Woodlands by Sam Bowen and Ari Pluchinsky is a faun fantasy comic I first discovered at Small Press Expo this year. Sam and Ari sat across the aisle from me, so I traded some books for Woodlands and a copy of their other book, Goldfinch (which I’ll review later).
Edwyn the faun has been waiting for the return of his grandfather, someone he hasn’t heard from for a while. So, to keep himself busy, he’s been trying to make a sleeping potion for his fellow faun friend Remmy.
This first issue follows Edwyn and Remmy searching for ingredients for a sleeping potion, while also showing the world they live in. Also, giant freaking’ radishes.
SO WHAT’S SO FAUN-TASTIC ABOUT IT?
For a first issue, this sets up the world and the characters in a fun, charming way. The humor is character-based – nothing is forced.
No, not even the ridiculously fat deer.
…That deer, the conflict around it, and what happens after the encounter are some of my favorite moments in this first issue.
BUT IT ISN’T ALL RAINBOWS AND ROSES…
As much as I enjoyed this book, there was one thing that confused me – and that was the flashback moment.
During the deer chase, Edwyn falls into a cave on accident. While inside the cave, there’s a flashback moment: Edwyn sees when he was little and his grandfather found him and carried him back home.
The confusing thing to me is that Edwyn and this flashback moment exist at the same time in the cave. There’s no real filter to separate the two from each other, except that the flashback figures are vaguely blue.
Does this mean the two moments existed at the same time? What caused the flashback in the first place? How will this flashback tie in to the rest of the story later?
There’s no answer for this in the first issue, so I’m hoping this gets addressed later.
IS THIS WORTH SEEKING OUT?
Ultimately, yes, I still recommend this comic. I’m hoping that with time, some elements become more clear in the narrative – especially since this book has such a strong start.
If you love fantasy, and want to see more fauns, check this out. It’s worth the find.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.