The Low, Low Woods, the latest series in Joe Hill's curated horror comics from DC Comics, Hill House Comics, is an incredible addition to the wonderful worlds Hill and co, are bringing to the medium...
...The Low, Low Woods is Written by Carmen Maria Machado with pencils and Ink by Dani, with colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Steve Wand.
The story of The Low Low Lands is of Shudder-To-Think, PA, a town that is literally on fire and decaying day by day. A once thriving and bustling town of industry that has fallen on hardships, the residents who could leave have sold their houses and gotten out of Dodge, while others were left behind. This tale focuses on those who didn't or can't leave, either by choice or by economic pressure. They live their lives as best they can- go to school, work, form friendships, relationships, go to the movies, all with a sense that something is off and very early on a strange encounter in the woods proves very well that Shudder-To-Think is definitely not like anywhere else.
There are a lot of tender moments in this first issue, and these segments endear the reader to the protagonist and her best friend and for brief segments, their respective families. The first issue mostly focuses on the two leads, Eldora and Octavia, two high school students. They are both fully formed characters out of the gate due to the brilliant writing by Machado. They feel fully realized in terms of interaction and intention, which is a nice change from some of the other horror comics.
Tenderness amidst chaos and horror is one of the most beautiful things in all mediums. Nothing hits like the brief scene where El is speaking to her English teacher about college. The dialogue and exchange between the two is so beautiful and sad and more horrific than any of the horror or mystery elements of the first issue. It's a reminder of how much your surroundings can impact you emotionally and mentally. It's a brief scene that only takes up a few panels, but it left this reviewer in tears. It's always beautiful when a story in this medium is able to break through in such a way that The Low, Low Woods does.
This amazing creative team have done wonders in one issue to drop the viewer into a fully immersed world that feels real and relevant. It's also a gorgeous book with images by Dani that are breathtaking to see, and brought to life with immaculate detail by Bonvillain's coloring. Every page this team has crafted hits like a brick full of heart and mystery. The final panel will leave any reader waiting desperately to see where they take the story and folks of Shudder-To-Think, PA.
The Low, Low Woods #1 is available now at your local comic store.
By Justin Drabek
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