Sailor (aka Sail) Rook and her parents move to a new town, after Sail witnessed the violent death of a girl who had been mercilessly bullying her. Only no one believes what she saw, because it involves horrible creatures that came from the forest…
The move proves unsuccessful, as Sail now believes her former bully has come back to get her; and her father begins to learn that his daughter could have been pledged to something in the forest.
Straight up, there’s a couple of things I love about Wytches:
1. Rather than being presented as some distant and stoic figure, Sail’s father, Charlie, is portrayed in a way that shows him to be a loving father figure – without this being visibly detrimental to Sail’s relationship with her mother, Lucy. That might seem like a weird thing to focus on, but I feel like it’s all too common for familial relationships to be wrung out for drama, where at least one of the parents is presented as being problematic. Having a family that’s going through a tough time, but doing it together, feels…refreshing.
2. The art; specifically, what’s referred to as the “hero splatter”- a layer of watercolour and liquid acrylic that’s put onto paper, and then layered over the digitally produced illustrations. For the most part it looks like this cool paint splatter in the background colouring and around the edges of the panels, which adds an interesting visual element (although there are some panels, particularly in the third issue, where it’s used in a way that frustratingly obscures the art – which seems counterproductive in a graphic novel, no?).
More broadly, Wytches just has an interesting concept, which seems to be moving at a fast enough pace that it’s hard to predict where things are going to go next. And I like not being able to predict things, because it means that there’s something new going on.
So, while Wytches is only three issues in so far (with a fourth on the way in February), I reckon there’s something here worth keeping an eye on.