Review: Wytches 1 by Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Wytches 1 by Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth

Posted by Sean Hamilton Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Wytches #1 Cover Art
Wycthes 1 Cover by Jock
Wytches is undoubtedly one of those rare must-read-to-experience comic.

In all honesty, this review can not do this book justice, but can be read as an attempt to interpret some of my thoughts and feelings while reading this book.

Full disclosure, I thoroughly enjoy reading comics and being able to write about them adds another level of delight to the process. Given this, I tend to stick with tried and tested series and creators; when it comes down to it, this is a financial choice above all else. I need to satisfy the thirst, but my dollar can only go so far.

As with another recent purchase, I came to Wytches by chance more than determined choice.

A few weeks back, while checking out comic book apps I had downloaded I decided to explore the IMAGE app. As with the aforementioned monetary consideration, I checked the free to download comics and came across a preview for Wytches. It was written by Scott Snyder (Batman), who I was at least a little familiar with, drawn by Jock (Batman), whom I didn't know, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth, again not someone I was overly familiar with.

Wytches preview art for teaser
Wytches PreviewArt
The premise seemed intriguing, however I'm not really a horror fan, but given that it was free, I decided to check it out. Since it was a preview, the story was brief, but left a mark. I wasn't set on getting it straight away, but the more I tried to forget about it, the more I had to read it. I needed to see what happened next (who says marketing books like this isn't effective?).

A couple of weeks later, I stopped in at my local comic book shop just to get my regular books. Once the week of its release arrived, I saw a few headlines and noted some tweets about Wytches, and recognized that this book was something special. I quickly contacted my local comic supplier but their copies hadn't been sent. I would have to wait two more weeks! Scratch that, I went to my back up, the only other comic store in the city, and managed to secure one of the last copies.

Once I read it, I couldn't put it down. I was hooked.

The story, as the title suggests, focuses on Wytches, but in a most thrilling way, by playing up the cannibalistic traits often glossed over in our modern understanding of witches. We don't get to see them outright in this issue, which is great, as it keeps building the suspense. We are introduced to the main players, a small family that has relocated to a town nestled by local woods, which provides the backdrop for the scary home of the Wytches.

Wytches plegde is a pledge
The Wytches need a pledge.

Snyder does well to link the suspense across pages and backstory. We get a proper set up about why the Rook family have moved and are teased with a deeper link to the Wytches. The story content is mature, but given the violent, dark tone of the narrative this is to be expected.

Wytches brings a new level of creativity to thriller/horror genre that has frequently touched mainstream, but remains the less known cousin of the super heroes genre. I certainly hope it helps to challenge the current status quo.

The art by Jock is fantastic, but enhanced by the colors of Hollingsworth. Jock attains a a great level of believability with his art in the story, which draws the audience in and helps them identify with the characters. While an over-the-top realistic style has not been used, the art lends itself in such a way that we can be familiar with what we see. This is contrasted with the splatter effect of Hollingsworth's colors, especially through the introduction and Jock's portrayal of the supernatural elements in the story. There is a nice use of light and shadow which adds to the tone of Wytches. The panel arrangements lead to a well crafted narrative the flows naturally. This is especially so as Snyder aims to link backstory elements into the main story, such as sailors' flashbacks and the faun's dramatic interaction.

Topping off the actual story is a letter from Scott Snyder explaining the set up of the story and providing some context on how it all came to into being.

After all of this what we are left with is a fantastic story that is as thrilling as it is beautiful. I can't wait till the next installment to see the Wytches really come out.

Until then, what did you think of Wytches? Did it freak you out, just a little? Leave a comment below.

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