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Wytches #1-6

Wytches, Volume 1

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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.

Collecting: Wytches 1-6

192 pages, Paperback

First published October 8, 2014

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About the author

Scott Snyder

1,853 books4,603 followers
Scott Snyder is the Eisner and Harvey Award winning writer on DC Comics Batman, Swamp Thing, and his original series for Vertigo, American Vampire. He is also the author of the short story collection, Voodoo Heart, published by the Dial Press in 2006. The paperback version was published in the summer of 2007.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,029 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
October 7, 2015
This was rather fascinating! It wasn't as scary as I thought it'd be, but it was still creepy. Interested to see what happens in the next volume.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
October 7, 2021
Wytches was another comic my spooky friend sent me in a Halloween Horror gift basket.

And I have to say, I was pretty excited when I saw it because it was one that I had been dying to read for quite some time now. In fact, out of all the cool stuff they sent me, this was the first thing I read.


I gotta say I was somewhat disappointed.
Not all the way disappointed, just...eh. I thought this was going to be my favorite thing in the box, but once I read it, I felt sorta deflated. The Wytches were a lot less witchy and a lot more Monster-y than I had imagined. And it kinda made me feel like I'd been catfished.
I was expecting something different, but I guess that's not the comic's fault.

Snyder's wytches were gross humanoid things that sucked people into trees and ate them. That's not a spoiler - that shit happens on the first page. And it's not the what it's the why and how that make up the story, at any rate.


I really did like the parts with Sailor and her father. Very well done! I felt a real father-daughter thing from those two, even (and maybe especially) with all the ugly parts added in.


What didn't feel quite as real to me was Sailor's anxiety issues. We're told she has them and that they're crippling for her, but I never actually saw anything that would lead me to believe she was anything other than a normal teenage girl with normal amounts of teenage girl insecurities.


The ending was good enough to make me want to possibly read more. Or maybe not? I mean, if the next volume continues with Sailor's story, then...yes. But if this is going to be self-contained stories about these Wytches, then..no. I'm sorry, but I thought they were kind of lame.


If you're more of a horror fan than I am, you may think this is perfect. However, I'm solidly on the fence about continuing.
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,565 followers
December 15, 2015
Creepy good but still too many to develop.

This collected edition contains the comic book title “Wytches” #1 to #6.

Creative Team:

Writer: Scott Snyder

Illustrator: Jock

Colors: Matt Hollingsworth

Letters: Clem Robins


The woods are full of horrors

I met several positive reviews around about this title, so I thought that it could be good to give it a chance, and I am glad that I did it.

Scott Snyder (the writer) crafted a creepy good tale, where it’s unavoidable (at least for me) that it was like taking over where The Blair Witch’s Project was left, especially since besides the film, I was able to read (in April 2015) the tie-in comic book (by Jen Van Meter) so when I saw the house in this story, I felt like a déjà vu. Also, the covert art and selected font on it provokes you to remind yourself about the mentioned movie. But don’t take me wrong, this storyline certainly has enough original elements to stand out as a different product.


It’s funny how certain artwork clicked on you depending what you’re reading. I commented this because Scott Snyder collaborated too with Jock (the artist) on the Batman’s storyline of The Black Mirror that it wasn’t like I hated or anything but certainly it didn’t clicked Jock’s style there for me. However, here, in Wytches totally clicked on me.


I indicated above the people involved in the colors and lettering of the comic book title since honestly I think that both did a superb job on each department and they deserved to be mentioned.


Pledged is pledged.

The Rooks Family (Charlie, daddy; Lucy, mommy; Sailor, daughter) moved to Litchfield, New Hampshire, trying to put distance between them and a deadly incident involving Sailor, but you can guess that it’s not far enough. To make it worse, it seems that they just jumped from the frying pan into the fire, a very insidious fire.


The story contains very well designed characters, totally three-dimensional, however, there is still too many stuff that one doesn’t know about their past, therefore I had some troubles to believe their motivations and twists in some displayed actions.


It was certainly a creepy good journey while reading the TPB, but it’s obvious that the story is just beginning since you are left with many mysteries to be solved (hopefully) in an eventual continuation of the tale.

Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,797 followers
March 18, 2016
Sometimes I’m a fan of creepy. Not creepy like “Hmm, I’m not entirely sure the way that guy brushed his pelvis against me on the Metro was accidental” creepy, but who doesn’t love a good, adrenaline-inducing shot of terrifying horror now and again?

Wytches gives you that…but, maybe in a larger quantity than would be optimal for yours truly. A little creepy goes a long way. It’s like Icy Hot—you pull your groin, you don’t want to do more than dab a little of that on the affected area, lest you end up putting on too much and setting your giggleberries aflame. Wytches set my giggleberries aflame.

And then there’s the art…Jock’s pencils are fine, but the coloring muddles the composition so much in places that I had a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on. Maybe I’m just not artsy enough (distinct possibility).

There’s an audience for this—it’s an interesting tale—but that audience just may not be me going forward.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,606 reviews5,990 followers
January 20, 2016
I've been lusting for this book ever since I first saw it.
Then I get it gifted to me.
Then I end up not really liking it.
I'm such a loser. That's okay though. I'm gonna send it to Kelly and Mitchell so if you plan on trolling me just hold off and you can get on her review soon.

