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Dogwitch Whole Shebang Main

"Dogwitch: The Whole Shebang" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by 1First Comics


Written and illustrated by Dan Schaffer
2020, 492 pages
Graphic novel released on February 26th, 2020


Violet Grimm may be living in a creepy, most definitely haunted house in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn't mean she can't have a little fun. Joined by a menagerie of talking dolls, each creepier than the last, she summons demons, resurrects the dead, and gets into all kinds of trouble, seemingly without a care in the world. All of her madcap adventures have been collected in Dogwitch: The Whole Shebang, a massive volume clocking in at almost 500 pages.

After digging into this tome, I've come to the conclusion that Violet is an acquired taste. It's hard to understand her motivations, as it doesn't seem like she has any. She operates purely out of instinct and what she thinks might be fun or interesting in the moment. She's like a goth princess version of Harley Quinn.

Click images to enlarge

Creator Dan Schaffer's artwork certainly lends itself to that sentiment. Violet is super expressive, almost to cartoon levels. You can't help but smile when you see the way her face contorts when an idea pops into her crazed mind. It's a nice contrast to some of the demonic and horrifying antics she gets into.

Schaffer delivers an impressive amount of detail work that really shines through in the black and white presentation of Dogwitch. There's a texture to everything, to the point where you can practically feel a demon's leathery skin or the slickness of a blood-drenched floor.

While the artwork is not quite to the level of a cartoon, the actual stories fit that bill. They flow like a macabre take on Looney Tunes as Violet stumbles from one harebrained scheme to the next, occasionally looking for love or just out to have some fun. You'd think with this much content there would be more of an overall narrative. Instead, we get these sporadic bursts of goth energy.

Click images to enlarge

This makes Dogwitch hard to really dig into for any stretch of time. I found Violet grating at times and I could only handle her in small doses. Your mileage may vary on that front. Since she's this manic explosion of macabre bubbles, there's not a lot to grab onto in terms of character development, so the story doesn't really go anywhere.

There's definitely a place for Violet Grimm in the horror ethos. There's a spot for this kind of sexy, madcap horror where anything goes and anything can happen. While beautifully illustrated, Dogwitch is light on story but full of gore. That scratches a particular itch in the landscape and sometimes you want an escape like that.


Story: twostars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Art: fourstars
Overall: 2.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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