The Rooks family moves to a remote town in the hopes of escaping the shadow of a tragedy, but an ancient evil stirs within the woods just out of town. WYTCHES. They are watching and they are waiting…
My father is a huge comic nerd. When I was little, my father co-owned a comic shop in Brooklyn with my uncle. He had stopped reading comics, but expressed a desire to get back into reading them last year. For father’s day, I did some research and compiled a short list of some of the favored horror titles online. I was prepared when I went into that comic shop with my little brother in tow and must confess that all the chosen titles were a success. However, there was one title that I withheld for my own selfish reasons, one title whose premise struck a definite chord within me. That title was Wytches Volume 1, a compendium of Wytches #1-6.
From the first few pages, I knew I was going to love this book. The very first page of the book was a definition of witch. The traditional definition.
A turn of the page reveals that same definition clawed out, with the new header of WYTCHES. This book promises a fresh take and delivers. The narrative has a horror, fantasy vibe to it that I can only describe as Guillermo Del Toro inspired and I loved it.
The book has a cinematic quality too. The first panels show a far away view of a tree, each subsequent panel moving closer and closer. It wasn’t hard for me to envision the scene as a camera slowly zooming in on the action. And what an initial scene it was! I won’t spoil those few pages, but the opening pages were my favorite of the book. I found myself hypnotized after the prelude and devoured the rest of the story within a night.
The haunting imagery stuck with me long after the book was over and I found myself, a seasoned horror fan, sleeping with the lights on for the first time in a VERY long time. There was both a disturbing and enchanting quality to the artwork. Some readers may be put off by the styling as this is a duel medium comic book. Artist Jock’s drawings are overlayed with spray paint, giving the book a unique look. I personally loved it and thought it gave the illustrations a gritty texture. Even if the art turns you off, I still believe it is well worth a read for the narrative alone.
My one complaint is that the first compendium is only six books. The story felt a bit rushed. I think an eight or even ten book run would have serviced the story better, allowing the story to fill out its mythos at an even pace. The mystery feels revealed too soon. I would have liked to ponder a little bit more on the narrative before the true monster behind the curtain was fully revealed.
All in all, Wytches is a fantastic series, with stellar writing, great art, and characters that feel real. I made my little brother read it(he loved it and he’s NOT a fan of horror) and I plan to make my dad(and others) read it. If you haven’t read it, I think you should too.