Letters: Maurizio Clausi (Arancia Studio)
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Grimm Tales of Terror!! Here, we have this year’s Halloween Special issue. This spectacular release is comprised of three small tales suitable for any Halloween fan.
This is the first story. I already loved it just by the name because I love tattoos. I have 13. So, that caught my devilish heart right away. But this story is about a boy, a little youngster named Dan Ankerman. And poor little Dan gets bullied at school. Not only by the standard bullies that call him names, wait for him after school or take his lunch money but, also by certain teachers…like the gym teacher. All because he can’t make a free throw. (Maybe basketball is not his sport, he’s short, what if he’s more into baseball or soccer?) And because he couldn’t make that basket on Halloween, the whole class had to stay late instead of getting out early to go get their costumes ready for Halloween night.
So, as expected, the bully bunch is waiting for Dan after school to rough him up. He sneaks into a Halloween store to hide out and meets our dear friend “Red”. While calming him down and trying to make him feel better, she gives him three temporary tattoos, all images of Halloween monsters, grotesque ones at that. He immediately gets excited and wants to apply one that moment but, Red advises him to wait. So, he stuffs them in his pocket.
Later, he gets accosted by the bully squad and they end up stealing his classroom Halloween party candy bag from him. But they also steal the tattoos. Then, just as excited as Dan was, the three bullies immediately put the monster tats on themselves. Shortly thereafter, the bullies start to not feel so good. Their stomachs start to hurt and they cry out in agonizing pain. But why? And what happens to little Dan?
Cat and Mouse
In this story, we meet a young man named Charlie while he is hanging out with his friends. They are putzing around a Halloween decoration store when they wander into the “Staff Only” area while looking for decorations for the party they are having that night. That is where Charlie meets Red.
Even though they aren’t supposed to be back there and she tells them so, Charlie can’t help but notice a striking oriental décor screen with an amazing art design on it. He is certain that it is exactly what is needed to add that certain something to the party room to get chicks in the mood for some hot and heavy Halloween hooking up. But Red explains that it is a very special piece and that it is designed to test the virtue and spiritual purity of those chosen. She wonders out loud to him that this piece may not be right for a person such as himself. But he won’t take No for an answer and eventually, he talks her into selling it to him.
Later that night at the party, a girl shows up that Charlie has never seen before. He introduces himself, gives her a drink and, when he feels she loosened up enough, he suggests they go up to his room. There she freely admits that she’s feeling a little loopy. Charlie takes that as his cue to give her another drink. But this time he slips some Rohypnol in it. Once she’s pliable enough to his liking, he goes for his moment and starts to undress her, in preparation to have his way with her. But, as he takes off her dress, he sees she has the same marks from the decorative screen on her back in black, like a tattoo.
Then she starts talking about how he’s the one and she knew it from the start…typical first date stuff that would make any guy freak the hell out and run for the hills.
All Charlie wanted was to get laid on Halloween with a drunk little devil honey. What the hell did he get himself into?
In our final tale we follow a man as he stalks his prey, an unwitting woman who is just going about her day. He narrates about how he has to watch, learn their habits, their quirks, their routines. He follows her into a Halloween costume store. As she is looking for a costume for a party she must go to that night, she meets Red.
After they chat a bit, Red suggests this grotesque mask for the Halloween party. Admitting that she’s “not very Halloween-y” she is repulsed by the mask and politely refuses. Red laughs and then takes her to the sexy nurse costumes. All of this is going on while the stalker waits and watches from a corner doorway of the store.
She leaves. He leaves. Narration continues with a countdown letting us know the time is coming, that that urge to kill is just boiling over. So, what happens to the chick? And the guy? And do we see this sexy nurse’s costume?
As usual, I’m not going to tell you.
I will tell you that I loved, loved, loved this issue. I always like when they do the special issues with multiple stories in them. And the Halloween stories are almost always good. While I didn’t recognize a lot of the names in the credits, they definitely upheld the standard that I have come to expect from Zenescope and Grimm Tales of Terror.
The stories were all very well written and even though they were all written by different people, they still flow through the issue very smoothly and with great ease. They have the perfect balance to them as well. I don’t want to say too much as not to give anything away.
Now, the artwork is also fabulous. Again, even though it’s three different artists and a bunch of different colorists, everything seems to fit together perfectly, which I think is a major feat in itself. Every tale includes vibrant color to amplify the impact from each written word.
I highly recommend that you pick this up. They really gave us a treat for Halloween this year!