The Westwood Witches is my most recent horror book. I had the chance to work with the same artist, Abel García behind the acclaimed “Drums” miniseries at Image Comics. A little tale of horror in which we try to bring the witchcraft horror into the modern world. It’s not just about witchcraft but about beliefs, too. What seems real to us sounds like nonsense to others, and that’s the power of literature… and quackery. But overall, The Westwood Witches is a tale about neighborhood and neighbors. In this book, they’re beautiful, they’re kind, and they’re demon worshippers. You could say it’s like Desperate Housewives with macabre murderings.
I’m also very happy with the awesome art that Abel does in this book. Abel did a terrific work depicting creepy suburbias and hot women. There are a lot of homages to Goya’s macabre paintings and engravings, and a great mood and atmosphere… which is what makes horror really fun. And then, Roger Bonet and Ángel Hernández, with the help of Esther Sanz, did a hell of a job. The last two issues are really great.
It has been a bumpy road, full of delays, artists coming and going, helping hands from friends and deceitful young women. But in the end, the story was told as I wanted it to be. Filled with twists and focused on the power of creation, imagination, writing… and its dark side.
But now I would like to talk about other issues. When we sent a press copy of the first book to be reviewed (Hey, free comic, please review it), I received some letters, some of them very angry letters, which made me think. Thing is, for some people The Westwood Witches is an offensive book. Some of them expressed their concerns about how witches are depicted in this book, them being “real witches”, or wiccans, or friends of a wiccan. Others feel themselves offended, and others went directly to being insulting and menacing. Well, not menaces about our physical integrity, but in the “we’ll put a curse upon you” way.
Well, after seeing how things turn out, now I’m inclined to believe in curses.
Anyway, we should leave some things clear. This is a work of fiction. A horror work of fiction. And the witches depicted here are not real witches. See, witches are part of our History, of our cultural background. They have been monsters since before the Dark Ages, like the werewolf, the vampire, the boogeyman. They were depicted by great artists, and it’s undeniable that many of these myths (the Sabbath, the brooms and all that) offer a great attraction for any horror story.
On the other hand, there are the real witches. The ones who were prosecuted and killed for their beliefs, for political reasons, for mere ignorance. Many of them are honorably remembered by their nowadays counterparts.
I’m lucky to have some friends who believe in Wiccanism or are Pagan. They are gentle, kind people connected with Nature, who respect life and have their own ideas about what a deity really is.
And this book is not about them.
Because here we tell a tale about monsters. About these old, evil crones who worshipped demons and did harm to everyone around. And we all know they are only real in this tale. Even most so called “satanists” don’t believe in doing harm! Feeling offended by a tale, trying to censor it, it’s like trying to cut a part of creationship, to maim one part of what makes us human. Are we going to censor fairy tales because some people get offended easily? Hansel and Gretel? The Wizard of Oz? People in power have done that for political reasons since forever. Because imagination makes us dream, makes us more free. It’s magic.
So I’m sorry if telling a horror story about evil witches offended you. It wasn’t my intention at all. Except if you believe in doing harm, in censorship, in causing pain. Then I’m not sorry at all.If you want to read a sample of The Westwood Witches, check this link