Review: Wytches vol. 1

Today I’ve got a review for you all! I recently bought a few new graphic novels and thought it’d be cool to chat about them.

One of these new GNs is Wytches Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (writer), jock (artist), Matt Hollingsworth (colours), Clem Robins (letters) and David Brothers (editor), published by Image Comics. It collects issues #1-6 and came out in June 2015. That means this review is practically timely!


I picked Wytches up because I’d seen friends talking about it on twitter, because jock is one of my favourite artists and I’d heard good things about Snyder as a writer. Overall, I’m really pleased I bought it – I’m not often one to grab horror comics, but this one grabbed me!


The basic plot of Wytches revolves around Sailor Rook and her parents Charlie and Lucy – a family who have moved to a new town, Litchfield, for a fresh new start. This new start doesn’t go so well and the creatures who rule Litchfield are hungering to take Sailor. As Sailor tries to get over the horrific event from her past, she has to cope with being hunted by the wytches. Charlie is trying to prove he’s a decent father after a drunken outburst damages his relationship with Sailor and he is drawn in to the battle to defeat the wytches by one who has escaped their clutches.


As a horror comic, the scares are meant to come from two angles – the wytches themselves and the psychological horror of the choices humans make. Personally, I didn’t find the psychological aspect particularly scary – but then again, reading a comic where people ‘pledge’ others as sacrifices to the wytches, I can’t help but look at our current government and think the people of Litchfield possess significantly more moral backbone. However, for anyone not as cynical as me, or possibly someone who does hold responsibility for another, I can see the actions of many Wytches characters being very unsettling – particularly a twist near the end. The idea of a whole village being in thrall to evil is not a new one, but Snyder’s focus on Sailor, her anxiety and her struggles and his ability to build our sympathy for her means the retreading of familiar ground is a minor quibble.

wytches sailor


In terms of psychological horror, for me the scariest bit by far was a flashback scene where we see Sailor being tormented by her bully, Annie. The actions Annie threatens are truly horrific and the way in which she intends to hurt Sailor is particularly unsettling – because this is something that has happened to people, Annie’s bullying is a tangible, real-life horror that truly wrecks lives. In comparison, cult-like townspeople are hardly a daily threat, so their undeniably awful actions are too distant from reality to scare me.


Like the evil town, the wytches themselves are not a totally unique horror monster but I found them much more unsettling than the Litchfielders. Part of this is down to jock’s fantastic art style – he is very adept at creating tension and a claustrophobic atmosphere. He’s aided by Hollingsworth’s colours – well toned and chosen, with layer effects added which contribute to the feeling of the book without being overly distracting. So clearly jock and Hollingsworth’s skills help make the wytches scarier than they might otherwise be, but Snyder’s ideas behind them, the way they move and camouflage themselves are what made them scary to me. The human mind is very adept at seeing patterns and recognising faces and people where there are none – it’s pretty scary to think that instead of imagining things, you’re really seeing hunters waiting to pounce.


Interestingly, as I actually read the comic I didn’t really feel the wytches were all that scary, but the idea of them has played on my mind during the night and today at work – which is not great when you’re going into pitch black rooms in an desolate mansion house with the requisite creaks, groans and feel of isolation. Walking into the dark, knowing you need to keep going to reach the light and feeling the fear creep up your neck as you imagine a hand reaching out to snatch you every second the dark lingers… yeah, I can see those wytches being pretty scary!


Wytches Vol. 1 is a self-contained story, although you are treated to a preview of the second volume at end of the book. There’s also a few pages of jock’s inked pages, colours only pages, some developmental stuff and a few essays by Snyder – the essay for #1 was particularly great.


Overall I have to say I enjoyed Wytches a lot! Snyder is a skillful writer, jock and Hollingsworth created beautiful interiors and I liked some of the ideas the comic explored. If you’re ok with violence or you’re interested in horror comics, I recommend picking this up! My local Forbidden Planet had it for £7.50, which I think was very reasonable!


*taps* is this thing still on?

So uh, “At least one post a month” didn’t really work, did it? Yikes.


You know what else didn’t work?

