Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly September 2020
Andrea Mutti (pgs 1-10, 14, 15-18, 20-24, 25, 26, 28, 29-32, 37-41, 43)
Umberto Giampà (pgs 11-14, 18-19, 24-25, 27, 28, 33-36, 42, 44-68)
Fran Gamboa w/ J.C. Ruiz (pgs 11-14, 18-19, 24, 27, 28, 33-36, 42, 44-68)
Maxflan Araujo (pgs 1-10, 14, 20-26, 28-32, 37-41, 43)
Carlos M. Mangual
Okay, so Zenescope has changed their way of doing Grimm Tales of Terror. Instead of monthly issues we now get quarterly issues. This means fewer but longer issues per year, each release including more story and more artwork but of course, at a higher price. These seem to run about $8.99 when previously the monthly issues were around $3.99 or $4.99. I can see how they might think this could be more realistic in the current times. It also allows for longer stories with more details and, like in this issue, allows for multiple artists to work on the same issue.
In this first quarterly we get the story of a group of young people at an abandoned site of what has repeatedly been touted as the place where certain people have tried to summon evil, especially the freeing of The Twelve Kings of Hell. There have been multiple buildings over the centuries that have been built on this land and ALL have come to devastating ends. The evil worshippers are obviously never welcomed by the local townsfolk, this sometimes driving the townspeople to do unspeakable things to get rid of those that tried to summon evil spirits and unleash them upon their world.
The story isn’t bad but it’s obviously a teaser to get you to start reading on of the other series, Grimm Fairy Tales: Van Helsing. Personally, I felt the story had some holes, some parts seemingly relying on the artwork in order to communicate the story and then other parts were harder to follow because the format was one that included flashbacks to the past and then whipping back to present time with no real warning. You really have to pay attention because the time line is deciphered by the different artists and their art styles and the way the text is written. Now, add to that the role of a narrator and that was identified only by the difference in text again. All of this causes a little bit of confusion at the time but it all makes sense and comes together for the most part at the end.
The artwork is generally okay. There are some really well done stand out pages but neither artist fully wowed me. However, having the two different artists DOES help with the ability to follow the story better. Their different styles help differentiate between parts of the time line.
While this isn’t an issue that I can strongly recommend, if you do get it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I think anyone would feel it was about average. And that’s where I landed with it. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. And there’s really no conclusion per se. It leaves me a little concerned about this new format of quarterlies.
Writer: John Lees
Artist: Dalibor Talajić
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Sal Capriano
Cover Artist: Issue #1- Kaare Andrews, Issues #2-4- Keron Grant
I just happened to find this in trade paper at the comic book store on my last visit. It was out on their center table where the put the new graphic novels and such that they want to highlight. I knew right away just by looking at the cover that I was going to be interested in this series.
Let me start by pointing out that the cover art is exponentially better than the interior art in my opinion. Not that the interior art is bad. It’s just not the same style or frankly, the same caliber as the cover artists. And it is clear that they have very different styles. But the interior artwork does possess a slight air of horror. As if one were perceiving these events through sone kind of horror filter.
The way the series is set up, it seems like we meet a new person or set of persons in each issue and watch what happens to them as they decide to check into Pierrot Courts, a quiet and dinky little motel way off out in the middle of nowhere where bad things seem to happen…a lot.
I feel like the real genius of this series is the writing. The plot is excellent, the stories are expertly woven together and yet each issue could still stand on its own. Even though all the stories are individual on their own merit, they eventually all come together in a practically seamless way. Hell, even the dialogue rolls very naturally and easily. It all seems to flow together so smoothly and so perfectly. I mean these stories would be fun to read with or without illustration. But you certainly aren’t left at the end trying to figure out how certain things happened or how we got to that point. Each tale is full of unexpected twists and turns, progressing rapidly and yet, with a kind of ease that allows you to fully submerse yourself in what is happening to the overnight motel guests.
If nothing else, this series most definitely reiterates that you should never stay in a dusty roadside motel with outdoor entrances to rooms hidden out in the middle of nowhere with no phone and no cell reception. Motel without a town, bad. Motel without a town, no law enforcement for help. A motel without a conscience, feeding off the anger and pain that has passed through its many doors, hoarding all the sleepless and restless nights, the fear and the agony. Rolling it all up into the tragic circumstances that happen time after time. And it seems at this motel, anyone can check in, but who knows who will still be alive to check out.
