Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review - The Westwood Witches #1

"But here in Westwood, we know how to handle irritating individuals."

To some, witches can be irritating individuals. To witches, everyone else are irritating individuals. It's a classic case where the powerful are annoyed by the powerless and their clashes often make for really good theater. That theater is on display in The Westwood Witches #1 from Amigo Comics.

The Westwood Witches #1 is written by El Torres, illustrated by Abel Garcia and lettered by Malaka Studio.

Jack Kurtzberg is a successful writer of Walpurgis Passion; think Twilight with witches. It's a new path he chose when it became clear it was lucrative to many around him. He's not a big fan of the work now that it has gotten so big and under pressure to complete the sequel before the movie comes out, decides to head back to his hometown of Westwood, MA. What Zillow doesn't tell him about the neighborhood though is that all the homeowners are witches. Serendipity right?

There's something very surreal about The Westwood Witches #1. El Torres breaks down the fourth wall to an extent, placing Jack right in the thick of the situation he writes about in his first successful book. It feels inspired by Stephen King, in that he relies on the fear that comes with reality to drive the horror in the book. Jack is presented as a character many can relate to, writer or not; he's grappling with becoming a new person and not really liking who he's becoming exactly. Mixing in the main characters of his book as a supporting cast only adds another interesting twist.

Garcia's art makes this a very intense looking book. All of the art is scratchy and coarse, making it known to the reader immediately that these witches aren't necessarily polite. The grittiness of character lines really stand out from the backgrounds, offering grim snapshots into the impending terror Jack is moving into. Considering it's a book about witches, Garcia should be commended for presenting scenes as everyday routine. There's also some cool looking white effects that showcase the presence of magic.

Witches aren't quite as popular these days as vampires or zombies, but they definitely have their place in history. The Westwood Witches #1 taps into that cultural schema of a coven of witches hiding in plain sight and offers up an interesting twist with writer Jack Kurtzberg. It's a powerful first issue that lays the cards on the table and definitely gets the reader intrigued to come back for the second issue.

The Westwood Witches #1 is available now via comiXology.


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