Wytches #2 follows the aftermath of the attack on Sailor whom she suspects was Annie sent by the wytches in the woods. She’s left with a bump on her neck as visions of creatures still instill a bone-chilling dread in her. As the reader that dread hovers in the air and on every page. It’s a testament to Scott Snyder’s writing prowess that he provides a slow burn of terror coupled with the transcendent artwork of Jock and Matt Hollingsworth making Wytches a suspenseful yarn that’s just getting started.
Snyder indulges in his characters a bit allowing for more development than you’d normally see in a “horror” comic. It’s this approach that establishes fully realized characters that you’ll invest in and that is what happening with Sailor, her dad, Uncle Reggie and so forth. A trait Stephen King has mastered in his decades of horror writing where you get to know the characters, their quirks, their personalities, even the minutia of their day. Sailor’s dad, Charlie confides in Reggie he’s worried about her mental state. This is not a blood and guts kind of books, at least not yet, but here it exemplifies the fear and anguish of a parent concerned for their offspring. Something that is completely relatable and full of real life anxiety. Don’t fret though the action does pick up.
This is where the books separates itself from anything else on the market. Jock’s versatility in going from detailed backgrounds to sparse panels accentuate the storytelling that compliments Snyder’s words. In fact Jock is co-writing the story in pictures. The facial close-ups can be mesmerising depicting fright, sadness, surprise because they provide a narrative without a single word balloon. Hollingsworth’s colors become just as important and vital to the look and feel of Wytches as anything else if not more. While Jock’s penciling is extraordinary Hollingsworth’s colors create a world awashed in pastels and splashes of ethereal bubbles and streaks across the pages. The subdued hues of colors give the book a dated look as if it’s a horror movie from the late 70s or early 80s. It’s this atmosphere of other-worldliness that suggests that anything can happen at anytime. By the end of issue two things do in fact go batshit crazy.
Wytches #2 is an exercise in terror among the familiar and the supernatural. Among the dread of caring for a troubled child and the world beyond reason that threatens them all. Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth have tapped into the fear that plagues us all. The fear of the unknown, the unseen and the helplessness we have to fight it until we’re forced to face it.