Goosebumps has always been a great series for getting kids into reading. It was a series that was very accessible, even to a kid like me who struggled with reading and writing, and it sparked an interest into horror, the bizarre, and strange fiction. As such, I was really glad to see that the series has made the leap into comics, allowing it to capture the imaginations of a whole new host of readers.
Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1 is a fairly standard set up issue, one that lays the groundwork for the main characters and the world. The story begins by introducing the readers to the ‘old Whaley House’, a run down building in an unnamed small town. Left empty for decades and in sore need of work to repair it, the new buyer, tech millionaire Veruca Curry, discovers that the people of the town think that the house is haunted.
Over the course of the issue we see various townsfolk, both adult and children, gossiping about the house, and giving various theories as to why the house is ‘evil’, including a curse, it being the former home of a witch, and even a UFO in the basement.
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We are also introduced to the protagonists: there’s the shy Rosie, the sporty and outgoing Becca, and cool kid Carlos. Despite starting the issue in different social circles the three of them end up drawn together when they hear strange noises coming from the Whaley House, spurring on an investigation that reveals Veruca may have mysterious powers of her own.
There’s not a whole lot that happens in this first issue, but it does establish the world and characters well, and gives both the three kids and Veruca their own space to stand out and establish their personality traits.
The art and colours by Chris Fenglio and Valentina Pinto respectively, are simple, yet have a great deal of charm, with the book often feeling more like a Saturday morning cartoon in sense of style than a comic book. Scenes are very clean and clear, yet also have a great amount of detail within them; enough that if you wanted to you could sift through the background, picking out things that you might have missed.
A good start to the series, Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #1 sets out well and creates a solid start to the story. Hopefully now that the world and characters are set up we will get more story progression in the next issue.