By Matt Dembicki
Oni Press, $19.99, 128 pages

Ecological messages are fine, as long as they are not overwhelming. XOC: The Journey of a Great White tells the story of a great white shark traveling from one part of the ocean to another to birth her calf. Along the way she is joined by a sea turtle. The calf is born and the turtle continues her own journey to lay her eggs, but only after seeing all the damage man has caused in the ocean. Matt Dembicki’s drawings successfully portray an underwater world. The characters and environmental devastation are well drawn. A strong, and sometimes overwhelming, environmental message is incorporated into the story. In this reviewer’s opinion, anthropomorphizing the characters was not needed. The captions and illustrations are more than sufficient to get Dembicki’s point across. Parts of the book appear to be left out with no explanation. These missing parts, combined with the heavy handed message, make this a mediocre book.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim