Inspired by his childhood memories of weekends at a cabin in the woods in Pennsylvania, Scott Snyder has put a new spin on horror by reinventing an old monster in Wytches #1. Forget about pointy hats, bubbling cauldrons or poisoned apples these creatures are looking for blood. Along with artist Jock, Snyder has created an eerie tale that lingers on every page and earns its shocks.
When Charlie and Lucy take their teenage daughter Sailor to start fresh in a new town they think a new setting will help her relieve the trauma of the past. Yet, neither rumors nor memories can escape her and is thrust into more potential danger. Snyder establishes a great family dynamic between father and daughter and it’s the heart of the book so far and all the mysterious dread hangs just outside their circle like a heavy fog. Sailor seems like a bright resilient girl that readers will immediately take to and root for. We are given snippets of the evil that lurks within the woods leaving something to the imagination. And it’s that unseen force that Snyder uses to rile us up with every page turn.
Jock does some of his best work in Wytches. He has to work with a lot of detail given the locations like the forest and home interiors. Shadows and shading is expertly used to provide depth and wrangle the eye where needed. The page layouts are smartly efficient and part of the symphony of suspense that Snyder is conducting. The panels or even without panels at times generate energy in action or slows the scene for maximum effect in building tension. These are master creators working at the height of their talents.
Equally as important is Matt Hollingsworth’s coloring. The colors range from muted primary colors to darker earth tones and like any good scary story you welcome the bright panels in hopes to find relief from what lurks in the darkness. The skies have a realistic plume of clouds and the ground’s composition of greens, yellows and browns add a nice contrast to the darker hues of the bushes and trees. Hollingsworth gives the book a unique look all its own.
Snyder once again has a hit on his hands and it flows smoothly without heavy exposition as is sometimes his trademark. Issue one is a great introduction in what surely will become even more horrifying as the story develops. This is a character driven horror story that has us on edge already. Get this book!