Sleeping Beauties #1
Based on the novel by Stephen King and Owen King
Adapted by Rio Youers
Art by Alison Sampson
Colors by Triona Tree Farrell
Design and Letters by Christa Miesner
Edited by Elizabeth Brei
Like the beginning of many of Stephen King’s literary works, this one starts off kind of slow. Okay, more than kind of slow. And not only does it start slow, but you have different characters that just randomly show up with no real explanations. There’s no clear direction of the story line or plot. It just seems to kind float in one spot and it’s an undefined presence.
The lettering is small and the text background in addition to the small font makes it very difficult to read at times. At some points it made my eyes feel like they were getting cross-wired and even gave me a small headache.
The artwork isn’t bad but the colors appear dull and lifeless. This gives the whole issue a very dim and flat look.
I have to be honest and admit this first issue left me feeling confused and frustrated. I had really high hopes for this because it is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, but so far, it’s long winded palavering has left me with a bunch of questions with no answers, feeling disappointment and as if I wasted time in my life, I’ll never be able to get back. The worst part is I actually began to question my love for Stephen King’s work, which is almost like blasphemy to me. Truly depressing to me.
This was the first issue of a comic book that I have read that with every turn of a page I was hoping it was the last page in the book. I am always willing to give a new series three to five issues to see if it’s going to really go somewhere. So, I’m not counting this series out completely just yet. But they are going to have to start pulling some thing together and making some sense of all of this. Let’s hope it get better.
This was a fantastic collection, even though the credits are a mile long, they all deserve to be acknowledged for the work they did on this collection of stories. And it is affectionately presented as Sam’s 10th Anniversary Collection, and everybody loves Sam. How can you not???
The first half of this graphic anthology is based on the film Trick ‘r Treat, which I loved. You can read my review of it HERE. So, the stories in the first half of this collection are the stories in the movie but in comic book form. A fantastic way to relive the joys of watching Sam and his love for Halloween. (Not to mention this is the perfect time for this to be released.)
All of the key points from the film are included, even the sarcasm and dark humor that comes with the macabre stories and situations we all love so much from the movie. The character of Sam is portrayed exactly the same in this comic book as he is in the film, adorably cute, funny and witty, and incredibly dangerous and evil. Of course, that raises the enjoyment factor to the top of the scales.
The second half is titled Days of the Dead and includes four new stories. Each of these stories has their own flavor of horror and their own style of art as well. My favorite was Corn Maiden as far as the story went. But for artwork and story, for the whole complete package, I have to say that Monster Mash was a home run that went over the fences and out of the ballpark. The artwork alone in Monster Mash is just astounding. My husband is a classically trained artist and he went to the Disney Art Institute and he was also blown away by the artwork in Monster Mash. I love when the art is so good that it can carry the story even without the text.
The collection is presented in a high-quality hardcover book, printed on heavy paper with a slightly glossy finish making this an excellent collector’s item for the Trick ‘r Treat or Horror Movie enthusiasts out there.
This whole collection was a huge success in my opinion. Any Trick ‘r Treat fan is going to want this to add to their collection. Plus, any horror comic fan is going to be foaming at the mouth to have this in their graphic novel collection. This is a must have for all horror comic lovers and all Sam and Trick ‘r Treat fans. An absolute must have!
That Texas Blood #1
The Casserole Dish
By Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips
Variant Cover by Sean Phillips
This is the first issue in this new series, which is the first series developed by Condon and Phillips together on their own.
Our story is set in Texas (a state where I have never once in all my years had a good experience, and I’ve been there over twenty times so it’s not like they didn’t have ample opportunity to be nice to me, I’m wondering if they just don’t like either Midwesterners or Yankees, as we are sometimes STILL called even though the Civil War ended almost 200 years ago). Our main character is an aging Sheriff who is working on his 70-something birthday. Not something he’s overly thrilled about if you know what I mean. He’s hit an age where he’s beginning to take stock of his life, going over things he’s done or hasn’t done, weighing the good against the bad, counting regrets. And he’s found that something seems to be amiss. Perhaps even lacking in his life. He doesn’t know what it is yet, but he’s sure there’s a way to find it and conquer it.
