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It’s been getting kind of hot lately.  I think it’s time we cool off a little with something more chilling.  Something like Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches.  Yes, that should do the trick…

Similar to my review of The October Faction, this post will cover the first six issues of Wytches, which will be collected into a single volume a little later this month.  This series tells the story of the Rooks family shortly after they’ve moved to a new town to escape scrutiny following a nasty incident involving their daughter Sailor and a local bully that mysteriously disappeared.  The family soon learns that all is not as well as it seems in their new home, as they are pursued by an ancient species of grotesque creatures hell-bent on taking Sailor.  Throw everything that you think you know about witches out the window, because it doesn’t even come close to the monsters in this comic.

At this point Scott Snyder is perhaps best known for his current writing on the Batman series, which has been mostly pretty good, but I genuinely feel like here, with material that is completely his own, is where he really shines.  The first six issues in Wytches have so many twists and turns and legitimately scary moments that it made every issue an absolute joy to read.  I feel like horror in comics can be hit or miss.  Yes, the writer and artist can certainly work together to build atmosphere, but creating tension and genuine scares can be difficult from panel to panel and page to page, but in this series, the general creepy atmosphere is so overwhelming that almost every little thing is scary.  The anticipation between pages was a constant for me, so when something big happened, it was actually shocking.  I can say that this series was hands down one of the best horror comics that I’ve ever read.

The art in this series is visceral.  It’s guttural.  It’s both horrifying and beautiful at the same time.  Simply put, Jock nails it.  HIs artwork is definitely unique, it has hard edges and random splashes that almost make it look like someone spilled paint across the pages of the issues, but in an odd way, it just works.  It creates a surreal environment within each issue that’s almost like a dreamscape that quickly turns into the worst nightmare you’ve ever had.  And to top all of that off, the creature designs for the wytches themselves are utterly terrifying and absolutely like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  They teeter on that fine line between “really scary” and “genuinely uncomfortable to look at” and it just makes this book that much better.

In short, I loved every moment of this series, from the heartfelt talks between Sailor and her father, to the horrifying appearances of the wytches, to the completely weird and surreal moments where Sailor’s dad seeks the aid of an “expert” on the monsters.  This is definitely one of the better series that was released in the last year.  Issue #6 is being billed as the end of the series “first arc,” but I’m also reading things online that say the series is finished, so who knows?  I do know that if Image decides to release more issues, I’ll be picking them up.

The Verdict for Wytches #1 – #6:
5/5 – Must Have Moar!!!

Minor note: I’m going to start adding a 5 point scale for the reviews, just to make it a little easier for newcomers to understand what they actually mean.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Ultimate End #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ghost Racers #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Weirdworld #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Journal #2

East of West, Volume 4: Who Wants War TPB
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition

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