This is an exceptionally hard title to review, not least because of its content, but because of its nature as a self published, online comic.
First off, the plot is interesting enough. Set in a typical town, where its suggested not a lot seems to happen, the title does a great job of creating atmosphere. There’s a real sense of mundane life that sets up the story.
This is then shattered when the plot moves into its more shocking elements. With suggestive touches of horror, cultism and various religious undertones, you could easily compare the nature of this title to something from Stephen King. Its blunt, but in a good way. Its not bowing to anyone, delivering the story it wants to tell. The pacing is good, for a 4-part series, leaving reader’s wanting more.
Unfortunately, my only gripes with the title are due to its independent nature, at least in my opinion. The art work is fantastic, the black and white detail driving home the monotony. The hand drawn approach is also surprisingly refreshing; just looking at each page there’s evidence of the work that’s gone into crafting White Devil #1 through traditional means.
After reading comics done on computer and high quality, expensive inks, its good to see a title that accomplishes just as much with so much less. The vague splashes of blue later on add a bit more depth, and show some creative experimentation that I’m always happy to see.
However, there’s no way around the lack of straight frames. Its a technique that can sometimes work, but I feel this title needs tighter framing. It might be intentional, but the loose lines make it harder to follow, and it leaves a lot of white space on the pages. It certainly doesn’t ruin the title, but some readers might not be a huge fan of the approach.
Likewise, the dialogue can sometimes be difficult to read. The text doesn’t take up the speech bubbles, or, near the beginning at least, difficult to read when handwritten. This is a shame, because the dialogue is actually fairly good, getting to the core of the atmosphere.
To summarize, its hard to review this title because, for all its unique appeal, its so different from typical published comics. That’s both its main appeal and its biggest drawback, so you might have to go ahead and read it to find out more.