White Trees #1 introduced the readers to a fantasy world brimming with gorgeous landscapes and ablaze with color, wrapped in an emotionally rich story. If you haven’t read the first issue, check our review here
Chip Zdarsky is known for his comedy, just check out his twitter. But with White Trees he hitts emotional highs that feel like a gut punch, and that is what makes the book so good. The writing shines as it is all over the emotional spectrum. During one panel you’ll laugh, and then the next panel you’ll be holding back tears.
White Trees consists of two forty-page issues which cause the pacing to move quickly; but there are still down moments that break up the speed, helping keep its scope. White Trees #2 may conclude the trio’s search for their kids, but Zdarsky puts a heavier emphasis on Krylos. This shifted focus works as Krylos is an interesting plot driver. But the trio shines when together, speaking volumes on their history.
A Picturesque Fantasy
Continuing on art is Kris Anka, whose pencils and inks are a sight to behold. Some panels are simple having only one character reacting, but this simplicity works out magnificently. Anka showcases so many emotions in character anatomy that they feel real. This emotional awareness shines through when Krylos snaps.
Krylos’ bottled up rage come undone, as Anka inks a heavy shadow falling across his face. This simple panel of Krylos highlights Anka’s life-like facial emotions. This isn’t the only moment Anka introduces heavy inks for effect. But each moment it’s implied it amplifies the panel.
Anka doesn’t just excel at character moments, but in environments as well. Each building or set-piece feels straight out of a fantasy; beautiful, vast, and intimidating. As White Trees #2 includes more action, Anka’s precise, yet chaotic pencils help the flow.
Taking Anka’s art to another level is Matt Wilson’s fantastic colors. When a panel focuses on an emotional beat, Wilson amplifies it with colors to match. When Krylos’ rage erupts, the panel screams red. Wilson keeps the bright colors attributed to Fantasies while adding in darker shades. These moments of darker colors help drive the weight of the actions transpiring. Also, when highlighting an action sequence, Wilson voids the background colors.
The lettering by Aditya Bidikar never changes in the form of sizes or colors, except in one scene. In Krylos’ scream, Bidikar breaks the bubble into spikes, while enlarging the font. Although that is the only moment the lettering changes style, Bidikar helps the pacing as much as the others. As the issue delves into more talkative moments, the lettering layout helps guide your eyes.
A Classic In The Making (White Trees Conclusion)
Each emotional beat hits hard. As the blend between the colors, art, and story work in perfect harmony. White Trees is a fantasy that’ll go down as a classic.
Memorable Quote: “You could have been the man I once knew and burst through the ropes regardless…” – Dahvlan
Extra Credit: As with the first issue, White Trees #2 has maps! It also adds a rundown of three panels narrated by Zdarsky. This bonus content is a great behind the scenes, and per usual it is hilarious. The author bios are great are entertaining as well.
What did you think of the ending of White Trees