark tagging are what elevates this from a b movie comic. Each phone call with the studio and the researchers reveals a chunk of background on the story and adds to Willa’s desperation. Most shark plots are all about the action but this one is about tension as the sharks then the big shark – Veronica occasionally attack the part of the plane wing Willa is stuck on. But most of the time they are there in the background. The writer has definitely done his research on the sharks as they’re not man-eaters but curious, unpredictable creatures that can cause damage in different ways. Most of tale has Willa the phone and even without the art you can sense the fear and desperation of Willa. Whether it’s the swearing later on or her frequent questions, her terror is evident.

The artwork captures the dread of being alone in the ocean about to be open perfectly. The colour scheme is mainly greyish blue and white making the blood and Willa in general standout more. There are a lot of close up panels of Willa, but the angles we see her face from, and the varied expressions keep the story from becoming repetitive. Obviously, sharks are crucial to the story and the shark action panels, the panels when they are under the murky water are terrifying despite the shark design not being that detailed sometimes. One final thing I liked about the art is the grainy lines and spots throughout the comic which reminds me of a faded photo for some reason.

Overall, this was a tense, well-paced, well researched story. The artwork complimented the dread and terror of being alone in the sea with sharks brilliantly. David Jenkins

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