After checking out The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina holiday episode, lately, I have been all about the witches. Wanting to re-watch The Craft, re-read Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour, and chomping at the bit for A Discovery of Witches to hit Shudder, I began looking through my comic collection to complete the pop culture quadfecta. It didn’t take me long to come across the five part series, Spell On Wheels by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, and Marissa Louise.
Spell On Wheels follows three twenty-something witches, Jo, Claire, and Andy. After someone sinister grants an intruder protection, he steals several valuable items from their home, including an invocation spell that, in the wrong hands, could be used to ensure that witches are eradicated for good. The three head out on a road trip to collect the stolen items and find the man who took them.
What I loved about this series is that the girls are not related (at least, I don’t think so as they have different last names). This aspect is exciting to me, and I’m hoping that I’ll get the back story on what brought them together in the first place. Too often witch tales fall back on sisterhood as a literal blood relationship, so I enjoy a story that just describes females who are close. I also love that while all three are witches, any vague notion of power balance is taken away from the outset. All three girls have different gifts that they are strongest at, and the reader is told their abilities right away. I find that this can be a problem in many supernatural stories, where one is more powerful than the other arbitrarily. I find that this dynamic can lead to sloppy story telling and rule breaking along the lines of “Well, we killed this thing super easily but then had a crazy hard time with the same thing later. I guess it was just more powerful.” Removing this potential for inconsistent plot points is very smart, and doing it within the first three pages is even smarter.
This series so far is basically a blend of Supernatural and Sabrina the Teenaged Witch. It manages to be light and fun while providing high enough stakes to keep the reader invested. Plus, they have a wicked car to remain incognito on this road trip.
The coloring is intriguing to me in this first issue. It is bright and upbeat, along the lines of an Archie comic, but will turn abruptly as the storyline gets darker. I’m looking forward to seeing how this progresses, as I feel that the story will get worse for the three young witches before it gets better.
For review purposes, I read the first issue only. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want to read too far ahead and be tempted to discuss spoilers! I will be posting follow up thoughts on twitter and facebook as I read the next issues, so keep your eyes peeled!
Spell On Wheels is five issues and is available as a graphic novel collection from Dark Horse Comics. See more details here.