Review: The Savage Beard of She Dwarf GN
If you're in the mood for a fun adventure to get your mind off of current events and distract you from your doom scrolling, then may I recommend a She Dwarf in these trying times? It definitely helped me with the mental funk I've been in over the past day. This volume collects the webcomic by Kyle Latino, and it's a charming play on fantasy tropes with engaging characters and some nice subtle world building which quickly made it a new favorite of mine.
She Dwarf believes herself to be the last dwarf in existence, and she's on a quest to find the lost dwarven city of Dammerung to find out the secrets of her people. She's confident, skilled, and passionate about helping other small creatures, which leads her down some winding roads along the way of her main quest. She's also pretty dang hardcore, so do not mess with her.
Along the way she of course meets different characters, such as Hack Battler:
And the incredibly powerful elf Drift, who wants to stop She Dwarf at all costs.
One of the best elements about some of these characters is that they start off as foes or potential enemies, and She Dwarf's affable (and stubborn) nature wins them over. There are gradual and organic developments that follow the flow of the plot and it just makes the whole package very rewarding.
Latino has a great sense of pace, combining some normal fantasy set-up beats, just the right amount of action and violence, and then breaking them up with some great humor.
I'm also a big fan of his art style as it has a quirky cartoonishness that helps in emoting the characters, but also has a great amount of detail and there are some truly beautiful pages throughout the book.
Another one of Latino's strengths is definitely character and monster design. From the stupid and violent Shorcs:
The monster Bears For Hands:
And the mysterious warrior Muscle Hawk, who we definitely do not get enough of and I pray we get more volumes to get to his story.
Oni Press did the usual great job on their printing, giving us a nice 159 page package that's a good chunk of reading for the $19.99 price tag. You can read most of this online, but it stops a few pages into the final chapter as Latino opted to have the rest of the finale finish in print.
The Savage Beard of She Dwarf is an utter delight and I can not recommend it enough. She's the hero the world deserves AND needs right now.