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Webcomic Review: Fangs is a Wholesome Romance Webcomic

If you are somewhat on the Internet, you’ve probably seen the work of cartoonist Sarah Andersen, who is best known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical comics Sarah’s Scribbles. However, in late 2019, Andersen branched out into the world of paranormal romance with a new webcomic, Fangs that is hosted on Tapas at this link and is published twice weekly. I stumbled on out of context panels of this comic on an anime Facebook page one night, and I know to read the comic in proper order.

Fangs is a romance comic about the relationship between a vampire named Elsie and a werewolf named Jimmy, who meet at a dive bar in Asheville, NC, have instant chemistry, and become a couple. What follows are little vignettes from their life together and the idiosyncrasies that make each other perfect for one another. Fangs works as both a romance and a comedy with sweet sequences like Elsie scratching Jimmy’s ears on the couch while they watch Twilight Zone book followed by comics where he immediately jumps at the door like a pet dog when she says the word ” walk”. Fangs is funny, sweet, and sometimes sexy, especially when Elsie calls Jimmy “boy” and asks about his blood type during their meet cute.

Sarah Andersen uses a simple, easy to follow art style in Fangs with lots of deep blacks, especially when Elsie is involved. However, Andersen switches up the format and layout of Fangs throughout its run from five panel gag type comics like when Jimmy demonstrates he can talk to dogs to powerful splash pages like Jimmy and Elsie sharing their first morning together. Jimmy has the light on his side while Elsie is in the grey scale shadows so she doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames. In a single image, Andersen shows that Jimmy and Elsie work well together, but might have to make some compromises. This is all without dialogue as she uses lighting, body language, and composition to tell the story.

Fangs hits peak adorable when Jimmy is in his wolf form, which happens in scattered Sarah Andersen doesn’t pull a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and make some epic arc out of his lycanthropy. No, it’s just some shit that happens and gives Andersen a chance to draw some really cute wolves and moments like Elsie and Jimmy cuddling up in her coffin, or Ellie making her “pet” an excuse of why she can’t go out that night. It also shows that Jimmy and Ellie work well together because of their monstrous natures, and not in spite of it. For example, she can drink the blood, he can eat the meat, and that’s dinner sorted. This isn’t something they could do if they were dating humans even though it’s kind of sad that Elsie doesn’t show up in Jimmy’s selfies in a modernization of the whole vampires don’t appear in mirrors thing.

Sarah Andersen’s Fangs is low stakes, slice of life romantic goodness with a dash of humor and Gothic/paranormal fiction. Its lead characters are honestly relationship goals, but Andersen does introduces little dashes of tension in the book like Elsie talking about how many people she’s killed and a random jogger hitting on Jimmy while he’s sitting on a bench. But, for the most part, this is Young Romance for the Tales of the Crypt crowd, and it’s nice to see a monster-on-monster love story without townspeople in pitchforks raising the hue and cry.

Story/Art: Sarah Andersen
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Subscribe

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