The Dusty Shelf: Thessaly – Witch For Hire

Welcome to The Dusty Shelf! Wednesday comes around faster than you’d think in the world of comic books. I swear, it feels like every time I turn around it’s time to get in the car and make my weekly pilgrimage to the comic book store to pick up the latest issues. So what happens to all those books that you don’t get to before the week is out? More than likely they get filed away in the “I’ll read it some other time” pile, and are forgotten about for quite sometime. Well, not today! The Dusty Shelf is where we’ll be giving you a brief rundown of books you may or may not have missed. Hopefully, they are still available in your local shops, but more than likely there is always your friend, the internet (and Ebay), to help you obtain some wonderful books that may very well be worthy of having a place to call home inside of your collection. So sit back, blow the dust off those comics you’ve been waiting to get to, and enjoy something from The Dusty Shelf.  

Title: Thessaly – Witch For Hire – Issues #1-4 Complete Collection (2004)

Written by Bill Willingham

Art by Shawn McManus

Colors by Pamela Rambo

Review by Steve Seigh

Published by Vertigo and part of the Sandman Presents series, Thessaly: Witch for Hire is a short 4 issue run about a hermitous young (or very old depending on how you look at it) witch and her ghostly companion, Fetch. The story goes that Fetch, a ghost comprised of all the souls Thessaly has been responsible for creating over her many years as a wielder of black magic, has managed to rope Thessaly(without her knowledge) into a monster slaying mission with a very grave set of rules. Over the course of the four issue run, and the fate of her mortality hanging in the balance,  Thessaly travels the globe in hopes of finding a magical solution to her now very real problems. 

Thessaly – Witch For Hire was a very laid back and pleasant read. It’s fantasy mixed with comedy, magic, and sarcasm presented in a very Neil Gaiman-like fashion. Thessaly herself may sway about the world inside the skin of a demur, librarian-like fashion, but make no mistake that she is very powerful and not to be trifled with. Fetch adds a level of romantic comedy to the series that breaks up the fantasy elements quite nicely, his attraction to Thessaly and constant bargaining for just one little kiss from the beautiful witch make for some genuinely funny moments throughout the story. The pages are filled to the brim with plenty of colors that add much nuance to the sleek and almost cartoony art style of Shawn McManus. Not to sound like a pig or anything, but I do believe that this would be the perfect read for female comic book readers. You have a strong female lead, a dashing and passionate male cohort, romantic elements, and just enough fantasy to take things just out of the reach of our reality.


Thessaly may not change your world, but it certainly won’t do it any harm either. Every now and then it’s good to take a break from your hardcore reading schedule to just sit back and enjoy something light. Thessaly took me all of maybe 20 minutes to work my way through all four issues and I find that it was time well spent. If you can find this series (either in your local shops, online, or otherwise) I suggest giving it a read. Share it with your friends, girlfriends, young adults, and so on. 

Executive Editor of Talking Comics, Co-Host of the Talking Comics podcast, Host of the Talking Games podcast, Writer of Ink & Pixel featured on, Candadian by proxy, and Pancake King.

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