One Punch Reviews #84: Wuffle: The Big Nice Wolf
Some weeks ago, I solicited the readers for links to their comics or recommendations to webcomic that they liked. There were plenty of fantastic entries, some which I mentally bookmarked to slot for a review some time down the line. This is the first one, recommended by reader
Why Piti Yindee’s Wuffle: The Big Nice Wolf? The reason is perhaps quite shallow: it was really, really pretty. I mean, the header shows a big yet cute cartoon wolf with a white volleyball under his arm that turns out to be a chicken. Look, people, there’s no big secret to getting me to pay attention: I’m like a moth to flame when it comes to cute things.
Our main character is Wuffle, the titular Big Nice Wolf. He’s a bit of a hayseed, what with living out in the country and wearing a sensible pair of overalls. He’s also, perhaps, a little too strong for his own good. However, Wuffle is a really nice guy. He’s a bit of a handyman supreme, fixing everything from malfunctioning fans to broken TVs and asking for nothing in return.
Rounding out the main cast is a roommate named Puipui (a grumpy hedgehog) and Foxxo and Joe (the local rich kid and his stern faced bodyguard). Wuffle and Puipui often find themselves at odds with Foxxo, who can be something of a selfish brat. Still, they’re all friends, and when Wuffle and Puipui go fishin’, then heck, there’s no reason Foxxo can’t come along.
Wuffle is the sort of comic you can plop in front of your children guilt-free. The gags are uncomplicated. Many of them revolve around the animals each character represents — which is the sort of humor kids would find in, say, “Old MacDonald”. Squirrels have puffy cheeks, goats eat garbage, thoroughbreds are speedy, and rabbits likes carrots. (One of my favorite strips is when a bedridden Foxxo spies the rabbit girl’s signature dish in abject horror.)
Then there are some less obvious gags. I love how the resident elderly couple are 1970’s disco types who are into roleplay collectibles and online gaming. I suppose that you could say that this is the sort of “rapping grannie” gag you can expect from Adam Sandler … but darn it, it works. Of course people who grew up in the 70’s would be elderly now. And bottom line, it’s adorable. ADORABLE. Game, set, match.
Mr. Yindee is not shy about his stylistic influences. He readily acknowledges his debt to the man who invented manga, Ozamu Tezuka. Quite enjoyably, in fact: he drew anAstroboy-themed sequence for Halloween 2012. Thematically, though, the webcomic as a whole reminds me a lot of the great Canadian cartoon The Raccoons, where all the woodland critters, even the curmudgeonly old guy who lives in the mansion, are generally decent folks who get along despite their unique personalities.
Wuffle features some of the most pleasing animation-style art I’ve ever seen in a webcomic. Yindee rescued the design of Wuffle from a “Three Little Pigs” comic he’d shelved, and I can see why he liked it so much. The guy’s like a modern day Li’l Abner: barrel-chested and tough but with soft contours to remind you that the guy’s ultimately a big softie. The coloring’s a big factor in the appeal, too. It resembles the palette for an 80’s children anime but with a softer touch. I suppose I can point out some minor quibbles. Yindee could’ve chosen a better font, for example. One that doesn’t look like Comic Sans. However, even that adds to the charm, as if Wuffle was a delightful, long-lost classic that had just recently discovered and fansubbed by enthusiastic devotees.
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5).