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(Blackwood #1)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  46 reviews
From the multi-Eisner award-winning creator of BEASTS OF BURDEN and the artist of ARCHIE and SLAM comes this supernatural fantasy about a magical murder in a sorcery school.

When four teenagers with haunted pasts enroll in Blackwood College--a school that trains students in the occult--their desire to enhance their supernatural abilities and bond with others is hampered by
Paperback, 120 pages
Published December 24th 2018 by Dark Horse Books
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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, edelweiss
A by the numbers horror book about 4 students recruited to a college that teaches magic. This was pretty dry and the dialog was somewhat stilted. Some mysteries are hinted at but you are never given enough to get hooked in. Veronica Fish's art and the coloring made this book as interesting as it was.

Received a review copy from Dark Horse and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way related to the aforementioned.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, dark-horse
I've never read anything by Evan Dorkin before, but judging by his reputation I expected Blackwood to be either a really messed-up or a really jokey horror book. Turns out, it's neither — it's just a very boring and generic one. It's your typical by the numbers haunted house (or supernatural school in this case, same difference) story that features four (or five? Jeez, I can't even remember) of the blandest protagonists trying to figure out the mystery behind the death of Blackwood's dean.

The bo
Paul E. Morph
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Story: 5 stars

Art: 4 stars

Overall: 4.5 stars and a fervent wish that this comes back as an ongoing title in the future...
Alexander Peterhans
Blackwood! A private school that invites disparate students with a fully paid scholarship, that actually turns out to be a centre of (and, yes, a school of) occult power. Students are invited because they have shown potential, and only a small number are deemed good enough to even learn about the school's true occult nature.

Also there's cosmic horror stuff. Also there's a curse (although I can't say I have seen any evidence of the curse actually, you know, doing anything). Also there's some gore
Rian *fire and books*
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a perfect Halloween type of read. Delightfully spooky with a preposterous amount of bugs, sass, blood, and SPOOKY SHIT.

A fabulous start to a series. I sincerely hope to see more.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels

This is my first exposure to Evan Dorkin, I wish I could get my hands on Beasts of Burden down the line as it seems to be the most known book in his library. I will say I had this pegged at 3/3.5 from the first two issues, the book has a tonne of backstory that four issues was not going to cover. I hit issue two and was assuming this was going to fail miserably, crumbling in a heap by issue 4. But around the half way point of issue 3, this starts coming together.

When I first heard of the conce
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Scary and cute!

I love Evan Dorkin's Beast of Burden so when I found out he was doing some new scary stuff, I was thrilled! This new series is based around a college of magic. Most of the students were hand picked because they've already encountered the supernatural. This book is pretty short so I wont give too much away, but it was really good! I thought they were going to run out of issues before they could wrap it all together but then managed (and it was lovely). If I'm honest, I wasn't too c
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really psyched to read this...I mean, a horror comic set at a college for the occult? Veronica (and Andy) Fish's freaking awesome artwork? Murder mysteries? General spookiness? Yes, please.

While the artwork didn't disappoint, the writing did. There are a lot of holes in the plot...and while I do think a certain amount of hinting sets things up for the next volume, here the unexplained kind of weakens the story overall.
Emmy Neal
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
If this book was the first in a series, it would've been four stars, but as it stands the book starts strong and ends on a very incomplete note. I love the magic school premise, but it needed more room to give readers an arc. ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another entry in the Harry Potter-style magic school genre, but one with style and lots of blood.
Nov 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
The color palette of the cover is soo good that I wanted to keep going and give this a try... Unfortunately I'm too much of a wimp when it comes to horror visuals I guess ...more
Pop Bop
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Scooby-Doo Lovecraft

O.K., so Blackwood pretends to be a liberal arts college that teaches some baloney occult stuff, while it's really an occult college that reaches real occult skills to a select group of real "witches", while it's really a cover-up for some ancient dark arts stuff, while it's really a place where Lovecraft-style Old Gods are being messed with in an end of the world way.

Sometimes this is played for jokes and banter, sometimes it's a little slapstick, sometimes it's hokey alchem
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
BLACKWOOD is a bit of a mixed bag. For the most part, it is a fairly standard "school of mystery" comic that we've already seen done several times before (i.e. Gotham Academy, Mystic U, etc). It contains all the tropes you expect to find, not least of which being the "Scooby-Doo" cast of youth that takes it upon themselves to investigate when anyone else in their right mind would have delegated to the experts.

That being said there are some elements that make it unique enough to be worth a glance
Dakota Morgan
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Harry Potter meets Lovecraft meets Locke & Key. A trio of kids with magical trauma in their pasts arrive at Blackwood College, a school for witchcraft and wizardry the study of the occult. The dean's not looking so hot/might be infected with a magical ailment, and there's a mysterious woman in town stirring up trouble. Time for the new kids to solve a mystery!

