If you’re looking for some good all-ages comics that teens, and anyone for that matter, can relate to then “The Woods” is an excellent choice. Everything in a teenager’s life can seem like it could trigger the end of the world. And then, one day, that world literally ends. That’s the premise of “The Woods,” a new comic by Boom! Studios.
With a sensitivity that would make John Hughes proud, writer and creator James Tynion IV gives us a cast of teen characters with a lot of authenticity. It’s a pretty big cast, made up of all your favorite types: jocks, slackers, nerds, and so on. The artwork by Michael Dialynas is quite good at depicting real teens, down to a very human scale. Rounding out the talent: Josan Gonazlez with colors; and Ed Dukeshire with lettering.
This is a great idea for a comic book. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve had a bunch of misfit teenagers out to solve some supernatural phenomena but the talented team behind this title make it all feel quite fresh. The pacing is excellent. We are given ample time to get a sense of the school and its students. Right away, we feel for Karen, who begins to regret her slacker ways. We feel bad for Andrew, who nobody notices. And we have little sympathy for Maria, who thinks that since she’s student body president that she is entitled to rule over the principal, who is hardly going to roll over and take it.
When this cataclysmic switcheroo from Earth to some place else takes place, it’s funny to see how many in the school accept it as the new norm. Maria just can’t wait to hold a meeting about it. Teachers are organizing schedules and rooms. But, the fact is, there’s been some super strange realignment on a planetary level. And, if that didn’t get anyone’s attention, there are all these big furry vampire bats bashing and smashing there way toward the next kid they can sink their fangs into. To add to the eerie vibe, the kids somehow maintain their disconnection. Sure, they scream when a bat goes after them, but they rebound back to typical teen alienation.
Dialynas’s art is quite pleasing as he manages to make even the smallest room seem spacious. He has a very good eye for creating open interior and exterior space. With great care, he is dutiful about filling each space with its appropriate details whether that means a bunch of computers, tendrils, or blood-sucking bats. Keeping things nicely off kilter are those eye-popping colors by Gonazlez. For instance, the warm colors chosen during the planet change perfectly evoke the chaos. And Dukeshire’s lettering provides a good anchor, especially as we’re processing various information.
“The Woods” is a comics series and you can get your six issue subscription now from Boom! Studios.