A dreamer can wish for kindness to appear, but they can’t change everything around them so that their desires actually come true. This is one of the biggest elements of Weaker Sides, surreal webcomic by Falco “LifeMachine” Verholen.
Since we’re always on the lookout for interesting indie comics, today we decided to take a look at the first three chapters of Falco’s work. Before we continue, however, there’s something you should keep in mind. This comic is not intended for younger audiences and contains graphic violence and sexual themes.
So, to the youngest among our readers: you’ve been warned!
Out of The Ordinary Storytelling
Weaker Sides’ premise is scattered all over the place, primarily due to its abnormal story elements. The overall plot is about a nurse named Ashley, who finds a shapeshifter covered in blood on a road. The creature – who can shift between her deer and human form – appears stuck mid-transformation; with the body of a woman and the head of a deer.
Ashley immediately attempts to calm her down and gains her trust by helping her heal her wounds. From there, the two will work together to find out why the female can no longer shapeshift properly.
I think the biggest selling point of the story is the abnormal storytelling Falco Verholen created. Unlike most stories, Weaker Sides take the time to present different viewpoints throughout different periods of time. Readers are not told when and where the story changes. Instead, it is up to the reader to figure out the direction of the story.
The change of pace is quite pleasant and allows for the appeal of a mystery and confusion to draw a reader in. I find the constant jumps to be intriguing, as the comic piques my curiosity to go back and put the pieces together. However, I wouldn’t recommend this story if you’re looking for a lazy read.
Lovable Balls of Warmth…
As far as characters go, Ashley is a lovable ball of warmth. He prefers to be embraced in a blanket of comfort when it comes to luxuries like a warm home, lotions, flowery designs, etc. However, that does not mean he is afraid to get dirty. He will do whatever it takes to let a person heal before they are released back into the world.
To him, the softer side of humanity is what drives him to live. The shapeshifter may be an enigma, but she represents a stark vision of what humanity had forced her to become. She became a freak of nature without any answers. I still don’t know why she ran away, but the story implies that she was fighting for her fate.
The plot of Weaker Sides is pretty normal. What makes this story different is the order in which it is told. Since the creator decided to bounce from one place to another, it’s up to us to decipher the thoughts and actions of each protagonist.
Falco Verholen gives all of their readers the ability to explore different parts of Ashley’s mind and the shapeshifter’s emotions. However, readers decide what substantiates for Ashley’s conscience and what makes the shapeshifter more of a human than an animal. I can only hope the creator gives more answers as the story goes on instead of leaving it to the readers.
Before we are done with Weaker Sides, we should talk about the way it looks. The art has more of surrealistic style than most indie comics, with its abnormal uses of lines and colors. But the creator takes the time to connect their artwork back to the characters’ thoughts, rather than the plot of the story.
And while the style of Weaker Sides wouldn’t satisfy a commercial audience, it would make all art lovers gasp in awe. The only thing I can suggest is to try and take the time to read one chapter before deciding whether to love or hate the art style.
To sum things up, I think the story is a unique thrill-ride of confusion and perception. The three chapters I read had a decent plot, with a unique approach to storytelling. And even though the characters might not sound unique, a look into their minds shows otherwise.
All of this makes Weaker Sides a web-comic you should definitely give a chance to. If you want to know more about it or read the story, you can visit the project’s official site here.