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This comic book cover image released by Image Comics shows "Wytches," from the new series by Scott Snyder and Jock. Snyder says he and artist Jock are taking everything about witches in popular culture _ cauldrons, spells, Samantha, Sabrina and other charmed aspects _ and going back to the roots of the legend and folklore.
Scott Snyder has tackled vampires and creatures from the deep, casting aside their modern portrayals as benevolent, misunderstood and even kindly and restoring their original dispositions of dark, foreboding and evil.

In his new series for Image Comics, "Wytches,"—announced Thursday at the Image Expo 2014 in San Francisco—he's going after spell casters and enchantresses.

Snyder says he and artist Jock are setting asides ideas of witches in popular culture—cauldrons, spells, Samantha, Sabrina and other charmed aspects—and going back to the roots of the legend and folklore.

"I love those sort of imaginings," he said. "I enjoy a lot interpretations that look at the more exotic and romantic aspects of these monsters, but I'm endlessly fascinated by what makes them enduringly terrifying."

He and Jock are making witches "scarier than you can imagine," Snyder said of the creator-owned title due out in September. They pushed back through history to rediscover "something more ancient ... out there, lurking in the woods."

Part of that hinges on Jock's art, something Snyder is intimately familiar with given their work together on DC Entertainment's "Detective Comics," which saw them forge a partnership.

"He was the only person I asked to do the book," Snyder said by phone. "The thing I love so much about his art is that it's so moody in the way that he can create a feeling, an atmosphere, with just a few strokes. He picks the most destabilizing angles and the strangest distances. He can create a sense of dread and terror."

He's pledging no shortage of terror and fear in the new title.

"This is straight-up black, twisted horror," he said, adding that given Image's reputation for giving its creator-owned titles enormous room for storytelling—written and visual—he wanted to make an impact.

"We want you to not be able to go to sleep because you're afraid that something is coming for you," Snyder said.

As to the 'Y' in the title, Snyder called it a nod to older times.

"It gives it that slight touch of the unfamiliar and a linguistic twist," he said.

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Moore reported from Philadelphia. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/mattmooreap

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Image Comics: http://www.imagecomics.com