Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Clem Robins
Review by Logan Anthony Rowland
“Pledged is pledged.”
Bobby wasn’t kidding when he said, “This phrase is going to stick with you. It’s going to crawl up into your skull to pick at the inside of your brain and when its found a home it will never leave.”
It will never leave.
When I finished the first issue of Wytches, I must be honest, I was a bit jumpy. I love trees. I live in a place with tall oaks and pines. I work amongst them. I draw them. I paint them. I write stories about them. Thanks to Wytches I’m never walking out into them again.
In the first issue, we learn about the Rooks’ family and that they’ve had some issues in the past with the daughter, Sailor. What we learned about her past, specifically, is jaw dropping and utterly terrifying. I do not know how anyone could bounce back from such an event.
And yet, here we are, in a new town with a desperate look for normalcy and new life.
But pledged is pledged.
Some weird things happened in the first issue. Unsettling, creepy things. They have rocked the Rooks’ family and now, they only hope to once again move on. Of course, that isn’t going to happen. It didn’t happen the first time. The most terrifying thing is: there is something wrong with Sailor, and every bit of it makes me writhe and grit my teeth.
Truth is, the Rooks’ family are at the beginning of a winding and perilous road that can only end in one way: not a clue in the world.
The way Snyder is choosing to unfold this story is maddening, both in the sense of pacing and in tension. I want to know what is going on and the plot seems to be creeping forward and yet, I’m terrified to learn the truth. I don’t want to know more. What has been shown to me is enough to keep me out of the woods (yes, Ms. Swift, trust me, I am out of the woods for the foreseeable future) and just by understanding of storytelling and especially Scott Snyder’s: we haven’t even scratched the surface.
And I’m scared of scratching.
The reason Jock & Matt Hollingsworth (Hollingsworth for every book, please?) are perfect for this book isn’t just because they are exceptional artists, but it is because they understand the story they are all trying to tell. They do not only take the prose and narrative and paint pictures to match it. They take the very foundation of the words, of the story, with all it’s complexities and themes and mirror it within the art. The textures and presentation all set the mood while the cinematic motion pulls you in—and it won’t let go. The story itself married with the art embodies the very theme I was speaking of and that is: you don’t want to look, and yet, you cannot look away, and when you fully understand the truth of what you are seeing, you want to take it back, to go back to the beginning and never look again. But, like any good fairytale or story—once you’ve stepped over the threshold, once you have seen the truth…
There’s no going back.
Buy this book. Snyder and Jock and Hollingsworth are creating the book of my nightmares. I’m writing this now, amongst the trees, with the sun setting between them. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked up to see who is watching.