It’s one of those experiences in our lives when we “meet our tribe.” Many of us who grew up hiding who we were, scared of how we would be perceived if people knew our certain quirks, our deepest desires, and love of everything geek, made many of us ostracized. It’s true that the late great Stan Lee made the world of comic books more accessible but he didn’t quite make it mainstream. It took years after that, with an influx of superhero movies, when it became something more than acceptable. It was the new normal.
I remember the first time I met like-minded people. It was in high school. Me and my friends bonded over our love for Hip Hop. Our conversations would go on for ours pontificating on the importance of rhymes over beats, the complexity of certain emcee’s flows, and the content of certain songs and their deeper meanings. I wondered how it would be for someone to find their tribe but find out that they are more than they ever thought of themselves. In Amy Shand and Pat Shand’s elegantly told Prison Witch, we meet a protagonist whose life changes dramatically in many ways when she goes to prison.
In the comic, we meet Cameron. She’s on day 34 of a 5-year jail sentence. Her acclimation to prison life is less than welcoming. This changes when she meets Tanya, who senses that Cameron is more than another inmate. A scuffle with another inmate unleashes what some believe is a demon but is the powers of a witch and catches the eye of the local troublemaker, Bean. Eventually, we’re introduced to a coven, a group of witches also in jail. They have to subdue their abilities to keep themselves safe and each has their own dark secrets.
Overall, a comic that feels like if Orange Is The New Black met Charmed. That combines and becomes something even more beautiful and twisted. The story by the Shands is heartfelt, intellectual, and beautiful. The art by D’Urso, Campbell, and Lee is breathtaking and striking. Altogether, a story that thrives beyond genres and gives the reader a great story.
Story: Amy Shand, Pat Shand Art: Erica D’Urso, Katia Ranalli
Cover: Jenn St-Onge Letters: Jim Campbell Edited: Shannon Lee
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy