The opportunity to read the whole series in its totality makes clear that The Low, Low, Woods manages to take subtext into its own text. With abusive men displayed as skinless men and the burdens of women morphing them into great beasts, writer Carmen Maria Machado managed to pen a new means of exploring how people suffer from trauma. In earnest, one of Machado’s greatest strengths is her ability to imbue her story with the unique form of the comics medium to allow for a tale about people dealing with their gaps in trauma.
Artist Dani simply excels in how they illustrate all this wonderful childhood innocence as it begins to almost erode with the clarity some aspects of adulthood experiences bring back. It almost acts as though it’s a mature artist visualizing this world as a memory of what a child can be. These images all personify forgotten perspective and a proper sense of joy and calm that we simply lose as we age. Impending horror is simply catapulting each rendered version of these girls as they become more focused on their memory. While it’s less centered on action, Dani manages to bring such a great style and unique angling of how they depict Shutter-to-Think, Pennsylvania. It really presents this awesome wonder in the different pockets this town reveals in this narrative.
Steve Wands’ lettering simply depicts each image with a wonderful, flourished accents in each panel. Paired with Tamra Bonvillain’s coloring, it simply excels in establishing moody pacing no unlike an arthouse film in how it simply allows for this period of time dedicated to an experience of feeling rather than an attempt to sell a product. With Bonvillain’s coloring, it almost textures the page in this film of varied hues and colors that really magnify the tone.
One of the most powerfully rendered depictions of trauma being explored through the lens of memory and childhood, The Low, Low, Woods is a stellar comic book. Collected in trade paperback, it simply sings as it renders readers a whole experience of their own. In the end, it’s all about our decision to remember or forget.
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