January 10, 2009

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Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft

Written by Various Writers
Illustrated by Various Artists
Dark Horse

A few years ago, Dark Horse put our 4 short anthologies, of which this was the first one I read. They all contain work from a great cast of comics creators, this particular one including Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson, Sean Phillips, and Scott Morse.

Oh, and a newcomer to the comics industry, William Shakespeare.

I think he has a good career ahead of him.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that editor Scott Allie includes an interview he conducted with High Priestess Phyllis Curott about witchcraft. This is somewhat unusual in a comics anthology to have a text interview, but I think it fits in with the rest of the material well.

The Shakespeare story leads off, followed by a brief Hellboy tale by Mignola. It's always nice to see a written-and-drawn Mignola Hellboy story and this one is just as good as his others. I will admit the stories in the middle are just okay, mostly standard fare, with an old witch story given updated illustrations.

Perhaps the best of the bunch is Scott Morse' ephemeral blurred artwork laying down the start of the Sale Witch Trials. He gives the work a blended, ghost-like apperance appropriate for the tale.

Last up is a dog story, literally, with Jill Thompson art (in the style of Scott Morse, oddly enough). A group of dogs must use their only cat friend to disrupt an evil ritual. But will it end up being a dog-gets-eaten world?

This is a fun little anthology that I don't think got a lot of press. It's definltely worth picking up.