Seven Costumes of Comics: Witches!

halloweenFall is my favorite season. I love it as the nights grow longer, the colors start to change outside and the smells remind me of a world slowly working its way towards hibernation. The falling acorns, the crunching leaves, the bare skylines all lead up to my favorite holiday, Halloween! And I’m not even one of those people who like Halloween for the inevitable reality that there will be discounted candy. I like Halloween because you get to be someone else, even just for one night.

And, isn’t that the reason most of us like reading anyways, to experience new adventures and points of view? It’s also one of the reasons many people enjoy doing theater and, to a smaller extent, dressing up for Halloween. Of course, none of us want the result of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Halloween where costumes transform people into those characters, but there are some pretty standard costumes which we see every Halloween.

So, for the seven days leading up to Halloween, I’m going to review one comic which exemplifies a specific Halloween costume troupe.

I’m going to be starting with that hooked nose, warty, sometimes green (apologies to all those practicing out there) witches!

Pez witches
“Pez Witches” by ronsrandomstuff via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Witches are a mainstay for many trick-or-treaters; it’s a coming of age for many children. Pointy hats, wigs, and green face paint are often passed from sibling to sibling. If you look at any costume website, you’ll see Salem inspired and Samantha Bewitching costumes and Harry Potter inspired cloaks.

You must check out Nicola Scott’s artwork even if Black Magick isn’t your cup of tea, she’s currently working Wonder Woman and other superhero titles. Her art style is a unique sort of muted realism, faces and figures are extremely sharp but the shading adds a sophisticated matte-ness.  Most of the coloring is black and white with every shade of grey imaginable, adding only hints of color for emphasis, creating an eerie and depressing mood.

Cover for Black MagickGreg Rucka is a legend in the comic book world writing Batwoman, Lazarus¸ and Gotham Central. Black Magick is his first independent comic that I’ve read, and I am enjoying the relationships developing between characters and discovering where the power is between people. While the characters are rooted firmly in the here and now, a cell phone rings during a woodland ceremony, the back matter explores the world of Black Magick in relation to the history of witches, giving a historical retrospective into Rowan’s family’s long line of witches. Told from the perspective of a medieval witch hunter, the journal entries bring additional depth to the actions of our contemporary witches.

So whether you’re dressing up as a witch this year or are reminiscing about your 3rd grade, homemade conical witch’s hat, Black Magick weaves the perfect spell for a spooky Halloween read.