Comic Vine Review

4 Comments

Coffin Hill #2 - The Waters and the Wild Review

4

More about Eve Coffin's dark past is revealed as history appears to repeat itself.

The Good

The world of COFFIN HILL is interesting, and not like much else in comics (Locke & Key being one of the closer analogues). Framed by the horror genre, its sleepy New England town conjures up scenery and characters usually at home in prose, with the added treat of sequential illustration. It's rife with history -- both in the sense of generations of Coffins we have yet to learn more about, and regarding Eve's own personal history -- and has deeply-rooted emotional drama just waiting to be played out.

Kittredge's character dynamics are thoughtful and feel natural. This month's issue introduces us to Nate, a police officer who shares some of the more horrific memories from Eve's past, but doesn't attribute them to witchcraft as she does. There's unresolved romantic tension at play, and there's also a very natural conflict between the two -- her determination versus his skepticism. Eve's interactions with others feel very human, too -- when she asks Lacey's mother about witchcraft and gets a deer-in-headlights response, it's completely reasonable for the other woman to react that way, and the moment feels genuine.

Inaki Miranda knows how to draw creepy. Blacking out one of Eve's eyes was a brilliant choice, because every time we see her face, it looks off, regardless of her expression. Miranda also has a penchant for filling environments with gloriously detailed elements -- like the feathers that flurry through the panels when Eve jumps on the police cruiser -- and it makes COFFIN HILL richer and more eerie.

The Bad

The parameters of supernatural activity within the world of COFFIN HILL are still murky, and it's detracting from their chill factor. The flashback of Eve's dark magic accident proves out (for the reader) the existence of magic and lends some credibility to her stories, but everything else is a chaotic scattering of Eve's inner monologue. Something's in the woods? And it woke up? And it's probably mad? But we don't even have a hint at what that something might be -- a monster, another witch, a demon, something we've never even heard of -- and that makes it far less ominous than it might be if we had a hitch more context.

The Verdict

COFFIN HILL brings a young-adult sensibility to the Vertigo line, infusing a supernatural story with teen angst, hinted-at romance, and a little bit of edge. Inaki Miranda renders Caitlin Kittredge's dramatic mystery beautifully on the page, inviting closer looks at each rich, detailed panel. Eve Coffin's story is just getting started, and it's on a trajectory with plenty of potential.

7 Comments
Edited by SavageDragon

@missj thanks for reviewing this Jen I felt like I was one of the only people reading this, it deserves more readers. In my opinion the first 2 issues were a solid start, not to many consistently awesome horror books and Im glad to give this a chance and have been happy with the results. The art is very clean and the colors fit the book well. Im really interested in where it will head in terms of what the ominous supernatural force is. As you said it remains abstract at this point which Im ok with because I like the way they are building something here with the flashbacks filling in some details.

I lol'd tho when Eve jumps on the car and crow (raven?) feathers jettison out and Nate's like "watevs" haha funny how he ignored it. I like the use of feathers and creepy animals around Coffins, nice touch and its drawn beautiflly. I will say I'm digging this over Hinterkind (pretty good so far, just prefer this title more) but Vertigos new series along with the upcoming Dead Boy Detectives and of coarse Astro City, Sandman, trillium and The Wake its doing very well, which is great for comic fans.

Posted by ccj77

I love this book. I picked up issue 1 out of curiosity and was drawn in from page 1. What you mention in "The Bad" part of the review is actually what entices me to read on. If I knew what was in the woods, it might not compell me to pick up issue 3. I hope more people start picking this book up. I'd love see where it goes over time.

Posted by asjmooney

I also love this book. I just hope this give us some reveals in issue 3 and the pace quickens up a bit.

Excited to see the lore behind the magic in this world.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Man pepole need to read more Vertigo........