The Low Low Woods, from Joe Hill’s DC imprint entitled Hill House Comics, continues to fascinate.
For those who don’t follow the story, it’s this: Shudder-To-Think, the old mining town in Pennsylvania has some troubling stuff happening. Vacant lots abandoned houses. Memory loss, strange half-human creatures in the woods, those low low woods. The low hanging fruit of horror. Two young women, El and Octavia are trying not to get Trampled Underfoot by the scary surrounders.
Writer Carmen Maria Machado, artist Dani, and colourist Tamra Bonvillain move this story along its haunted trail, mining it for its drama and suspense. Below the surface is teenage lust, earthy humour, and the smell of something decaying. It’s not a stale story, this one. It gets under your roots and tugs at your heart at the same time.
The scratchy drawing style actually makes us look closer, despite our subconscious warning that it ain’t wise to stop and gawk. The relationship of El and Octavia is explained further this time around, as we get to understand the dynamic that makes this duo ‘tick’. But like Lyme disease, it’s the slow weakening of resistance, the sudden shocks in reading, the relentless ticking of the horror clock that makes this title a worthwhile read.
Earth tones by Bonvillain are splendid, words by Machado are matchless.
Also includes a backup: Chapter 18 of Sea Dogs. Let’s hope DC assembles all these 2-page increments, nicely illustrated by Dan McDaid, in an issue all by itself!
DC, The Low Low Woods #4 of 6, $3.99 for 26 pages of content. Black Label, 17+