It’s the most wonderful time of the year once again- Halloween! If you’re anything like me, Halloween isn’t one spooky night, but weeks of themed eating, drinking, watching, and reading to keep you in the spirit from the first signs of fall til the start of November. As a comic fan, finding perfect Halloween reading material can be a challenge. Much like horror films, horror comics can be campy, poorly executed, and rely too much on shock value instead of actual storytelling.
Scott Snyder’s’ horrific gem Wytches replaces all of the typical horror faux pas with clean, emotional story telling that is guaranteed to keep you away from the woods for months. Volume one tells the story of the Rooks family, who move to New Hampshire after a family tragedy. While their teenage daughter, Sailor, tries to fit in with her new classmates, father Charlie realizes there may be something sinister preying on his family. Readers follow Charlie and Sailor through a gory and twisted fairytale as they try to find the origin of this mysterious evil. Snyder’s horror masterpiece is definitely worth the read, and a proud addition to any diverse comic collection.
Here is the *spoiler free* full breakdown of what makes Wytches so captivating:
The art of Wytches brings it to life. The artwork seems quite literally, to bleed through the page. The fluid, supernatural style feels like falling down a terrifying rabbit hole. It sweeps you right along with the story, while providing interesting visual clues that may take a second read to pick up on.
You may think that every story about witches has already been told, but Snyder proves that a real creative talent can make old monsters into completely new terrors. He successfully creates a story which rides the line between magic, science fiction, and family drama, while building a historical context that makes it twice as frightening. Until you’ve read Wytches, you haven’t seen all the possibilities Witch fables can reach.
Sometimes when reading comics, the brief interruption between issues can stop the imaginative flow for readers. We find ourselves backtracking, rereading, and sometimes briefly losing interest while trying to get swept into the story. Often this temporary fracture is caused by jumping from an intense scene at the end of one issue into a disassociated or less interesting scene in the next. Especially when reading trade paperbacks, it makes the whole plot feel a little underwhelming. Fortunately, Wytches avoids this problem by having a clean flowing narrative that takes full advantage of climatic moments. There are breakups in the story via flashbacks and excerpts of a children’s book Charlie reflects on, but the story continues to flow organically throughout, without being snagged by the extras.
If you’re an avid comic reader, or just in the mood for a good scare, I would recommend picking up a copy of Wytches, and making sure your doors and windows are well locked.