Now, don’t let that dark and dreary tone fool you. This issue is packed with bloody and gory scenes that are truly top shelf creations. It is obvious that these two creators have a love not only for story telling but also for the medium in which they have chosen to express that story and let it shine through. The artwork is truly unique and while it may not appeal to every single person among the masses it surely deserves the credit it is due. The effort that has been put into this first issue jumps off of each and every page. And Condon and Phillips should be proud of what they have created because it’s a major hit in my eyes.
The issue leaves the reader feeling completely satisfied, even breathing a small sigh of relief that they made it through the first one unscathed. On top of that there is an overwhelming anxiousness for the second issue to be in your hands as soon as possible.
I highly recommend horror comic lovers snagging this up and adding it to your pull list at your local or online comic book store. This is going to be a series you will not want to miss.
Batman created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger
Writer: Geoff Johns
Illustrator: Jason Fabok
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Illustrated and Colored by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson
In this new 3-issue mini-series Batman is faced with a puzzling trio of crimes that leave the city of Gotham spinning out of control.
Three separate crimes, each baring the Joker’s unique M.O., are committed one night in Gotham. While this would normally be an easy solve for Batman, these three crimes all happened at the exact same time within city limits of Gotham.
How can there be three separate crime scenes all with Joker’s signature all committed at the same time? Isn’t there only ONE Joker?
The poor souls that have fallen prey to these dastardly deeds are members of the Moxon crime family, “the Fatman”, and three homeless men.
Various things like fingerprints being chemically removed from the victims’ hands and the fact that these same chemicals damage DNA. They also cause extensive nerve damage to facial muscles causing the jaws of the victims to break and distort into the creepy permanent signature smile of the Joker himself. Unfortunately, the deformation also makes dental record identification impossible. All of this put together means that there is very little chance of identifying any of the three homeless victims.
Are these three crimes clues or are they distractions? The Joker has always been a clever adversary, usually trying to stay three steps ahead of the Bat. But, as usual, mistakes are made. As Batgirl shows up to help Batman investigate, they are intrigued by the location of one of the crimes, Ace Chemicals, the birthplace of The Joker.
Without having any clue as to what chemicals anyone has been exposed to at the site, assumptions are made that toxicity may be high.
It’s a race against time and who knows how many Jokers as Batman and Batgirl try to uncover the truth and save Gotham City once again from the tyrannic treachery of the frivolous funnyman and his cohorts.
This series has incredible potential to be truly amazing. The story kind of jumps around and is a little rough in this first issue but does have some interesting stuff going on and certainly makes you look forward to the next issue.
The artwork is beyond fantastic and really, the book would be worth having just for the artwork. Fabulous line work and incredible color bring each and every panel to full life, making each page a living, breathing piece of artistic genius.
I absolutely picked up on a serious darkness looming over the story which motivates me to read more. The whole plot of the story isn’t completely clear yet, but I have a feeling it will explode in book two.
Appearances in this book made by: Batman, Batgirl, Red Hood, Joker
This is the first of five issues in this mini-series. As introductory issues go, this one wasn’t bad at all. Using a more realistic point of view, the writer allows us (the readers) to experience events and find evidence and clues simultaneously with our main character.
The main character is Sharon. Sharon has not had what an average person would deem an easy life, not by any means.
Currently, she is on the warpath, looking for any clue, any shred of evidence to help her figure out who murdered her father. She has obtained the police files on the crime, in a very simple and almost comical way.
Now, Sharon is an aggressive gal. She’s a no-nonsense, take no shit kind of woman. She also happens to dislike any and all obstacles that come about on her search for vengeance. She is incredibly strong and has some moves that hint at some sort of special training. It’s not like she picked up these fighting moves while watching Jem or My Little Pony. She’s got the kind of mad skills that allow her to take down an outrageously overweight scumbag without even breaking a sweat.
But Sharon is deeply angry. She’s vengeful. Full of hate and hostility, she can’t help but let it seep from every pore, infecting everything about her life. Until she finds what she is looking for. Answers.
To make matters worse, while Sharon is looking for people who know about her father’s death, some seemingly very bad people are looking for her. She has no idea who they are or what they want. She just knows it’s not a good thing she’s being hunted.
It’s a race against time for poor Sharon. Will she find the truth she seeks before those who seek her find her?
