Writer: Carmen Maria Machado / Artist: Dani Strips / Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain / DC Comics
Written by Carmen Maria Machado, The Low, Low Woods is a six-issue horror series that follows El and Octavia, two queer teenage girls of color who are navigating the regular pressures of the world as it relates to race, sexuality, identity, and expectations. But on top of that, they live in a town that is haunted as hell.
The Low, Low Woods is part of Joe Hill’s horror imprint at DC Comics aptly titled Hill House. If you didn’t know he had his own imprint, now you do. Congratulations. Now get to reading.
I haven’t read any of the other titles yet, but if The Low, Low Woods is an indicator of the rest of the books under the imprint, I’m gonna have to rectify that.
The story follows El and Vee as they wake up in a movie theater almost certain that they are missing a chunk of their memory. They then have to navigate the multitude of things that could mean and how they can figure out what exactly happened to them. In their pursuit of that, the eerie and unsettling nature of their town Shudder-To-Think unfolds before our eyes.
There are witches, men with no skin, women with sinkholes in their stomachs, and a conspiracy covered up by magic. It’s wild.
This book is a slow burn horror story that grips you with its striking images from the first panel and doesn’t ever let you go.
Issue #5 is the second to last issue, and it sets us up perfectly for the finale as we finally get a lot the answers that we’ve been waiting for. And it leaves the perfect amount of room for the finale to explore what those answers mean for El and Octavia as they find out what happened to them specifically.
This issue follows the town witch, who is an old woman in a little girl’s body that has a lot to do with some of the weird things that happen in this town. Her story puts so much in perspective for El and Octavia.
What I really like about this book, but this issue, in particular, is that it uses horrors elements to talk about important real-life topics like consent. It recontextualizes it in a beautiful way that only amplifies what it means in our world.
Dani and Bonvillain are on art and colors respectively, and their work does such a fantastic job of siphoning Machado’s poetic darkness into a visual representation that really leaves you as unsettled as you are intrigued.
The second to last issue of The Low, Low Woods perfectly sets up a dramatic and dynamic ending for El and Octavia, as they’re finally going to be in a position to find out what the missing chunks of their memories are.
10 Immortal Witches Out Of 10