Sailor Rook's family moves to the creepy town of Litchfield, NH. (Don't move there)..Seems like Sailor or Sail *gag* has some angsty problems and needed to be moved away from them.
Everyone already knows about her though.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Then you kinda venture into a wanna be horror story that has been done a few times before. Something is creepy in the woods. It might eat you.
Palm Springs commercial photography

The local po-po might be in on it.
Dad to the rescue.
But what about mom? She lost that baby and is now in a wheelchair.

Palm Springs commercial photography

*goes to sit in shame corner*

Booksource: One of my favoritest Goodreaders gifted me a copy of this book. I'm sorry I was an asshole and didn't really like it. But I should redeem myself soon!

Palm Springs commercial photography

The bad thing is Erica usually is in the shame corner when it comes to graphic novels/comics. She liked it more than I did.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,542 reviews12.9k followers
June 11, 2015
Spooky spoilers ahead. Well, not really. Spooky that is.


But seriously, I do get very deep into the comic so if you’re just wondering whether I’d rec this or not, my answer is not. However if you’ve read it and want to see what I thought, carry on, though I expect it’ll be like Saga where everyone loves this and I’ll be in the corner, arms crossed, tut-tutting like a grump!

Sailor Rooks wins the title of stupidest character name of the year has moved to a new school and house with her dad Charlie, a bestselling children’s book author, and mum Lucy, a paraplegic nurse. The detached house is located deep in the woods – wooooo! But the nightmare is just beginning for the Rooks family – the wytches are coming for the pledged…

When I found out the creative team behind the brilliant Batman: The Black Mirror were reuniting on a horror comic called Wytches, I thought this was going to be one of the comics of the year - an instant classic! … and it wasn’t. Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches is riddled with dumb clichés, poorly written characters and numerous stupid scenes that add up to an enormously disappointing and underwhelming reading experience.

The story is your usual horror setup: house in the woods, family terrorised by bad things, running, screaming, etc. The characters are tough to like as they’re underwritten cornballs. Charlie’s a Stephen King character - an alcoholic writer (Jack Torrance anyone?) - while Sailor’s your average mopey teen. The mum, Lucy, is a total flat-line. The book has far bigger problems than these but first and foremost it’d be good to have an original plot and/or engaging characters and right away Wytches fails to provide either - AND we’re supposed to care about what happens to them!

The opening page has the written definition of a witch that’s promptly scratched out on the next page – Snyder informing us none-too-subtly that this ain’t like no other witches you seen before, baby! Except they are. They look like most contemporary versions of witches that you’ve seen from movies like Evil Dead or Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. That is, they’re pantomime scary, not actual scary. Snyder emphasises the close ties witches have traditionally had with communities and nature and we see things like magic potions and cauldrons appear throughout. How exactly is this different from any other witch story?

But now the real storytelling problems begin in earnest, so once again, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop here.

A lot of scenes just happen because HORROR. Not for any other reason besides Snyder thinks it’s creepy even though it doesn’t make sense. There’s a bald woman hanging about the Rooks’ home who stands in the bushes and says “pledge” in the first issue - we find out who she is later but there’s no reason why she’d be doing this whatsoever. Then a deer wanders into the house, screams and spits up a chunk of flesh and blood. Why? Because HORROR.

Why is a wytch sitting in a tree hissing like a cat? Because HORROR. Why are the wytches hanging around outside the windows of wherever Sailor’s at? Because HORROR. Then we get into tiresome cliches like the cop is in on it or nobody believes Charlie because he’s an alcoholic and the cop said he smelt booze on Charlie’s breath.

That’s not even the worst of it - it’s just the tip of the crapberg!

So, Clara, the bald female witch hunter, breaks into the Rooks’ home when Charlie’s alone so she could spray him with a blocker or something and then carve HERE into his abdomen - though it only appears briefly once before disappearing forever. She does this so she’ll protect him from the wytches’ magic and so he’ll figure out HERE means Here Pont, a nearby location - noticing the word on his gut before it magically fades away - drive out to the Here coast so she can tell him all about the wytches, give him the potions he needs, and then kill herself.

Does any of that make sense? Why the hell doesn’t she just tell him the whole deal in the house, give him the stuff, and then go? Why stake out the house so you can carve out a cryptic name - that he might not understand or even miss! - instead of going the much more direct, simpler route?! Because CONTRIVANCE.

I really hate how Snyder has the characters monologue like crazy when it’s their turn to ramble. When Clara’s no longer being mysterious, she talks and talks and talks until Snyder no longer needs her and kills her off. Same with Petal the cop who, once he’s found out, can’t stop talking about everything - his intentions, his history, the wytches’ history, their powers. Same with Lucy once she’s exposed - monologue, monologue, monologue! Forget unrealistic dialogue, this is such artless storytelling.

And then there’s Sailor who, in the flashback to when her mum was in hospital, talks nothing like the 10 year old she’s supposed to be (in that scene that is - in the present she’s 13). A 10 year old who’s upset would, I imagine, simply yell and scream and cry - but Sailor delivers a thoughtful and very grown-up soliloquy about her complex emotions! She’s the most unconvincingly written 10 year old ever. Like her name, she’s very much a character in a story and not even close to resembling a real person, yet again making it difficult to care about her.