There is one clue that she finds that gives her hope. That hope is bolstered when similar clues start showing up in other cases. But, a clue out of context isn’t much help.
There is a lot going on in this first issue. A lot to absorb and process. As much as the reader has to process the information as it comes in so does the character. It makes for a very suspenseful and mysterious type of whodunnit kind of start to the series.
Story: Dan O’Bannon
Adaptation Script: Cristiano Seixas
Art: Guilherme Balbi
Colors: Candice Han
Letters: Michael Heisler
Standard Cover: Guilherme Balbi with Candice Han
Digital Art Technicians: Adam Pruett, Ann Gray, Josie Christensen
Who remembers the beloved original Alien film from 1979? Not Aliens. That’s the sequel. No, no, no. I’m talking about the first one. Alien. Singular. Not as good as Aliens but still, had some killer scenes, yeah? Well…
The writer of that movie has turned over the story to Dark Horse comics for an adaptation of the original screenplay. Now, no, it’s not EXACTLY the same, so don’t go thinking that it’s going to be the exact same characters and names and everything. But it IS a similar story thus far, being that it’s only the first issue.
In this issue, the crew wakes up from their sleeping pods on their return trip to Earth earlier than planned. They find that their course has been re-routed by the ship’s computer system due to specific programming if certain conditions arise.
In this case, the particular circumstance is a signal intercepted by the communication system. The transmission is of unknown origin. It is a voice transmission yet; it cannot be translated. Even though their computer on this ship has 638 different dialects spoken by the human tongue stored in its programming code.
The computer system points out two main causes of concern and interest. First, the transmission is highly systematized, proving that the source of generation is intelligent based. Second, certain sounds in the transmission are definitely inconsistent with the human palate.
This news excites some of the team members as they start to think this could be evidence of the first contact by intelligent life outside of Earth.
Unfortunately, they have no REAL idea where they are. They decide to follow the signal so they can investigate. When they are finally directly over the transmission signal itself, they choose to land on some unknown planet to go searching for the source of this special untranslatable signal. On this planet they find the gravity is similar to Earth so they can walk around without issue but the air is not breathable. It’s not toxic, but still not breathable.
Once on the planet and moving about, that is when they start to observe some very strange and interesting things.
So, so far, this is going well. I think this is going to be as good, if not better, than the movie itself. The story is by the same guy. The script adaptation is by someone else but the story is the same which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for change. The character names are different but that doesn’t make a difference to me.
I actually like the artwork. I am excited to see what they do with the aliens when we really get to the nitty gritty details of that part of the story. I think these artists are really going to shine in that department. The artwork as far as the people goes, I’m not thrilled, but it’s not horrible by any means.
At any rate, the story is moving quickly and there was already some action by the end of this first issue. Can’t complain on that one. The next issue comes out the first week of September. I’ll keep y’all updated! Stay tuned!
Benjamin Bartlett and Jeffrey Homan
Benjamin Bartlett and Jeffrey Homan
Cover Art by Jason Mooers
Interior Art by Marcelo Salaza
Additional Design, Graphics and Layouts by Jeffrey Homan
Special Feature: The continuing story of the Ziffits by Bill Diamond Productions.
Oh, our poor buds of bud! In this third issue of The Toking Dead, Toby and Duke are still infected and they aren’t looking any better, that’s for sure. WAY on their way to full weed smoking zombiehood. The guys, along with Piper (who has remained unaffected), are trapped in their building and still surrounded by pot smoking zombies. Who are desperately trying to get in the place, by the way.
The trio’s goal is to get to their dispensary “Weed B Here” in the hopes that they still have product left. They worry that the store and supply have been looted by the zombies because, remember, pot calms these zombies and chills them out. Lord only knows if they have the amount of product needed to hold these crazy things off. So, they are trying to save their stash, or what’s left of it.
Now, I’m not going to tell you EVERYTHING that happens in this issue because, well, that would be crazy. Talk about being a spoil-sport. However, y’all know me, and there ARE a few parts I want to highlight.
First, Toby constructs this massive, super-steamroller blower machine that would put ANY marijuana smoker straight on their ass. (He tests it on Piper, it’s hilarious!)
Next, we find a more…developed, shall we say, form of the zombies. I wouldn’t call them progressive by any means, they are complete barbarians and full of the most violent of tendencies. (Personally, I think Toby should blow them away with the steamroller blower!)
