Don’t Let The Peen Forest Distract From The White Trees #1 [NSFW]

Don’t Let The Peen Forest Distract From The White Trees #1 [NSFW]

The White Trees #1 Kris Anka (line art), Aditya Bidikar (letter art), Shanna Matuszak (production artist), Matt Wilson (color art), Chip Zdarsky (script) Image Comics August 14, 2019 A review copy of this comic was provided by Image. This review contains spoilers for The White Trees #1. Look, it’s probably no surprise to anyone that

The White Trees #1

Kris Anka (line art), Aditya Bidikar (letter art), Shanna Matuszak (production artist), Matt Wilson (color art), Chip Zdarsky (script)
Image Comics
August 14, 2019

A review copy of this comic was provided by Image. This review contains spoilers for The White Trees #1.

Look, it’s probably no surprise to anyone that a team-up of Kris Anka, Matt Wilson, and Chip Zdarsky would draw me in. High fantasy is generally not my jam, but I would read a menu if these three were responsible for it. (In all seriousness, can you imagine what a diner menu written by Chip would be like? I can’t, but I know it would be a fucking delight and that Kris would make incredibly detailed drawings of the food and Matt would somehow create a gorgeous visually distinct color palette for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) That being said, reading the first issue of The White Trees was transcendent, and I don’t use that word lightly.

Cover to The White Trees, Image Comics - Three warriors stand in front of a pale white tree trunk
The experience of reading The White Trees #1 is like when an actor known for blockbusters suddenly appears in an small-budget indie film or period drama and is really really good and you’re like, what the actual fuck you’re not just pretty but you’re really really talented, and I had no idea how much you were being limited by just being in blockbusters and action films. You want to shout it from the rooftops and also convert all nonbelievers as penance for your ignorance of just how talented they are.

I had no idea how much of Chip and Kris’s talent I hadn’t been seeing by only reading work they’ve done with DC and Marvel. (I’d include Matt in this too, but I already knew his skills were phenomenal, so the experience wasn’t enlightening so much as confirmational.) The NSFW aspect definitely doesn’t disappoint (if you’re not already at the NSFW tier of Kris’s Patreon I can personally highly recommend it), but if you focus on the peen and the orgy of ethereal bodies, you’re missing some of the best fantasy writing I’ve seen outside of video games.

Panel from The White Trees #1, Kris Anka Line art, Matt Wilson color art, Image Comics August 2019

It’s a really pretty orgy, too. So colorful!

I’ve been playing a lot of Horizon Zero Dawn for the first time, and what I love about that game is that I am transported. I know it’s going to take a long time to figure out what’s going on, but I don’t care, because the world itself is so beautiful and the characters are so interesting that I want to stay there as long as I’m allowed. That’s exactly the feeling I had while reading The White Trees #1. Chip is actually really good at worldbuilding. Who knew? I didn’t, since I’ve only read him in the context of writing in worlds that have already been created. I went into this comic wondering why I would care about these characters and I came out the other side absolutely in love with all of them and needing to know all of their backstories. Like, I love that Dahvlan, the Ka D’Argo of this series (which is enough to endear him to me for all time), fathered a child with a female partner but is currently with the very, very pretty Scotiar, and that’s just there, clearly establishing that bisexuals do indeed exist. Thanks, Chip!

Another thing I learned: Kris is really, really good at landscapes. Like, breathtakingly good. And I didn’t know that because I usually see his portraits or his work in books like Runaways, which is mostly interiors (incredibly detailed interiors, but still). Kris once did a streaming session for patrons and one of the things I learned (other than Kris has a very nice voice) is that he used to do backgrounds for animation back in the day. But I’d kind of forgotten that until I saw all of the nature—and yes, white trees.

Panel from The White Trees #1, Kris Anka Line art, Matt Wilson color art, Image Comics August 2019

Look at this ridiculousness. And Matt’s colors make it all the more ethereal. It’s so good.

So consider this my testimonial shouted from the rooftops, or from a forest filled with inexplicably white trees (I better find out why for real in the next issue), and a lot of (extremely nice and mostly humanoid) genitalia: these guys are good. Like, good enough to make a girl who generally isn’t into this kind of thing completely engaged and annoyed at having to wait for the next issue to come out. And I haven’t read the second issue yet, but I’m calling it right now: I’m going to need more. One more issue, even if it is another double-sized one, is not going to be enough time to answer all of the questions I have after reading the first. And there’s no better feeling than that for me as a serial narrative addict than already wanting that next hit.

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2 Comments

  • Max Rotvel
    September 8, 2019, 8:03 pm

    Great review. I really want to wait until the second issue is released before I read it, but you’re making it very hard 🙂

    REPLY
    • Kate Tanski@Max Rotvel
      September 11, 2019, 2:24 pm

      It is HARD to wait! But I also know I’m going to be sad when I finish. It’s like waiting for the final season of The Good Place.

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