A new title from Joe Hill’s Hill House Black Label imprint at DC is The Low, Low Woods, with issue 1.
It’s the remnants of a small mining town, Shudder-To-Think Pennsylvania. But there’s something strange about the place. Mining has ceased, the company has pulled out, and many residents have left. There are environmental effects coming from underground. Heat and more heat. Disease. Strongly suggesting an evil presence. Blackouts, loss of memory.
Brightly cast against this dismal backdrop are the teenage lives of El, Octavia and their friends and family.
What if you both fall asleep at the movie theatre, and the usher gives you a weird look when you awake after the show? And there were only the two of you watching the movie? What if you both see weird animals in the low, low woods on the way home?
Writer Carmen Maria Machado writes something very effectively here in The Low Low Woods. Its a slowly percolating plot, with a poetic lyrical style. It’s human and inhuman at the same time. The personalities, the traits, the body language, the teen longing. The sense of foreboding. The pencils and inks by Dani, with Tamra Bonvillain on colours and Steve Wands on letters, are exquisite. The visual team has a cohesive shorthand here, one that works. The gestures, the suggestions of mood and facial expressions are so well captured. It’s an intimate story, up close and confidential.
This debut issue is so solid, so easy to recommend. It’s spooky and special.
DC, Hill House, Black Label, The Low, Low Woods #1, $3.99 for 24 pages of main story plus backup,