***** The Witching Hours Anthology, by Cloudscape comics

The Witching Hours is an anthology of comics about magical women written, illustrated and edited by women and non-binary persons. We wanted to explore the range of what a witch can be as well as celebrate powerful and magical women.
The book features 11 stories ranging from fantasy to horror to slice of life, written and drawn by some of the best comics creators in Western Canada including A Woodward, Jess Pollard, Kris Sayer, Kathleen Gros, James Brandi, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, Tuna, April dela Noche Milne, Monica Disher and Hannah Myers, with a beautiful cover drawn by Julia Iredale.

I think it’s no secret on this blog that I love comic anthologies. The Witching Hours is a brand new anthology fresh off kickstarter, that I was able to pick up at TCAF recently. I read it in one sitting, and I have to admit that the stories in it are both beautiful and interesting.

The artwork in this book is brilliant, which each of the comics featured using only black and green ink. Anyone who knows me also knows that I go weak in the knees for black and white artwork with a splash of colour for highlights, and I feel that every artist featured in this book managed to use the colour in a fresh, interesting way. (Including one story that did the opposite of what you’d expect and used the green as the base colour and black for highlights!)

The foreword of the book explains how the editors wanted to showcase very different artstyles and stories in the book, and they definitely managed to do that. The end result is a very balanced anthology that never bores.

While some stories were a little too dark or sad for me (I like all my witches alive, even though I knew going in that this might not be a realistic expectation given the mention of witch hunts in the foreword), all of them brought something fresh and interesting to the table. The stories range from medieval to modern fantasy, with several other genres thrown in, and there is a little something in there for everyone.

Paired with the excellent artwork, this anthology is definitely one to share with family and friends alike. (Maybe not with children though.)


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