Some extended scenes just don’t work. The ferris wheel scene is a disaster, there to show us Charlie’s a bad father in a ridiculous way. The hovel scene is unimaginative too - besides avoiding the question of how exactly Sailor survives on her own without being gobbled up by the many wytches surrounding her, Charlie saves her with a gun. A gun! It shoots rat bullets (whatever that is) but still - a gun! Was Snyder even trying with this series?

The ending is where all the crap crescendos into one big sloppy mess. Lucy reveals the wytches coming after their family was Charlie’s fault - he had “secret wants” and “a rage”. What the hell does that mean? He “called” them unconsciously because he wanted something? Doesn’t everyone have things they want but don’t say out loud - are there enough wytches to come after billions of people with their “secret wants” and/or angers? That might be the dumbest thing Snyder’s written yet.

It gets worse - Lucy thought the only way to get rid of them was to pledge Sailor. What a great mother - spare me and take my daughter! So pledged is pledged (as the wytches chant by the end) and Lucy says they’ll never leave them alone until they get Sailor. But then it’s revealed pledge is green slime that Sailor sprays over the townsfolk - all of whom are in on it of course, another HORROR(ible) cliche - and that turns the wytches onto them. So… it seems really easy to distract the wytches from the “pledge”. Just spray someone other than Sailor with the (lemon) pledge and you’re home free! So all that crap could’ve been easily avoided - another easy solution ignored! It’s such a stupid ending.

Jock’s art is good for the most part and I really liked the covers but colourist Matt Hollingsworth ruined the book with his choice of splattering the pages with blotchy colours. I think the idea is the spots/blotches represent magic in the air but they become distracting and completely diminishes Jock’s pages. The splatters aren’t bad for the first two issues but by issue three Hollingsworth’s gone off the rails and it looks horrible. Hollingsworth’s blotches may have been the one truly horrific part of the comic.

That it’s not scary isn’t really a problem for me as most horror just isn’t scary. But, given the talent behind it, I was expecting Wytches to at least be entertaining and instead it turned out to be thuddingly tedious. Corny horror, weak family melodrama, annoying characters, unoriginal concepts – Wytches is very disappointing stuff, along the lines of Snyder’s other lacklustre horror comic, American Vampire.

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,780 followers
March 15, 2016
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Wytches promised to be “dark” and “horrifying” – “creepier” and more “bone-chilling” than readers could imagine. Uhhhhhhh . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

When I first heard about this I was all over trying to get my hands on a copy. I mean just look at the cover art . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Unfortunately my library spends all of their excess funds stocking pornography (not complaining) rather than new graphic novels. Sadly, once I finally got a chance to read Wytches, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I was going to find the story to be a real piece of . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

I appreciate the fact that the backstory was actually explained in this first volume, but it could have been done in waaaaaay less than half the amount of pages. There was a whole lot of “chit” chat with not a lot of action. I’m not a fan of filler to begin with and when the filling consists of pretty uggo artwork . . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

It’s even worse. But what do I know? I read everything wrong. I also write notes to myself like "WTF?" and "I hate this" that somehow don't manage to conjure up real deep reviews.

Obviously I don’t have a lot to say about this selection. What I do have a lot to say about is some of the people of Goodreads. If you’ve been here long you’ve probably either experienced, or at least witnessed, the not-so-pretty side of the GR population – so when someone flips the script and shows they are simply amazing even an old hag like me gets all . . .

Wytches (and several other) graphic novels were purchased by a member here and then routed on to Shelby who then forwarded them to me. This one will making its way to a little Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbow next – continuing the chain of the most awesome of book nerdy pay it forwards.

Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews708 followers
October 4, 2015
I’ve never been a big fan of horror comics, but that hasn’t stopped me from the occasional read and subsequent pawning of said read off to Shelby, the Chimp Queen, no matter what the consequences.

Scott Snyder has done his share of spooky stuff, I’ve read them, liked them; so, it’s some bubble, bubble, toil and trouble tymes…bring on the Wytches.

After a skeery prelude, we start off with a semi-familiar trope:

It’s the new kid in town with a dark past, yet Snyder manages to wheel and deal with some other familiar horror genre concepts, and voila a title that actually gave me the chills.

So will the welcome wagon pay the new family a visit bearing cassaroles? No, buts it’s a crazy, ranty, double-pegged legged woman looking for some smexy time with dad.

So does dad come down with a dose of something? Nope, but his belly starts talking to him.

Past and present combine to hoodwink the reader and just when you were expecting the curve ball, Snyder lobs a change up at your dome.

Bottom line: Snyder serves up enough originality and red herrings to make this a compelling read. If you like your chills frosty, check this out. The art can be inky and blotty (Art Appreciation 101, thanks) but it works well enough.

Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,881 followers
February 15, 2021

...Close your eyes.

Picture the woods.


YES. That’s better - by the way, I really like the overprint technique used by the colorist - it helps to convey an otherworldly atmosphere so of course I love it.

Think creepy town where your trust is definitely NOT to be freely given. Oh, you want to give it anyway. Okay, okay, don’t come and whine after.

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” – Ethan Burkes, Pines. Now here’s someone who can talk about poor choices. But moving on.

