I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
Wytches volume 1 collects issues 1-6 of this new horror series focused around the lives of Sailor, Charlie and Lucy Rook as they relocate to a get a new start and to get away from a few terrible incidents from which the family has yet to recover.
Sail witnessed the horrific death of a girl who'd been bullying her at school and though none of the adults believed her about the girl's disappearance, she feels guilty and knows that whatever took Annie is bound to come back for her.
Lucy also witnessed something terrible on the night she got into a car accident. It wasn't a deer in the road that night, but something she pretends she cannot remember.
Charlie's demons are closer to home, a drinking problem that caused him to endanger the life of his own daughter.
The three of them, broken but trying to make a new life, move to Litchfield, a remote town in New Hampshire. The place is beautiful, surrounded by deep mysterious woodland and the people of the town seem friendly and helpful. However, there is a bleak and frightening truth behind the beauty of Litchfield, an ancient pact that goes back centuries.
One of the influences the authors note is the movie, Witches, the movie adaptation of which I so recently spoke about in my review of Edward Scissorhands. I was frightened by the comic many times, by the theme of the hopelessness of the fight against much stronger malign forces, the inability to defend loved ones and just the knowledge that waiting somewhere out there were wytches, not the typical hags we picture, but beings of such grotesque nature who had time and patience to wait for one over the space of years, never forgetting that one was pledged to them.
Another theme explored throughout the comic is what one is willing to do, or sacrifice, for someone they loved. And what one is willing to sacrifice for something they desired. Both were at play and battling against each other throughout the book. At first we see that Charlie struggles with his addiction, finally battling through it, in order to get back to those he loved. Then as he is faced with the prospect of losing his daughter again, he chooses to make other sacrifices in order to save her.
Whereas we see others making sacrifices, even of their own children, in order to appease the Wytches and gain powers for themselves. In the end, though the wytches are truly horrifying, it is the people who serve them, who are most repellent.
As an added bonus to each issue, and compiled at the end of this volume, were the wonderful thoughts of the writer, Scott Snyder. He explores how his own fears and memories shaped the comic and the influences in his life that were instrumental in it's creation. Those letters were really wonderful to read and gave me a lot of insight into the comic and the people involved in it.
For horror fans, Wytches is a must read. I don't often give 5 star ratings, but this comic has it all, great atmospheric art, writing, character development, suspense a building sense of horror that will make readers reconsider reading it at night. Get it from your local library today, but try to read it before dark!
I'm Pledged, how about you?