by Scott Snyder and Jock
Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they're hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient...and hungry.
I'm a big fan of Snyder's American Vampire series, so when I discovered he was writing a new series all about witches I had to check out his take on one of my favourite supernatural creatures.
The first volume of Wytches follows the Rook family - Charlie, Lucy and their daughter, Sailor - who've moved to a new town after Sailor was badly bullied by a girl who subsequently went missing. Naturally, the new town isn't quite the fresh start they expect it to be...
My favourite thing about this graphic novel is definitely the relationship between Charlie and Sailor; I've got a soft spot for good father and daughter relationships, and Snyder writes banter really well. His characters sound like people. It was also great to see a lead character who struggles with anxiety the way Sailor does. It would have been nice to learn a little more about her because at times it felt as though she was defined by her anxiety, and though I know from experience how much anxiety can take over your life it doesn't make you incapable of having hobbies and interests, but a lot of the story was focused on the idea of conquering fear with the help of others and on your own, which I really appreciated.
If you're looking for the kind of witches we're used to - pruned old hags or tempting sorceresses - you won't find them here. Snyder and Jock have created a whole new kind of witch, more of a whole new kind of creature than a warped version of us, but there are still certain allusions to the typical witchcraft we're used to that I thought were slotted quite nicely into the narrative. On the whole, though, these things are an entirely different form of effed up. They're pretty gross, actually, and some of the art is really quite creepy - Jock did a good job!
This volume is very much an introduction. There's still a lot left unexplained and undiscovered, the whole volume felt like a prologue for an upcoming story, so I didn't love it. I do think it has a lot of potential, though, and I'll definitely be picking up the next volume, because Snyder's American Vampire series only continued to expand and improve after the first volume and I'm hoping this series will do the same.
If you're into horror or you'd like to see witchcraft handled in a different way, I recommend checking this out - especially as Halloween approaches!