If you’re wondering if an all-ages comic starring a cast of fruits and a flying slug-type monster might be up your alley, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised after reading Fwendly Fwuit – Winter Wonders.
The series — with two one-shots in print and digital form — features a strawberry and a banana who “become best friends and go on adventures together.”
In Winter Wonders, Bawana and Stawberry (cute, huh?) celebrate Wonder Day — their universe’s version of Christmas. Waking up and finding presents under the tree, the BFFs tire themselves out with their new toys.
Meanwhile, a mysterious figure appears in the snowy mountain, and Pip Squeak decides to investigate.
Pip meets Kuppy, a long-armed snowball (or shaved-ice creature) with long arms who rides the aforementioned giant flying slug-like creature named Sloogie. Kuppy lost his friend in the desert during a game of hide-and-seek, and now he needs help.
Pip Squeak recruits Bawana and Stawberry who bring Melon into the mix. They take the Space Melon Wagon to the dangerous desert for a rescue mission that could end their adorable little lives.
The title of the comic is a bit misleading — sure, it takes place during the holiday season, but a majority of the story takes place in the hot desert after the shift. There’s no other mention of Wonder Day — Lam misses a clear opportunity to connect the resolution of the story; the slingshot inside the Space Melon Wagon could have been a present given to the fwuits that helped save the day. New characters appear suddenly, and the characters themselves don’t have much in terms of distinguishing personalities.
Still, when the action gets going, you can’t help but root for all these cute little fruits and friends to succeed. I genuinely felt some tension as the heroes of the story got into the thick of things. Lam’s pacing is strong within scenes, though transitions could use a bit of work.
The issue’s strongest point is the composition contained in the panels. It appears the artwork is digital, and it’s very polished. The coloring is textured with bold colors and a slick finish. You never get the feeling Lam is phoning it in or that he doesn’t have the art chops. On visuals alone, this is something I can imagine seeing on Nick Jr. when I’m channel surfing.
And for what it’s worth, Fwendly Fwuit – Winter Wonders is a story that a parent could enjoy with a child because the basic premise is one of heroism and compassion. What’s light-hearted and silly for an adult is eye-level and edifying for a child. In that way, Fwendly Fwuit bridges a gap, and it reminds me of something like Adventure Time which knows what it is and plays its part strongly.
Overall, Fwendly Fwuit is a tale of fwendship with a bit of environmentalism wrapped up in a nice bow. If your main staple is grimdark, you might get a cavity or two from the sweetness of the characters, but it could be a welcome change from the vitamin-deficient super-serious comics you’ve been reading.