I love this series. They just released the first trade paperback “Under the Knife”, and I burned through it. The content is wonderful, a doctor who treats possession and other supernatural woes as medical maladies, curing things like “maleficiogenesis” with “diablosuction”. It lands gloriously somewhere between the cynical diagnoses on TV’s House and the grotesque beauty of Beetlejuice.
For those of you who haven’t read it, Witch Doctor features the medical cases of Dr. Vincent Morrow, an “occult physician” destined for greatness. He is accompanied by ex-military paramedic Eric Gast and the paranormally ambiguous girl known as Penny Dreadful. All three characters are unique and engaging in their own right; their chemistry as a team is enthralling. Seriously, the series could be about planning tea parties, and this trio would still draw an enormous readership.
I just read “Mal Practice” #1 (of 6), the first of the latest arc. Penny’s disorder gets its own character development here, adding dimensions to her character(s). Vincent is thrown into a horrendous predicament, but his condescending nature makes it difficult to feel sympathy (which in no way detracts from the story’s entertainment value). But my favorite part is Gast’s highlight. The storytellers portray PTSD both frankly and without forcing the trauma on the reader. You can understand Gast’s distress in three simple panels. It’s simplicity is evidence of the series’ artistic value and its creators’ skill.
My only complaint with the entire issue is that it ended. Maybe I’m jaded from starting the series with a trade, but the next issue cannot be released soon enough.
Go out to your local comic shop now and pick up any copy of Witch Doctor you find or click the cover art above to go to the website. It started last year, so there aren’t too many volumes. But all of them are gold.