Who’s afraid of the big, nice wolf?
No one. I mean, seriously. He’s literally the nicest guy around.
by Piti Yindee.
Cute, innocent, and wonderfully funny, Wuffle, the Big Nice Wolf follows the antics of kind, hardworking Wuffle and his group of colorful friends as they go about their lives in the idyllic Gingerbread Village.
Wuffle – a wolf who may be big, but is certainly not bad. He works on a farm and is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it, although he might just be a little too helpful for his own good. He’s incredibly strong, ridiculously good at fixing things, and is the most charmingly adorable thing you’ll probably ever see.
Puipui – a prickly porcupine, Puipui is almost the complete opposite of his best friend and co-worker Wuffle; he’s short-tempered, impatient, prefers sleeping to working, likes complaining, and is as good at breaking things as Wuffle is at fixing them. Despite these faults, however, Puipui is a true pal who never fails to come through for his friends.
Foxxo – he’s the richest person in town and he loves to show it, and is thus never seen anywhere without his tuxedo and his loyal butler/bodyguard Joe. He loves to flaunt his money, but he never lets it get between him and his friends and neither do they. Despite being an incurable prankster (he is a fox, after all) and a bit of a spoiled child, his interactions with Wuffle and company often lead to his own growth as a person.
Debbita – a farmer hare and neighbor of Wuffle and Puipui, she always has a smile for everyone, although she sometimes comes off too strong. Quick to laugh, full of energy, and a perpetual optimist, Debbita is almost like a smaller, rabbit version of Wuffle… if Wuffle also had an obsession with carrots.
The artwork for Wuffle starts off crisp and clean and only gets better from there. Piti attributes inspiration to such iconic artists as Osamu Tezuka, the Father of Manga. Not only does it show in the art-style, but Piti also made a love-felt parody of Tezuka’s Astroboy with Wuffle and friends as the characters.
The comic is presented in four panel strips and Piti makes excellent use of the format. Occasionally there are three panel strips, but they usually follow up a prior strip. It isn’t until much later, in the June 2013 section of the Archives, that the number and size of the panels changes up, but the more flexible layout is still used effectively to tell longer, more character-involved stories.
Wuffle was apparently intended to be a video game which never went anywhere, but the designs of Wuffle and his friends stuck with Piti, until they finally sprang forth in the form of a comic. The beautifully simple designs, smooth lines, and bold colors make Wuffle naturally suitable for animation purposes and the fact that Piti has released the comic into the public domain (which is almost unheard of for an artist) all but encourages readers to make their own fan creations.
There are some issues with wrong wording or awkward phrasing, especially in the earlier strips, but overall nothing seriously bad, considering the writer, Piti Yindee, is from Thailand. The gags are funny for both children and adults with anything from characters being silly to jokes about video games and technology. Although the comic is mainly a comedy strip, there are actually moments where specific characters – mostly Puipui and Foxxo – gain a bit of development. Even secondary characters are given complex elements – one male character has a boyfriend and another character only has one arm – which is refreshing for a piece of media intended to be kid-friendly, especially since these things apparently aren’t a big deal to the characters themselves.
There are no pure antagonists; no bullies or dastardly villains. There isn’t even anyone mean – at most you have Foxxo or Puipui acting a little selfish – but it’s hard to hold it against the comic when everyone in it is just so darn happy. Even so, the characters aren’t boring, far from it. They each have their own personality and quirks which let them play off of each other very well in terms of both comedy and story.
- Crisp, clean artwork reminiscent of vintage Disney and Osamu Tezuka
- Lots of instantly likable, surprisingly deep characters
- Classic cartoon-style stories
- Perfect for readers of all ages
All in all, a fantastic, lovable comic for all ages. In an online culture where quality family entertainment seems to be getting rarer, it’s reassuring to see that entertainment can still be both innocent and fun. Gingerbread Village is just so full of infectiously happy people that it’s impossible to not want to visit there again and again. I discovered Wuffle almost a year ago, and, honestly, I haven’t stopped reading it since. I thoroughly recommend this comic to everyone.
Oh, and before I forget…
HAPPY ST. VALENTINE’S DAY!
Wuffle, The Big Nice Wolf is written and drawn by Piti Yindee. This comic is under a Creative Commons 0 license, which means it’s in the public domain. Please, give credit to the creator where it’s due.