DC Comics’s Vertigo line has been putting out high quality comics for adult readers for years now. When I saw “Coffin Hill Volume 1: Forest of the Night” by Caitlin Kittredge (writer) and Inaki Miranda (art), I was immediately intrigued by this horror graphic novel.
The Coffin family witches have been around for a while and Eve Coffin comes into her magical, and evil, inheritance on one drunken night that leaves a friend of hers dead and another in a mental institution. Eve has no choice but to disappear for a while as the town turns its scrutiny toward her but the evil of Coffin Hill is not housed in Eve but rather used her to get free on that bloody night.
A decade later, Eve has returned to Coffin Hill to find that little had changed in her absence. Unfortunately, the evil seems to sense that the wayward daughter has returned and awoken with a new life and evil intent. Now it is out for revenge and Eve may be the only person standing in its way.
I would give the artwork in this graphic novel an above average mark. Miranda does a good job of translating the story into art and the illustration in the novel serves to enhance the story rather than just supplementing it. The imagery that Miranda uses fits in with the story and serves to drive home the terror of the story as it should in a graphic novel. There is some stunning and horrific imagery here that makes the story more relevant and this is something that I do not feel is missing in too many graphic novels. I normally pay much more attention to the writing rather than the artwork but this graphic novel is a good mixture of the two in telling the story.
As for the story, I found “Coffin Hill” to be entertaining if not overly compelling. As with some of the other graphic novels I have reviewed, this is again the beginning of an ongoing series and it does a good job of setting up the series by piquing my interest enough that I would want to read more. Eve is a solid enough character that I have an interest in what is going to happen to her in the future and I look forward to reading about more of her adventures. The horror in the story is present but not overwhelming although there are enough horror themes to appeal to a fan of the genre but no so much that it would turn off a casual reader. If you like your comics with a bit of an edge as well as a touch of horror, this graphic novel should appeal to you.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Vetigo Comics for this review copy. “Coffin Hill Volume 1: Forest of the Night” is available now.