Webcomic Wednesday: Fate

Reviewed by Seán Donnelly

Created by Anthea West

In the world of Anthea West’s fantasy webcomic Fate, the main character of Bunny is something of a rare breed; he is a dustbunny that can speak, understand and read human languages. In that sense he is very much like the webcomic that he stars in, as Fate is a work that engages and captivates within the first few pages.

It helps that the main character of Bunny (though he’d prefer if you didn’t call him that) is a vividly realised character, being a grumpy loner with a heart of gold who is unwittingly caught up in the events of the story. His expressions are clear and defined owing to his cuddly, simplistic design that communicates his (often bitter) feelings on having to contend with dangers such as bears and pirates. He is the classic reluctant hero, which makes his friendship with the half-demon girl Dee Gerong even more endearing.

The story begins slowly and almost innocently, gradually introducing us to the world inhabited by the dustbunnies. It isn’t long before we are thrust into adventure alongside Bunny, and each strip ends with the reader chomping at the bit wondering what’s going to happen next. The world of Fate – known as Ethana – is expansive and full of intrigue, something that is fleshed out further by the welcome addition of journal entries that explore Ethana and its inhabitants in the form of playful diary entries and drawings.

Speaking of drawings, the art is consistently of a professional quality, with the variety in colour and character design lending itself to the creation of a believable, three-dimensional world. Splash pages such as this one are notable for how busy they are and are a sight to behold, while others (such as this strip) not only impress through their artistry but cleverly use transitions between panels to add energy and excitement to what would otherwise be a standard exposition scene, as well as building the world of Fate not just through dialogue but also through visuals. It is these subtle tricks that help Fate stand out against other works in its medium.