Rondel, the traveling hillbilly, and his group of comrades are in search of a stone that has recently been stolen. During their travels, they hear of a witch and shapeshifter, Hattie. She killed an entire village because of Alma Rose (a powerful woman with white magic) and her daughter, who had even stronger powers. Alma Rose gives the group the stone they seek, and tells them that if they kill the witch, they should bring her the head and the heart… As the issue ends, we see the witch walking nearby with a disturbing smirk on her face.
The Goon creator Eric Powell brings us Hillbilly #3: The Flesh Eating Witch Child of Hoodoo Ridge. Although the story seems really dramatic, the utilization of magical realism brings it down a bit. We are able to look at it as a work of fiction; our lives cannot relate to it. In other words, this is a story to get lost in—to use while taking a vacation from reality.
The dialogue is written in such a way that when read, it comes off almost poetic. It’s not that the language is particularly profound or anything; there are just no extraneous words here or there. The script is fluid, and goes by at a fast yet comfortable pace.
Powell’s artwork is, as always, really intense. The heavy shadowing makes the entire issue seem rather mysterious and dark. For example, Rondel’s eyes are literally just black pits. It’s kind of freaky but overall really cool—and he is still able to show a decent amount of emotion, too. We get a bit of variety in panel layout to keep us interested, and it works. Not only this, but the unrealistic, almost ethereal coloring lends itself to the paranormal aspect of the witch in this issue.
This is an amazing issue and a read fit for anyone who is interested in the surreal. I’d say the artwork jumps out more than anything, and it’s almost a fantastical world that Powell guides us through with Rondel. I fully recommend this issue to anyone even moderately interested in this innovative blend of genres and elements.
Written & Illustrated by: Eric Powell