Review: ‘the Low, Low Woods’ Is a Unique Twist on Classic Horror Tropes 

Carmen Maria Machado knows how to tell a twisting, terrifying tale. DC Comics' The Low, Low Woods packs a serious punch with the macabre mystery that unwinds through a series of six issues bound into one book.

If you are a fan of body horror, cryptids, and weird science, and LGBT+ representation then this is a graphic novel you’ll want to pick up. The Low, Low Woods is the second release in DC’s horror imprint Hill House Comics

The Low Low Woods

Venture into The Low, Low Woods (if you dare)

When your memories are stolen, what would you give to remember? Follow El and Vee as they search for answers to the questions everyone else forgot. Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania, is plagued by a mysterious illness that eats away at the memories of those affected by it. El and Octavia are two best friends who find themselves the newest victims of this disease after waking up in a movie theater with no memory of the past few hours. As El and Vee dive deeper into the mystery behind their lost memories, they realize the stories of their town hold more dark truth than they could've imagined. It's up to El and Vee to keep their town from falling apart…to keep the world safe from Shudder-to-Think's monsters.

An added bonus to this story is that, while there is a timeless element to it, there’s a distinct 1990s-grunge feel that truly appealed to my inner child. Whether it manifests in Machado’s snarky dialogue, the protagonists' nihilistic commentary, or Dani Strips’ unique art style — it’s the perfect atmosphere for this tale. 

With a story set in Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania — that so perfectly evokes images of the subtle paranormal atmosphere of the coal mining towns in the state — it’s no surprise that the author hails from Allenstown, Pennsylvania. Carmen Maria Machado is an award-winning best selling author, whose previous works include In the Dream House and her short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. With The Low, Low Wood, she is brilliant at combining the best aspects of her previous works to create something truly unique. 

Machado's main characters El and Octavio are clever and charming, their deeply-bonded friendship feels real, and their lives exist beyond the short glimpse we're given. You feel the story that comes before and after The Low, Low Woods. Despite reading this as a singular graphic novel, I appreciated how bookended each story is with the next — the story flows from one issue into the next. There are winding mysteries, unexpected turns, and a few serious WTF moments.

The Low, Low Woods was originally published in a series of six issues from late 2019 into early 2020, but has been artfully bound into one novel — just in time for Halloween. Pick it up everywhere comic books are sold on September 29th, 2020. Find out more at DC Comics.

Wealth of Geeks thanks DC Comics & NetGallery for providing us with a free copy for review.

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Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.

In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.