REVIEW: ‘Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #2 is published by IDW Publishing and written by Denton J. Tipton and Matthew Dow Smith, with art by Chris Fenoglio, colors by Valentina Pinto, and letters by Christa Meisner.

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House #2 picks up the next day after the shocking revelations of the first issue. Rosie, ever the loner, is eating by herself at lunch. Shortly after Becca and Carlos find a way to talk to her, though they are careful not to be seen. The two are still popular and don’t want everyone to know they spent time hanging with the loner. Together, the kids discuss what they saw the night before. While spying on Veruca Curry through her window, they saw building tools working on their own, as if by magic. Before they can make much progress, the group is interrupted and miss their chance to talk.

After school Rosie is walking home and goes past Veruca’s house, only to be confronted by Veruca herself. It seems that she has plans for her home, and for everyone in the town as well. Later on, we are shown Curry using her tablet to cast some sort of spell. As the three kids are spending time at home, strange things begin happening. Suddenly the heroes find themselves in danger from unexpected sources.  We are left to wonder if they’ll make it, and what Veruca might have in store for them next.

The story from Tipton and Smith stays true to the trajectory set by the first issue. We continue to see who these kids are and what is important to them. In the first issue, the exposition was done through dialogue with friends and family. In this issue, we’re shown more about our heroes through their rooms at home. For example, Rosie’s room is filled with anime references and dolls, to show her interest in “niche” things.  Overall, I felt like the second issue did a better job of telling us about who we were rooting for. The major divergence from the first issue is that this one had much more action. This helped to keep the plot moving forward and keep things interesting.

Furthermore, the artwork is still a high point that channels the aesthetic of cartoons from the 90s like The Addams Family or The Wild Thornberrys. Fenoglio does a fine job of using visuals to tell us as much of the story as the writing does. Paired with the snappy colors, courtesy of Pinto, the panels come to life. It was especially fun to see a few visual callbacks to some of the Goosebumps staples throughout the issue. Meisner’s lettering continues to be well implemented. The sound effect lettering is bold and expressive, and the dialogue is never cluttered.  As a result, the visual aspects of this issue felt just as strong as they were in the first one.

Now that we’re two issues deep, the story has picked up and it’s really starting to feel like classic Goosebumps tale. The characters have been put in danger, and the threat is credible to the story. There are a few jokes for older readers thrown into this one that gives it appeal beyond the younger target audience as well. It seems like the creative team behind this series knows what they’re doing and how they’re going to do it. If you’re a fan of classic Goosebumps or need a solid children’s series, this is one to look out for.

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House Issue #2 will be on sale in comic stores everywhere June 12th, 2019

Rating: 4/5 Neighbors that are probably monsters