All writing and artwork done by Dan Schaffer
Well, here we are. The last issue of White.
Willa is on top of a buoy, out in the middle of the ocean, holding on for dear life as Veronica, our great white shark with some anger control issues, swims angrily around her. Willa has already been bitten in the calf and is waiting for a rescue. She has a SAT phone that she has been using but, there’s been some problems with who she’s been able to contact.
And we pick up from there…
Sitting atop the buoy, Willa desperately dials the only phone number programmed into the SAT phone, The Coast Guard Training Center at Port Elizabeth. She gets a person that doesn’t know who she is or anything about her situation. Willa gets, shall we say…quite vocal about her situation and uses a number of choice phrases to communicate that information. The person on the phone warns her that she’ll disconnect if the foul language continues. Now Willa goes off. And the person on the other end of the line ends the call.
Willa hears a beep. It’s the SAT phone. The battery is getting low. It’s at 9%.
She dials again. A different person answers this time. They tell Willa that they are under the impression that the research vessel, The Indigo, has already picked her up and that she is safe. To clear up the confusion, they want to call The Indigo and have Willa hold on the line. Willa adamantly says No to this and explains the battery issue. They tell her that’s fine, to go ahead and hang up and they’ll have The Indigo call her. And then they’re gone. (Now, let’s not ignore the fact that this vessel is supposed to have been there and gone by now. And she’s supposed to believe or rely on the fact that they are going to be so nice as to call her NOW? Yeah okay.)
Just as the call gets ended, Veronica slams into the buoy from below, rocking it back and forth and shaking Willa to her core.
The phone rings.
Willa answers hoping that it’s The Indigo or Maggie or somebody to help her but, it’s some guy named Don Skinner. He works at Madison Films (the film company she just got fired from before the crash) in the Legal Department. She doesn’t know who he is but, he wants to ask her some questions (while she’s still alive, I presume).
He wants her to confirm that she was, in fact, let go PRIOR to the plane crashing. He also wants to know if she’s spoken to anyone, specifically anyone from the media. He also takes the opportunity to inform her that anything and everything related to the plane crash is deemed intellectual property of Madison Films including any and all subsequent trauma any person or persons may incur.
At the complete end of any patience she had left, Willa informs HIM that she was fired because she wouldn’t give in to the sexual harassment and Skinner just replies that she has been notified and hangs up. (This poor girl gets hung up on more than anyone I’ve ever heard of, I mean, wow. She is NOT popular at all right now.)
Then the phone rings again. This time it’s Jay. He explains that they are on their way, they are an hour out and Maggie is off the expedition for good.
Willa, feeling extremely lonely and scared, asks Jay to keep her company while she waits for them. When asked what she wants to talk about she tells him to educate her more about sharks (the more you know about something, the less afraid of it you will be).
They talk for a bit but, then the SAT phone beeps again. The battery is almost dead now.
Now, it gets real. Jay explains that Gregg lost his sponsorship for the expedition that morning. Alan Sack from the film studio called and they cut a deal, movie rights for money. Jay just rubs salt in an open wound when he tells her why he really called her. He was instructed by Gregg to keep her on the phone until the battery dies. No one is going to come for her. They aren’t even coming for her.
Veronica thrusts herself into the buoy, her whole weight crashing into Willa’s only hope for survival. But, it’s too much. Willa falls off into the water.
Willa gathers herself at the surface only to see Veronica charging at her at full speed. Deciding she has no choice, and quite frankly, is extremely pissed off now, she faces Veronica head on, waiting for the opportunity. And it rapidly presents itself. Just as the shark is about to chomp her in half she rolls to the side, grabs the camera on Veronica’s dorsal fin and rips it off.
She tries to cling to the buoy but, she is too weak and passes out, falling into the water.
She wakes up some time later in a speed boat…with Maggie. Maggie tells her after she was let go from the expedition, she couldn’t leave Willa out there to die…so she came to get her by herself. They have a meeting point with a larger vessel to get them the rest of the way home.
Maggie also explains that, with what she knows, what Willa has experienced and the benefits of being wealthy and privileged, she has an army of lawyers at her disposal, just waiting to rip Gregg, Jay and the film studio to shreds.
And off they go towards the sunset.
I enjoyed this series immensely. It was informative, contained some serious cliffhangers and featured some incredible artwork. Starting with the first issue, I was eager to find out what happened next. Again, my only real complaints are the existence of what seemed to be a public service announcement about the shark research that goes on and the lack of actual shark bite action. Other than that, it is truly a compelling series with much to offer.