Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: GRIMM TALES OF TERROR, Volume 2 #1


[This review originally appeared on Patreon.]

STORY: Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha
SCRIPT: Ralph Tedesco
ART: Eric J
COLORS: Fran Gamboa and J.C. Ruiz
LETTERS: Fabio Amelia
COVER: Eric J with Victor Bartlett
VARIANT COVERS: Manuel Preitano and Stephen Schaffer with Christopher Cote; Renato Rei with David Ocampo
EDITOR: Ralph Tedesco
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Grimm Tales of Terror created by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco

“Jekyll & Hyde”

Apparently, comic book publisher, Zenescope Entertainment, is celebrating ten years in existence.  I think I remember when I first starting seeing entreaties to review their books from them in my @ComicBookBin email inbox.  I ignored them.  I just didn't have the time to take on another small press publisher.

And I keep on ignoring them, even as I notice that Zenescope comic books often contain pretty, eye-catching art, covered in eye-candy coloring.  I have to admit that Zenescope publishes some of the prettiest comic books that I have ever seen.  Still, I ignore them.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was at a local comic book shop, and I could not help but notice a copy of Grimm Tales of Terror on the shelf.  Actually, the cover art for this relaunch of Zenescope's horror-fantasy anthology comic book series caught my eye, like a reflection in a corner of my field of vision.  So now, I am reading and also reviewing, for the first time, a comic book from Zenescope Entertainment.  [That's a shame really.]

Grimm Tales of Terror, Vol. 2 #1 is entitled “Jekyll & Hyde.”  This issue is written by Ralph Tedesco (story and script) and Joe Brusha (story); drawn by Eric J; colored by Fran Gamboa and J.C. Ruiz; and lettered by Fabio Amelia.  The story is a modern retelling and re-imagining of the infamous novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by author Robert Louis Stevenson.  This version of that tale centers on Henry Hyde, a nerdy 17-year-old.  At school, he is an outcast, bullied by an obnoxious jock named Brandt.  At home, he is the errand slash whipping boy for his mother, who seems to be a prescription medicine addict.

Henry is also a budding young science whiz, and his school science project involves developing a serum that, as he describes it, “would enhance one's physical traits...”  However, the serum can create something that is bad... or maybe simple enhance something bad that is already inside...

I like Grimm Tales of Terror Volume 2 #1.  I am impressed by Tedesco and Brusha's story; in fact, if they wanted, they could expand this into a miniseries or graphic novel.  The plot, characters, and story certainly could accommodate that.  I like that Tedesco's script plays Henry as belligerent.  Yes, he is a victim of bullying at school and, to an extent, at home, but the teen mixes in some sarcasm with his silent suffering.  Most of all, I like that the story and script don't take the easy way out of this scenario.  It is complicated and edgy.

Yes, the art is pretty, from compositions to coloring.  The art is the storytelling and Eric J takes Tedesco and Brusha's complications and edginess and boosts them, making the story mean, spiteful, and ultimately tragic.  Wow!  I'm ready for more Grimm Tales of Terror... and maybe, just maybe, some more Zenescope.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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