Add deadly creatures who live in the trees (how’s that for creeping me out in the no man’s land I’m living in?! I’m not thanking you) and whose big skulls remind me of Blake Crouch’s abbies – oh, or aliens. Definitely aliens. All of that is to say that you do not want to meet them in the woods. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

What you need to know is that your safety depends on whether or not people around you are selfish. Icky feeling in your stomach already? You should (says Anna the pessimistic). I won’t say more, but if the story doesn’t always spread original vibes (but I do admit that the way everything is mixed up is pretty new), it stays interesting and I’m eager for more (because I’m masochistic or something). This being said, I have to admit that some of the characters’ reactions made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief .

► Now, remove all your feelings. Yes. All of them. Because, trust me, I felt nothing, and my heart might be the big absent of the story. To my astonishment, at no moment did I care, and given what Sailor and her family go through, I should have. I should have felt my heartbeat increase. I didn’t. I should have felt anger and sadness and fuck, worry at least. I didn’t.

I just … went with the flow. Disappointing.

► Finally, sprinkle with likeable enough main characters. I know, I know, “likeable enough” isn’t the praise of the month. What can I say? Sailor and her father were brave but … let me completely cold. Sorry. Perhaps it’s just me.

To sum-up, here's a creepy story I enjoyed reading, yet it won't stand out in my head. Oh, well.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Jan Philipzig.
Author 1 book266 followers
January 13, 2016
Scott Snyder has quickly established himself as one of the most popular mainstream comic-book writers out there, and I think I more or less get that by now. He is the diligent and reliable type, meticulously maps out his stories, populates them with lively and relatable characters, and knows how to put a contemporary spin on genre formulas. He may be no Alan Moore but he gets the job done, and he gets it done better than most.

Family drama meets psychological horror in Wytches, Snyder’s latest ongoing effort, and those above-mentioned qualities immediately raise this first volume head and shoulders above your typical contemporary horror competition. The first flash of brilliance comes on page 8 of issue #3, when we first encounter a witch hunter named Clara… now THAT page is something else! It provides a vague and almost otherworldly glimpse at the horrors lurking in the shadows, and it caused me a strange case of déjà vu, transporting me back to one of my favorite scenes in David Lynch’s Inland Empire - the super-creepy one with that strangely threatening, elderly little lady from somewhere down the road, the one with the Eastern European accent… What, you did not watch Inland Empire? Well, I hear only about seventeen people did, so I guess you can be forgiven, and I am sure you have your reasons – good ones, I suppose… but that movie ROCKS ANYWAY DAMMIT!!!

…Okay, I have calmed down now. I was in the process of reviewing a comic book, wasn’t I? Well, as it turns out that witch hunter Clara not only provided me with a sense of déjà vu but also scared the shit out of me. Seriously, folks, this is a multi-layered, carefully constructed comic book – no surprise there. It is also much creepier than expected, though. Disturbing, even. All those glaring paint spatters in the background add to the story’s nightmarish feel, as they seem to hint at unspeakable horrors that cannot be defined or categorized, but unfortunately also can no longer be ignored.

Bottom line: if you think comic books cannot be scary, give Wytches a try!
June 9, 2016

Read a graphic novel.

This is a book that keeps on giving. It was gifted to me by a friend of mine after she read it after it was gifted to her and so on and so on. This cover is simply fabulous, and deserves its own little spot in the sun.

I liked this one a lot more than my friends did, but there were a LOT of problems with it. However, my particular issues lay with the execution and the style of the book and not so much with the story.

Wytches has an interesting premise, and Scott Snyder has some tremendous ideas about traditional witches, witch hunts, and what it means to go looking for trouble. I enjoyed his take on the creatures immensely and his little narratives at the end of the collection were worth a read to catch glimpses of the wells from which he drew his inspiration. In fact his parents owned a cabin not far from where I live which served as his inspiration behind this story. He and his friend used to go "witch hunting" in the woods. He spins a tale of a woman, a tree, and a kid's imagination that was beautifully told and reminded me of the tales I used to hear about from my aunt about the gray lady of the woods. My own local lore really played a part in my enjoyment of the story, which is something that not everyone can relate to. There were parts that were downright scary, and many more that were creepy as hell. I mean look at these things. These things ain't no Wicked Witch of the West. Nor do they sing bibbity bobbity boo.

It is an incredibly creepy story about sacrifice, penance, the dual sides of human nature, and the evil that is inherent in all of us. Except for the slightly contrived ending (which I saw a mile away), and a few too many conveniences and tropes (characters conveniently leaving out secrets in regular conversation in order to keep readers in the dark, for one), the story was a solid one for this reader.

My issues are mostly with the artwork which in turns could be breathtaking and so full of nuance and meaning in just a single frame

But could also be a complete mess.

As someone who for a bit thought about trying to pursue a career as a comic book artist myself, I place just as much if not more responsibility of the need to impress me on the artwork of a comic as I do the writing and story. And though I think in terms of individual pieces of art, the splattering effect that Matt Hollingsworth did were successful. In terms of continuity and clarity of a whole work, the effort was lost and messy. Snyder also really jumped around with time in this story, so in order for that to be successful, the artwork needed to be precise and on point. And it wasn't. There were times I was confused about what time period we were in, or whose perspective it was that I was reading. And because of these flaws, the story suffered. Some frames could be really muddy and it was hard to figure out what was happening. There were also frames within frames within frames, some of which did not occur within the same time frame. This part of the book was a failure for me.

