So based on a recommendation by my good friend John I picked up the first two issues of the new Witch Doctor comic created by writer Brandon Seifert and artist Lucas Ketner. John’s recommendation came in the form of a text and said something akin to; “You reading the new WitchDR book? Kinda 70′s Grindhouse horror – but in a comic!”
The four-issue series (hopefully followed closely by, if not an ongoing, at the very least another mini series*) begins by introducing us to three main characters: Dr. Vincent Morrow, the Witch Doctor; his assistant Eric Gast, and finally the seriously creepy Penny Dreadful, who although they haven’t said it yet, I’m guessing is some kind of human/demon hybrid, as she has some rather inhuman and, ah, deadly abilities she uses to back the Doctor up when shit goes pear-shaped.
And pear-shaped it does go, oh yes. In issue one the Doctor and his team are called in to exorcise a young boy suffering from possession. Sounds a bit straight forward, but things get pretty out-of-hand, and we the readers benefit greatly from it. The story is creepy; both of the first two issues have mostly self-contained plots that waiver just enough to set up something else for down the road. And the art – wow, I’m not usually one to pay much attention to art because if it’s good then, for me, it should move the story along and not distract too much with over-the-top visuals** – but Lucas Ketner is a very gifted man. His visuals are low key enough to tell the story and offer a genuinely creepy atmosphere from which the events unfold, and brazen at all the right times. You know, like any good horror flick from days gone by, one minute you’re creepy through a dimly lit hallway, the next someone’s esophagus is opening up to reveal slimy, ravenous demon hordes.
Or something like that.
I’m especially psyched by the teaser for issue three that ends issue two – Seifert says they’re going to ‘Lovecraft Country’ and by the looks of it Ketner’s Dagon looks AWESOME – first time I’ve made the connection that Lovecraft’s man/sea creature hybrid race bear a striking resemblence to the famed Creature from the Black Lagoon.
I know a lot of people around Chud (rightly so) make it a point to tell readers, ‘if you want to see good indie horror films then when one comes out – GO FREAKIN SEE IT!!!’. I say the same now for Witch Doctor, hoping in doing so someone will eventually option this puppy and make a nice creepy, gooey splatter flick out of it.
* After I wrote that I ended up finding out there is indeed another series, Witch Doctor: Resuscitation slated for what looks like December. How’s that for answering my prayers (must be the other guy, god never responds that quick)
** Granted not always the case, but often enough to keep it as my own rule of thumb. Often, the flashier the artist, the more the story suffers (see the 1990′s comic book industry, esp. early Image comics for examples)