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Dembicki, Matt – Xoc: The Journey of a Great White



Xoc: The Journey of a Great White

Maybe you were one of the people who bought this delightful series when it was coming out in mini comic form, or maybe you stopped halfway through like me (for no reason other than the fact that I constantly lose track of series because I’m always buried under mini comics in this “job”). Even if you did get the whole series, I have two excellent reasons for you to pick this collected edition up: 1. hardcover fancy pants edition and 2. full color. This was a series that always screamed out for color, as the creatures Matt was drawing were sometimes some of the most colorful creatures on the planet, and Oni Press fixed that beautifully with this edition. But I suppose some of you haven’t read any of this series, and you maybe want to know what I’m babbling about already. OK! This is the story of Xoc, a great white shark who travels roughly 2,300 miles from California to Hawaii, and the adventures the shark gets into along the way. It picks up a turtle traveling companion more or less by accident, hunts various creatures to stay fed, sees more than one horror of the industrialized world, examines a shark tank with two people in it, gets two lampreys stuck to itself without any reasonable method to remove them, and gets attacked a few times by killer whales. Matt did his homework in a big way, as I learned plenty both through the comic itself and the footnotes after the fact (did you know that great white sharks could lose more than 1,000 teeth during its lifetime? Terrifying in so many ways). There’s a strong environmental message here, so if you hate such things… well, get your head out of your ass, it’s not like we have all the time in the world to fix this. And if you hate environmental stuff so much that you think it’s OK to catch sharks, cut off their fins and then dump them back into the water where they will drown because they have no damned fins, I’d rather not ever have a conversation with you, thanks all the same. Anyway! This is a gorgeous book and a compelling adventure story, and Matt stays true to life in acknowledging that most nature stories like this do not have happy endings. It’s still a fantastic story, and something that should be read by anybody with a pulse and/or conscience. $20