And so I need to settle on a 2.5 stars, rounded up due to the interesting premise and the fact that I probably will read the second volume eventually, because I am intrigued to where this world is going. But I hope that moving forward, this series gets better with continuity and clarity.

And due to my completely overdue review, this book has not been sent to its next reader, my favorite vampire ninja and luminescent monster, an oversight which will hopefully be remedied this week.


Just got this guy in the mail today from an amazing lady and her delightful book boar:)

The wytches train continues tonight. In the meantime read Kelly's review or Shelby' s review here.
September 15, 2016
2 I-feel-entirely-meh Stars

Wytches is a graphic novel with some very interesting concepts which never actualize to a cohesive story for me. In my opinion, it is trying to be too many things at once and just missing the mark of effectiveness at all of them.

On the surface is a story about a teenage girl who has experienced some pretty serious trauma before moving to a new school, her schoolyard bully is killed in a very bizarre way and she feels like her desire for same bully to just go away has brought about this reality. The nightmares in the woods are real and they ARE after her.

Beneath this surface horror of wytches in the woods and children going missing is the more realistic (to me) story of a teenage girl who suffers for debilitating anxiety and her father who tries his best to be there for her while not fully understanding what she’s fighting against. Both of these stories have merit in their own right, and had they been individual graphic novels I probably would have enjoyed them both immencely but combined they feel… forced and disjointed. And perhaps that was Snyder’s point; that anxiety can seem sort of insane and illogical to an outsider. There is some validity to that, however it just overall didn’t work for me here.

As someone who suffers from anxiety myself I really wanted to feel a connection here, to truly witness these two themes unifying and showing a tapestry of how anxiety can make you feel like the whole world is against you even if it really isn't. The ways that everyday items can come to life in monstrous proportions and entirely overwhelm a person so that they feel helpless and lost. For me, Wytches never quite made that meld and I felt a bit ripped off by that.

That being said I really enjoyed the art in this story and I found the horrific elements highly enjoyable. Thank you for sending me this book, my harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows! ♥

Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,830 followers
November 3, 2022
This was so good! The artwork, the story, everything. I wish there was more...
Profile Image for Trish.
2,018 reviews3,436 followers
November 10, 2015
OK, so this was my first comic. Or is it a graphic novel (then it would have been #2)? Who cares?! Right now I can't spare even a tiny bit of my brain to ponder that question because I'm too occupied NOT FREAKING OUT!

Seriously, this was ... scary. Like, so-terryifing-I-can't-sleep-with-the-lights-out.

The series is by Scott Snyder, who apparently worked some Batman stuff so some of you guys probably know him already, and a couple of others.
As I said, I'm new to this stuff. I know a couple of superheroes but that's it. Nevertheless, after seeing this somewhere here on GR, I was curious. Then, by a lucky coincidence, this book was in my BookRiot Horror Box.

I expected a story about witches. What I got was ... a story about witches.
However, not the witches with black pointy hats, cats, a cauldron and broomstick. Oh no, that would have been too easy apparently.
THIS. This is dark. This is gory. This is unrelenting. This is the story about a girl with a dark past that moves to a new town with her parents. Too bad that there is something in the woods waiting for her. Or, well, you know ... not waiting any longer. This is also about parents not being perfect. About mistakes and regret and what a parent will do to make it right, to save the child. And about people being fighters. In between we get a lot of violence, blood, gore and some pretty crazy people.

The artwork was grey-ish at times, very bright and colourful at others.
Bright, everythingisfine panels:

Not-so-bright, thereisdefinitelysomethingwrong panels:

It was deliberately used stylistically and it was great. Again, I'm new so maybe it's easy to impress me but boy was I impressed! The flashbacks, the back and forth ... it could have been too much, too jumbled. But it wasn't. And that is, in part, thanks to the artwork being so diverse while at the same time remaining the same. I'm not making sense? Yeah, my brain is probably still hiding under my bed. That's why.

I was really blown away on the first two pages by the story and its violence.
I don't mind it, nor do I mind blood and gore. Seriously, it never gets to me like "eeewwww, take that away" or "I can't look". What does get to me are emotions. Tragedy. And we get plenty of that here. The blood and gore and violence are just a (perfect) framework for the characters' emotional turmoils and the dark places they live in (physically as well as psychologically).
And yes, the story had me looking over my shoulders so it was perfect for Halloween! Problem with that: you can't just switch off that bad feeling in your stomach, not even when you shut the book. The creepiness oozes out and stays with you for a while. Luckily it's a bright and sunny day today until it's not, just like in the book - DAMN IT!

October, 27th - update:
After finally being able to sleep with the lights off again, I remembered that there was something else about this collection of the first 6 stories (the 1st arc) that I wanted to mention. Apparently Scott Snyder wrote an afterword for each volume and they are all included at the end of this collection.
In those short essays he writes about the reason why this story exists in the first place which is quite personal for him. He mentions his own mental health problems which I find great, because there is nothing wrong with that and people should be able to talk about it without being ashamed. Moreover, he also tells us stories from his childhood in deep woods with scary places, his experience in a summer camp, his time at Disney Land (he was a character there), about his own children and how all that led to this story. It's personal indeed and a great addition/background. Also, what is a bit unusual, some of what he says is truly profound (for example when he writes about parenthood and the monsters in all of us).
I think, without these glimpses into the author's life and work process, this book would have been incomplete (plus, it's quite funny too).
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,678 reviews5,253 followers
November 1, 2017
4 very appreciative stars for the wonderful art! modern master JOCK (that name though) creates images that are perfect for the story, at once sludgy and precise, careful with facial expressions when necessary, with a vaguely nightmarish, dread-filled quality to many if not all of the panels. brilliant work. he is well-matched by colorist Matt Hollingsworth, who brings an exciting range of colors to his mainly dark hues; each scene, each page, is vivid and memorable, and most importantly, appropriate to the story being told. and then Hollingsworth ups his game with a splatter technique that gives each panel an almost nauseously hallucinogenic quality that is a perfect fit for the surreal narrative. kudos to them both!

