THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll
Faber & Faber, 2014
A few months back, I asked on Twitter what everyone’s favorite short story collections were, and Through the Woods came up a lot. I found the premise enticing (I love horror, and I hadn’t ever read a short story collection in graphic novel form), so I decided to give it go, which ended up being a good decision.
Ultimately: 3 stars for the stories and 5 stars for the artwork. These short stories had moments of creepiness, but they were only ever moments; on the whole they were a bit on the perfunctory side and usually ended all too abruptly. Some of the ambiguity worked; some just left me wanting, and not in the good way. I did enjoy reading them in the moment, but I don’t think any are going to stay with me, and I wouldn’t have minded a bit more bone-chilling terror.
The artwork, on the other hand, was nothing short of breathtaking. A Lady’s Hands Are Cold just about knocked my socks off on a strictly visual level – the color palette in this story in particular is incredibly striking. I buy a lot of books that I haven’t read yet and I rarely keep the ones that I don’t love or don’t plan on rereading, but I think I’m going to hang onto this one just so I can flip through and look at the art on occasion. But maybe I’ll reread it next year around Halloween; these stories are all very light on text and you can easily read this in under half an hour so why not. A quick, enjoyable read for horror fans, even if it wasn’t revolutionary.
You can pick up a copy of Through the Woods here on Book Depository.