Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches #2

Woodcutter Mosaku brings his apprentice Minokichi up into the mountains to gather wood.  A blizzard rolls in, and the two must find shelter in a cave.   The old man regales his apprentice with stories of the Snow Witch that causes such storms.  As the two men sleep, the Snow Witch appears and consumes Mosaku’s soul. When Minokichi wakens to find the witch in the act, he realizes his life is in peril.  The Snow Witch offers the apprentice his life if he never speaks of her again.

StorytellerWitches02_coverYears pass as Minokichi keeps silent.  One day a woman, Oyuki, passing through stops by the village and takes shelter with him.  The two fall in love, marry, and have a son.  Their village is besieged by a seemingly endless winter.  During that time Minokichi grows ill.  While resting, he listens to his son explain how the storms are the doing of the Snow Witch, and that the evil demon must be sought and killed.  Distressed that his son speaks ill of a woman who spared his life, Minokichi recants the tale of meeting the woman.

When his wife reveals herself to be the Snow Witch in disguise, Minokichi realizes he faces death for breaking his promise.  The Snow Witch understands that he did it so his son would not grow up hating people, so she abandons Minokichi forever.

The beautiful simplicity of the story lends itself to a wonderful bedtime yarn for children.  So far, this series has been outstanding in its presentation and genuine quality.  While the art looks like traditional Asian fare (think of a style as seen in Samurai Jack), the true value of The Storyteller: Witches comes from the choice of stories that entertain without having the need to default to the Western tradition of closing with a neat and tidy ending.

Score: 3/5

Writer/Artist/Letterer: Kyla Vanderklugt Publisher: BOOM!/Archaia Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/15/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital