Reviews: Off White

Beautiful, but far from pristine.

This comic is painstakingly well crafted, and even the early pages still have a good, solid amount of effort to them. Characters and backgrounds are all given huge amounts of attention. The colors are used incredibly, as is lighting, and every panel is crammed full of visual goodness.

World building is good, and information is paced out well. There's also some clever bits with how humans are perceived by wolves, and I found myself nodding and agreeing that of course, that's how an animal would see a gun.

Unfortunately, there are negatives to write about.

One of Off-White's major pitfalls is one shared by Wolf's Rain, where the humans quickly become more engaging and interesting then the animals. This is grating, when the wolves swing between almost cartoonish caricatures, and being so low key and with such undefined backgrounds that it's hard to identify with them.

There are also times where the animals come across more like people in fur suits then actual wolves. A full page spread is dedicated to a character extolling the virtues of wolves (Proud! Noble! Human traits it seems like an animal would have no interest in!) and while it works as a hilarious Take That against wolfaboos, it also grabs the integrity and immersion of the story and laughs while shoving it face first in the snow. In a recent page we also see Raigho talking to some ravens, and in an attempt to cover his conversation when asked about it, says how filthy and beneath wolves the birds are. Your head may be hurting if you know how wolves and ravens interact in real life, and that's only the tip of the artistic biology iceberg. When it comes to xenofiction, this all comes across as a critical misstep.

There may be justifications for all of this later down the line. Maybe it has something to do with the balance, and that's why the wolves aren't acting like wolves. At the same time, however, I have to wonder what the creators researched when it comes to wolf behavior.

Overall, I encourage people to give the comic a read. The visuals are amazing, and it looks like the story and characters still have the potential to go in interesting directions. On the other hand, I can't blame you if your wall gets a few new dents. Especially if you're looking for something of the same caliber as Call of the Wild or Watership Down.