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Book Review < Back

Beach Safari

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Mawil Witsil
Publisher: Top Shelf

Commentary

BEACH SAFARI is about an unlikely bunny with glasses, washing up on a deserted shore in the middle of a storm. After struggling to survive, he discovers three girls on vacation, leisurely preoccupied with the tasks of swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. They adapt the bunny as their beach companion, getting him drunk, teaching him to swim, and going topless without a hint of shame.

The bunny doesn't understand their jokes, and gets so nervous when they flirt with him he hiccups, but soon enough a bond develops between him and the freckle-faced girl. There are awkward feelings he doesn't understand and she couldn't possibly reciprocate, or maybe she could, just a little bit? In the heat of the sun and the liberty of the ocean, it's hard to tell. The only certain thing is no beach safari lasts forever.

BEACH SAFARI is a summer vacation. The plot is loose, the pace is relaxed, the companions are playful, and the mission is fun. Mawil's art is wonderfully evocative when focused on the magical setting, and expressive on the faces of his characters. Dialogue is present where needed, but it never interferes when a longing look or beautiful moonlit seascape will do. The book light but hardly inconsequential; like all trips to an idyllic slice of coast, everyone goes back where they came from, but no one goes back the same as when they arrived.

Perfect for lounging in the sun while listening to a summer jam, or when you're stuck indoors longing for swimsuit weather to return, BEACH SAFARI will make you think about the time you left your own little piece of innocence behind in return for a bit of paradise on Earth.

-- Sam Humphries

 


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