‘Witch Doctor’ Exclusive First Look: Brandon Seifert Performs ‘Mal Practice’

by Ryan Rigley

Last year, the comic book industry was introduced to the bizarre world of “Witch Doctor,” a medical horror comic that has been described as “House” meets “Fringe.” In his first mini-series, “Witch Doctor” creator Brandon Seifert introduced us to Dr. Vincent Morrow, a mean-spirited yet helpful occult physician with a knack for curing magical and/or medical ailments; including the likes of parasitic demons, faerie changelings, and Creatures from the Black Lagoon.

“There’s this archetype in supernatural fiction of a doctor who investigates the supernatural,” Seifert reveals to MTV News in a recent interview about “Mal Practice,” the latest “Witch Doctor” mini-series. “I always had an issue with that kind of character. I thought it was an interesting idea but I didn’t want him to just be a generic monster hunter. I wanted him to do it in a medical way.”

Read on for more from Seifert and an EXCLUSIVE “Witch Doctor” preview!

“In ’Witch Doctor,’ we’ve got this metaphor where monsters are diseases and magic is medicine,” continues Seifert. “In the first mini-series, our focus was really heavily on the monsters. We did like the ’monster of the week’ thing; in one issue it’s demonic possession, in one issue it’s faeries. And in the second mini-series, we’re kind of getting away from that a bit and focusing more on the magic end of things.”

Magic, of course, plays a huge part in the “Witch Doctor” series, being as vampires and demons in that world are basically the equivalent of the common cold.

“One of the things we see is called the Red Market, which in ’Witch Doctor’ is kind of like the wizard’s bazaar that you see in ’Hellboy 2,'” Seifert reveals about the magical elements of the upcoming mini-series. “So it’s basically like a black market for illicit magical materials. It’s a place where witches and warlocks and people like that can go and buy baby eyes and illegal magical devices.”

READ: MTV Geek interviews Brandon Seifert at WonderCon 2011

Assuming that Morrow is the one that visits the Red Market, we can only imagine what kind of insane occult artifacts the good doctor has up his sleeves this time around.

“Basically, what we’re doing is chronicling the worst 36 hours of Dr. Morrow’s life so far,” explains Seifert on what to expect with “Mal Practice.” “Morrow thinks that he was drugged. He thinks he got roofied. For most people, that would be embarrassing but it probably wouldn’t be a big deal. But for him, it could be an assassination attempt, somebody could have stolen something that was important out of his apartment, he could have been poisoned… Whereas Eric Gast’s opinion is Morrow just got drunk and blacked out.”

For those of you that don’t know, Eric Gast is one of Dr. Morrow’s loyal assistants; a skilled paramedic lacking any form of occult understanding. Joining Morrow and Eric is the mysterious and deadly Penny Dreadful; a monster-eating beast trapped inside the body of a college student.

READ: Why “Witch Doctor” Should Be A TV Show

“Penny and Eric both have really big parts,” Seifert elaborates. “We kind of went into a lot more detail with Penny in the first mini-series while not really telling you anything about her at all. In this mini-series, we do some more of that but there’s a little bit of clarification with her and by the end of it the reader is going to have a better idea of what the mysteries surrounding her actually are. We also do the same thing with Eric Gast.”

According to Seifert, there’s a lot more going on with Eric than there initially appears to be on the surface.

“One of the things I really like about doing this series is we get to play with reader expectations,” teases Seifert. “I find that one of the most rewarding things in writing comics, to me, is screwing with the audience and making them think we’re going to do one thing and then going to do something completely different.”

We’ll see what surprises “Witch Doctor: Mal Practice” has in store for us when its released on November 28, 2013. But until then, you can check out Issue #0 of “Witch Doctor” for free online at Comixology!

Read on for a preview of Skybound’s “Witch Doctor: Mal Practice” #1 by Brandon Seifert, Lukas Ketner and Andy Troy, including an EXCLUSIVE first look at pages four through seven from the issue!