Fantasy With a Passion (The White Trees #1 Review)

August 15, 2019




Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kris Anka
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: Image Comics

Rating: 9/10






I’ve been waiting for THE WHITE TREES ever since it was announced that Chip Zdarsky would be working on a creator owned book again. An Image book, no less! Here’s the thing — I was not disappointed. This magical comic, written by Zdarsky, drawn by Kris Anka, colored by Matt Wilson and lettered by Aditya Bidikar surpassed my expectations.


From the moment you open the first page, Anka’s art and Wilson’s colors welcome you to the world of Blacksand in perfect harmony. The story centers around three warriors who must come together to save their missing children in a world that’s on the verge of war after many years of peace.


Zdarsky and Anka got to go crazy with this book. The last time these two worked together was on a Star-Lord mini-series (aka: Sexy Star Lord) for Marvel. THE WHITE TREES is unlike anything these two creators have worked on before. You can feel the passion (in more places than one) that went into this issue. It’s visually stunning with great attention to detail and has interesting dialogue that pulls you into a complex, multilayered story. My favorite scenes don't involve war or fighting. It's the quiet scenes that stuck out to me. Like when the characters deal with love, trauma and the will to push on, despite their losses. This whole issue is proof that everyone working on this book is versatile.



Another hero in this issue is the lettering. Aditya Bidikar is quickly becoming one of my favorite letterers. When you look at the details he puts into his work, it has a distinct personality. His lettering brings specific tones and moves with action or calmness. It feels like you’re in the middle of a conversation and not just reading words on paper.


This book is more than a horny fantasy comic. And... that's what I thought it would be when it was first announced. Only calling it that would be doing it a disservice. Instead it’s a story of men bred by the traumas of war who deal with the challenges of fatherhood. You see the characters deal with PTSD, trying to make it as parents, all types of sexual relationships, guilt and friends coming back together after war broke them apart.



On top of that, you’re thrown into a vivid and magical fantasy backdrop. Throughout the book, you’ll fall in love Blacksand’s gorgeous landscapes, ancient ruins and forests. You’ll meet elves, warriors, cat-men, dragons and maybe a group of seductive elf-fairy creatures.


I’m not going to spoil this. I want to but I won’t. It’s a book you have to experience for yourself. THE WHITE TREES is just two issues. But it’s going to be two strong issues. Chip Zdarsky can bring a wide range of emotions into just one issue anyway. Also, Image doesn’t have any plans to collect the whole thing right now. So this would be your only chance to read it in print. It is worth every penny, though. THE WHITE TREES is a mature, multilayered, badass and beautiful story by a team of extremely talented creators. Totally worth the price of admission. I’m looking forward to reading the second issue next month.

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