Published: September 1st, 2020
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre(s): Comics, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural
Length: 112 pages
Sarah Anderson is best known for her Sarah’s Scribbles web comics, where a big-eyed, spiky-haired version of herself deals with introversion, anxiety, and the vagaries of modern life in a humorous, relatable way. Those strips are the exact sort of thing that people love to share on social media. When I heard about her new book, Fangs, I was intrigued because it sounded so different from her oftentimes silly work in Sarah’s Scribbles.
However, it turns out that Fangs doesn’t go that far afield. I’d assumed that it was a longer story, but it’s actually a collection of another webcomic. Although the art style and main characters are very different from Sarah’s Scribbles, the strips in Fangs are still one-page slice-of-life jokes and observations.
The stars of the strips in Fangs are a couple: Elsie the vampire and Jimmy the werewolf. They meet, they do couple things, and sometimes there are jokes about vampires or werewolves. That’s it! There isn’t any kind of developing story or anything. Some of the strips are literally just a picture of them hanging out being a couple, drinking tea and reading.
I know there is a market for this sort of thing, of course. People love to write fan-fiction about their favorite characters falling in love and experiencing no trauma or strife whatsoever. This collection sort of feels like that concept distilled into comic form: what if a vampire and a werewolf dated, got really comfortable, loved each other, and there was absolutely no conflict or danger? Personally, I find that kind of boring.
Perhaps I would have been more forgiving of this collection if there was an overarching story, or if the individual strips were funnier. Instead, the best I can say about this book is that I like the art, and it was occasionally funny, maybe a quarter of the time. I think I read the whole thing in fifteen minutes, to be honest.
Fangs is one of those books where the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I don’t think collecting these strips does them any favors. They just feel more insubstantial when you have them together in one place.
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.