In an exploration of division, the third issue of The Low, Low Woods truly aligns itself with the fantastical in this series. There is a character who becomes a witch, a zombie, and a sinkhole. In earnest, this is where Machado really lets us delve into the peripheral sideplots for the comic and pushes them into the forefront. It’s an amazing way of intermingling basic horror/fantastical elements, whilst managing to properly bring an adolescent tenderness to the characters.
The fascinating aspect of this narrative has been the ability for Machado to use the comics medium to give a properly grounded sensibility for how children look to deal with their rifts. For one character, it means investigating and looking to people to find solace in. For another, it means going into a rural area and exploring nature.
The artwork in this issue by Dani properly imbues a dread within the story. Within the issue, each addition of the fantastical manages to further concentrate the looming horror these two girls may suffer from. Even better is the linework that allows for this youthful, animated style, but properly grapples with such detailed and rendered images that really make the work jarring. The more subtle aspect is Steve Wands’ work as a letterer. The word balloons along with variations in the textboxes manage to frame the images wonderfully. The best aspect of this book is each collaborator’s skill in pacing themselves within this issue. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain does an amazing job layering the mood within this book.
With barely any action, issues like these are usually failures in the hands of less adept creators. But the creative team offers great rhythm within the storytelling to really hone in on how people deal with certain tragedies. It is genuinely a blessing that we get to have some great breathing room, whilst still feeling a lingering danger for our characters.
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