When you get to reading something and you can’t put it down, you just know that you’re onto a winner. That’s how I felt when I sat down and started ANIMALHEADS from Son M (director of Perfect Garbage and Chimeric Studios) and Sam C (a freelance artist you can find over on Patreon).
For those who don’t know, ANIMALHEADS is a webcomic that follows a group of recent graduates who feel disillusioned about their future. The world they live in, whether it be high society that expects reputation to be the thing that guides you through life, or the desperate fight for survival in a capitalist society… Nobody in the group feels like celebrating. And that leads to, well… murder.
ANIMALHEADS caught my eye for a variety of reasons, and all of them made it unable for me to put the webcomic down. Even now, after recently reading the latest chapter that went up last Friday, I’ve been unable to keep the story of Oli, Lucy, Vicky, and Wyatt far from my mind. I want to know more, and I want to greedily devour every little bit of the webcomic that I can. But I can’t, because the webcomic is not yet finished.
So instead I’ll give you 5 different reasons why you, like me, should be reading this wild webcomic.
The cast is incredible
What makes a story is up for debate, but if there’s one thing we can’t deny it’s that without a meaningful cast of characters that keep the action going then you’re probably not going to continue reading. That’s why I’m head over heels for the crew in ANIMALHEADS.
You’ve got rich girl Vickie, quiet Lucy, snarky Oliver, and the handsome, nerdy Wyatt. They’ve known each other for a long time, and as such have each other’s backs in situations that would have left lesser friend groups turning on each other. Indeed, this friend group really are ride and die, y’know?
They all have their own issues, and none of them try to act as though the other’s problems are lesser either. Vickie may be a rich socialite, but none of them feel anything but disgust at the restriction that her family puts on her – whether it be due to their reputation, or the fact that they withhold her money from her. The same goes for Oliver, who works as a barista and uses most of their money to give to their mother. The group never tries to one-up one another in any way outside of friendly teasing, and it’s refreshing to see such a tight-knit group.
A ‘will-they-won’t-they’ queer romance
Lucy is an Algerian immigrant who moved to the States and befriended the others during his time in school. He is known as ‘DOG’ in the group, but is actually more like a cat. As for Oliver, they’re an Italian smartass known as ‘RAT’. They have a prickly exterior, but a heart of gold that cares deeply about their friends. With all this in mind about our couple, it’s easy to see why fans – myself included – are invested in their relationship.
We first see the chemistry between Lucy and Oliver after the graduation ceremony of the group, with Oliver, in particular, teasing Lucy about both of them having no real prospects after graduating. It eventually leads to a heated exchange before, with the help of Vickie and Wyatt, they both apologize for losing their tempers. To say the two know which buttons to press with each other is probably the understatement of the year.
Without spoiling too much, the webcomic has teased that the two of them – and their relationship – might move past friendship. But considering that they might be in a bit of a pickle with some terrible people who want them dead, who knows what awaits for these two?
(Well, apart from Son and Sam.)
It’s a page-turner from start to finish
The act of taking someone’s life is never an easy thing to actively write or read about, but it’s even harder to make murder seem like the only choice. For the ANIMALHEADS cast, the reason behind the murder of a prominent figurehead in crime has yet to be revealed, and that is just one reason why I’m so hooked on it. Why did they murder this fella, and how is a criminal syndicate involved?
It isn’t just why they committed the murder that keeps me interested though, and the creators behind this webcomic no doubt know that it takes more than one grisly butchered criminal to make people care. The answer behind the ‘why’ still lingers throughout the narrative, but what takes up most of it is the lead up to it. What made the cast of ANIMALHEADS the people they are today, and what impact does it have on the story?
These are the questions that Son and Sam are keen on answering, and it makes each gory, exciting detail stand out with each turn of the page.
The artwork is out of this world
I’m not someone who knows too much about art, but what I do know is that I often found myself pausing and examing each and every detail of the characters in ANIMALHEADS. Why? Because the artwork from Sam C is nothing short of incredible. Just look at this absolutely phenomenal piece and take in the detail of everything it has to offer. Just…wow. It makes me speechless.
One of the most complicated and complex pieces of detail that I’m constantly in awe over is Lucy’s tattoo. As you can see here, Lucy has a tattoo of the nine layers of hell on his right arm, something which is so overly complex that I can only feel sympathy for Sam for having to draw whenever Lucy is in a scene and doesn’t have a jacket on. Which…is a lot of scenes, by the way.
It isn’t just the characters that stand out though. It’s the background and the environmental objects in the setting around the characters that make ANIMALHEADS an utter joy to not just read but examine and look at to your hearts content.
It’s not finished yet
I’m usually one of those people that will wait until something is complete before I go out of my way to read something. I like to consume things in one go as much as I possibly can, and then go onto the next thing. It’s terribly soulless of me, but that’s just how I like to do things.
For ANIMALHEADS though, that mentality went straight out of the window. Not only do I not care that it isn’t finished, I feel like that only adds to the excitement for me. It’s a webcomic that is updated weekly for the most part, so I still get my serotonin in without waiting months and months for an update, and the quality for each page is pretty good.
More importantly, it feels nice to read something about some chaotic college graduates after a grueling week. Even if those chaotic college graduates are murderers. By accident? Maybe? I still don’t know!