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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wytches

Wytches is a terrific horror comic by Scott Snyder, art by Jock, but despite its title it's not about witches, it's about wytches, which is something else entirely. I don't away give away much, but these nasties live underground and take people who are "pledged." There's a prologue about a hundred years ago with a woman trapped inside a tree trunk. She implores him to free her, but when he finds out she's been "pledged," he refuses, and says, "Pledged is pledged."

Just what does it mean to be pledged? I'm still not quit sure, but I do know that Snyder has created a very spooky piece of work. It uses a very common horror trope--family looking to get over trauma by moving to small town in the woods--but it works. Sailor Rooks is a teenage girl, and of course she's offbeat, mainly because her father is a comic book writer. Her mother was paralyzed in an accident, and Sailor had an unfortunate run-in with a bully who seems to have been consumed by a tree, so they move to rural New Hampshire to get over it. Mistake.

I prefer to let the readers get the full joy that I did, not knowing anything more. Suffice it to say bad things happen in the woods and beware the "chit, chit, chit" sound. But again, this is not about women with broomsticks and magic spells, it's something far more elemental, and with Jock's horrifying drawings, far more scary. I didn't think a horror comic could scare me at my age but it did get under my skin.

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