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Review – Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1 (IDW Publishing)

Goosebumps Horrors of the Witch House #1 (IDW Publishing) cover(detail) by Chris Fenoglio
Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1
Overall
6.8/10
6.8/10
  • Writing - 7/10
    7/10
  • Art - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Overall - 6.8/10
    6.8/10
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Summary

Writer: Denton J. Tipton & Matthew Dow Smith
Artist: Chris Fenoglio
Colorist: Valentina Pinto
Letterer: Christa Miesner
Maturity Rating: Everyone
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2019

The old haunted house in town is always supposed to stay abandoned. Everyone knows it is haunted; why would anyone want to live in there? Find out in Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1.

 

“Toil and Trouble” Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1

IDW’s Goosebumps comic books are back with another three-issue story in Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1. Rosie just wants to be noticed and liked in school, but that never happens. She thinks she has some breaking news. But the news has already broken around school that Veruca Curry, the millionaire tech wizard, has moved to town. She also moved into the old Whaley house! The school is a-clamor over why the tech mogul would move into a haunted and cursed house. Luckily, Veruca holds a press conference to let everyone know why, and that is when Rosie discovers a horrifying secret!

Writing

Goosebumps Horrors of the Witch House #1 (IDW Publishing) cover by Chris Fenoglio
Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1 (IDW Publishing) cover by Chris Fenoglio

I am impressed with the writing team on Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1. They get the story moving pretty seamlessly, introduce the main characters and plot and get everything going in this first issue. I have read all of the IDW’s Goosebumps comics (and have reviewed a lot of them). They have all been pretty solid and this continues the trend.

Tipton and Smith hit that “first act” of a Goosebumps story well. We got our young protagonist, Rosie, who is trying to make friends and be popular. We got our mysterious lady in Veruca Curry, and obviously the nice creepy “haunted house” scenario. It is all pretty familiar territory, which doesn’t make it bad, but it is also not incredibly exciting at the same time. It is a good “coming of age” scenario, with kids who aren’t friends but look like they will become friends through odd circumstances.

The first issue is a little light on the  “horror” and scariness. I mean, yes, I know it is an all-ages comic book. But the story could ramp up the creepiness just a little bit. 

Art

The art style is also in the same vein as the other two IDW Goosebumps stories, which is good for consistency’s sake. Chris Fenoglio brings a very animated styling to Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1. I like the more “cartoonish” aspects of the characters. They have this nice “simplicity” to them that works well for the more “toned down” horror stories of the series. It also lends a lighter tone to the issue as well.

Valentina Pinto adds some nice brighter coloring work to the issue as well, increasing that more animated, cartoonish type feel to the story. I do wish we had a little more background detail in some scenes and maybe the coloring is a little bit too bright at times.

The art, much like the story, though, does fit the all-ages tone and feel of the series. It does feel a little toned down from even the book series with the art. It is a little bit more comedic and more loosely horror-based than strictly just horror.

Conclusion

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1 is a solid start to a new three-part Goosebumps comic. IDW has been doing a good job of getting creative teams together to not only catch that Goosebumps “essence” for the series, but the art also has a very consistent tone to it as well. I do know these are all-ages books but at times I do wish they would ramp up the “scariness” a little bit. The art may be a little too cartoonish at times to be really frightful. Now the story may pick up after this first issue to bring the scares. I just remember the Goosebumps books literally scaring me and I can’t see these comics doing the same to six-year-old me. 


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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