2 very unappreciative stars for the writing. this would be a single star but I enjoyed the author's personal narrative at the end of the comic. fascinating, well-written stuff about Snyder's life that had me empathizing with him, and an absorbing rationalization about why this title in particular is really personal for him. (but shouldn't all creative writing be "personal" to some extent? not that I want to undercut something I enjoyed.) but as far as the writing in the story itself... ugh, just horrible. I don't want to waste time listing all of the things I disliked or was bored by or rolled my eyes at - read Sam Quixote's review for that - so all I will say is that my irritation kept slowly building, chapter after chapter, until by the end (and despite the splendid art), I just felt weary and done.

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it's funny to read the Goodreads reviews of this very divisive comic. many reviewers loved the story but felt it was ruined by the art. and many others have the correct perspective!
Profile Image for Jack Tripper.
411 reviews237 followers
March 29, 2016

Well that was disappointing. Doubly so considering I also purchased Snyder's The Wake at the same time, thinking he'd be a new favorite comic book writer of mine after reading up on him and sampling a few pages of his work. Now I'm not quite so enthused. If this had been published 20 years earlier, I may have felt differently, but there's nothing new here. The art was creepy and well-done in spots (and the blood-spatter coating the panels was a nice touch), but overall the story comes across as having been written by someone who's seen a few horror movies and read a couple books and thinks, "hey, I can do that too." But Snyder is a self-professed horror geek, so who knows? Either he's consciously ripping off the past or is ignorant of the fact that it's all been done before. I love the classic tropes, including the whole "family moves to a strange town with deep dark secrets" routine, but I need something original in a modern tale, or else what's the point?

All of this would have been forgivable had I connected at all with the main characters, but they were your typical 2-dimensional caricatures. You have your stock angsty and depressed teen and her stock hard-yet-sensitive and caring dad. All the rest were tertiary background characters with little or nothing to remember them by, other than the agsty teen's mom being in a wheelchair. Still, if I wasn't such an avid horror fiction fan this may have blown my mind, but I'll never know. To me the "scary" parts came across as random and silly more than anything else, though I have to admit that the opening prologue, where a young boy finds his mom trapped inside a tree and screaming for help, was very well done. Too bad that's where the terror reached its peak. Again, it would have helped had there been engaging characters to care about and root for. Instead it felt like horrific scene after horrific scene, willy-nilly, with no emotional involvement from me. This could be partially my failing, however.

I would only recommend this to those who are relatively new to horror fiction, but I am sure there are those who will adamantly disagree. Thankfully, the opening pages as well as the occasionally fine artwork prevented it from being a total waste of time.

2.0 Stars
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,102 followers
October 29, 2015
Very enjoyable story, and not just because it's scratching my itch for something scary for halloween.

I love the gloriously messed up main characters, with all their anxiety-battling, creatively destructive descent into madness... or is it madness? Of course not! There's always something out there in the dark forest, after all, and the mirror world is very dark indeed. I'm good to start pledging and getting my wishes on!

The story is surprisingly emotional and visceral from start to finish, and I think I like its coherency better than another horror comic I finished not too long ago. (Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft had a much more complex story and a wonderful magic system, but as for just plain hitting me in the gut and writing a scary map of veins on my skin, Wytches, Vol. 1 is superior.)

It helps that I'm a weird daddy with a daughter that I love to death. This kind of thing calls out to some people more than others, and crazy protectiveness is kinda my thing, too.

So Top-Marks for grabbing me and shaking me until I cried mercy! It's exactly what the doctor ordered. Hugely entertaining. And best, there's MORE to come. :)
Profile Image for Chad.
8,138 reviews906 followers
June 1, 2019
This book is great. It's truly a horror comic and would make a great horror flick. Snyder captures the fear you have for your children's well-being so well. Jock's art fits the story extremely well. My one complaint is the coloring. Hollinsworth overlays the color with this splatter effect that is really distracting and obscures the art.
Profile Image for Michelle.
772 reviews108 followers
August 5, 2020
“Wytches Volume 1” is about a girl named Sailor Rooks and her parents moving to a new town in order to escape a tragedy that happened where they used to live. All Sailor wants is to be normal, but that’s a little hard when you’re the “ most feared slayer of cute mythological creatures in the land” according to her father. She has severe anxiety that people will find out who she really is.

“So did you kill that girl or not?”

In her hometown a girl named Annie went missing in what was labeled as a “disappearance” but Sailor knows what really happened. She tried to explain it to her parents, but they don’t seem to understand, nor want to believe her gruesome details. She also feels that this is a result of her hating that girl so much so that she wished she were gone forever, and now she is.

