What is it about witchcraft that we as an audience find so fascinating? Along with the usual suspects of vampires and zombies when it comes to all things supernatural nowadays, witchcraft feels to be the oldest trope of the three. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth you had the three witches prophesizing Macbeth’s rise to power, in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible you had everyone accusing everyone else of being a witch (“I saw Goody Johnston with the devil!”), and even in Monty Python and the Holy Grail you had witches turning people into newts. These magic beings have been entwined into our cultures for several millennia, but have remained somewhat dormant in recent years. As if, they’re hiding right underneath our very noses.
That’s where The Westwood Witches from Amigo Comics comes into play. From the same team behind the acclaimed “Drums” miniseries at Image Comics, El Torres and Abel García tell us a whole new tale of suspense that brings the witchcraft horror into the modern world. Think of it as a supernatural and bloody twist on Desperate Housewives with human sacrifices, Baphomet, and gorgeous art.
In the first issue we’re introduced to Jack Kurtzberg, who is a successful writer of young witch romance bestsellers (think of a mix of Twilight and Harry Potter). As he’s suffering from writer’s block on the sequel to his bestselling novel, Walpurgis Passion, he receives news that his brother James was killed by a hit and run driver, which plunges his life into a depressed chaos. Deciding that the only way to deal with the pressure of the second novel and getting his life back on track, Jack moves back to New England and the neighborhood he grew up in.
Little does Jack know that the Westwood he once knew has changed, with a group of beautiful-yet-deadly witches ruling the community. Sure they seem friendly (for now), but they are intrigued by what Jack is writing about, and what brings him to their neck of the woods. They’ve received knowledge of the future from Baphomet to protect them from their enemies, but is Jack going to be considered an enemy unbeknownst to him?
While El Torres’ story of murderous witches in suburbia is dark and enticing, it’s Abel García’s art that is the main draw for me. Fans of the artistic stylings of both Becky Cloonan and Riley Rossmo will be in for a treat, for the women are beautiful and the scenes are macabre with demonic undertones. There’s a constant energy flowing throughout the entire first issue, which will no doubt also be seen in the next three as well. By the end of this first issue I had a wide smile across my face, and when this series debuts it will no doubt take the comics industry by storm. It feels like it’s hard to find good horror comics nowadays, and The Westwood Witches is that salvation in these troubled times.
While Amigo Comics may be a new publisher, they’re definitely making quite the impression on myself and others. With top-notch talent like El Torres, Juan Jose Ryp, Enrique Lorenzana, Ruben Rojas, and Abel García in their stables, Amigo Comics will no doubt be making their mark on the world in 2013.