Blackwood is far more clever than my previous paragraph might imply. It's certainly not a bland rip-off of Harry Potter's magic school ele
Anatole Jolly
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy, spooky
Second read :
I remember really enjoying this volume, and it stills good the second time around ! I usually don't read horror, and I think I picked it up because I was curious about the whole "dark acamedia" thing back when this was in preorder. Anyway ! I like the characters and their whole "misfit but fit well togeter" type of team. What really did it for me though, was the whole bug thing (you will know what that is if you decide reading it) and the overall familiar weirdness of the magic in t
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Some students get recruited by a weird college that turns out to have magic and stuff. It's supernatural and borders on some horror mystery but ends up being a huge let-down. It spends way too much time trying to build the mystery, only to have an unsatisfactory exposition dump in the final issue that's boring to read and spells it all out for you. The characters are fun but we never get any development for them that isn't a standard cliche, and the world could be promising but nothing really ha ...more
Alyce Hunt
The story would probably get three stars at most, but because of how beautiful the artwork is I've whacked another star on top. If you love Gotham Academy you'll enjoy Blackwood, because there are a lot of similarities between them (Blackwood just has far more blood and bugs).

I can't find any information about whether this series is going to be continued, which is a shame. The characters have a lot of potential but aren't very well-developed because the focus is wholly on the school itself rath
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
A fun horror/boarding school mix of a graphic novel about four people who meet on the first day, and share a dorm, at the exclusive Blackwood College. Each one has a dark past, or some secret they are hiding. With a nod to many horror/magic tropes that have come before, fans of such will nod along, though those unaware would still be on the same page.

The art is fantastic, the story and pacing both are good, though there is room for a bit more deviation from the standard haunted house story. Fans
Russell Grant
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I really enjoyed this. Anyone who's read Dorkin's humour comics will know he's obsessed with Lovecraftian horror, and here it's puts to use in young adults at a private school situation. It's going to draw comparisons to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but it really is a different beast aside from the setting, and out of Dorkin's work this is the one that probably has the most mainstream potential. The art and flow were great, as per usual my only complaint is that it feels like it's set-up the world ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This reads like the pilot for a TV show I'd love to see, but as a complete series it's all loose ends and unfinished thoughts. There's tantalizing hints at what lies in the student's backstories but nobody has the time or the chance to rise above tropes like 'angry indie girl' or 'sensitive boy with a dark secret'. Reiko's skill with stage magic and occult knowledge made me eager to learn more, but without a follow through on the page everything that happens feels like a bunch of deus ex magica. ...more
Morgan Maria
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Basically, it's a comic about Miskatonic University, but without the Lovecraft crutch (a good move, imo). The story is fairly by the numbers for the genre, especially if you've read a lot in this genre, but Veronica and Andy Fish's art really sets it apart, making the supernatural vibrant in it's creepiness and grotesqueness. Personally, it hit the spot for something weird. I hope there will be further volumes. ...more
Mercedes McLean-Wheeler
I liked the art, and I’m a sucker for magical school settings, but I really feel that we needed more time to get to know the characters. I don’t know what the perfect formula is, but looking to incredibly successful and deep horror stories with large casts (It, Stranger Things, etc.) it seems clear that ample down time for characters to chat and establish dynamics is key. This didn’t have quite enough of that. But I’d happily read more in hopes that the characters are further fleshed out.
Amy Lou
This comic was absolutely fantastic. I'm completely obsessed with Veronica Fish's illustrations, and so far I've loved everything that she's had a hand in. Blackwood is so completely creepy and disturbing and I just adored it. I definitely recommend it if you're into horror comics, and I'm really hoping that they continue with the series! I'd love to see more from these characters and the world. ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cracking good book, creepy fun, great art, interesting characters and promising backstory via locale. And not padded! A 4-issue series with lots happening every issue. Looks like there'll be more. Great! ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Id like to thank Edelweiss and Dark Horse for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this graphic novel. The illustrations are dark yet bright and colourful at the same time and I am curious to see where the story will go.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
The colors! It was very aesthetically pleasing. The story line kept me guessing until the last chapter. All of the characters were very unique and had stories that connected them to the current story line.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was not good. Thin characters and erratic storyline. A real bummer considering how fantastic the author's "Beasts of Burden" series.

I could see this being a good gateway for young teens who are graduating from Archie but not quite ready for Hellboy.
Danielle (shelfreader)
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm still new to the comic world, but I thoroughly enjoyed this series! A great mystery with quirky characters and fantastic art! The blurb that hooked me was "Harry Potter goes to college", and that definitely fits! ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Haven't really read any Evan Dorkin since Eltingville and Milk & Cheese, but this is some good old fun and crunchy horror comedy right here. I don't know if there's more after this, but I seriously hope there is. Creepy and gross and terrible and wonderful and sad and funny and fun. ...more
Nope nada had to stop reading it. Something about it I didn't like, I think the bloody creatures did me in. The graphics are great besides that but the creatures were too much and I couldn't continue on.
No stars.
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Evan Dorkin is an American comics artist and writer.

Other books in the series

Blackwood (2 books)
  • Blackwood: The Mourning After

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