“These THINGS...took her, I saw it.”

But what she quickly learns is that your past is inescapable and it follows you every single step and with every breath that you take. If they can’t find where you’re located , then they’ll come to you in your sleep. But, it’s only a matter of time before she is found, I mean she can’t hide forever right?

An ending that you won’t see coming! Gory, graphic, foul-mouthed and fun!

I will be continuing on in this series!

3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

I read this graphic novel for The Reading Rush 2020 Challenge to read a book outside of your house, which is exactly what I did. Little by little, throughout the week, I relaxed with my pups on the porch and soaked up some sun and some horror.
Profile Image for Katie.
273 reviews3,840 followers
February 21, 2021
4.5/5 stars - Finally picked this, and after reading it, I'm angry at myself for waiting so long. This is a nasty little witch story and I mean that in the most positive way possible. My only critique is it felt somewhat rushed.
Profile Image for Erica.
1,342 reviews440 followers
December 14, 2015
I'm going to go ahead and give this a solid 3 stars, a hearty, "I liked it!"
I want to give it more because I want to like it more but there were just a few too many things that got in my way of real enjoyment.

This is a story about wytches - icky creatures that live underground in forests and like to eat the little childrens - and the family who has been marked by them. Marked like you mark the chicken breasts you put in the freezer to take out again for a later meal. It's a sad story, and painful. There's trauma and depression, alcoholism and poor decisions, broken families and really mean bullies, and, of course, the creatures that live underground in the woods and chow down on people as often as possible.

This is a horror story and those rarely scare me but this one did. It wasn't the paranormal aspect that got to me nor was it, as the case may be with loving parents, the child-being-stalked-by-bullies-and-monsters scenario. The child's name is Sailor. Yes. Sailor. They call her Sail. They also call her "nervous" but she's not nervous. She's got a pretty severe anxiety disorder from the sound of it and she's had it for awhile, maybe since she was super little. And that's what scares me. How do you help a kid with severe anxiety when they don't understand what's going on? They're too young for medication and I'm not sure if cognitive behavioral therapy works when they're in elementary school. Talk about having to battle terrifying monsters.

Anyhow, the story is decent, all dark and emotional. I wasn't a fan of the unwinding; I'm beginning to feel that's being overdone, backtracking throughout the family's past to find out why they are where they are in the present while simultaneously moving forward. I'd like a linear story for a change, thank you.

Also, I'm not big on the art in this one. The drawings are ok but the paint splatter background on every single page is distracting and not in a good way, more like a headache way. My eyes protested.

There's a redemption storyline for the Dad. I felt it was overplayed.
But my biggest complaint is that I didn't buy the mom at all. Here's why and this really is like the crux of the story, the secret, blah blah blah, don't read this spoiler if you plan to read the book but have not yet done so, k?

Also: Don’t move to places with names like Litchfield. Come on, people.

Actually, now that I think of it, this is quite similar to The Monstrumologist, only for grown-ups. If you liked that, you'll probably like this. I'd also recommend it to fans of Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Profile Image for Donovan.
705 reviews71 followers
August 6, 2023

Just wow. This was intense. "The woods are full of horrors." To say the least. I read this in the daytime, know what I'm saying?

This beast starts off in 1919 with a lady in a tree because she's been pledged. Pledged? What does that mean?

Nope, not surface cleaner. If you've been pledged then you're screwed, that's what it means. Like Shirley Jackson's 1948 short story "The Lottery," Wytches explores the idea of pagan ritual sacrifice. And if you've been pledged, you're getting sucked into a tree.

Fast forward to 2014. The Rook family has moved to Litchfield, New Hampshire. Lucy the mother has experienced an accident that has left her wheelchair-bound. Sailor the daughter suffers extreme anxiety. And Charlie the father and writer-artist is haunted by personal demons. This "family with shit wrong with them moves to a new town to start over" trope reminded me of Stephen King, which seems to be a recurring theme of his, and Snyder admits he was inspired by King's horror. So the story begins with Sail going to school and wondering if "people know." Know what? you may ask. A fawn shows up in Charlie's office and spits out its tongue. Then we get a flashback of the whole bully situation . At this point I was like...

But enough summary. Let's talk about fear. Snyder talks a lot about this in the extras. How fear is so much worse when it's familiar, when it's trusted, when it's family, when it's you. So there's fear, psychology, mythology, paganism, horror, mystery, twists. It can be read at the surface as straight horror, or on a deeper literary level of allegory. This was truly horrifying not only because of the wytches but because of the "what if this actually happened" idea. And Jock and Matt Hollingsworth absolutely crushed it with the artwork. It's different, dark and sharp and somehow colorful, perhaps like nightmares. But I read in the extras that they hand-painted all of those splatters with watercolor and acrylic paints. Seriously. Snyder is becoming for me what Frank Miller was to him. The man is brilliant. This is a game-changer for comics.
Profile Image for Eleni Ouzouni (Life is Art).
272 reviews131 followers
October 14, 2019
"Finding my way back... Finding my way home"

Η ιστορία ακολουθεί μια οικογένεια που μετακομίζουν σε μια μικρή επαρχιακή πόλη των ΗΠΑ.
Προσπαθούν να κάνουν μια νέα αρχή μετά από ένα ��εγονός που τους τραυμάτισε! Αλλά τα σχέδια τους αλλάζουν όταν η μικρή κόρη της οικογένειας αρχίζει να βλέπει κάποια περίεργα πράγματα να συμβαίνουν γύρω της.

