What if (the original, tho in fairness, I haven’t yet watched the remake of) The Craft wasn’t about witches but was about wicked fairies instead?
That’s the basic premise of Nightmare In Savannah, which opens with Alexa Bowman moving from Chicago to live with her grandfather in Savannah, Georgia. She’s not super looking forward to starting in a new school, but things are made exponentially worse when her queen bee classmate Jen looks her up on the Internet and humiliates her by very publicly revealing the truth about her parents. While several other cool kids, including football star Lucas, try to befriend her, Alexa takes their claims that Jen isn’t as bad as she seems to mean that they’re all willfully ignorant of how toxic Jen truly is.
So instead, Alexa chooses to hang out with another group of girls who’ve all been victimized by Jen but aren’t “useful” enough to keep in her orbit. Skye has a prominent birthmark on her face that she hides with long, trailing hair. Chloe is a rich girl whose parents give her everything material that she desires and nothing else. Fae likes to drink. After a wild night in the woods with her new friends, Alexa wakes up with markedly different physical features that no one else seems to be able to see. But all her new friends wear the same marks, and they all seem to have strange abilities that soon start wreaking havoc on the rest of the school. Then her grandfather starts keeping company with a strange woman who seems far too interested in Alexa and her friends, but who also seems to hold many answers to their questions.
Will Alexa be able to figure out what’s happening and put a stop to the worst of it, as perpetrated by both her friends and enemies? Will she be able to find love and the happily ever after she craves? How many people will die before she can manage all this?
This was an interesting take on high school supernatural powers that, while it ended more satisfyingly than The Craft did — particularly in the fate of this version’s Nancy — still felt weirdly abrupt given the tragedy that had taken place mere minutes before Alexa pulled off the ending. I really liked the “factual” interludes between scenes that filled readers in on the mythology of fairies and changelings, but I do think that the rest of the text could have used a little extra work with pacing to make events feel more built up to emotionally.
The art was alright, tho I didn’t necessarily understand what was going on in certain pages even after puzzling over various panels. It was good enough for me to infer the general gist tho. Overall, an entirely passable product that could have used a little more clarity and work in order to pack a bigger narrative punch.
Nightmare In Savannah by Lela Gwenn, Rowan MacColl & Micah Myers was published today November 10 2021 by Mad Cave Studios and is available from all good booksellers, including