Review: The Witch in the Water

Written by Cillian McDonald.
Drawn by Alan Worrall.
Designed by Áine O’Flaherty.

The story begins with a boy (Phelim) and his grandmother warming themselves by the fire one dark night. Phelim isn’t in the best mood as he is in love with someone, but doesn’t believe anything will ever happen due to his appearance.

He tells his grandmother of his romantic problem and she tells him of a possible solution to his woes. She tells him to: “Wash your face in the stream by Hegarty’s Rock. But beware the moonlight, for there’s a witch that lives up there.”

The next morning, Phelim does as his grandmother suggested and visits the stream. He washes his face as instructed and returns home in the hope that he will be made more attractive to his love interest.

He wakes the next morning and is amazed to discover that the stream worked as promised. From this point, the story moves slowly becomes a folk-horror tale.

The art is done in black and white, with greys well used to make for easier reading of the artwork. I liked how the art seems darker when scenes take place in the forest. It really adds an ominous tone to those scenes. The story feels familiar, like a scary story you would hear by the campfire.

Lettering is easy to read throughout the comic. But there are some inconsistencies in the lettering used in the dialogue. I’m presuming this is probably a result of hand-lettering. None of it is detrimental to the reading experience, but it’s a simple thing that would improve the overall experience. An example being where an ‘I’ could easily be mistaken for a ‘T’.

The comic is an enjoyble folk-horror tale. I wasn’t entirely sure how it would play out. But I did like how it ended. It felt very much in keeping with the tone of the story.

If you’re loooking for a comic for the Halloween season, ‘The Witch in The Water’ is certainly an option for the reading list.

About contributor.
Comic-loving bookworm. Scribbler of words and images.
Can be found on Twitter @Stephen_C_Ward.