Writer/Artist: Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press
When Holly Hart moves to a new town and a new school, she knows what to expect from the kids there, the usual bullying and being labelled as an outsider, but what she doesn’t expect is to befriend Courtney Crumrin, the local witch. Courtney shows Holly how to learn magic, but she begins to worry that Holly might start to abuse her new-found magical powers.
Ted Naifeh’s dark world of magic and monsters is immediately enticing, and leaves readers hungry to learn more about the type of creatures and people that inhabit it. The writing and art both create an interesting and unique aesthetic that’s a blending of classic gothic horror and modern Halloween-type witches and goblins and werewolves.
The story moves a little too fast however, and with a third-person narrator explaining most of character’s thoughts and feelings, it can come off as a little cold. The first issue tells a story that could have easily been a whole story-arc, but it still leaves enough unanswered mysteries that I’m looking forward to seeing more.
The real shame in that is whenever the story does slow down, we get snippets of witty dialogue and clear characterization. It gives the impression the Naifeh is fast-forwarding over what may be the best parts of his story just to get to the next big plot development. A version of Courtney Crumrin that places more focus on the characters and their interactions and fleshing out the world would be a significant improvement over their version that seems to place more importance on the plot.
Issue #1 is ultimately a little shallow, moves too quickly, and is too distant from its characters to truly be great, but it builds an intriguing world and leaves the promise of further mysteries and stories to be told.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.