In the snowy mountains of Japan, villagers whisper of a terrible and beautiful witch. Legends say that of those who encounter her, few survive her wrath. She is a creature of evil, and as such, she is incapable of kindness or mercy. What will happen to the young apprentice, Minokichi, when he encounters her one snowy night amidst a storm? This is the story of The Snow Witch, the second tale in Jim Henson’s The Witches series by Boom! and Archaia studios.
Writer and artist Kyla Vanderklugt does a beautiful job with the second comic in the series. The cool part of The Witches is that each of the four comics will be written and drawn by a different artist, each lending their own distinct style and vision. Each comic has been influenced by a different art style and culture. Whereas the first issue read like a European fairy tale, The Snow Witch takes root from Japanese culture and storytelling. The story is enjoyable and well written and the art, which is in the style of traditional Japanese paintings, is stunning.
The key to any of the Storyteller series is the way in which the stories are told. They feel more like oral tradition, something told around a fire on a cold winter night, than they do comics. This is a very unique perspective for a modern comic, and quite enjoyable. For example, if someone performed the piece for you around a campfire, you would probably just assume it was actually a story from folklore, not a comic script. The Snow Witch is beautifully done. As many traditional fables do, it includes cautionary tales and morals, again, staying true to the Storyteller series. Both the first story as well as the second had a surprise or two, and it did not go in the way I expected, which added to the interest.
Since each comic is a stand alone story, you can pick up this series virtually anywhere, but I highly suggest collecting them all. They are beautifully written and drawn, and unique. If you are fond of traditional storytelling, folklore and myth (particularly about witches), you will adore this series. In fact I’m a little sad that there will only be four. Archaia is doing a fabulous job with these, and the Henson brand, and I can’t wait to see what they will have next.
The Storyteller: Witches #2 is now available from Boom! & Archaia comics