(Image Comics, 2014)
Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Coloring by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Clem Robins
Scott Snyder has a rabid fan base. If anyone has read American Vampire you can see his love of horror fiction. His run on Batman broke records and changed the way people look at the whole DCU. As if ole’ Bats wasn’t a flagship property already, Snyder cemented that position for years to come.
But it’s with books like Wytches, that Snyder truly comes into his own.
I seldom am able to pick up books when they first hit the shelves. I don’t have a pull list, don’t live near a shop, but fortune smiled upon me when I walked into an LCS a month ago and it happened to be a mere three days after the first issue of Wytches hit the shelves. (We can also thank the uncanny business sense of that shop owner, who made sure to over-stock on the new Snyder title.)
Wytches was a book, that from the first I’d heard of it, I knew I’d keep a wary eye open for. And there it was, the last copy, and it was mine. All mine.
I took it home and read it. And then I remembered why it sucks not living near a shop, because not only did I have to wait two weeks for the next issue to drop, but I wouldn’t be able to get it anyway.
And then a thank you goes out to my editor, who had this little gem in his previews list.
Scott Snyder, man of a thousand stories and hundreds of thousands of fans, has done it again. In Wytches he returns to that which made him famous. Horror. Disturbing, weird, wonderful horror.
Meet Sailor Rook, a mostly average teenage girl, new in town, trying to start her life over after her mother was in a crippling car accident. Going to a new schools involved in no small amount of bullying at her last school, and that girl did indeed disappear, though despite her story, no one really believes that a tree swallowed bad-tempered Annie.
In issue two Snyder amps up the weird and turns the dial on creepy. Sailor has an injury, one hinted at by the cover, a very Stephen King’s The Dark Half kind of injury. And the things in the woods are creeping slowly closer.
Snyder’s talent is not just in his characters, all of who feel like people we know, but also in his storytelling. He follows that fantastic old adage, “show us, don’t tell us” to such a great extent, that despite Jock’s fantastic art, you know that Snyder has scripted these panels painstakingly, saying, “yes…now she looks outside and…in the woods…” It is so great.
Now that I’ve mentioned Jock, I feel the need to impress just how much his art style influences the feeling of this book. Scalped and The Losers were both well-received books. With Wytches, he uses all kinds of cool techniques to bring about the horror of what the characters are going through. From the uses of deep shadow and coloring to enhanced perspective shots and low-resolution splattering on the pages, it all turns into a complete piece that is a wonderful piece of comic art.
If you’re a fan of Snyder, than you can’t do better than Wytches #2. It’s weird and creepy and great. He returns to his creator-owned roots, and sprouts all kinds of witchy madness along the way.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.