Comic Book Review: “White Devil”

WhiteDevil

Just like with horror movies, some of the best stuff happening in comic books these days is coming from the indie world. In fact indie comics are pretty much all I pick up anymore. I’m always on the lookout for something new, so I was excited to get an invitation to check out White Devil, a four part comic book series by Matt Evans and Andrew Helinski, with artwork by Nate Burns.

The first issue of White Devil introduces Judy Harper, a rural housewife who, despite having all she ever wanted, is weary of her bland, cookie-cutter life and seeks excitement in a most extreme way. From the  publisher’s website: “White Devil is the story of an aimless town and loving family crossing paths with the worst of Hell.”  Horror themed comics are  my favorite (big surprise), and this one does a pretty good job of building a sense of foreboding, and visually conveying Judy’s restlessness and isolation.

For the most part, the artwork in White Devil is very nice, and any criticisms I have are mostly nitpicking.

The thing that probably stuck out to me the most was the lettering. It varies between hand-drawn for callouts and a serif font for dialog. I like the looks of the hand-drawn lettering better, but it tends to be hard to read in the smaller callout boxes. White Devil is delivered online as a PDF, and even zooming in to fill my screen didn’t always improve the legibility. The serif font is much easier to read, but sometimes there isn’t enough room to accommodate the amount of text, and the font ends up crashing into the speech balloons.

The art itself has a very nice sketchbook quality, and in fact it looks like the artist may have allowed some of the penciling to show through the ink, which I really like. Some of the characters aren’t always rendered consistently, particularly Judy’s husband, and I noticed some smudging that looked like eraser marks rather than something intentional.  One thing I really liked was the artist’s use of washes to create various lighting effects, like car headlights or a ghostly swirl of vapor.

Overall, White Devil issue 1 is a really nice comic and I can’t wait to see issue 2, as I have no doubt it’ll be even better. In fact, if I have one piece of advice for Matt, Andrew and Nate, it would be to maybe dump the blogspot blog and set up a real website to showcase your work, ’cause it totally deserves it. (Plus, it took me about 15 minutes of clicking to figure out how to get to the PDF.)

To check out White Devil for yourself, visit http://whitedevilcomic.blogspot.com/ and click on ‘June’ in the blog archive, then click on the post called “White Devil-1” (P.S. Since this is an online comic, I should probably mention that White Devil is kinda NSFW. You’ve been warned…)

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½☆ 

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About Dave_P

Dave_P studied fine arts and film history and is a graphic and web designer, and a diehard movie fan. David has been involved with a variety film festivals including the Cinephile Film Festival, the PRIDE Film festival, and the Manhattan Short Film festival, and is currently the director of the Dark Carnival Film Fest in Bloomington, Indiana. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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