The Comic You Should Be Reading This Week: “Witch Doctor: Mal Practice” #3

Witch Doctor is a fairly unique series about an arrogant physician who mixes medical science and magic, and mostly wins by staying just barely ahead of whatever’s trying to eat him. This, the second miniseries, has been pretty fun so far, but here is where it really takes off.

Brandon Seifert isn’t necessarily going for some form of profound insight, necessarily, in the plot. But he has a lot of fun writing a total jerk who just so happens to be a great doctor and committed to helping people. This issue is arguably a great jumping-on point because it opens with the good doctor trying, and failing miserably, to record his last will and testament:

That first page is also a good demonstration of how closely Seifert and Lukas Ketner, the artist, work on the book. Ketner’s art is a nice mix of cinematic choices and dynamic action, and his inking has a distinct, painterly style to it that adds atmosphere without covering detail or attempting to just blanket everything in shadows. Andy Troy also does an excellent job as colorist: This book has a nice, bright, and varied palette that fits the tone well, and he often brings out subtle details other colorists would hide or simply not notice.

One of the big problems of supernatural books is that many of them, deliberately or not, evoke Hellboy, a hard standard to live up to. Seifert and Ketner have turned Witch Doctor into something distinct: A lighthearted but still scary horror book with a unique approach and style. If you haven’t been reading this book, it’s time to pick up a copy: You won’t have a better laugh or feel a more disturbing chill this week.