Τα Wytches είναι αποκρουστικά και σκοτεινά πλάσματα που διψάν για την ανθρώπινη σάρκα! Είναι πολύ ιδιαίτερα στην απεικόνιση τους και μια λέξη μπορεί να τα χαρακτηρίσει τρομαχτικά! Τα σκίτσα γενικά στο σύνολο τους είναι πολύ όμορφα και ιδιαίτερα, διαφορετικά από ότι έχω συνηθίσει αλλά με καλό τρόπο! Γενικά τα χρώματα που επικρατούν είναι το μαύρο με σκούρες και έντονες αποχρώσεις (όπως κόκκινο, μπλε) και η αλλοίωση των προσώπων. Η πλοκή στο σύνολο είναι εξαιρετική. Στην αρχή δυσκολεύτηκα με τα backstorys γιατί δεν καταλάβαινα πότε εμφανίζονταν μέσα στην ιστορία αλλά μόλις το συνήθισα το απόλαυσα ακόμα πιο πολύ. Μέχρι το τέλος δεν ήξερα τι να πιστέψω και τι θα μπορούσε να ήταν αλήθεια από αυτά που βλέπουμε ή ποιος πραγματικά διηγείται την ιστορία. Τελικά το τέλος είναι όσο mind Blowing το περίμενα. Ένα έξτρα πράγμα που μου άρεσε πολύ είναι πως στο τέλος μας δείχνει τα σκίτσα στην αρχή τους μορφή και πως φτιάχτηκαν σιγά σιγά όπως τα βλέπαμε εμείς κάτι που δεν είχα ξανά δει να συμπεριλαμβάνεται σε graphic novel.

Γενικά το Wytches είναι η τέλεια γραφική νουβέλα για αυτήν την εποχή του χρόνου! Σκοτεινή, ψυχρή, με όμορφα σκίτσα και μια ιστορία που σε κρατάει από την αρχή ως το τέλος!
Profile Image for Lauren.
846 reviews929 followers
October 11, 2016

Wooooaaahhhh, okay...*holds head*

That was pretty dark and scary. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was terrifying, and I still am able to sleep after reading Wytches, which is something, but the drawings were certainly nightmarish.

Wytches follows the Rooks family who move to Litchfield, New Hampshire, in order to escape from their past trauma and start a new life in a new county. However, right from the start, we are introduced to the complex dichotomy of the Rooks' household and know that all hasn't always been well between Charlie (father), Lucy (mother) and Sailor (daughter).

Wytches addresses a whole range of topics including alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, guilt, fear, courage, etc. which works in the comic's favour. We witness Sailor's father (a former alcoholic) really embrace his role and responsibility to his daughter which is heartwarming to see.

I must admit there were a couple of instances where the action seemed to flit from here, there and everywhere which made it hard at times to fully grasp the situation and what exactly was happening. It also doesn't help that quite a lot of the action happens in the dark, but I suppose that's what makes it spooky and adds to the dramatic atmosphere.

And then of course, there is Lucy's revelation and MY GOODNESS!! What a bitch!!! I mean...yeah...so these creatures are going to chase you but to pledge your own daughter in order to save yourself!!!!!!! For shame! At least Charlie has the right idea. Go Dad!

I will definitely read the second volume as I'm intrigued to find out what happens next, although, I don't think I'll be looking at trees quite in the same way again!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Richard.
998 reviews382 followers
December 25, 2017
Although not as memorable and gut-wrenching as I'd have liked, it's still a creepy tale that makes witches scary again. The premise is solid, following a family dealing with being the target of an ancient, monstrous witch coven in the woods that wants to boil and eat them, and the splashy, exceptional art is pretty effective.
Profile Image for Stepheny.
381 reviews545 followers
August 6, 2015
Super excited that I have such a good friend. He just loaned me this and I can't wait to start it!! :D
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,096 reviews2,383 followers
June 18, 2016

I think I'll give this 2.25 stars.

Couple of things made it difficult for me to fully enjoy this. I didn't like the artwork all that much, and that's a pretty important part of a graphic novel. It was just way too busy and chaotic and I had a really difficult time identifying exactly what I was looking at. I also didn't think any of the wytches were all that scary. If you want to see someone draw scary pick up one of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books.

In a way, I guess you could say the artwork matched the story because that was a giant mess at times too. This was rather fast-paced, but in a bad way. With all of the jumping around in the timeline, showing various flashbacks and whatnot, I was constantly flipping back because either something didn't make sense or I felt like I was missing something. I started to feel like I was reading each issue twice plus this was aggravating because it messed up the flow of the story.

Supposedly this was just the first arc but I'm not seeing any info on the next, but I'm not sure I'd bother continuing on if more of this story gets published in the future.
Profile Image for The Lion's Share.
528 reviews86 followers
September 4, 2015
I had no idea what this book was about. I didn't even read the synopsis. I think it's good to go in blind with this story and Snyder seems to write this well.

So it's about witches obviously but it's more about family, desperation and courage.

It's a real page turner with some great horror in it. I think this would make a great movie.

A solid read and I'm looking forward to vol. 2.

However, would someone please explain the ending to me as I've no idea what happened?!

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