Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Paul Tobin
Artist(s): Joe Querio
Release Date: 24th September 2014
The Witcher: House of Glass comic book comes from the successful The Witcher video games, which I have never heard of, so came to the comic as a complete newbie. It is described as an “action horror-fantasy” which I’d have to agree with. The Witcher is set in what seems to be medieval times where epic journeys are beset by ghouls, demons, hags, curses, monsters, creatures and vampires in the midst of mists, haunted houses, demonic fogs, devilish swamps and creepy woods.
Geralt, the Witcher, meets Jakob on the road. Neither has spoken to a human for days or weeks and they befriend each other. Jakob’s dead wife watches from a nearby hill. Jakob tells Geralt her story: one of a sea creature and being turned into a Bruxa – a sort of watchful, magical, dead witch. The two of them are drawn by a powerful magic to the house of glass. Once they set foot in the house, they are unable to leave. This ancient house in which stained glass windows change and tell a story, houses cursed bodies, Jakob’s wife and Vara – a spirit who is there to lead the men to the heart of the house and thereby the story. Mystery upon mystery is heaped onto the plot and like Geralt, we are never quite sure what is going on.
The dialogue is odd – part medieval declarations, part modern exclamations. But it’s quirky and enough of it is expected with this genre that you just roll with it. Geralt is a funny – peculiar not ha-ha – character. He rejects human emotions yet responds to its baser moments – see Vara in the bath.
The artwork is reminiscent of Mignola’s Baltimore series and Querio captures the gothic fantasy horror in every frame. Dark buildings, bright glass, hook-clawed hags, ravens and crows fill it all. I especially liked the horror that meets us (well, a character but I won’t spoil it for you) at the end. It’s the stuff of nightmares – good horror nightmares. And House of Glass is exactly that.
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