Before we begin, I’ll note that although these are officially licensed Goosebumps books, they are not written by Stine. Denton J. Tipton and Matthew Dow Smith do retain the Goosebumps spirit (haha!) though. The target audience is pretty young (or nostalgic adults), and as such, there is nothing here that wouldn’t be on a Scooby-Doo episode. As can be gleaned from the title of the book, the central story involves a witch who moves into a house in a small town. This piques the interest of the townfolk, including Rosie (a loner), athletic Becca, and Carlos (the resident cool kid). Reading how these kids who live in very separate social spheres come together brings back many fond memories of Stine’s books. Tipton and Smith imbue these characters with just enough teen angst and insecurities to make them likeable. Issue #1 ends on a cliffhanger, with our three protagonists making a shocking discovery.
The art by Chris Fenoglio is wholly age appropriate and charming, all while managing to convey the emotional beats. Granted, most of the action here is pretty broad, but Fenoglio’s work does feel right at home in the Scooby-Doo genre. Any violence is merely suggested. The colors by Valentina Pinto are vibrant and fit the mood of the book. Christa Miesner’s lettering is effective with easy-to-follow key elements that are appealing to the target demographic.
Overall: A fun start to what seems to be a classic Goosebumps yarn. The next issue should be pretty interesting.
Creative Team: Denton J. Tipton and Matthew Dow Smith (writers), Chris Fenoglio (artist), Valentina Pinto (colorist), Christa Miesner (letterer)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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