White, by Dan Schaffer is one of the scariest books I have read in a long time. I love great white shark movies, TV shows, and with the release of Atoll, White, and Hookjaw this month, I love shark comics.
Dan Scaffer is a creator I am familiar with, he wrote Dog Witch, a book I really liked, as well as Scribbler, which became a movie (the original graphic novel is pricey and hard to find now.) Dan has a great art style, and he is also a pretty solid writer, so for comics, he is a double threat.
Speaking of threats, White’s protagonist is natures most deadly hunter, the great white shark. White is about more than just the soulless killer, it is a survivor horror story. The book focuses on Willa. Willa is having a really bad day. She was on a plane that went down into the ocean. She was the only one who survived. The good news is she was able to recover a satellite phone, so she can communicate with the outside world. The bad news is she crashed in an area called the “White Cafe”, a feeding ground for great whites.
In White #1, we see the plane go down, see a bit of backstory on Willa’s life and how she got in the mess to begin with, and see her take refuge on the severed wing of the plane floating in the ocean. She makes contact with people who can rescue her, but now she has to wait. The anxiety of Willa is palpable. You can feel the tension Willa is feeling.
White #2 ramps up the tension as we learn a lot about behavior of the great whites, as well as find out more about the progress of Willa’s rescue. We get a bit of relief when we find out the great whites are swimming away. However that doesn’t last long as it turns out the reason they are leaving is because a bigger predator has entered the area. That predator is a massive great white named Veronica.
Veronica is. It happy either. She was tagged with a camera and a transmitter earlier that day. The electronics she was tagged with are sending her signals she doesn’t understand and messing with her (and all sharks) ability to sense electrical current in the water.
Over all, White has been one of the best comics I have read in a while. The horror comes not only from the situation that Willa is in, but because it is also possible. The best monsters are those that are real. Reading the story allows you to feel the tension and anxiety, both thanks to Schaffer’s ability to draw and tell a story.
The first issue was very hard to find, and with a smaller print run, the second issue is even more difficult.
It is worth the pick up for any horror, shark, or indie comic reader.
With the recent release of “The Shallows” and Schaffer having already had a book optioned, this one could be a book to watch.
White #1 currently sells for $12 and up.