Rating: 4/5 – An anthology with new and exciting creators.
Vertigo’s Witching Hour is an anthology book that is a showcase for nine stories by too many different creators to name here, but includes Cliff Chiang, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ming Doyle and many, many more. Not all the stories are great, but the majority of them entertained me. The common theme through most of the stories are Witches in one form or another (hence the title). Without going into a specific review of each one, I’ll highlight my favorites below:
Daniel by Steve Beach – A beautifully drawn and touching tale about a man who can’t move on…literally. Writer and artist Steve Beach does a great job of making you feel for the main character not only in the writing, but in his pencils as well. He makes the small town setting feel real while at the same time portraying some creepy scenes involving three young girls who happen to be witches. I’d love to see more of this creator’s work and was surprised not to find much else that he’s worked on previously. Hopefully that changes as his pencils were a highlight of the book for me.
Mars to Stay by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang – The most “science fiction” tale of the bunch tells the story of the first colonists on Mars, and all the things that could go wrong. Chiang’s arts is as solid as ever, but I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed writer Brett Lewis’ writing. He packs a lot of story into eight pages. After reading it I had to go back and check to see that it was only eight…and it was! It didn’t feel rushed or compressed, and he was able to give characters depth in such a short amount of time. This was my favorite story in the book. It’s essentially a monster story, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out who or what that monster is.
Little Witch by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske – Another touching story about a man who is trying to cope after a stint in Afghanistan, and not being able to save the ones who matter most. The story gave me goosebumps by the end and proves that you can tell a complete, moving, and beautiful story in such limited space. Although at times the art lacked detail, the facial expressions and scenes Ales Kot used to tell the story packed the emotional punch.
The price of this book is hefty at $7.99, but I feel it’s worth it. It’s exciting to discover talent that you’re not familiar with, and in each of the three stories I highlighted above, that was the case. I’m now looking forward to seeing what these creators do next, and hope to follow them to their next projects, wherever that may be. Not every story was great, but every story was at least solid. There’s something here for most tastes and I encourage you to give it a try.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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