Wytches Volume 1

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colourist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Clem Robins
Publisher: Image

A review by Josh Rose

Holy crap! I’ve been reading a lot of horror comics lately, but Wytches Vol. 1 takes the cake and the rest of the birthday party with it. When the Rooks family moves to a small town in New Hampshire to start over after a very traumatic experience, they soon learn some ancient evil is living in the woods nearby. Turns out that evil is not the only horrific thing in the town either.

Scott Snyder and the Wytches team have perfected the horror comic. It starts off small and gets bigger and scarier as it goes along. Each chapter leaves you with your imagination running for answers. Sailor Rook’s fears slowly become your own, and then you realize that its not only her in danger but the whole family. And you adopt Charlie Rook’s fears as a dad. The stakes get progressively higher with each chapter.

Snyder hasn’t just written a story about an ancient, evil thing that goes bump in the night. He has also written about the evil present in humanity that exposes itself through our greed, neglect, and desires. He writes about fears and anxieties as a parent and as a child, how anxiety can twist your world around. And part of the story, foreshadowed early on, is about getting your wishes. How getting what you wish for isn’t truly fulfilling, and that’s part of the hold the wytches have on the townsfolk.

I’ve also been researching what makes a great horror story. Some horrors show you the monster, like Frankenstein or Freddy Kruger. Some you only get short glimpses of, like the shark in Jaws. Jock’s designs are so creepy but also hard to decipher. He has mastered the art of both spectacle and suggestion. He shows us the creepies that crawl in the night, but we still can’t quite make them out. Its like the Xenomorph in Alien. We see only parts of the alien, not all of it, letting our imaginations fill in the blanks. Matt Hollingsworth’s colours help this as they often act as a lens flare, disrupting our ability to discern what the hell Jock drew.

The Verdict: Buy it!

Wytches Vol. 1 is an amazing horror story. It features a scary monster in a backwater town full of crazy people, and it also explores some very real fears about being a parent and about having anxiety. In the back Scott Snyder shares some of his insights, fears and motivations for this book.

Josh Rose
Basically a hobbit, Josh is always enjoying food and drink, and going on unexpected adventures. Beware if you see him without a cup of coffee: caffeination deprivation makes this boy go loco.

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