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Thessaly: Witch for Hire #1

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"My Girl: Or Far Too Much Snakes"

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Shawn McManus, Pamela Rambo(c)
Publisher: DC

Traditionally and after experiencing what passes as their version of "cutting edge" entertainment, I've pretty much stayed away from all of the Vertigo titles. Reading John Rozum's Midnight Mass. made me reconsider my overall opinion of the DC imprint and made me more open to experiment with projects from their auspices that seemed on a cursory examination potentially appealing.

Thessaly: Witch For Hire possesses great artwork by Shawn McManus and vivid colors from Pamela Rambo. Mr. McManus does not slap any old thing on paper and call it art. He pencils and inks anatomy to the panels--the representation of Michelangelo's David should give you an idea of where his heart lies. A Vertigo book having bright cheery colors was frankly a new experience. The visuals ultimately persuaded me to give the book a try.

Reading the book did not hurt me. This is a massive check in the plus column. Usually, I felt the need to shower after reading a Vertigo title, but the characters in Thessaly: Witch for Hire look fairly clean. They do not bear look like escapees from a vermin-ridden halfway house.

The monster in the story is a spectacular creation. It looks nasty and behaves worse. It's comeuppance even leaves behind a multitude of Fortean surprises. The plot does not meander. It moves quickly and ends in such a way that you can either continue or stop without the feeling that you will miss out on something that while may interest does not quite justify purchase. I appreciate the fairness.

In the end, I do not think I will go forward. The Fetch character too readily resembles Doyle from Angel but without the charm. Thessaly is no Willow, but she's not much of anything. Her characterization comes off as very wooden. Her dialogue doesn't really exhibit any personality.

To Bill Willingham's credit you need no previous experiences with the characters to understand the current mini-series that starts off at a fast pace and conjures some clever twists. The characters however fail to interest, and the swearing as well as the scene where Thessaly seems to have an instant orgasm really just tries too hard to meet the criteria of a mature labeled book. If you ask me, Thessaly: Witch for Hire would have with some editing and character depth worked and been more fitting as an all-ages book.



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