“I have enjoyed my job with the NT and am genuinely looking forward to going back once the season begins!” (Me, January)

Weee-elllll. A combination of a weak application on my part and really well experienced candidates means I didn’t actually end up back with the National Trust.

I’ll be real, it was a shock and briefly upsetting. But hey, two years with a fantastic organisation, a lovely manager and a chance to work in beautiful surroundings, what could be better?

Well, a fantastic organisation, a lovely manager, a chance to work in beautiful surroundings – and a permanent contract! The day I got my rejection email, I started job searching and – taking on board the feedback from NT – filled in an application with English Heritage that very day (in fact the last day the applications were open!).

Didn’t I just get the job?

I’m so pleased – I loved working at NT, but my new role with EH encompasses elements of both the jobs I did at NT and more, so it’s really fulfilling and a chance to learn new skills. I get to move around the site a lot more and that involves toddling between a 19th century mansion and a 14th century castle via a Grade-1 Listed quarry garden. So it’s not bad really!

This shifting from one job to another goes to show you’ll end up where you’re meant to be, even if things don’t seem that way initially.


In other positive news – guess what I’ve done?


Sent in my very last essay with the Open University! Now, whatever result I get, I’m gonna be a graduate! After 5 years, I have a degree!


Just as anyone that’s undertaken formal education, a lot of what I’ve learnt has been about myself and my learning methods. I don’t think it’s been until this very last year that I’ve truly believed in myself and my academic abilities – despite doing very respectably at every level of education, I’ve fostered a massive impostor syndrome. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated all the skills I’ve gained and the work I’ve put into learning, until this last course. In a way that’s sad – I don’t think I’ve gotten as much out of my learning journey so far because I haven’t seen myself as a ‘real’ learner. On the other hand, I have a degree!


One of the hardest things of this degree has been doing it at home – I found time management and motivation very difficult and it has been quite lonely, without many physical meetings with other students. However, when I did actually go to a brick and mortar university, I had those same issues – and was even more lonely because I was surrounded by lots of people but very few friends.


I am hoping to go to a uni for a masters degree, hopefully all the lessons I’ve learnt along the way will see me in good stead!


I have plenty more to say (it’s been 6 months after all!), but I’ll save it for another post! I’ll end with a photo of a bluebell that I took earlier, since it’s so gorgeous!




Reflections and Resolutions

Well! 2016 is here and as you might imagine, I have a few resolutions!

But before I get to that, my favourite photos from my instagram + some reflections on the year:



  • I moderated my first panel at a con this year! I had a lot of fun and I think it went well. Certainly helped my confidence for speaking in public in the future🙂
  • I completed another module with the OU and am now working on my final module! I can’t believe this journey is finally, finally coming to an end!
  • I dyed my hair blue and green again! These are my favourite colours for my hair, and I’m so pleased with how good they look on me.
  • I think I have made sure to consider and enjoy my surroundings even more this year.
  • I have enjoyed my job with the NT and am genuinely looking forward to going back once the season begins! I know it is a blessing to enjoy my job so much.
  • I think my communication skills have increased over the year – and since I think clear communication is the real key to positive relationships, I am glad about this.


So, now some resolutions for 2016!

  • Update this blog at least once a month! Even if it is just “These are the clothes I want and these are the photos you’ve already seen on Instagram!”, I like having a blog and writing things. Even inane things.
  • I want to stop second guessing my right to say things and to take up space  – I’m not the smartest, the wittiest, the most original, or indeed the -est of anything. But I don’t need to be superlative to still contribute – and I enjoy rambling on and interacting with people, and the only way to do that is to take up space (physical, virtual, etc).
  • I want to consume in a more aware and considered manner. Not just material goods like clothes or books, but the food and drink I put into my body. I would like the choices I make to be actual choices, not habits or mindless consumption.
  • At the end of the year, I would like to be rid of my dependence on soda, sweets, chocolate and junk food – they fulfill emotional needs in me and I overindulge in all of them but I would prefer not to.
  • I want to continue being open to new experiences and learning opportunities, whatever form they may take.


