All art and writing done by Dan Schaffer.
So it took almost six months to get this issue. It felt like an eternity. But, here it is. The long awaited Issue #2 of White by Dan Schaffer. I still gotta hand it to this guy, I mean he’s doing all this art, lettering and story line himself, so…let’s cut him some slack.
Just a note too…I found out that since he IS doing this on his own this is all coming out in limited print, hence why I had the hardest flippin’ time finding a copy of issue number 2, it cost a chunk of change for a comic book single issue, but, TOTALLY worth it.
Now, for the new readers, a little about Mr. Schaffer and his art. He uses live models, a Miss Jenny I have deduced by my research, and uses oils which add such a different and lifelike quality to the imagery that is really hard to explain but, so easy to appreciate. This particular medium has a way of capturing textures of the ocean and as I said in my review of the first issue, it has an uncanny ability to capture the texture of the skin of the shark and its movements, the movement of the water, the fear in our main characters eyes. It’s something that is really hard to get out of acrylics or inks it seems. Just a nice enhancement to the whole feel of the entire piece, in my opinion.
So, we still have Willa, Maggie and Jay. Willa has made it back onto the wing safely from the shark that rammed the wing at the end of our last issue. Sharks still circle like hungry vulchers waiting for the dying to actually die.
Maggie still seems to be only MOSTLY honest with Willa, while Jay continues to wield his brutal honesty like a blunt object of rage.
Now, Maggie, the forever researcher, (enter eye roll here) wants to know how many sharks are around in the water at this time. To Maggie this is a very understandable, serious and logical question…to Willa this is the dumbest thing she’s been asked all day…and as a production assistant, she gets asked to do some pretty silly and dumb stuff. So, and with good cause, Willa gets pissed and frustrated because, ya know, Maggie and Jay are the ones in the fancy AND SAFE research facility with all the high tech gear to track all these eating machines prowling around her like she rang the dinner bell. So why are they asking her?
Welllll….it turns out their information and tracking devices just “aren’t that accurate”.
(Okay, break time. Aren’t that accurate??? Then why are they tagging these sharks to begin with? I mean, what’s the point of this study they are conducting then? This seems a little wasteful of grant money but, it’s not like anyone called and said, “Hey Ang, what do you think of this?” So moving on…)
Maggie has come up with a solution to figure out how many sharks are in the water at this very moment. She wants Willa to put on her goggles and stick her pretty little blond head in the water and LOOK. (Are you flippin’ serious??? This Maggie chick IS a scientist, right? She DOES in fact STUDY sharks, right? She DOES know that while it’s not their first menu choice, Great Whites WILL dine on humans…?...as we learned in Issue #1. This chick is…I’m not even Willa and I want to punch this Maggie. Moving on…)
Now, incredibly Willa ALSO decides that “this is the only way” (please enter another eye roll aimed at the scientists with all the non-accurate equipment) and puts her goggles on to dip that blond bombshell head of hers in the dinner pool. BUT, just as she leans over to plunge in, she hears a SWOOSH and a PLOP as a big metal canister with a beacon light on it bursts through the cruel surface of the bitter ocean. It’s the life raft! Hallelujah!!!!
So, Willa sees this big canister containing the life raft and nixes the idea of her head being fish food. Smart girl. She tells Maggie over the SAT phone what’s popped up and she starts paddling almost frantically towards it but, she’s not getting anywhere. (I mean, come on, she’s going against ocean current here guys, not the easiest thing in the world with two paddles and she’s doing it one handed.)
Willa hears Mags filling Jay in on the situation. Maggie tells her to be careful paddling, not to splash too much. She hears Jay in the background, “F&%* that Maggie tell her to paddle faster!” Then Maggie yells back at Jay. (Are these two coworkers or dating?) Willa hears Jay tell Maggie, “Tell her to swim for it! It’s her best chance!”
Now, of course, Maggie refuses to tell Willa to jump in the water and swim for it because frankly, (guys, man up here) Willa is on her period. This makes her like fresh chum in the White Shark Café and this is NOT good. Maggie is NOT going to tell Willa to swim for the raft. Jay still is screaming that it’s the best plan.
Willa looks into the water and sees all the sharks have gone under. She sees no dorsal fins, no tails.
She decides to go for it.
(Now here is a great set of panels portraying an awesome and intense action sequence.)
