You've been Pledged
Wytches is a new series from Image Comics. The series is one of my favorite independent comic books and has entered my must read pile. I'm not the only one who likes it. It currently is one of gushed over books in comic book stores across the country. Wytches 1 and 2 are also going back to the printers so you will get a 2nd chance to check them out if you missed it.
Wytches like all horror items are not for everyone but even if you only like horror a little (Like me) you should give it a shot. There is something oddly refreshing about this book because it is so different than anything else out there.
What is Wytches?
I was asked to describe Wytches to a friend in one sentence and after thinking about it I said:
Wytches is the Bridge of Terabithia on acid
A family moves into a new town. The parents worry about their daughter is often anxious and borderline neurotic. A girl is viciously attacked in the forest by a bully, only to watch as the bully is pulled into a tree. Still suffering ptsd from the attack the girl is further horrified when their is a growth on her kneck that seems to have a mind of its own. The growth wants her to go into the forest to meet its parents, in the trees.
The father is attacked by a bizarre old woman, who says that Wytches are after his daughter. She tells him to find her when he is awake. When he awakens his daughter is missing. He finds a diary mentioning the woods and her growth........his nightmare begins.
All good horror stories play on our fears. They take fears that are in the back of our minds and bring them out in a tangible way so we can work through them and be entertained by them. The more a certain fear is paramount in your life, the more you are likely to be drawn to stories that play on that fear. The thematic fears of the Wytches story are the supernatural fears of a child, intermixing with the fears of a parent. In a sense its striking the read on two profound chords.
The Fear of supernatural monsters in the woods
The Fear of losing your children / loved ones
These are fears we all have.
Why Wytches stands out:
Art: The art in this book is different than anything out there. They draw crisp beautiful comics drawings and then layer in Water Color splash paintings over the top making each page look like a unique work of psychedelic art. The art gives even the calmer pages a wanton bizarre tone, that makes the reader uneasy.
Premise: There are many horror comics about the Monster. The monster is usually large, and tangible and wielding a large weapon. Here is the monster is hidden, you don't see this monster much, you just feel it out there and lurking. The idea of focusing on the parent is also interesting as it brings out all of those fears that are rarely touched upon in the horror genre.
Writing: The writing is personal. I think that is the best way to describe it. This is not a manufactured commercial project but a gritty, real passion project. You feel that in art, in the characters, and in the writing. The words, the interactions all feel very real and non cliche.