So how was your 2015? Have you got any resolutions? Do you have any real hope of accomplishing them?😉

It’s my birthday and I’ll spend if I want to

Well, it’s not quite my birthday, since that was Nov 25. However, I am a freshly minted 27 year old and I also got my paycheque on my birthday, so naturally I treated myself.

Mostly to leggings.

Soooo many leggings.

Everything is from, some things were included in the Black Friday sales, some were full price (I had a voucher for £10 off orders over £40 [full priced items tho] – GVOUCHER1040 might still work!).


Black Longline Top – £19 – I LOVE THIS TOP! It is super, super comfortable, I love the length, and sheer panels (that aren’t displaying my back) are such my jam. This is fantastic and I really recommend it!



knit wrap

Aztec Knitted Wrap – £19.60 (may go back up to £28) – I don’t really like stuff that’s called ‘Aztec’ (because cultural appropriaton and also WHAT DOES IT MEAN IT’S GEOMETRIC PATTERNS) – but I saw this cardigan in the Yours store near me and really wanted it, but it was too expensive at the time. I actually wanted the khaki colourway, but it was sold out in my size so I grabbed this stone coloured one, and I really enjoy it. I feel pretty freaking fancy in it and it’s a great length to go with leggings and tunics (my preferred outfit choice!).



Black super-soft cardigan – £16 – This is actually called a ‘boyfriend’ cardigan, but that’s such a pet peeve – WHOSE BOYFRIEND?? I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have a girlfriend. I am determinedly single. There is nothing masculine about the cut of this cardigan. alskdjfla;ksdfj

Love the cardigan though. Comfy and soft.


scuba jegging

Black Scuba Jeggings – £19 – Not much to say about these, but they’re nice! Thick, simple, go with everything.



Black Elastane Leggings – £10 or 2 for £16 – Since the Asos leggings stopped coming in the long length, I’ve been looking for some longer length black leggings so I thought I’d try these. They’re thicker than I expected, and are a hint too tight, but I like them well enough. I think they’ll be good for winter!


silver leggings

Silver Foil Print Leggings – £15 – These are really comfortable! And not too bright of a silver – so to me they’re more wearable than the super duper shiny types. Plus, y’all know me and metallic shit.


goldfoil legging

Gold Foil Leggings – £13.20 (may go back up to £22) – Oh gosh these are so pretty! And comfortable! And gold! Damn right I love them!


reptile leggings

Iridescent Reptile Print Leggings – £13.20 (may go back up to £22) – I mean, you can tell by the name why I had to have these. Iridescent. Reptile. Also comfortable. They’re a lot more blue irl, which shows up better on the video on the website.



Pink & Black Animal Print Pyjama– £12 – my mum got me these! THEY ARE THE MOST COMFORTABLE AND I LOVE THEM. I spend a great deal of my time in pyjama pants, so I’m super glad to have these! In fact they may be my favourite out of my entire birthday haul. You can’t underestimate how much I love comfort.

So that’s it! Got a ton of shit, love it all, worked my birthday (in retail, as black friday sales began, yaaaaay), glad to crawl into my super incredibly soft pyjama pants at the end.


Hope you’re all well! Did you grab anything nice in the sales?


Life: It plods along

Oh gosh, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I had meant to post a Nine Worlds review (I had fun on my panels, loved talking to people and making new or stronger friendships, feel increasingly like actual con-going fandom is not really a reflection of me or my interests but I can’t resist the people in it), I’d meant to post a few clothes hauls, I’d meant to talk about the films I’ve seen.

But I haven’t done any of those things, and frankly it’s ridiculous to procrastinate from my own blog! I’m pretty sure not a one of you really cares what I post up here, or whether anyone is overly fussed if there’s another post here or not. And frankly, that’s pretty freeing!

I guess here’s an update on my hair colour (even though I’m gonna change it next week, not sure what to!)


So anyway, I feel like I’m coming into a period of change – my seasonal job at the National Trust is over for another year, and I had an absolutely fantastic time! It was a job which mainly involved being an welcoming and friendly person for 15 hours a week, which, if anyone has met me, is so obviously my jam! It’s also been a great confidence builder and has really improved my social interaction skills.