We have also established a running joke in this series. You have to have read the first two issues to get it of course, but it’s that small addition of real-life humor and reference to laziness that makes me laugh every time. It adds a certain personalization to the series that practically ANY stoner, pot smoker, medicinal users, whatever you want to call them, can relate to. It’s something so common and so minor in thought at the time, yet carries such heavy consequences later. So, adding the real-life struggle and humor of that fits as the realistic balance in the plot to me. It’s part of what melts the fiction with reality.
Piper is becoming more and more feisty as time goes on. She’s the epitome of the wild and brash, smart mouthed hot chick that people love to taunt but never really have the balls to fully push her buttons and make her explode on them. Yeah, that’s Piper.
We also have a few new characters introduced in this issue. No, I’m not going to tell you who they are, that would be giving stuff away, spoilers, hello!
However, as the trio spend more time together and the stress keeps piling up, their smartass jokes, snappy comments and humor that is sometimes dark and other times, delightfully disgusting, are firing out of each other’s mouths like bullets fresh from a gun barrel, fast and hot.
As usual, the guys did not disappoint in this issue. And as usual, I recommend this comic book and the series. Every time I finish an issue, I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next one to get to me! Not to mention that I love it and the guys and their team so much that I was gifting The Toking Dead comics and gear all Christmas. It was definitely a Toking Dead Christmas for a lot of my loved ones. And they thought it was awesome. (There’s something about coming from a smaller area on the outskirts of a metropolis and supporting small and private businesses that really makes me feel like we are helping to make a difference in real people’s lives, helping them with their livelihood, supporting their families, supporting their dreams. That’s how it should be for all us “little guys”. Some of the best restaurants are the little hole in the wall type joints. Some of the most talented people are working regular jobs and pursuing their passions in what little free time they have. Some of the most creative and amazing things are found at flea markets and swap meets. It doesn’t always have to be a big name, a big box store, part of the top 1%. There’s room for everyone in this world. All the skills, all the talents, all the dreams and the passions. And it can be done without hurting a single human being, without hurting a single soul. IF we all make some room and realize there’s enough clients, customers, money, real estate out there for everyone. Yes, NOW, I will step down from my soapbox.)
To get this issue you can visit the Etsy store for The Toking Dead at the link below:
To get updates and news from The Toking Dead you can visit their social media:
The guys have also started a radio show. You can download LIVE365 for free and listen in to Hellfire Radio every Friday and Saturday night at 6pm (CST) to hear the guys on their own show:
“Still Toking With”.
In this three-part series we have what has been determined over time to be the basic formula for good horror.
Teenagers + Sex + Bad Decisions + Drugs and Alcohol+ Road Trip = TRUE HORROR
I mean, we really do have the majority of the key elements to what makes a successful horror story.
In THIS story, a group of six friends embark on a road trip to the mysteriously famed Bridgewater Triangle. According to Massachusetts locals, Bridgewater Triangle is the site of a number of unexplained paranormal activities. Rumored to be overwhelmed with giant snakes, UFO sightings, ghosts and hauntings and just pure evil and vengeful creatures, the six college freshmen set out to seek the experiences they have only heard about.
One of the six is participating in the excursion because he is fascinated by the myths and legends surrounding the Bridgewater Triangle. The others are basically along for the ride and to get high, get drunk and get laid. Tent sex, for all but maybe two people, is top priority.
Once they get there, things start to get weirder and weirder. Naturally, the group starts to branch off into couples to have a little privacy. But tent sex isn’t the only thing going on at these camping grounds. Now, it’s all about myths, truths and survival. Who gets laid and who gets DEAD?
You’ll have to read to find out.
I really enjoyed this three-part mini-series. I think if I had to choose a favorite issue out of the three it would be the third. I like the writing in that one the best, and the artwork is excellent in all three. Yet it is probably the best in issue #2.
I do get a kick out of the use of the basic horror formula and the basic horror rules. That makes it feels like classic horror, especially with the urban legend aspect. All put together, it does have an extra special creep factor that is sure to satisfy you horror fanatics.
RATINGS #1 RATINGS #2 RATINGS #3
Overall 5/5 Overall 5/5 Overall 5/5
Artwork 5/5 Artwork 5/5 Artwork 5/5
Story 5/5 Story 5/5 Story 5/5