Coffin Hill Vol. 1: Forest of the Night Paperback – May 20 2014
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"It's a lovingly rendered world, full of strange, creepy, and beautiful wonders and I desperately crave more of it."--IGN
"Kittredge and Miranda have something wonderful in "Coffin Hill"--COMIC BOOK RESOURCES
About the Author
Caitlin started writing novels at age 13. Her first was a Star Wars tie-in. Fortunately, she branched out from there and after a few years trying to be a screenwriter, a comic book writer and the author of copious amounts of fanfiction, she tried to write a novel again. Her epic dark fantasy (thankfully) never saw the light of day but while she was struggling with elves and sorcerers she got the idea of writing a story about a werewolf who fought crime. Two years and many, many drafts later, she pitched Night Life to a bevy of agents and one of them, Rachel Vater, sold the series to St. Martin's. Caitlin collects comic books, print books, vintage clothes, and bad habits. She loves tea, loud music, the color black (especially mixed with the color pink) and ghost stories. She can drive a stick shift, play the violin and knows more English curses than American ones. Caitlin lives in Olympia, WA with two pushy cats.
Top Customer Reviews
It likens itself to most supernatural thriller books (Harrow County, Hellboy, and other more well known supernatural books). It's good book if you're into witches and dark occult comics as your main read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The setup here is one that you've seen before: a misfit wealthy teenager goes out into the woods to practice some dark magic and ends up getting more than she bargained for, as one friend goes missing and the other is forever mentally scarred. Years later she's in a steady job but is forced home to deal with her past mistakes.
Eve is your typical brassy, gritty heroine, which works both for and against her. It works for her because she needs to be able to be cold and calculated when it comes to some of the stuff she's dealing with. However it works against her at times because it makes her pretty unlikable to where I didn't entirely care if she overcame the Big Bad. This really, REALLY could have used more buildup and more character development. I can't help but think that this might have been better if the whole "forbidden fruit" love interest had been taken out of the first volume entirely, as we have more than a few pages with Eve messing around with the boyfriend of one of her friends. There isn't a huge amount of chemistry between them, so part of me just wished that it'd been removed or at least been left to develop over more issues.
It isn't that there aren't things here that aren't interesting. The artwork is nice and the basic idea of the story is good. It's just that things didn't unwind in as organic and natural of a fashion as I'd liked. Coffin Hill has the potential to be very, very good but it's just not there yet. I just can't help but get the feeling that this was supposed to have been much more, but was boiled down into a fairly average comic book where more emphasis is put on making everything *EDGY* and "Our _____ are different" than anything else. It's OK, but I recommend that you get this one from the library or borrow a friend's copy. I bought mine from the comic book store, but I don't know that I'll get volume two unless the story really improves in the next volume. It's OK, but a little too forgettable for my liking.
Coffin Hill is the comic book version of a cruddy CW show. It stars a personality vacuum amongst a cast of one-dimensional nobodies in a plot that doesn't make sense. It's a supernatural story and is filled with clichés you've seen it before in a hundred cheap horror movies. Eve Coffin is a witch, there's an evil spirit on the loose, and it's up to her to stop it - somehow, it manages to be even more boring than you'd expect yet more confusing too.
Caitlin Kittredge simply doesn't understand how to write a comic - her scene transitions are awkward and don't make sense when read in a sequence, her dialogue is corny, and the scenes themselves feel recycled and unoriginal. The story pointlessly jumps from 2003 to 2013 with few of the scenes in 2003 adding to what's happening in 2013. In a good book, each scene should add to the story rather than stagnate uselessly, which is what most of this book does.
All of the "characters" are forgettable nothings but the ending really underlines just how poorly Kittredge has written them. She hinges the "cliffhanger/shock twist" ending on a character who I'm not sure was even in the book - either way, rather than gasp, I belched and wondered "Who the hell is that? Why should I care?". And I was paying attention - I read it in one sitting because I knew if I stopped once, I wouldn't pick it up again. Anyway it doesn't really matter because I'm never going to read another Caitlin Kittredge book again, let alone Volume 2 of this tripe.
The Dave Johnson covers make the book look good but don't expect that level of artistry inside - Inaki Miranda's art is mostly uninspired, clunky and amateurish. I feel like he's going for Mike Allred's style but coming up way short.
Coffin Hill is a boring, badly written mess that fails to engage on every level and leaves zero impression on the reader. I'd say don't bother but I can't imagine there were many people lining up to read this anyway. So long, Coffin Hill/Caitlin Kittredge/Inaki Miranda - you were all awful!
This is an aside rather than part of the review, it's just something I've noticed in recent years about Vertigo.
I had a lot of time for Vertigo. This is a company that put out such quality comics that for a while a few years ago, Vertigo comics were the only comics I read. Of my favourites they've published are: The Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Y: The Last Man, Northlanders, and my favourite comics series of all time, Scalped. Other titles I've enjoyed include The Invisibles, Sweet Tooth and iZombie as well as the standalone graphic novels A History of Violence, Pride of Baghdad, The Nobody, Sloth, and Get Jiro!
With Coffin Hill, I've realised that over the years I went from reading only Vertigo comics to reading just one - Scott Snyder's The Wake (which is only ok if I'm being honest). They're still publishing titles: The Unwritten, Fables, American Vampire, Astro City, FBP, Hinterkind and Dead Boy Detectives, but, in my mind, they're all pretty terrible. I've tried reading all of them - some I've made it all the way through a book - but none are of the same standard as the glory years of titles above.
And then I realised I'm reading a lot of Image comics these days - Velvet, Chew, The Walking Dead, Jupiter's Legacy, Starlight, Sex Criminals, Rat Queens, Luther Strode - and realised that, back in the day, these would have been Vertigo titles. Now? All the would-be Vertigo titles have shifted to Image, helping make them the third largest comics publisher in the world, right behind DC in second.
It's disappointing to see but Vertigo - once the market leaders for innovative, exciting comics - now publish the also-rans. It seems the rot of bad comics at DC has spread, like a cancer, to its sister publication. I'll recommend a lot of Vertigo stuff from the 90s and 00s but nowadays? Nowadays you get crap like Coffin Hill and Hinterkind (which is another review), while Jason Aaron's new non-superhero series, Southern Bastards, is being published over at Image rather than the publisher of his Scalped series.
Goodbye, Vertigo - you were great once!
I have read a few of the Coffin Hill comics but was happy to see Volume 1 on Netgalley when I did, I was finally able to read the series as it currently stands. I enjoy Coffin Hill for its dark presence in the comic world - yes various series do have darker elements but this series is about a witch (not always a good one) and a dark power.
Eve Coffin is our main character, who is stubborn and determined but also strong and interesting. There is so much that I want to learn about her character - more through each issue. The other characters are kind of just there; there are a few guys that Eve has relations with, towns people that all hate her, and her mother who also seems to loathe her daughter (I want to know more about this!). These characters ll kind of fell flat for me.
I found the overall story to be very confusing at first, because I had only read a few of the issues - sad to say that even as a compilation of 1-7 it can still be confusing. I felt like there was a lot of information that had to be assumed by the reader, or just overall left out completely.
The art was pretty great, very macabre and deeply colored. I found that to be redeeming to the story.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this volume, it was an interesting story with a lot of characters, but I felt like I was missing a lot of back-story to go with it and really get into it. So I just liked it, nothing overly spectacular, 3 out of 5 stars.