Saturday, May 13, 2017
Review: TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE #1
IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
WRITERS: Joe Hill and Michael Benedetto
ARTIST: Gabriel Rodriguez
COLORS: Ryan Hill
LETTERS: Robbie Robbins
COVER: Gabriel Rodriguez with Ryan Hill
VARIANT COVERS: Gabriel Rodriguez; Charles Paul Wilson; Ben Templesmith; Gabriel Rodriguez with Jay Fotos
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 2016)
Suggested for mature readers
“Tales from the Darkside” was a syndicated American television series created by George A. Romero. Like “The Twilight Zone,” “Tales from the Darkside” was an anthology series in which each individual episode was a standalone short story that had a twist ending. Although primarily focused on horror, “Tales from the Darkside” featured such genres as science fiction, fantasy, and black comedy, to name a few. “Tales from the Darkside” ran for 89 episodes from 1984 to 1988 and included a 1983 pilot episode and a 1990 film follow-up, Tales from the Darside: The Movie (1990).
Apparently, a few years ago, CBS (the current rights holders) decided to reboot “Tales from the Darkside,” but ultimately passed on it. Novelist, short story writer, and comic book creator, Joe Hill, worked on the reboot and wrote three scripts for the project.
Now, those three scripts are being adapted into a four-issue comic book series, Tales from the Darkside. Hills scripts are adapted for comic books by Michael Benedetto. Gabriel Rodriguez, Hill's collaborator on the comic book series, Locke & Key, is the artist. Ryan Hill provides colors, and Robbie Robbins is the series letterer.
Tales from the Darkside #1 (“Sleepwalker”) adapts Joe Hill's script, “The Sleepwalker.” The story focuses on Ziggy, a high school senior living the good life. By day, he is a lifeguard at a local swimming pool. By night, he parties so hard that he can't sleep. After tragedy strikes, Ziggy enters a reality unseen by most.
If “Sleepwalker” is indicative of the quality of material or of the direction of the Tales from the Darkside reboot, I can see why everyone gave it the boot. “Sleepwalker” is not horror, nor is it even the least bit macabre, in the tradition of classic anthology TV series like “The Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” or even “Thriller.
“Sleepwalker” is nothing more than a teen melodrama with some vague fantasy elements tacked on to the middle of the story. It's a familiar tale of teenage tragedy, the equivalent of some “don't-text-and-drive” screed. Also, if this so-called “Darkside event,” was to be the connecting tissue for the rebooted TV series, then, CBS got its just desserts. Hiring the usual Hollywood suspects of sci-fi/fantasy/action: if you are going to reboot something, bring in new creative blood and really reboot it.
As for Tales from the Darkside #1: I hope that the entire series is not what this first issue seems – filler material from two of IDW Publishing's “star” talent.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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