A Profile of a She-Dwarf: A Review of the Webcomic: The Savage Beard of She Dwarf and an Interview with the Creator
The Savage Beard of She Dwarf by Kyle Latino
I was exploring this year’s POPCON here in Indianapolis last weekend, when I stumbled onto a small treasure: The Savage Beard of She Dwarf by the creator/writer/artist/colorist Kyle Latino. The dynamic art of the book stunned me, and I loved its strong minded heroine. A she dwarf might not sound like a sexy character, but in fantasy art, even they are often scantily clad, bearded women with six packs. The only thing separating them from the standard human woman is their height.
She Dwarf isn’t like that. Her corporal physique rivals Gimli of LOTRH, and she sports a magnificent beard. The whole race of dwarves is like that for women. In fact, only the female dwarves grow beards in the comic. This alone makes the book stand out.
The plot of the story is fairly straightforward to start. She Dwarf believes she is not the last of her kind, so she is on a mission to find a lost city of dwarves. She fights for the little guy, taking on dragons, shorcs (Shark-Orcs of course), and giant monsters with polar bears for arms.
The story is light and amusing. I laughed numerous times at the antics and situations our titular heroine found herself in. She makes friends along the way, like any good adventurer, and she gets banned from an establishment or two.
The art isn’t just the best art I have ever seen in a webcomic. It is easily some of the best art I have ever seen, period. The character and monster designs are original and intriguing. I found my self surprised multiple times at the creatures that leap from the pages. The colors glow. There is no other way I can think to put it. They are a brilliant celebration of color, and I couldn’t help but get sucked in to the pages.
This comic was so good that I stopped what I was doing to take it in. In a convention full of wonders, this book stole the show. So much so, I just had to talk to the writer.
Q: How long have you been working on She Dwarf:
A: The comic launched two years ago as a webcomic, but the first 3 chapters are now published in a hard copy.
Q:Is it still continuing?
A: It is still continuing. It has a limited story, so it will eventually come to an end. It won’t go on forever. But yeah, it’s still ongoing. We are at about the halfway point.
Q: How many chapters are up now on the web?
A: There are five up on the website (www.shedwarf.com), and then this collection of the first three.
Q: What projects have you worked on before this?
A: Before this, I did some work for Boom! Studios and Image. For Image, I did Outlaw Territories, it was a western anthology, and for Boom! Studios, I was color assistant on Stan Lee Presents: Starborn. I didn’t get credited for that work, but I did it none the less. That’s actually where I arrived at the coloring style for the comic is all the color lighting I did for that book.
Q: Its beautiful. I really like the coloring on here.
A: Thank you. Yeah, you learn how to do that quickly when you are working as a colorist.
Q: You can definitely see the Boom! influence here. Its great. Do you have any plans for any projects after this?
A: This is a big one right now. Probably going to take me another year to wrap up. It basically takes all my attention, when I am not getting commissions to do some Dungeons and Dragons stuff. I just did an anthology piece, in Fresh Romance, from Emet Comics with Jen Van Meter and Marissa Louise. (The piece is called Don’t Break Up the Party, and it’s in Fresh Romance #8.)
We concluded the interview there, and I started getting hooked on She Dwarf.
PS. If you want to check the comic out, you can find it at http://www.shedwarf.com/comic/chapter-1-page-1/