The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft

The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft

by Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni, Tony Millionaire, Jill Thompson
     
 

The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft conjures up weird tales of horror and magic the likes of which one seldom sees in graphic novels. Mignola returns with another Hellboy story; Thompson (Scary Godmother) and Dorkin (Dork, Hectic Planet) return to their characters in the stunning "Stray" story, the surprise hit of the first volume in this series. Morse (Ancient Joe,

Overview

The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft conjures up weird tales of horror and magic the likes of which one seldom sees in graphic novels. Mignola returns with another Hellboy story; Thompson (Scary Godmother) and Dorkin (Dork, Hectic Planet) return to their characters in the stunning "Stray" story, the surprise hit of the first volume in this series. Morse (Ancient Joe, Soulwind) presents an evocative and carefully researched tale of old Salem, digging into the madness of the accusations leveled there, which ended more than thirty lives in a few short months.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This neat little collection is an interesting and sometimes stimulating hodgepodge that features stunning art by some top comics artists. Reflecting the shifting opinion of witches in both folklore and real life, the volume includes the idea of witches as agents of evil, trying to seduce ordinary people away from righteousness, and an interview with a Wiccan priestess. "Mother of Toads," a 1937 short story by Clark Ashton Smith, describes a young man's sexual initiation by a witch who wreaks vengeance when he insults her later. It emphasizes the loathsomeness of the sex act, especially with a fat old toad-woman; however, the young man certainly has sex on his mind and doesn't try too hard to resist. Mike Mignola's demonic psychic investigator Hellboy makes an appearance in the moody and atmospheric piece "The Troll Witch." Tony Millionaire's eccentric line art makes the familiar chant of the witches from Macbeth newly eerie. Other superior pieces by Scott Morse and by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson further stretch our understanding of who witches are and how they should be combated. This is an anthology in which the parts actually support each other, so that even weaker items look good in context and may even cause a few chills. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
This collection offers eight witch tales inspired by such writers as Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Lord Dunsany. The mostly graphic novel format tales run the gamut of time periods, artistic styles, and occasionally quality, although all end ambiguously or badly. Witches range from Clark Ashton Smith's lustful and repugnant Mother of Toads, who seduces the hapless protagonist, to Jim and Ruth Keegan's canny Voodoo woman, who takes revenge on an arrogant customer in The Gris-Gris. Evan Dorkin's modern witches summon a voluptuously nude goddess of destruction in Unfamiliar, to the dismay of the canine protagonists, and in the best selection, Mike Mignola's enigmatic Troll Witch tells her sad tale to Hellboy. Also included is an interview with Wiccan High Priestess Phyllis Curott, covering the modern practice of Wicca. Brief biographies of the writers and illustrators follow the text. This book's tales and illustrations, while engaging, seem at hypocritical odds with its purported intent. Its dedication to the "memory of those . . . [killed] . . . in Salem," Scott Allie's introduction decrying those events and witches' historical depictions, and the intriguing interview with Curott all imply dispelling myths. Neverthless four tales depict irredeemably malevolent witches, and three others portray more ambiguous but still ruthless women. Mark Ricketts's confusing Golden Calf Blues might fulfill the intent, but lacks a witch. The cover illustration and endpapers display satanic crones and rituals. Also at odds are occasional adult themes and drawings commingled with PG-rated chill and gore. Purchase to fulfill an interest in classic witch tales and graphic novels, rather than horrorstories. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P S A/YA G (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults; Graphic Novel Format). 2004, Dark Horse Books, 96p., PLB. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Rebecca C. Moore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593071080
Publisher:
Dark Horse Comics
Publication date:
06/30/2004
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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