Kickstart's Witch Works Magic on Comics Storytelling, Pricing
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Kickstart Comics
· Terry Matalas
· Travis Fickett
· Tony Shasteen
Book Review: Witch
by R.J. Carter
Published: July 5, 2011
In a market of ever-escalating prices for ever-shrinking stories, Kickstart Comics is doing the unheard of: they're releasing full-length, densely-packed graphic novels for nearly the same cost as your average unfollowable (Batman: Incorporated) or too-quickly-wrapped (Flash) monthly comic book. What's more, they're doing it in a variety of genres reminiscent of the heyday of the Crossgen revolution.
Witch is but one example. This graphic novel, written by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett and featuring artwork from Tony Shasteen (Wolverine), follows young Kylie Woods, who has been seeing a psychiatrist for years because of a voice she hears in her head. Having convinced her therapist that she is now cured (she isn't) she is placed into a situation where she instinctively releases the force behind the voice, discovering that she's a witch and that the voice she's been hearing for so long is her familiary -- a black cat named Ridley. Oh, yes -- he's an eight-foot-tall hulking monstrosity of a black cat, who has an affinity for coffee.
Fortunately for Kylie, nobody else can see Ridley. Unfortunately, she's come to the attention of a group of witch hunters whose sole purpose is to ensure that witches are wiped out before they have a chance to join together and enslave mankind to whatever evil plan they must surely have.
As Witch progresses, Kylie comes to terms with what she is, learns about her family history -- both the true and false parts she's been fed over her life -- and even develops a romance she never thought possible. And while the book does end with more than a couple lead-ins for sequel opportunity, the overall story structure has a closure and more entertainment value than any 22-page pamphlet being marketed today.
Tightly written as a sort of "Juno" meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with beautifully detailed artwork and lush colors (from Stephen Downer), Witch is one of the best buys for your buck in the comics market today (although why Amazon lists it for $7.95 is a mystery -- it's cover-priced at $3.45, and discounted to $3.00 at Wal-Mart). Definitely recommended.