The Low Low Woods has been my favorite series from DC Comics’ Black Label horror imprint Hill House Comics. It’s a mixture of beautiful fantasy and dark dynamic horror. Now in its fourth issue, The Low Low Woods #4 is written by Carmen Maria Machado, with art by Dani, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Steve Wands. The series focuses on two young women and their supernatural town Shudder-To-Think, PA.
Last issue, El and Octavia continued down two separate paths. Octavia looked for help from the town witch and El found herself in a fight with a skinned man. But one of the most intriguing things, both visually and narratively, was the fact that Octavia’s girlfriend has a mother who is a sinkhole and that somehow, El and Octavia are linked together.
In The Low Low Woods #4, El and Octavia’s paths converge in an unexpected and bizarre way as Machado opens the issue with Octavia telling a story of the first time. The two friends realized that they were shared experiences and maybe bodies. But as this develops, the two come under attack from a mob of Skinless Men erupting from the fiery fissures of Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania. As they siege the house, the two girls take off to seek refuge with the witch, and the plot begins to thicken as Machado begins to open the magical past of the witch and the town.
The Low Low Woods #4 is amazing; full stop. Machado’s ability to craft an intimate story that also reflects a larger world of dark horrors and fantasy is unparalleled. The way she weaves the two girls’ stories together through an intimate internal narrative in each issue is not just compelling, but also dynamic. While El’s story was deepened in early issues, the third issue began to explore more of Octavia’s position in the story through her narration. Now, this issue, we get an intimate look at how Octavia not only values El but how their friendship began and how deep it goes.
There is an intimacy in Machado’s writing that is amplified by Wands’ lettering. During the narration, the letterings looks handwritten, like a journal that Octavia is pouring herself in to. It’s loving and nostalgic. But to counter that, Dani’s art is horrific, dark, and fantastical. Dani’s work is beautiful from murderous dear women, to skinned men, to emotional human faces, it hums electrically off the page. Bonvillain’s colors are also wonderful. They’re dark without washing out the scenes and the shadows have as much strength as the vibrant blood.
Overall, The Low Low Woods #4 is yet another example of Machado’s literary strength and keeps the mini-series as the best that Hill House Comics has to offer. If you haven’t picked this series up yet, now is the time.
The Low Low Woods #4 is available wherever comic books are sold now.
The Low Low Woods #4
The Low Low Woods #4 is yet another example of Machado’s literary strength and keeps the mini-series as the best that Hill House Comics has to offer. If you haven’t picked this series up yet, now is the time.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.