Willa jumps into the water with the SAT phone in her hand. She swims quickly to towards the raft container. WE see an awesome bird’s eye view of her swimming and this massive shark swimming just perhaps seconds behind her. She’s swimming, the shark is swimming…and gaining on her…and gaining…and gaining. Just as she gets to the container, the shark swoops up from underneath and whips itself out of the water, whole body, snatching the container in its mouth like an eagle with prey, diving back deep into the unforgiving depths of the water, all right in front of Willa, within inches…of her face.
Willa starts to freak out. Maggie hears her and starts yelling at her over the SAT phone to shut up and swim back to the wing of the plane. Trying to get her bearings, in her frantic state Willa is looking around and well, she can’t find the wing. How far did she swim? Where did it go? She just saw it a minute ago… (These are the dangers of the vast open sea my friends.)
After a few seconds, which seem like hours, she sees the wing and starts swimming, quite literally, for her life towards it; a shark, massive and hungry, just mere seconds beyond her. And poor Willa, poor, poor Willa. She swims man. She swims and swims but this shark, is like Jaws…and it just keeps getting closer…and closer…and closer, until it’s right on top of her.
She reaches the wing but, it’s too late. Her hand with the SAT phone hits the wing first, SAT phone...on wing…check. Willa gets pulled under quickly, viciously. She’s gone.
We hear Maggie on the SAT phone screaming to Jay that she can’t get Willa, that she’s not answering, that something’s wrong…Silence.
Pfwoosh!!!!! Willa’s pretty blond head pops up out of the water and her hands grasp for the wing as she pulls herself up onto it. She lies down on her back and just breathes for a moment. Then she tells Maggie she’s ok however, the shark got her, she’s been bitten. It bit her and then let her go, she tells Maggie it didn’t hurt, and it felt more like a puppy bite. (I have a puppy; I don’t know what this chick is talking about. My German Shephard has razor puppy teeth, crazy lunatic…shark puppy bite, yeah okay.)
However, when she looks down at her calf she sees that this “puppy bite” is bleeding everywhere and is in fact fairly deep. Maggie tells her she needs to stop the bleeding so Willa uses one of her shirts (thank you for the layered look) and wraps her leg in that.
But now, she notices something really strange happening. All the sharks are LEAVING. Not just going under but, actually leaving. She relays this info to Maggie. (I personally by now would ask to talk to Jay but, whatever…).
Maggie and Jay start having another one of their “conversations”. Some weird conversation about a “Veronica” and if she’s “there”... Now Jay takes the phone from Maggie, again. He explains who “Veronica” is.
“Veronica” is a Great White shark. A dominant Great White, to be more specific. He explains that she has a camera that they just fitted her with that morning on her dorsal fin. Being that she is a dominant shark explains why all the other sharks have left the area. However, (there’s always a however or a but with these folks) the camera and transmitters that they fitted Veronica with are interfering with her own electroreceptors. This is causing her to be very confused and agitated. (Yay!)
Now, Willa sees this shark pass by as she is hearing this information. She bellows at Jay that this thing is the size of a train. Oh and that it’s swimming around her like fresh dinner is served…again …and bumping the wing…and acting aggressively. Jay continues to explain that the camera needs to be removed…and Willa has to do it.
All she needs to do it reach out and flip a release and grab the camera as Veronica swims by her. Willa’s like, Oh, that’s all huh? Just like that? Sure! No Problem! NO!!!! Are you crazy!
Jay tells her she really has no choice. If she doesn’t the shark will just become more agitated, she doesn’t want that.
Okay, so, here we go, Willa the shark whisperer…they have told her to keep eye contact so the shark knows it has no element of surprise for attack. Gee, thanks. Willa doesn’t want to but as Veronica starts to swim at her at full speed she reaches out for the camera.
The shark, with all its speed and momentum, pulls her tiny body off the wing into the water, leaving her vulnerable yet again. And here comes Veronica.
And the chase is on. Can Willa get back to and on the wing before Veronica can get to her and tear her to shreds? Just as Willa gets to the wing Veronica speeds past her and takes a huge bite out of the wing of the plane, cutting it in half, disappearing with her victory spoils into the depths of the ocean.
Willa climbs back on what’s left of her wing. She’s still got the SAT phone. She checks in with Maggie. She tells her she’s okay but. HER world, “just got a whole lot smaller.”
With each issue this story is getting better and better. I was getting frustrated but a one man production takes time and I respect that. I am completely engrossed in the art and the story line and cannot wait to see what happens with the next issue. There are only two more. SO, bear with me.
I’ve got so much more coming your way, so stay tuned. As always, thank you SO MUCH for reading. YOU are truly appreciated. Happy Haunting!