Skills which I put into use at the the i’s fifth birthday party! (for those not in the know, the i is the digest version of the Independant newspaper. It has a great puzzles and crossword page!) Mum had scored us tickets, so we dutifully went down to that London (with a stop at Whitby for the Sunday of the goth weekend!), dressed in our glad rags and drank some free wine. I chatted to complete strangers, including the Independent and Evening Standard’s economic commentator. It was a lovely evening, in a lovely setting.

Currently I’m waiting to start a new temp job – my local Marks & Sparks and trying to use the time in an academically sensible way. I’m only partially succeeding, but I have submitted my first assignment for my latest and last OU Module – Literature From Shakespeare to Austen. I don’t know how good this assignment is, but my fingers are crossed that overall I’ll be able to scrounge up a 2:1 for this course, as it’ll mean I gain a 2:1 overall for the degree, which will be an asset for the latest decision I’ve come to…

For a long time I’ve felt as though my future has been drifting aimlessly and that I’ve had very little control of where I may end up. I just haven’t felt equipped to come to any kind of decision about any career to go for or education to attain… But recently that’s changed! I’ve decided that I’m going to go on to get an MA (if my marks allow me), preferably in Early Modern English Literature. I’d like to be a teacher, eventually.

And if all that falls through and I’m unable to get the marks I want, then I guess it’s another year of seasonal National Trust work as I figure out some new path. I do feel more comfortable though – the careers I want are either educational or within the heritage industry, and now that I know that, I can work towards those goals. I don’t feel so lost anymore, which, after nearly 27 years, is pretty great!

And before I go, one moment of blatant consumerism. After seeing these beautiful chocolate knee-boots on Naomi of Diamonds ‘n’ Pearls, I had to get a pair for myself! But brown is a rare sight in my wardrobe, so I grabbed some black ones!


Sole Diva Cowboy Boots –  £55, Simply Be.

Now, to me, these are expensive boots, although I will grant that they are eminently reasonable for what they are. I got the 9EEE Extra Curvy Plus fit and they fit me alright – my calves are about 5-10mm too large, but they will go on (the ankles are a hint baggy and the boots are not quite as high as they might otherwise be), however I knew that might be a problem when I purchased them as the size guide is pretty accurate. Still, I’m very happy with them! They look good on, the heel isn’t too high for me (I’m not a heel wearer!) and I can’t wait for an opportunity to wear them! As a bit of a statement purchase, I have to say I’m pleased!

How is everyone else?

Nine Worlds Sched and fic recs galore!

It’s nearly time for Nine Worlds 2015! And I’m going to be there! \o/

I’ll be a part of two panels, which are:

OMG WTF: RPF?! Our panel explores real person fiction – Friday 8.30pm – 9.45pm
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? We delve into the past and present of real person fiction.
Emily January, Viktoriya, Pensnest, Melissa T.


They used what?”- historical research for fanfiction – Sunday 10.00am – 11.15am, Room 12 (with Fanfic)

Writing fanfiction set in a historical period can involve a great deal of research. (Possibly more than has been done by canon creators, in some cases!) And writing historical AUs can be a great way of unpacking the unspoken prejudices of a modern-day canon. Research can be immensely diverting, it can spark a renewed interest in history, and it can affect the course and content of your story. This panel will discuss how historical AUs open up some canons, and share some of the more interesting facets of their own research into various historical periods.
Panel with Tanya Brown, AL Johnson, Tony Keen, Kari Sperring, Melissa T.

I’m moderating this one! It’s my first time moderating, but I’m sure it’ll go well – just look at my fellow panellists!

So I’m really looking forward to these! I think they’ll both be really fun and I can’t wait!

If you’re also at the con, please do come up and say hi! I’ll probably Instagram outfits, or at least my shoes (I promise, they shall be shiny and unmissable!), or of course I’ll be wearing a name badge!

I was going to bring along fic recs, but then I wasn’t sure if Explicit rated fics would be ok, and also it turns out I have quite a lot, so here they are instead:

Continue reading